Do Outdoor Leaders Have Careers? An Introduction to the Outdoor Leader Career Development Model


  • Mark Wagstaff Radford University


Current literature addresses professional outdoor leader development primarily through competencies or skill development (Martin, Cashel, Wagstaff, & Breunig, 2006; Priest & Gass, 2005; Shooter, Sibthorp, & Paisley, 2009). This theoretical paper builds upon these perspectives by examining outdoor leader development through the lens of career development theory. A number of professions embrace career development models to explain the developmental cycle of practicing professionals (Dall'Alba & Sandberg, 2006). The outdoor leader literature touches on career practices and trends but with no specific foundation to explain the career cycle of professional outdoor leaders (Loeffler, 1996; Marchand, Russell, & Cross, 2009; Medina, 2001). This abstract presents a seminal outdoor leader career development model for consideration. Based on Albert Bandura's (1997) social cognitive theory, the Outdoor Leader Career Development Model (OLCDM) consists of five developmental stages couched within three primary developmental orientations supported by five developmental catalysts that promote career selfefficacy.