“Leaders breathe life into the hopes and dreams of others and enable them to see the exciting possibilities that the future holds. Leaders forge a unity of purpose by showing constituents how the dream is for the common good. Leaders stir the fire of passion in others by expressing enthusiasm for the compelling vision of their group. Leaders communicate passion through vivid language and and expressive style.”
Page 18 of The Leadership Challenge, 4th Edition by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner.
Like previous editions, the 4th edition of The Leadership Challenge is chalk-full of inspirational language and practical tools to develop your leadership skills. The two leadership experts share their the latest research and examples in a 25-year search to define the characteristics that transform ordinary people into extraordinary leaders.
The validity of their research has been tested across time and culture. It turns out that the factors that create a great leader are pretty universal, and thankfully, a learnable skill.
Their research-tested model (they have interviewed nearly 75,000 people over the years) continues to center on “The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership”:
- Model the Way
- Inspire a Shared Vision
- Challenge the Process
- Enable Others to Act
- Encourage the Heart
The Five Practices are comprised of the “Ten Commitments of Leadership”:
- Clarify values by finding your voice and affirming shared ideals.
- Set the example by aligning actions with shared values.
- Envision the future by imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities.
- Enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations.
- Search for opportunities by seizing the initiative and by looking outward for innovative ways to improve.
- Experiment and take risks by constantly generating small wins and learning from experience.
- Foster collaboration by building trust and facilitating relationships.
- Strengthen others by increasing self-determination and developing competence.
- Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence.
- Celebrate the values and victories by creating a spirit of community.
Kouzes and Posner take you on a journey along the path of leadership you will not soon forget. If you are a leader or want to become one, this book is an absolute must.