share at least THREE takeaways from the readings/videos/self-assessments on leadership (200 word minimum).
Why credibility is the foundation of leadership | Barry Posner
Ken Blanchard – Servant Leadership
Act Like the Leader You Want to Be
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Why would anyone follow you? By Barry Posner. “Why credibility is the foundation of leadership.” Throughout this video, there are many good questions that the speaker poses, and I found myself trying to answer those questions myself before the speaker revealed what he believes to be the answers to the question of what it means to be a good leader. The first thing I did was to think of every possible question and then started asking myself and making some connections, and eventually found the answers to the questions I had asked myself. Following someone is often a sign that they can rely on them, they can trust them, and they also feel safe with that person. Barry mentioned so many things that made me think of the relationship that I have with my older sister. I've always looked up to my sister, whom I consider to be my role model, and she has always been the leader of my siblings. Every time I have a problem, I turn to her for help. She is one of the only people I trust to tell me to do stuff I am afraid of doing even though it may scare me. It also makes me feel safe when she asks me to do something because I know that as a result of it, I will be able to achieve the results I want. There are four characteristics that I have also taken away from the video, and they are honesty, trustworthiness, credibility, and having a personal point of view is also one of them. My sister is one of those leaders who acts and does what she says. That’s one of the reasons that those examples made me think of her.
The first takeaway I have this week is from the Barry Posner YouTube Ted talk. He made an excellent point that leaders in order to be leaders need to have followers and demonstrate credibility. Credibility consists of honesty, competency, inspiration, and forward looking. Leaders also want to keep learning and not accept the status quo. A great example of this is a boss who demonstrates credibility is more likely going to have workers follow their lead and share the same or similar vision.
The second takeaway is from the Ken Blanchard video on servant leadership. Servant leadership is where leaders serve first and then lead second. Ken made it clear anyone can be a leader and he listed three things that make a good servant leader. One is to have clear goals of what you want to accomplish. Two is to give praise to those who have earned it. The third thing is to redirect people if they are going off the path and not performing up to the standards that you expect and set. These are all great things to aspire to do and act for leaders. My current employer tries to promote servant leadership within the company. Servant leadership shows the leaders in the organization care about others.
My third and final takeaway is from the leadership challenge reading. They list five practices of exemplary leadership. Model the way is where leaders must walk the walk and model their behavior if they want buy in from others. Inspiring a shared vision is where the leader has an attractive vision in the future that others share as well. Challenge the process is third. This is where the status quo must not be accepted, and adaptive change must take place. The fourth is to enable others to act, this is where trust and collaboration occur between leaders and the active followers. The final practice is to encourage the heart, which is when a leader gives praise and shows appreciation for others’ work.
their daily actions, they demonstrate their deep commitment to their beliefs and those of the organization.
2. Inspire a shared vision. People describe their personal-best leadership experiences as times when they imag- ine an exciting, highly attractive future. They have visions and dreams of what could be. They believe in those dreams, and are confident in their abilities to make extraordinary things happen. Every organization or social movement begins with a dream or vision—it’s the force that creates the future.
Leaders envision the future by imagin- ing exciting and ennobling possibili- ties. You need to make something happen, to change the way things are, to create something that no one else has created before. Much as an archi- tect draws a blueprint or an engineer
builds a model, before starting any project you need to have a clear vision of what the results should look like— and connect it to the past, to the history that got you to where you are. You can’t command commitment—you have to inspire it. You have to enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations. Unity of purpose is forged when you show your people how the dream is a shared dream and how it fulfills the common good. When you express your enthusiasm and excitement for the vision, you ignite passion in others.
3. Challenge the process. Challenge is the crucible for greatness. Every per- sonal-best leadership case involved a change from the status quo. The chal- lenge might have been an innovative new product, a cutting-edge service, groundbreaking legislation, an invigo- rating campaign, a revolutionary turn- around, or the start-up of a new plant or business. It could also be dealing
THE FIFTH EDITION OF THE LEADERSHIP Challenge marks 25 years since the
book was first published. We’ve spent three decades researching, consulting, teaching, and writing about what lead- ers do and how everyone can learn to be a better leader. We’re honored by the reception we’ve received in the profes- sional and business marketplace.
