The Leadership Challenge
By the end of this lesson, you are expected to discover the 5 practices common to most extraordinary leadership achievements and to reflect on the 10 commitments of exemplary leadership.
Can you identify the principles to grow talent in your organisation?
The 7 Principles to grow talents in your organisation are:
Principle one: Develop a strategy for talent development
Principle two: Selection
Principle three: Training for leadership
Principle four: Career development
Principle five: Managers as leadership developers
Principle six: Culture
Principle seven: The chief executive
LEADERSHIP IS A RELATIONSHIP between those who aspire to lead and those who choose to follow. Sometimes the relationship is one-to-one. Sometimes it’s one-to-many. Regardless of the number, to emerge, grow, and thrive in these disquieting times, leaders must master the dynamics of this relationship. Leaders must learn how to mobilise others to want to struggle for shared aspirations.
The 5 Practices of Exemplary Leadership
The 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 organisations. 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.
Despite differences in people’s individual stories, their Personal-Best Leadership Experiences revealed similar patterns of behaviour. The study found that when leaders are at their personal best, they:
1- Model the way
2- Inspire shared vision
3- Challenge the process
4- Enable others to act
5- Encourage the heart
1 – 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.
2 – Inspire Shared Vision (1/2)
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.
2 – Inspire Shared Vision (2/2)
Kouzes and Posner identify “Envisioning the Way” and “Enlisting Others” as two ways leaders can inspire a shared vision.
This is what is done through crowd-sourcing a solution. One big example comes through the XPrizes, which model the 19th century induction prize contests.
Leaders search for opportunities to change the status quo. They look for innovative ways to improve the organisation. 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.
4 – 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.
5 – Encourage the Heart
Accomplishing extraordinary things in organisations is hard work. To keep hope and determination alive, leaders recognise 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.
10 Commitments of Exemplary Leadership
Associated to the 5 Practices, are the 10 commitments below:
1. FIND YOUR VOICE by clarifying your personal values.
2. SET THE EXAMPLE by aligning actions with shared values.
3. ENVISION THE FUTURE by imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities.
4. ENLIST OTHERS in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations.
5. SEARCH FOR OPPORTUNITIES by seeking innovative ways to change, grow, and improve.
6. EXPERIMENT AND TAKE RISKS by constantly generating small wins and learning from mistakes.
7. FOSTER COLLABORATION by promoting cooperative goals and building trust.
8. STRENGTHEN OTHERS by sharing power and discretion.
9. RECOGNISE CONTRIBUTIONS by showing appreciation for individual excellence.
10. CELEBRATE THE VALUES AND VICTORIES by creating a spirit of community.
Learning to Lead
The self-confidence required to lead comes from learning about ourselves—our skills, prejudices, talents, and shortcomings. Self-confidence develops as we build on strengths and overcome weaknesses.
Formal training and education can help. In fact, many leadership skills are successfully learned in the classroom. But training alone is insufficient. We also learn from other people and from experiences. Those who become the best leaders take advantage of the broadest possible range of opportunities. They try, fail, and learn from their mistakes. Leaders develop best when they are enthusiastic participants in change.
Ultimately, leadership development is self-development. The Leadership challenge is thus as much about oneself as it is about others.
These practices are not the private property of the people who’ve been studied or of a few select shining stars. They are available to anyone, in any organisation or situation, who accepts the leadership challenge.