The Leadership Challenge

Kouzes, James M.; Posner, Barry Z.
October 2007
Leadership Challenge (4th Edition) - Business Book Summaries;2007, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p1
Book summary
The Leadership Challenge, one of the best-selling leadership books of all time, is considered "the most trusted source on becoming a better leader." With this fourth edition, James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner celebrate 25 years of leadership excellence with a plethora of new case studies that enhance their timeless and inspiring message and strengthen and widen the definition of leadership. Building on the broad knowledge base of the previous editions, The Leadership Challenge is again grounded in extensive and intensive research of a diverse array of leaders, at all levels, and in a wide variety of organizations and situations. It demonstrates that while the context of leadership has changed dramatically, reflecting the global environment, the content and fundamentals are universal and timeless-thus, the lessons remain the same: Leadership is not the private preserve of a charismatic few. It is a universally accessible process ordinary people employ to bring forth the best from themselves and others. Leadership development is self-development. It's about engaging in the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership: Modeling the Way, Inspiring a Shared Vision, Challenging the Process, Enabling Others to Act, and Encouraging the Heart. Leadership is a relationship between those who aspire to lead and those who choose to follow. Credibility is its foundation. Leadership is not about personality but about behavior. It is in the moment, with each day providing countless chances to make a difference. Embedded in The Five Practices are The Ten Commitments of Leadership-clarifying values, setting the example, envisioning the future, enlisting others, searching for opportunities, experimenting and taking risks, fostering collaboration, strengthening others, recognizing contributions, and celebrating values and victories-behaviors that serve as the basis for learning to lead. Revisiting these lessons serves as a reminder of the enduring wisdom essential for success in uncertain times. It is the kind of wisdom that can help anyone, whether in the private or public sector, employee or volunteer, in the front line or in the executive suite, student, and/or parent to develop their capacity to guide others and uplift their own spirits in the process.


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