The Leadership Challenge is about how leaders mobilize others to want to get extraordinary things done. It’s about the practices leaders use to transform values into actions, visions into realities, obstacles into innovations, separateness into solidar- ity, and risks into rewards. It’s about leaders who create the climate or cul- ture in which people turn challenging opportunities into remarkable successes.
We persist in asking the same basic question we asked when we started our journey: What did you do when you were at your personal best as a leader? We’ve talked to men and women, young and old, representing every type of organi- zation, at all levels and functions, from many different places. Their stories, and the behaviors and actions they describe when they do their best, resulted in the creation of the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership:
1. Model the way. Titles are granted —behavior earns you respect. Exemplary leaders know that if they want to gain commitment and achieve the highest standards, they must be models of the behavior they expect of others. To Model the Way, you must first be clear about your guiding principles. You must clari- fy values by finding your voice and affirm- ing the shared values of the group.
Eloquent speeches about common values aren’t enough. Leaders’ deeds are far more important than their words when constituents want to determine how serious leaders really are about what they say. Words and deeds must be consistent. Exemplary leaders set the example by aligning actions with shared values. Through
with unexpected economic downturns, personal betrayal, loss of physical abili- ty, natural disasters, civil unrest, and technological disruption. Leaders ven- ture out—they don’t sit idly by waiting for fate to smile on them. Leaders are pioneers, willing to step out into the unknown. But leaders aren’t the only creators or originators of new prod- ucts, services, or processes. In fact, it’s more likely that they’re not. Innovation comes more from listening than from telling. You have to constantly be look- ing outside yourself and your organi- zation for new and innovative products, processes, and services. You need to search for opportunities by seizing the ini- tiative and by looking outward for innova- tive ways to improve.
Since innovation and change involve experimenting and taking risks, your major contribution will be to create a climate for experimentation in which there is recognition of good ideas, sup- port of those ideas, and the willingness to challenge the system.
When you take risks, mistakes and failures are inevitable. Proceed anyway. One way of dealing with the potential failures of experimentation is by con- stantly generating small wins and learning from experience.
4. Enable others to act. A grand dream doesn’t become a reality through the actions of a single person. It requires team effort. It requires solid trust and strong relationships. It requires deep competence and cool confidence. It requires group collaboration and indi- vidual accountability. Leaders foster collaboration by building trust and facilitating relationships. This sense of teamwork extends far beyond a few direct reports or close confidants. You have to engage all who must make the project work—and, in some ways, all who must live with the results.
Constituents neither perform at their best nor stick around for long if you make them feel weak, dependent, or alienated. Giving your power away and fostering their personal power and ownership will make them stronger and more capable. When you strength- en others by increasing self-determination and developing competence, they are more likely to give it their all and exceed their own expectations. Focus- ing on serving the needs of others, and not your own, builds trust in a leader. And the more people trust their lead- ers and each other, the more they take risks, make changes, and keep organi- zations and movements alive.
5. Encourage the heart. The climb to the top is arduous and steep. People
L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e A u g u s t 2 0 1 2 3
G e t e x t r a o r d i n a r y t h i n g s d o n e .
by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
become exhausted, frustrated, and dis- enchanted, and are tempted to give up. Genuine acts of caring draw people forward. Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excel- lence. Such recognition can be one-to- one or with many people. It can come from dramatic gestures or simple actions.
Part of your job as a leader is to show appreciation for people’s contri- butions and to create a culture of cele- brating the values and victories by creating a spirit of community. Recognition and celebration aren’t necessarily about fun and games, though fun and games abound when people encourage the hearts of their constituents. Neither are they about pretentious ceremonies designed to create some phony sense of camaraderie. Encouragement is, curi- ously, serious business because it’s how you visibly and behaviorally link rewards with performance. Make sure that people see the benefit of behavior that’s aligned with cherished values. When they are authentic and from the heart, celebrations and rituals build a strong sense of collective identity and community spirit that can carry a team through extraordinarily tough times.
FFiivvee PPrraaccttiicceess MMaakkee aa DDiiffffeerreennccee Exemplary leader behavior makes a
profoundly positive difference in people’s commitment and performance at work. Leaders who more frequently use The Five Practices are much more effective.
The more you engage in The Five Practices, the more you have a positive influence on others. Leaders who engage in these practices are more effective. For example, they create higher-per- forming teams; generate increased sales and customer satisfaction; foster renewed loyalty/commitment; enhance motivation/hard work; promote higher involvement and engagement; win new customers; increase fundraising and gift-giving; extend services; reduce absenteeism, turnover, and dropout rates; and boost recruitment rates.
