Monday, November 14, 2016
The Five Practices of Exemplary Leaders
Leadership is not about personality; it’s about behavior—an observable set of skills and abilities. And when we first set out to discover what great leaders actually do when they are at their personal best, we collected thousands of stories from ordinary people—the experiences they recalled when asked to think of a peak leadership experience.
What does it take to be an exemplary leader?
Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of The Leadership Challenge, set out to discover the common practices of leaders when they were at their leadership best. Their analysis of thousands of cases and surveys revealed The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership: they Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and last but certainly not least, they Encourage the Heart.
Model the Way:
1. Clarify values by finding your voice and affirming shared ideas
2. Set the example by aligning actions and shared values
Inspired a Shared Vision:
1. Envision the future by imaging exciting possibilities
2. Enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations
Challenge the Process:
1. Search for opportunities by seizing the initiative and by looking outward for innovative
ways to improve
2. Experiment and take risk by constantly generating small wins and learning from
Enable Others to Act:
1. Foster collaboration by building trust and facilitating relationships
2. Strengthen others by increasing self determination and developing competence
Encouraging the Heart:
1. Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence
2. Celebrate the values and victories by creating a spirit of community
Leadership isn’t a formula. In fact, leadership is more of an art than a science. However, with time and practice, a leader can hone his/her skills to lead and inspire a whole team or organization. If individuals learn to use these five practices on a regular basis, they would be more effective as leaders. The five practices are easy to understand and, with practice, can be mastered by almost anyone.