By: James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner
Since 1983 we have been conducting research on personal-best leadership experiences,and we have discovered that there are countless examples of how leaders mobilize others to get extraordinary things done in virtually every arena of organized activity. We have found them in profit- based firms and nonprofits, manufacturing and services, government and business, health care, education and entertainment, and work and community service. Leaders reside in every city and every country, in every position and every place.They’re employees and volunteers, young and old, women and men. Leadership knows no racial or religious bounds, no ethnic or cultural borders. We find exemplary leadership everywhere we look
From our analysis of thousands of personal-best leadership experiences, we’ve discovered that ordinary people who guide others along pioneering journeys follow rather similar paths. Though each experience we examined was unique in expression, every case followed remarkably similar patterns of action. We’ve forged these common practices into a model of leadership, and we offer it here as guidance for leaders as they attempt to keep their own bear- ings and steer others toward peak achievements.
As we looked deeper into the dynamic process of leadership, through case analyses and survey questionnaires, we uncovered five practices common to personal-best leadership experiences. When getting extraordinary things done in organizations, leaders engage in these Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership
Model the Way
Inspire a Shared Vision
Challenge the Process
Enable Others to Act
Encourage the Hear
The Five Practices aren’t the private property of the people we studied or of a few select shining stars. Leadership is not about personality; it’s about behavior. The Five Practices are available to anyone who accepts the leadership challenge. And they’re also not the accident of a unique moment in history. The Five Practices have stood the test of time, and our most recent research confirms that they’re just as relevant today as they were when we first began our investigation more than twenty-five years ago.
“Further details about this study can be found in their book“The Leadership Challenge