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*A Book Review*

The Leadership Challenge

By James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

by Michael C. Gray

October 11, 2013

Leaders are needed to inspire and guide great companies, countries, charitable institutions and communities and to promote social causes and movements.

What are the qualities of a great leader? Are leaders born or can leadership skills be learned?

James Kouzes, chairman emeritus of the Tom Peters Company, and Barry Posner, dean of the Leavey School of Business and professor of leadership at Santa Clara University, have conducted extensive research and developed leadership training seminars and materials on the subject.

They found great leaders follow five practices:

  • Model the Way
  • Inspire a Shared Vision
  • Challenge the Process
  • Enable Others to Act
  • Encourage the Heart

In The Leadership Challenge, they tell stories about how individuals and organizations have implemented these practices to accomplish extraordinary results.

In order to become great leaders, individuals must earn the trust of their constituents. The first step to earning that trust is to trust your constituents. The second is to walk your talk.

Great leaders are driven by a deep love and belief in their cause or vision and the people they work with and serve.

They avoid the fault of hubris, abusing personal power, by practicing humility - recognizing their human faults and need to continually be learning from their mistakes - and focusing their concern on their vision, the organizations they lead and the other people they work with and serve.

Each of us needs to be a leader in our family, within our company or employment, and in our community. You can be a better leader by implementing the ideas in The Leadership Challenge.

Buy it on Amazon: The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations.

For our new reviews of business and self-improvement books, subscribe to our newsletter, Michael Gray, CPA's Tax & Business Insight!

The 4-Hour Work Week, by Timothy Ferriss, could help you devote more time to your family and personal relationships, even if you're an employee.


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Michael Gray, CPA
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