The leadership challenge (4th ed.). San. Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Reviewed by Chelsea Truesdell. Introduction. The Leadership Challenge serves as a. This story is excerpted from The Leadership Challenge, 4th edition by James M. Kouzes and. Barry Z. Posner. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, ), 𝗣𝗗𝗙 | James M. Kouzes and others published An Instructor's Guide to The Leadership Challenge. We would not have written The Leadership Challenge if we did not believe . build the skills required to become a positive force in the world. . and will count for one-fourth of the student's evaluation.
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This leadership classic continues to be a bestseller after three editions and twenty years in print. It is the gold standard for research-based leadership, and the premier resource on becoming a leader. This new edition, with streamlined text, more international and business examples, and a graphic redesign, is more readable and accessible than ever before. The Leadership Challenge, Fourth Edition , has been extensively updated with the latest research and case studies, and offers inspiring new stories of real people achieving extraordinary results. The authors' central theme remains the same and is more relevant today than ever:
Section 2, August Encourage the Heart example. Your words and No part of this publication may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. To order additional copies of this summary, reference Model the Way refers to the Effective leaders set the Catalog If you're not willing to do a given task, why should others be willing?
The best lead- ers are distinguished by relentless effort, steadfastness, competence, and attention to detail.
The second practice is to Inspire a Shared Vision. This is also a two-part practice. First, you must envision the future by imagining and believing in an exciting, highly attractive future for the organization. You must be confident that you can make that extraordinary future come true. An exemplary leader is exceptionally good at imagining a future that does not yet exist.
But the vision in his imagination is not enough to create an organized movement or to forge significant change in a company.
The second part in the equation is to enlist others in a common vision. In order to do this, you must convince people that you understand their needs and have their interests at heart. Leadership is a dialogue, not a monologue. You must have intimate knowledge of people's dreams, hopes, aspirations, visions, and values.
You will breathe life into these hopes and dreams and create a unity of purpose by showing constituents how the dream is for the common good. You must make your own enthusiasm contagious.
The third practice is to Challenge the Process. Most leadership challenges involve a change in the status quo. In fact, not one of the leaders interviewed by the authors claimed to have achieved a personal best by keeping things the same. All leaders therefore must chal- lenge the current process.
The first step in doing this is to search for opportunities to inno- vate, grow, and improve. This search comes from listening — to customers, clients, vendors, people in the labs, and people on the front lines.
You must constantly look outside yourself and your organization for new products, processes, and services. The second part of challenging the existing process is to experiment and take risks, despite the possibility of failure. Good leaders look for small victories that can build confidence in their team.
Each small win builds confidence in long-term success. Failure is also a valuable learning experience. The fourth practice is to Enable Others to Act. Success requires a team effort. It requires group collaboration and individual accountability.
This is so crucial to realizing grand dreams that the authors devised a simple test around it: To determine whether someone is on the road to becoming a leader, they simply count the number of times the person uses the word "we. Engage all those who must make the project work, including peers, managers, customers, clients, and suppliers.
Second, make it possible for others to do good work. Strengthen others by increas- ing self-determination and developing competence. Good leaders do not hoard power. They give it away. The fifth practice is to Encourage the Heart. This refers to genuine acts of caring to uplift the spirits of the people on the team. First, recognize contributions. Show appreciation for individual excellence. For example, write a personal note rather than send an e-mail.
Second, celebrate values and victories through creating a spirit of community. For example, establish a public recognition program that rewards performance. This serves to align behavior with the cherished values expressed at the outset.
Strategies, tactics, skills, and practices are empty without an understanding of the fundamental human aspirations that connect leaders to constituents. The authors administered a questionnaire to more than 75, people throughout the world, asking what qualities in a leader would inspire them to follow willingly.
The results are strik- ing for their consistency. Four characteristics rose to the top of the list, receiving more than 60 percent of the votes over time and across many cultures.
For people to willingly follow a leader, the leader must be: 1. Honest 2. Forward-looking 3. Inspiring 4. Competent These four characteristics are intimately bound up with the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership.
For example, you cannot Model the Way without being honest. You can't Inspire a Shared Vision without being forward-looking and inspiring. Let's take a closer look at each of the four attributes that compel people to follow a leader. Honesty rose to the top of the list and emerged as the single most important characteristic people look for in leaders.
