THE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE BOOK
The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Story time just got better with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers editorially. The Leadership Challenge, 4th Edition [James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner] on The top Business and Leadership books of last year picked by Amazon Book. The Leadership Challenge. “My heart goes out to Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner with the deepest gratitude for this book, the most powerful.
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The Leadership Challenge is a book written by James Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, published by Wiley. First published in , the book's fifth edition was. The Leadership Challenge book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The most trusted resource on becoming a leader has been c. "Now in its fifth edition, The Leadership Challenge has stood the test of time for good reason: it's quite simply one of the best books you'll ever read on.
The main problem here for me is that it is never clear that the remarkably positive stories being told reflect something other than the story the leaders might want other people to hear or to tell about themselves. They can uncover the truth, highlight it, or they can do as much to hide the truth — they can be incredibly self-serving.
The Leadership Challenge
You see, a story demands a narrative arc and that requires a kind of directionality that is often only able to be understood after the event. And we like to shine the best of all possible lights upon ourselves. Rather, it is only after the event that we see what felt at the time like false starts were necessary learnings or incremental steps towards ultimate victory.
So, when a book is basically a series of happy stories about success - well, I am left more than a little cold. Central to this book is the idea that leadership is about change. But if success is something that is ultimately defined by where a leader leads you — then they have to lead you somewhere other than where you currently are — no matter how nice that current place is.
So much of this book was about how great leaders find ways to empower those they are leading. And this is something I also found particularly interesting. Each practice has two Commitments of Leadership [10 Commitments total; 2 Commitments for each of the 5 Practices; each Commitment has its very own chapter]. The 6th edition does a nicer job integrating real world examples and comments in support of the 10 commitments.
What I Really Like: There are 13 chapters in all in the 6th edition, with 10 chapters covering the Ten Commitments of Leadership these are essential behaviors that leaders employ to make extraordinary things happen. Visually, two dramatic changes are welcomed surprises with the 6th edition of The Leadership Challenge. First, the updated charts and graphics to color really make the model and ideas more striking and appealing.
Second, the 6th edition uses heavier and bright white paper to print the text on and this makes it much easier to read. Summary: The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership model—the backbone of The Leadership Challenge book—states that leadership is an observable set of similar patterns of behavior skills and abilities that can be taught and learned by everyone.
Three decades of research provide strong and enduring support for the model. Credibility is the foundation of every leader-follower relationship.
Finally, followers look for and expect four characteristics from their leaders someone they would willingly follow : honest, competent, inspiring, and forward-looking. These four prerequisites for leadership have stood the test of time and geography. The Leadership Challenge is a compelling, evidence-based, practical, and delightful masterpiece.
Kouzes and Posner skillfully weave real examples and actual words of ordinary people achieving extraordinary things in their organizations throughout to support decades of empirical data. The result is an extremely robust, yet eminently practical model of leadership development.
It is truly a book that should be required reading for both leaders and followers. The Leadership Challenge earns my highest recommendation. Written By: Steve Nguyen, Ph. The Leadership Challenge 5th ed. Kouzes, J. The Leadership Challenge 6th ed. Leaders are Livers. Read on! Feb 04, Jeff rated it really liked it Shelves: When I posted the review on Warren Bennis' "On Leadership", I mentioned that books I had started since I had started Bennis' text had caused me to re-think whether or not I found Bennis' text informative.
Pretty good insight as to how to become a better leader. Lots of good stories and examples. Many of the tricks they offer are easy to implement - being a better leader is as simple as choosing to be a better leader. This book is built on the fact that leadership can be taught. Its success is built on the fact that anyone can accomplish the extraordinary. My only caution with the text is that it contains too many lists. It starts with the "five practices of exemplary leadership", then offers two ways to achieve each of the five practices, three activities that you can take to accomplish the two ways to achieve the five practices, and so on.
While all of the advice is resonant, it is virtually impossible to remember all the lists. Dec 31, Tina rated it liked it. I had to read this as part of a group project for a class in the nonprofit management certificate program. While I think this book provides some great ideas and insight for leaders, I think it could be shorter. It's a little repetitive and redundant at times.
I don't think it provided me with much information that I hadn't heard before--though some of the examples were nice illustrations. Honestly, I've just read half of it--and will only read one more chapter the chapter I'm responsible for pr I had to read this as part of a group project for a class in the nonprofit management certificate program.
