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Journal of Management Education




Empirical research suggests that focusing on one’s identity as a leader may enhance ongoing leadership development. As a complement to traditional theory- and skills-based approaches to leader development, we offer an identity-based, multidomain approach to leadership development through a series of integrated in-class exercises. Specifically, these exercises focus on developing four components of leader identity: meaning, strength, levels (personal, relational, and collective), and integration of domain-specific subidentities, culminating in the creation of a leader identity narrative. After a brief review of the literature on leader identity, we describe the exercises in detail along with potential prompts for personal reflection and group discussion. We also present qualitative evidence of the intended outcomes of the exercises, including the desired effect of developing students’ leader identities.


This is the preprint of an article published in the Journal of Management Education, volume 43, issue 1, 2019. The Version of Record is available online at this link: SJSU users: use the following link to login and access the article via SJSU databases.