“The Leadership Challenge”

James Kouzes and Barry Posner have updated their classic book “The Leadership Challenge.” They continue to offer a straightfoward theory of five elements that successful leaders demonstrate, which they offer as guiding actions:

  • Model the way (clarify your own values and lead by example)
  • Inspire a shared vision (have an exciting image of the future and appeal to shared aspirations)
  • Challenge the process (take initiative, seek innovation, generate small victories)
  • Enable others to act (build relationships and advance the abilities of others)
  • Encourage the heart (recognize individuals’ contributions and create a spirit of community)

The first 2 chapters of “The Leadership Challenge,” 4th edition, are a concise summary of the ideas presented in the book. In addition to 25 years of research on how leaders act, they also looked at leadership from the constituents’ point of view, and present a summary of the values and behaviors people want from those they admire. The 4th edition is a current version of their ideas since it was updated in 2007 and includes case studies in the internet age as well as updates to their research findings.