Honestly, I've just read half of it--and will only read one more chapter the chapter I'm responsible for presenting to the class. My awesome group members will take care of their chapters and I'll get the key points from them instead of reading pages. This book does not motivate me enough to want to read it all for myself. Dec 25, Tom rated it it was amazing. A very readable, well-researched, and practical book about leadership, now in its fourth edition.
It includes interesting insights about what followers expect of their leaders, and rich descriptions of how to accomplish the five leadership challenges in contemporary organizations: The authors run a popular seminar based on the book. They also keep current by publishing new editions, the most recent in It is really interesting to see what qualities of leaders their followers have most admired over the past 25 years View 1 comment.
Mar 05, Bruce Flanagan rated it it was amazing. I consider Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner to be the best research-based book ever written in the field of leadership.
What I love about this book is that it is actually written for its readers! Let's face it--very few readers of business books are CEO's of multi-billion corporations. Yet many business books follow the same over-used formula--interviewing CEOs--talking about what they are doing so well--and suggesting that you do the same thing.
The Leadership Challenge
Leadership Challenge is based upo I consider Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner to be the best research-based book ever written in the field of leadership. Leadership Challenge is based upon learnings from leaders at all levels--and shows how "regular people" can make a huge, positive difference in their organizations. It is written in a way that can help executives, mid-managers, first-line supervisors, project leaders--and even individual contributors--better understand how they can lead--and be able to immediately apply what they have learned in their work.
I had a three-day course once, called "the leadership challenge". I thought the book would be similar - that the course was based on the book - and in some sense it was. This book gave me a lot to reflect upon. It also gave me support in affirming that some of the ideas I have been nurturing during summer holiday are worthy of implementation.
I've mulled over the content and taken notes. Whether this book deserves a five star rating is something I expect I'll find out eventually. Jun 27, Lucy rated it really liked it.
Absolutely the most comprehensive leadership book I've ever read. Packed with insightful practical tips for becoming a better leader, this is a must-have for anyone who finds himself in a leadership role or anticipates doing so.
Will be re-reading this time and again. May 31, Maen rated it it was amazing. This book was too academic to be really engrossing. As an academic treatise on leadership, it was fine. As a practical manual on leadership, it was lacking in specifics.
Oct 02, Justin Tapp rated it really liked it Shelves: Goodreads' algorithm had this on my "recommended" list for a long time, so I knocked it out. All leadership books overlap or draw from each other; occasionally one, like this one, cites a particular survey. The survey in this book identifies "characteristics of admired leaders" and was done internationally, but the majority of responses were from the US. It was updated in each edition from , without much significant change between the initial survey and the latest.
This book reminded me Goodreads' algorithm had this on my "recommended" list for a long time, so I knocked it out. This book reminded me the most of Jim Collins' Good to Great or Built to Last; much of what they advise leaders and managers to do jives with the stories in those.
I'd recommend this book to any leader from middle-manager with any goal-setting authority to pastors, parents, etc.
The authors identified a culture of trust as the key to having motivated employees "authentic leadership is founded on trust. No wonder in we have the two must unpopular presidential candidates of all time, both score low on surveys measuring their perceived trustworthiness.
The leader must be trustworthy and know where the group is going, he or she must have a direction they're taking the team. Around the time of writing this, I heard someone else say that "trust is the intersection of integrity and competency," and that hit the nail on the head. Reading The Leadership Challenge solidified my decision to leave my previous job because the organization lacked trust, a clearly stated values, consistent competency, and a clearly stated vision.
The job I moved to has the vision and values hung up on posters in highly-visible areas. In the book, those rated as good leaders are those who make the vision clear-- everyone should know the mission statement and what's expected.
Expressing the vision is the "most difficult" of all the leadership skills, but leaders have to also state their values clearly and then live by them. Team members should be expected to maintain the values or be shown the door. Shared values make a difference in work ethic, quality, pride, teamwork, etc. Companies with shared values perform "measurably better," again reminiscent of Good to Great and probably every John Maxwell book. There are five practices: Model the Way 2.
