What Brings People to Leadership Roles: A Phenomenological Study of Beef Industry Leaders

Leadership has been deeply studied in the literature; however, little research exists studying the role of volunteer peer leaders in non-formalized leadership roles in membership-based organizations. This phenomenological study was designed to explore the experience of beef industry leaders in leadership roles. Twelve active beef industry volunteer leaders were interviewed and described their experience as leaders. Industry leadership was defined from study themes as a role fulfilled by someone who is willing to serve their industry, with the best of the industry in mind and taking on the responsibility and challenges that come along with making decisions to serve and speak for their peers with integrity. Seven themes identified the central phenomenon and seven traits of beef industry leaders were identified. This study offers significance to the field of leadership; to the beef industry; and to agricultural organizations that may guide developing future leaders.