Over a five-year period, in organiza- tions where leaders are identified by constituents as strongly engaged in using The Five Practices, net income growth was nearly 18 times higher, and stock price growth nearly three times higher!
Engaging in these Five Practices makes a big difference no matter who or where you are. How you behave as a leader matters—a lot. LE
James Kouzes and Barry Posner are coauthors of the 25th
anniversary Fifth Edition of The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations (Jossey- Bass). Visit www.leadershipchallenge.com.
ACTION: Engage in the five practices.
by John Parker Stewart
areas of results-based leadership: 1) create purpose; 2) deliver excellence; 3) devel- op self and others; and 4) lead change.
The LEAD NOW! model helps you to identify behaviors that you need to improve. First, identify your focus areas. Define gaps between your capabilities to- day and where you hope to be in the future. Closing the gap involves either leverag- ing a strength or overcoming a deficiency.
The model’s four quadrants describe well rounded leadership: • Quadrant 1: Create purpose (Extern-
ally Focused Business Results). A leader is responsible for defining the group’s vision and strategy. Creating Purpose identifies what the organization stands for, what it is going to do, and how it is positioned in the marketplace. This involves studying the competition, knowing the customer, analyzing industry trends, setting strategy, and communicating effectively to others. • Quadrant 2: Deliver excellence (Inter-
nally Focused Business Results). A leader is responsible for deliver- ing operational excellence— translating the strategy into day-to-day execu- tion. This involves clear decision making, the ability to build consistent and measurable process- es, continuous improve- ment, and behaving with integrity. • Quadrant 3: Develop
self and others (Internally Focused People Results).
Leaders must value learning. This involves seeking personal improvement oppor- tunities, building and managing team dynamics, honing technical expertise, managing time, coaching and develop- ing others, and managing ego. • Quadrant 4: Lead Change (Externally
Focused People Results). Leaders are respon- sible for creating and championing beneficial change efforts. This involves influencing key decision makers, sponsoring change projects, empowering stakeholders, encouraging innovation, managing resistance, and making change stick.
Determine which of the four quadrants is most relevant for either leveraging a strength or improving a weakness. Then, identify the dimension that applies. Pro- gress in the dimension directly impacts your success in the entire quadrant.
By using the LEAD NOW! coaching model, you can greatly improve your capacity to lead and achieve. LE
John Parker Stewart is author of LEAD NOW! A Personal Coaching Guide for Results-driven Leaders (Executive Excellence Publishing). Visit www.johnparkerstewart.com.
ACTION: Use the LEAD NOW model of LD.
THE STORY IS TOLD OF A Boston merchant who
sold his business and possessions in 1849, and trekked across America to the gold fields of California to seek his fortune. Day after day, the young man prospected but came up empty. His only reward was a growing pile of rocks. Discouraged and broke, he was ready to quit when an old, prospector said to him, “There’s gold in these rocks.” He picked up two of them and smashed them together, revealing several flecks of gold. He then said, “Son, you are so busy look- ing for large nuggets that you’re miss- ing these precious flecks of gold. The patient accumulation of these flecks has brought me great wealth.”
Like this young prospector, many leaders seek major experiences that will vault them to success and enable them to shine. But real progress in leadership skills and talents are developed one seeming- ly minor fleck at a time. From small, continuous efforts come major gains.
Hotel founder J. Willard Marriott noted: “You can’t improve 1,000 percent in one thing, but you can improve one percent in a thousand things.” Over his career, J W Marriott learned that it takes many small flecks patiently and persis- tently acquired over time to generate desired performance. You can’t expect leaps of progress over night. It takes persistent, patient effort over time to expe- rience major gains in your ability to lead.
Yes, leaders need to focus on their strengths, but also be aware of their weaknesses to prevent mistakes that can derail their careers. In coaching execu- tives, I let them know of areas that impair their effectiveness. Often they reply: “So, what do I do about it?”
In response, we created the LEAD NOW! model. Leaders must achieve aligned and positive results from four perspectives: 1) their people; 2) busi- ness; 3) the marketplace (external); and 4) their organization (internal). These four points of view encompass the four
Leader Growth Improve your LD model.
4 A u g u s t 2 0 1 2 w w w . L e a d e r E x c e l . c o m
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