Inspire a Shared Vision 3. Challenge the Process 4. Enable Others to Act 5. Encourage the Heart Besides the top quality of honesty, the next characteristics were being "forward-looking, inspiring, and competent. You don't have to be the smartest, but you do have to be competent. Leaders try, fail, learn, then repeat. They grow. They use "we" instead of "I. The authors suggest leaders communicate with stories to better illustrate their vision.
Goals should be stated clearly and be measurable. True leaders have to tap into a system of intrinsic rewards by creating an environment where people take pride in their work and are passionate about the work itself.
One way to foster pride is to give ownership to employees for their work. Leaders have to show trust by delegation, "those who cannot trust cannot lead because they cannot delegate. Another way to release followers' creativity is for the leader to listen to them. Leaders should start small and then celebrate the wins along the way. Employees should be knowledgeable about the entire organization, how everyone fits into the mission.
The authors don't mention but ISO standards essentially require this. At SRC, all employees have a stake, are trained an included in meetings on the basic financials of the business, know everyone's task and where they fit in-- they have ownership from the janitor to the managers. How a leader spends his or her time signals importance.
To borrow from Colin Powell not the authors , that doesn't mean being a "busy bastard" trying to work weekends or longer hours than your employees, but your values should rather be shown in how you spend your time on task.
Your employees see what you do and chalk that up as an expectation for their own behavior. If family and social life are important to the organization, it should be demonstrated by what the boss does. Leaders use the word "love" frequently, they have a passion for the values they espouse, for their work, the organization, and employees. Leaders need to avoid favoritism, and I don't think the authors stressed this point. They write that leaders should celebrate employees who fulfilled values the best, this can sometimes be subjective.
The authors encourage developing friendships and trust in the workplace, but in my experience and listening to other managers, it's best the environment allow employees to foster those friendships with each other rather than their boss though they should always be comfortable with and trust the boss. Leadership is learnable. Leaders should always remember their humble beginnings to avoid the "curse of hubris.
One remarkable trait the authors point out is that teams which have been together longest communicate the least, and look for outside ideas the least, becoming less innovative. I was reminded of how Steve Ballmer forbid Microsoft salespeople from using an iPhone, even though they found it helped them do their jobs better. In the organization I left, the team I was a part of was pretty isolated both from the larger office and other outside ideas. This failure to seek the "outside view" leads to stagnation and other dangerous problems for the organization.
We have to learn from each other but also other divisions and organizations. Accountability, adherence to vision and values, is crucial.
The authors mention the FAA which has a self-reporting system for mistakes that gets published. People may be shocked to see the sheer number of mistakes that get reported, but few of the mistakes are actually consequential, it's the system that's important.
Leaders should strive to create an environment where stakeholders admit mistakes so that they become part of the learning process; systemic and habitual problems can be identified and fixed.
In all, I give this book 4 stars out of 5. Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful: Yet the leaders were quick to add that while the content of leadership has not changed, the context—and, in some cases, it has changed dramatically. What is this new context, and what are the implica Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful: What is this new context, and what are the implications for the practice of leadership?
From heightening uncertainty across the world to an intense search for meaning, our connections as people and as leaders are part of this context. Heightened uncertainty People first We're even more connected Social capital A changing workforce Even more intense search for meaning. This process varies little from industry to industry, profession to profession, community to community, country to country.
Good leadership is individual, there are patterns to the practice of leadership that are shared. And that can be learned. 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 Heart. People first follow the person, then the plan. They proceed anyway. One way of dealing with the potential risks and failures of experimentation is to approach change through incremental steps and small wins.
Little victories, when piled on top of each other, build confidence that even the biggest challenges can be met. In so doing, they strengthen commitment to the long-term future. Yet not everyone is equally comfortable with risk and uncertainty. Leaders also pay attention to the capacity of their constituents to take control of challenging situations and become fully committed to change. You can't exhort people to take risks if they don't also feel safe. But when a leader makes people feel strong and capable— as if they can do more than they ever thought possible—they'll give it their all and exceed their own expectations.
When leadership is a relationship founded on trust and confidence, people take risks, make changes, keep organizations and movements alive. Through that relationship, leaders turn their constituents into leaders themselves.
We're even more convinced of this today than we were twenty years ago. Success in leading will be wholly dependent upon the capacity to build and sustain those human relationships that enable people to get extraordinary things done on a regular basis. Find your voice by clarifying your personal values.
Set the example by aligning actions with shared values. Envision the future by imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities.
Enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations. Search for opportunities by seeking innovative ways to change, grow, and improve. Experiment and take risks by constantly generating small wins and learning from mistakes.
Foster collaboration by promoting cooperative goals and building trust. Strengthen others by sharing power and discretion. Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence. Celebrate the values and victories by creating a spirit of community. Honest, Competent, Forward-looking and Inspiring. Because of this important connection between words and actions, we've chosen to start our discussion of the Five Practices with a thorough examination of the principles and behaviors that bring Model the Way to life.
Then, in Chapter Four, we'll take a look at how leaders Set the Example, the second half of the formula for establishing credibility. You'll see how leaders must focus on their own personal values and how they must build and affirm shared values. Throughout the chapters and the action steps, you'll also learn methods to align actions with values—the step in the process that communicates with deeds.
It encompasses words and speech. There's the message we want to deliver, and then there's the expression of that message. It's about having a voice and about giving voice. To Find Your Voice you must engage in two essentials: Clarify your values, Express your self. To become a credible leader, first you have to comprehend fully the values, beliefs, and assumptions that drive you.
You have to freely and honestly choose the principles you will use to guide your actions. Before you can clearly communicate your message, you must be clear about the message you want to deliver.
And before you can do what you say, you must be sure that you mean what you say.
Second, you have to genuinely express your self. The words themselves aren't enough, no matter how noble. You must authentically communicate your beliefs in ways that uniquely represent who you are.
You must interpret the lyrics and shape them into your own singular presentation so that Others recognize that you're the one who's speaking and not someone else. Values also serve as guides to action. They inform our decisions as to what to do and what not to do; when to say yes, or no, and really understand why we mean it Values are empowering. We are much more in control of our own lives when we're clear about our personal values.
When values are clear we don't have to rely upon direction from someone in authority Values also motivate. They keen us focused on why we're doing what we're doing and the ends toward which we're striving.
Values are the banners that fly as we persist, as we struggle, as we toil. What we're savings is this: Leaders must pay as much attention to personal values as they do to organizational values if they want dedicated constituents. Finding one's voice and finding one's unique way of expressing the self is something that every artist understands, and every artist knows that finding a voice is most definitely not a matter of technique.
The Leadership Challenge
It's a matter of time and a matter of searching—soul-searching When first learning to lead, we paint what we see outside ourselves—the exterior landscape.
We read biographies and autobiographies about famous leaders. We observe master models and ask the advice of mentors. We read books and listen to audiotapes by experienced executives. We participate in training programs.
We take on job assignments so that we can work alongside someone who can coach us. We want to learn everything we can from Others, and we often try to copy their style Somewhere along the way, you'll notice that your speech sounds mechanically wrote, that your meetings are a boring routine, and that your interactions feel terribly sad and empty.
You'll awaken to the frightening thought that the words aren't yours, that the vocabulary is someone else's, that the technique is right out of the text but not straight from the heart. While you've invested so much time and energy in learning to do all the right things, you suddenly see that they're no longer serving you well. The methods seem hollow. You may even feel like a phony If, as David did, you're fortunate enough to experience an integrative turning point in your development—a point where you're able to merge the lessons from your outer and inner journeys—you move on to becoming an authentic leader, in whatever field you've chosen for yourself.
You're able to recognize your own voice from the multitude of other voices ringing in your ears, and you find ways to express yourself in a singular style. You become the author of your own experience.
Researchers have demonstrated that there are three central themes in the values of highly successful, strong-culture organizations:Be Open to Influence Features over all-new case studies and examples, which show The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership in action around the world Focuses on the toughest organizational challenges leaders face today Addresses changes in how people work and what people want from their work An indispensable resource for leaders at all levels, this anniversary edition is a landmark update and must-read.
You'll see how leaders must focus on their own personal values and how they must build and affirm shared values. The main problem here for me is that it is never clear that the remarkably positive stories being told reflect something other than the story the leaders might want other people to hear or to tell about themselves. In doing the research for my recent book, Mojo, I found something similar to be true as well: People who find happiness and meaning at home are more likely to also find happiness and meaning at work.
All new ventures begin with possibility thinking, not probability thinking. Innovate and create. Part 3 Inspire a Shard Vision 5. Credibility is the foundation of every leader-follower relationship.
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