Whether people follow a leader into battle or into the boardroom, they insist that he or she be truthful, ethical, and principled. The terms "integrity" and "character" came up frequently as another way of saying that they're looking for honesty. Honesty is strongly tied to values and ethics. People inherently admire leaders who know where they stand on important principles and have confidence in their own beliefs. In the second instance — being forward-looking — more than 70 percent of respondents ranked this attribute high on the list.
People want leaders to have a sense of direction and a concern for the future of the organization. No one wants to follow someone who's lost. A good leader has a clear destination in mind for the company. The third attribute people demand from leaders is that they be inspiring. People expect their leaders to be enthusiastic, energetic, and positive about the future.
While leaders define the content of the work to be done, they can make the context far more meaningful if they're able to inspire people. Inspiring leaders breathe life into people's dreams and aspirations, making them much more willing to sign on for the duration. Emotions are contagious, and positive emotions resonate throughout an organization and help to make extraordinary things happen. The final attribute that people want in leaders is competence.
This refers to the leader's track record of getting things done. What's most important is that the leader take the time to learn the business and to know the current operation. All of these attributes add up to making a leader credible. Credibility is the foundation of lead- ership. Above all else, constituents must be able to believe in their leaders.
This realization leads to a straightforward prescription for leaders about how to establish credibility: Do what you say you will do. With this background, we can now go on to explore the 10 commitments of leadership.
They have an unwavering commitment to a clear set of values. They are passionate about causes. People expect leaders to speak out on matters of values and conscience.
But to speak out, you have to know what to speak about. That is why clarify values is the first of the 10 com- mitments. To clarify values you must master two essential tasks: First, find your voice. Second, affirm shared values. Based on their findings, the authors formulated what they call the First Law of Leadership, which states that if you don't believe in the messenger, you won't believe the message. That in turn led to two corollaries: 1.
You can't believe in the messenger if you don't know what the messenger believes. You can't be the messenger until you have a clear idea of what you believe. A leader can't speak the truth unless he speaks in his own voice. That is why the first step is to find your voice. If the words you speak are not your words, you will not be consistent in word and deed. To find your voice, you must explore your own inner territory and find out who you are, what you stand for, what you care about, and what you believe in.
It is in the process of learning who you are that you will come to know what your values are. Words send signals and project hidden assumptions. Credible leadership means you must be the author of your own experience. You cannot copy someone else or read a script written by someone else. You have the freedom and obligation to be authentic. That in turn will lead to shared values across the organization. Here are three actions that you can use to clarify values for yourself and others.
First, write a tribute to yourself. How would you most like to be seen by others? What descriptions of you would make you feel proudest? Ask yourself seven questions: 1. What do I stand for? What do I believe in?
What am I discontented about? What keeps me awake at night?
What brings me suffering? What brings me joy? What am I passionate about? The second action is to write your own credo. Make it just one page long.
It should contain the principles that you would leave behind to guide your constituents' decisions and actions if you were not around. Identify the values and beliefs that are important to you, and then rank them in order of their importance. The third action is to engage in a credo dialogue. Gather the people you lead and discuss shared values.
Ask them to write their own credo memos. Give them five to ten minutes to write, and then ask each person to share what he or she wrote. Remind the team that the objective of this exercise is clarifying values. From this process, you can find common values to pursue. In other words, no one will believe that you're serious until they see you doing what you're asking of others.
That's why the second commitment is to set the example. There are two actions that are essential for setting the example. First, personify the shared values; and second, teach others to model the values. In practicing these essentials, you will become a role model for what the whole team stands for. You will also create a culture in which everyone commits to aligning themselves with the shared values.
As a leader, you are always being watched by people who are looking for signals. They're watching to see what the message is — not in what you say, but in what you do.
All people constantly send non-verbal signals, but leaders are under much closer scrutiny, so your signals are more powerful. You have to be mindful of the choices you make, because you're setting an example of what's appropriate and what's not. Spend these precious and nonrenewable resources on the most important values. For example, by attending operating meetings in the field, you can provide visible evidence of your concerns and the direction you want to pursue.
Use words and phrases that best express the culture you want to create. Researchers have documented the power of language in shaping thoughts and actions. For example, if you want people to act like citizens of a village, then you have to talk about them that way, not as subordinates in a hierarchy. Raise questions that intentionally stimulate people to think more purposefully about values.
