I just started reading Wayne Stewart’s new book ” Live to Lead; The Missing Link in Leadership Development” which I will review next week. He reminded me of Kouzes and Posner’s Five Practices of Leadership from ” The Leadership Challenge”.
- model the way
- challenge the process
- inspire shared vision
- enable others to act
- encourage the heart.
My take on the the practices will take a few posts. Generally I think they were right on the mark although as always 5 seems arbitrary (maybe 4 or 8?).
Model the Way is more important today than in the past as more and more people have lost their ability to see the way forward. Conformity, bubble wrapping and an exponentially changing world now makes it difficult for all and impossible for many to figure out the next steps. Leaders need to model the way, for today and into the future. They need to model expectations, style and balance for those observers who are looking for someone or something to follow. Modelling takes courage; leadership courage. Rather than waiting for an easy or obvious path, leaders often need to forge their own and make it wide enough for others to begin following and adapting their journey along the new track.
Modelling the Way is more than management or maybe not management at all. It is setting out a vision, expectations, norms and actively encouraging others to take that pattern and make adjustments so that it fits them. Modelling can take a frustratingly long time to achieve and there will be a temptation to just ‘tell’ people how to behave but in this case patience will be rewarded.
Are you modelling what you want others to see in you? Are you offering a pattern that you would want others to use?
Make Today Remarkable, by using your strengths to strengthen others,