The Leadership Challenge - AchieveMax® Top Ten Book Review


The Leadership Challenge: The Most Trusted Source on Becoming a Better Leader by James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner

How's this for a long-range success formula? In 1987, two of the country's premier leadership experts, James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, joined forces to produce what would become perhaps the most comprehensive field guide ever written for leaders. Later, in the 90s, the authors came together once again to update their original masterpiece by addressing issues they uncovered in research on ordinary people achieving "individual leadership standards of excellence." Now, in the spirit of continuous improvement, they offer the third edition of their inspirational and practical handbook.

In this third edition of The Leadership Challenge, more than 50% of the content is new material added to a resoundingly inspiring message. This new edition has been substantially updated to reflect the challenges of shrinking work forces, rising cynicism and expanded telecommunications. It's being heralded as a "personal coach in a book." Drawing on interviews and a questionnaire survey of more than 3000 leaders, in addition to an expanded research base of 60,000 leaders, the authors capture the continuing interest in leadership as a critical aspect of human organizations.

In the third time around, Kouzes and Posner emphasize that the fundamentals of leadership have changed very little, if any, since the 1980s. In fact, the basics haven't changed for centuries. The old axiom about "nothing's new" is indeed very true. Leadership is not a fad. While the content of leadership has not changed, the context has-and in some cases, changed dramatically. Obviously, current leaders must adapt if they hope to succeed.

The authors identify five fundamental practices of exemplary leadership necessary for success in our rapidly changing business environment:

  • challenge the status quo;
  • inspire a shared vision;
  • enable others to act;
  • model the way forward by setting an example;
  • tap individuals' inner drives by linking rewards and performance.

"What we have discovered, and rediscovered, is that leadership is not the private reserve of a few charismatic men and women," write Kouzes, chairman emeritus of the Tom Peters Company, and Posner, dean of the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University. "People make extraordinary things happen by liberating the leader within everyone." After explaining their concept and methodology, the authors detail the five essentials noted above in a pair of chapters apiece that bring clarity to their theories with case studies and recommended actions.

Think of The Leadership Challenge as a field guide to take along on your leadership journey. James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner write, "We've designed it to describe what leaders do, explain the fundamental principles that support these leadership practices, provide actual case examples of real people who demonstrate each practice, and offer specific recommendations on what you can do to make these practices your own and to continue your development as a leader." An appendix includes the authors' Leadership Practices Inventory, a tool for assessing leadership behavior.

The Leadership Challenge is ultimately a quest of self-discovery that helps its readers better know themselves and improve their leadership skills in action.

More than 100 business book reviews written by Harry K. Jones are available at www.AchieveMax.com/books/index.htm">http://www.AchieveMax.com/books/.

Reprint Information

Your organization may reprint this article for your newsletter, online publication, or mailing list. We ask that you print the:

  • article in its entirety;
  • byline of the writer;
  • information about the writer, which is available at the end of each article; and
  • contact information, including our toll-free phone number in the U.S. (800-886-2MAX) and link to our website - www.AchieveMax.com.

We would appreciate a tear sheet or electronic copy of the articles you reprint.

www.AchieveMax.com/motivational-speaker-harry.htm">Harry K. Jones is a professional speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a firm specializing in custom-designed keynote presentations, seminars, and consulting services. Harry has made presentations ranging from leadership to employee retention and time management to stress management for a number of industries, including education, financial, government, healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing. He can be reached at 800-886-2MAX or by visiting www.AchieveMax.com">http://www.AchieveMax.com.


MORE RESOURCES:
The term "thought provoking" is over-used but that does describe eighth grader Melissa Shang's opinion piece in the New York Times in which she asks why "there are very few stories about kids in wheelchairs, and there are even fewer with a disabled person who is cheerful and happy." Her powerful article questions why "disability is always seen as a misfortune, and disabled characters are simply opportunities to demonstrate the kindness of the able-bodied protagonists."

Tracy K. Smith has been named the 22nd poet laureate of the United States. Smith's poetry has won her such top awards in her field as the James Laughlin Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, and, for her 2011 collection Life on Mars, the Pulitzer Prize.

For many years, the publishing industry's major annual event, BookExpo, was aimed at publishing insiders only. A few years ago, organizers ReedPOP, started experimenting with allowing in more readers, which morphed into a separate one-day event in 2014 called BookCon which immediately followed BookExpo. In 2015, BookCon moved to two days; then in 2016 back to one day.

This year, BookExpo's show floor was reduced from three days to two and BookCon's expanded back to two days. While engaging with fans is seen as positive by many in the publishing industry, the shows' continuing evolution is causing headaches for some, particularly the smaller, specialized publishers who wished to exhibit at BookExpo but not BookCon and thus found themselves relegated to a separate exhibit area at the Javits Center in New York.

An Amazing World of Dr. Seuss museum opened in Springfield, MA last weekend. Springfield is the home town of Theodor Geisel – better known by his pen name Dr. Seuss - who wrote and illustrated dozens of rhyming children's books including The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. The museum features interactive exhibits, artwork never before displayed publicly and explains how his childhood experiences in the city about 90 miles west of Boston shaped his work.

Helen Dunmore has died aged 64 of cancer. She authored 12 novels, three books of short stories, numerous books for young adults and children and 11 collections of poetry.

She was also Chair of the Society of Authors until shortly before her death, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She lived in Cliftonwood, Bristol – the setting for her poignant last novel, Birdcage Walk (published in the UK earlier this year and due to publish in the US on August 1). Although she knew she was dying only at the editing stage she suggests, in an afterword, that she must have known subliminally because the novel was "full of a sharper light, rather as a landscape becomes brilliantly distinct in the last sunlight before a storm".

On Monday, the Nobel Foundation released Bob Dylan's lecture (which he gave just shy of the 6 month deadline in order to receive the award and cash prize of US$900,000. In his 27 minute speech, Dylan explored the topic that was on many people's minds when he was announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, can song lyrics be literature?

"The speech is extraordinary and, as one might expect, eloquent," Sara Danius, the Swedish Academy's permanent secretary, wrote in a blog post. "Now that the Lecture has been delivered, the Dylan adventure is coming to a close."

Listen to the speech

The U.S. Postal Service is honoring Henry David Thoreau (b. July 12, 1817) during the bicentennial year of his birth with a Forever Stamp. A first-day-issue stamp dedication ceremony took place last week at the the Walden Pond State Reservation Visitors Center in Concord, Mass.

Denis Johnson, the prize-winning fiction writer, poet and playwright best known for his surreal and transcendent story collection "Jesus' Son," has died at age 67.

Jean Fritz, an award-winning writer whose work helped transform historical biographies for children from leaden recitals of battles and dates into warm, human narratives full of quirks and crotchets and satisfyingly strange facts, died on Sunday at her home in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. She was 101.

The author of more than four dozen books, Mrs. Fritz was known in particular for her biographies of many of the signal figures of 18th- and 19th-century American history.

America's libraries got a major boost this week on Capitol Hill as a group of leading publishing, information, software, and other businesses unveiled an organized effort to advocate for federal library funding. The move comes in response to the Trump administration's proposal to eliminate virtually all federal library funding, and the agency that distributes those funds to all 50 states.

thatware.org ©