The questions you ask send messages about the focus of the organization. They're indicators of what is most important to you. Questions direct attention to the values that should be attended to, and how much energy should be devoted to them.
Ask others about the impact of your behavior on their perfor- mance. Seeking feedback provides a powerful statement about the value of self-improve- ment and how everyone can always improve. Since credibility is the foundation of lead- ership and stems from doing what you say you will do, it is essential to ask others to let you know how well you're succeeding. The second essential action is to teach others to model the values. Respond to those disruptive occurrences in the life of your organization in ways that reinforce core values.
There are critical moments when you have to take action to put values squarely on the table in front of others so that every- one can return to this common ground for working together. In this way, you set an exam- ple for what it means to take action on the basis of values. Publicly give examples of what team members do to live the values and make sure to mention the moral at the end of the story. Story telling is more com- pelling than providing rules or guidelines.
It makes the world concrete and engages the emotions. Keep score and measure performance to determine consistency with values. Tangibly and intangibly recognize performance that's consistent with espoused values. Simply measuring performance often improves it. But rewards and recognition will reinforce values as well. The important message to keep in mind is that what you choose to reinforce is what people will choose to value. That's why the third commitment is to envision the future.
Leaders develop a capacity to envision the future for themselves and others by mas- tering two essentials: First, imagine the possibilities; and second, find a common purpose. It's an intuitive, emotional process. A vision of the future represents the broad theme you want to convey. It is your central message. To get at that theme, you need to first reflect on your past. In one study, researchers found that CEOs who reflected on past events before envi- sioning future ones had significantly longer time horizons than those who envisioned the future before listing the past events.
When you look into your past, you elongate your future. You also enrich it with detail from past experience. Search your past to discover recurring themes in your life. After reflecting on the past, you can attend to the present.
The future is always hiding with- in the present, waiting to be discovered by visionaries. Envisioning the future is about pay- ing attention to the little things that are going on all around you and being able to recognize patterns that point to the future.
This leads to prospecting the future. A good leader will project himself ahead in time. It takes practice to become good at envisioning the future. You have to spend more of today thinking more about tomorrow if your future is going to be an improvement over the present. Don't get caught up in the details of daily life. The second essential action to envision the future is to find a common purpose. Good leaders get people involved in asking, "What's next?
They encourage people to ask the question, "What legacy do we want to leave? You must ask good questions, remain open to ideas from others, and be willing to lose an argument in the interest of the common good. Through this process, you will find the common thread that weaves the fabric of human needs together with the shared values of the company. That's why the fourth commitment is to enlist others. To enlist others, you must do two things well: First, appeal to common ideals; and second, animate the vision.
What truly excites people is the possibility that what they are doing can make a profound dif- ference in the future of their families, friends, and colleagues. They want to know that what they do matters. Exemplary leaders also communicate what sets their product or service apart and makes it unique. Uniqueness fosters pride and boosts self-respect. The second essential task for enlisting others is to animate the vision.
You must help people to see and feel how their own interests and aspirations are aligned with the vision. For example, one CEO refers to himself as a catalyst, which is an enzyme that initiates a chemical reaction but isn't used up itself.
Good leaders are fond of clever, meaningful metaphors that can touch people, inspire their imagination, and make them feel part of a special team. Images also serve to animate the vision. Create word pictures that can be seen in the mind's eye. Vividly imagine the destination, and then describe it so colorfully that others will see it, too.
Good leaders aren't afraid to express their emotions in the service of enlisting others. Emotion generates energy and makes things more memorable. Scientists have shown that emotionally significant events create stronger, longer-lasting memories. Write down an ideal and unique image of the future for yourself and for your organization.
The Leadership Challenge—the most trusted source on becoming a better leader—has been thoroughly updated and revised for a new generation of leaders living and working in a global environment. Building on the knowledge base of the previous books, the fourth edition is grounded in research and presents extensive interviews with a diverse group of leaders at all levels in a wide variety of organizations from around the world. The authors emphasize that the fundamentals of leadership are not a fad.
While the context of leadership has changed dramatically, the content of leadership has endured the test of time. When leaders understand that leadership is a relationship and they begin to engage in the Five Practices— Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart—they are better able to embark on a lifetime of success and significance.
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