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The six developmental traps growing water leaders should avoid

How can you avoid the six most common traps that can significantly hinder your ability to grow into your water leadership capacity and improve your leadership effectiveness? IWC Leadership Specialist Dr André Taylor describes these traps and how to avoid them in this peer-reviewed paper recently published in the New Water Policy and Practice Journal.
The six developmental traps growing water leaders should avoid

Despite the varied professional, personal and cultural contexts, there are six common 'traps' developing leaders fall into

This paper describes six of the most common traps that can significantly hinder the ability of water leaders to grow their leadership capacity and improve their leadership effectiveness. It also explains why these traps are a problem and provides practical advice on avoiding or minimising the impact of them using guidance from the leadership development literature as well as the author’s experience of working closely with developing leaders. This guidance should assist developing water leaders directly, as well as people who nurture such leaders, such as supervisors, mentors, and leadership development specialists.

The traps are described as: the chaotic leader; the timid leader; the stunted leader; the non-strategic leader; the individualistic leader; and the directive leader. A summary of the traps is available here.

Download the full paper from the latest edition of the open-access New Water Policy and Practice Journal here:

Identifying the common traps developing water leaders fall into

IWC Leadership Specialist Dr André Taylor has worked as a leadership development specialist over the last ten years, building the leadership capacity of water practitioners so they can initiate and drive positive change. This experience includes working closely with several hundred developing water leaders from around the world through a variety of leadership development programs and short courses, and conducting over 500 coaching sessions.

This experience has helped to identify a number of common patterns of behaviour that emerging water leaders exhibit as they seek to grow as leaders. These patterns are surprisingly similar given they occur in people working in different geographic locations, organisations, professional roles, and cultures. In this paper the six most common patterns that hinder the ability of water leaders to grow, referred to as leadership-related ‘traps’, are explored and ways to avoid or escape them are offered.

New Water Policy and Practice Journal

The New Water Policy and Practice Journal is an open-access, free to publish journal edited by IWC Master of Integrated Water Management Water and Agricultural Landscape Module Coordinators, Susana Neto and Jeff Camkin. The journal aims to provide a platform for the world’s emerging water leaders and thinkers, and a wide range of contributions are welcome, including research papers for peer review, policy papers from practitioners, opinion pieces, book and conference reviews, and news items.

Learn more about the journal and how to contribute here.

IWC Water Leadership Program

Designed for emerging water leaders at the project to middle-management level, IWC's Water Leadership Program is customised for the water sector through sound research and collaboration with experienced industry practitioners. The program focuses on helping leaders to build the leadership abilities (e.g. skills, knowledge and networks), to initiate and drive change, influence across organisational boundaries, address complex water management challenges, and advance Integrated Water Management. It runs each year from 1 December to 31 August.

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