Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner write the books on leadership and I read them.  Since they have the credentials and credibility I will simply quote these reminders from their article in the December issue of Talent Management magazine.

“Getting extraordinary things done means engaging in the following five leadership practices:

  • Model the way
  • Inspire a shared vision
  • Challenge the process
  • Enable others to act
  • Encourage the heart

Leadership is an identifiable set of skills and abilities available to anyone.  It can be learned, and the best leaders are the best learners.” (emphasis mine)

Model the way
“Exemplary leaders set the example through their daily actions, demonstrating deep commitment to their beliefs, and ideally this should be done every day in plain view of those expected to follow those values.”

Inspire a shared vision
“…exemplary leaders know they can’t command commitment; they have to inspire it by enlisting others in a common vision.”

Challenge the process
“Innovation comes more from listening than from telling, so leaders should constantly look outside of themselves and their organizations for clues about what’s new or different, and what possibilities others are not seeing.”

Enable others to act
“Leaders foster collaboration and build trust by engaging all those who must make a project work, and in some way, all who must live with the results.”

Encourage the heart
“Celebrations and rituals, when done with authenticity and from the heart, can build a strong sense of collective identify and community spirit that can carry a group through tough times.”