What’s the difference between a good leader and an outstanding one? Research in this area has distilled the essence of what the best leaders do that the others don’t. Do you want to stand out from the crowd? Take a look at this!
These Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® resulted from an intensive research project to determine the leadership competencies that are essential to getting extraordinary things done in organizations. To conduct the research, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner collected thousands of “Personal Best” stories-the experiences people recalled when asked to think of a peak leadership experience. The study found that when leaders are at their personal best, they:
Model the Way
Leaders establish principles concerning the way people (constituents, peers, colleagues, and customers alike) should be treated and the way goals should be pursued. They create standards of excellence and then set an example for others to follow. Because the prospect of complex change can overwhelm people and stifle action, they set interim goals so that people can achieve small wins as they work toward larger objectives. They unravel bureaucracy when it impedes action; they put up signposts when people are unsure of where to go or how to get there; and they create opportunities for victory.
Inspire a Shared Vision
Leaders passionately believe that they can make a difference. They envision the future, creating an ideal and unique image of what the organization can become. Through their magnetism and quiet persuasion, leaders enlist others in their dreams. They breathe life into their visions and get people to see exciting possibilities for the future.
Challenge the Process
Leaders search for opportunities to change the status quo. They look for innovative ways to improve the organization. In doing so, they experiment and take risks. And because leaders know that risk taking involves mistakes and failures, they accept the inevitable disappointments as learning opportunities.
Enable Others to Act
Leaders foster collaboration and build spirited teams. They actively involve others. Leaders understand that mutual respect is what sustains extraordinary efforts; they strive to create an atmosphere of trust and human dignity. They strengthen others, making each person feel capable and powerful.
Encourage the Heart
Accomplishing extraordinary things in organizations is hard work. To keep hope and determination alive, leaders recognize contributions that individuals make. In every winning team, the members need to share in the rewards of their efforts, so leaders celebrate accomplishments. They make people feel like heroes.
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