The Leadership Challenge Book Review

The Leadership Challenge

By: James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

  • The leadership challenge is about motivating others to make change.
  • Leadership is within the grasp of everyone.
  • You don’t owe it to yourself to be the best leader, you owe it to others.
  • Model the way. 
        • Titles are granted, but it’s your behavior that earns your respect.  
        • The first step that a leader must take in order to model the way is inward.
  • Inspire a shared vision.
        • Before you ever start something, have a clear vision of what you want the outcome to look like.
        • You cannot command commitment, you must inspire.
        • Leaders are pioneers, willing to step out in the unknown.
  • The best leaders are the best learners.
  • No leader has ever accomplished great things by working alone.
  • It is not necessarily about the leaders personality but it is about the behavior of the leader that will make him a good leader.
  • Leaders mobilize others to get involved in combined efforts.
  • Great leaders grow their followers into being leaders themselves.
  • Honest, forward-looking, competent, and inspiring are four keys of a leader.
  • If you ask people to follow you in some plan or dream you have, shouldn’t the people believe in you? If people do not believe in the messenger, they will not listen to the message.
  • Leadership is a dialogue, not a monologue.
  • You cannot lead from someone else’s values or from someone else’s experiences, you have to lead from your own.
  • Unity is forged, not forced.
  • If you want good feedback from people, you must: 
      1. Not get your feelings hurt. 
      2. Listen carefully. 
      3. Suspend judgement
      4. Ask questions to make sure you understand and it’s clear what they’re saying.
      5. Say thank you. Let them know you appreciate the feedback.
  • Leaders must see the future, but they also must get others to see the future. Dreams have to be clear and how everyone fits in.
  • If you are only thinking to your next project, then you are only thinking as big as the average person. The leader’s job is to think about the next project, and the one after that, and the one after that. 
  • People want to do more than just make money, they want to make a difference. You must show that the dream or goal you’re trying to accomplish can help them make a change.
  • People want leaders who are positive and upbeat about the future. 
  • Leaders must learn to enlist others along the journey.
  • You must be willing to attempt new things and take risks. You cannot get better results by doing the same thing over and over.
  • In a leader’s life, it is not just what is rewarded that gets done rather what is rewarding that gets done.
  • Make idea-gathering part of your normal routine. Keep your antenna up no matter where you are, you never know where you may find a good idea.
  • You have to be resilient, have grit, and keep going as a leader. Upsets and obstacles will frequently be in the way, but don’t quit.
  • Don’t run from your problems rather take advantage and learn from your problems.
  • What can you do to enhance people’s self worth and make them feel they are contributing?
  • Individuals that cannot trust others are not good leaders. You cannot do everything yourself.
  • Leaders move from being in control to giving over control. Leaders turn others into leaders.
  • Good leaders ask; average leaders tell.
  • The success of every organization is a shared responsibility. You need a competent and confident team, which means you need a competent and confident leader.
  • Exemplary leaders ask questions to help others think for themselves.
  • Without feedback, goals are not effective.
  • Exemplary leaders are always looking for things that people did right, and you cannot do that sitting behind a desk.
  • Raw talent is not enough to be a good leader; you must learn, grow, and work at it.
  • How are you doing with sharing the credit and telling others thank you?
  • You can’t lead others until you have first led yourself.
  • A leader should lead in humility, not pride. Dig a hole, throw your pride inside of it, and cover it with cement. 

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