My leadership journey began more than than 25 years ago with The Leadership Challenge, the most trusted source on becoming a better leader. So far, more than 2 million copies of the book have been published in over in over 20 languages. Based on Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner’s extensive global research, this life changing approach to leadership and their enduring work is critical to help us navigate the world of work today. The basic premise is that leadership is a relationship that must be nurtured and, most important, that it can be learned.
It is no surprise that the first Practice of Exemplary Leadership through the Leadership Challenge is Model the Way.
In order to master this practice, we need to establish principles concerning the way people we work with, – constituents, peers, colleagues, and customers – should be treated and the way goals should be pursued. We create standards, both individually and collectively, standards of excellence and then set an example for others to follow. Because the prospect of complex change can overwhelm people and stifle action, they set interim goals so that people can achieve small wins as they work toward larger objectives. They unravel bureaucracy when it impedes action; they put up signposts when people are unsure of where to go or how to get there; and they create opportunities for victory.
Leaders establish principles concerning the way people (constituents, peers, colleagues, and customers alike) should be treated and the way they should pursue goals. Leaders create standards of excellence and set an example for others to follow. They put up signposts when people feel unsure of where to go or how to get there. Leaders create opportunities for victory.
I am sure that you have heard the old saying… “If you are gonna talk the talk, you better walk the walk.”
This statement is incredibly true and accurate when it comes to leadership because your actions speak so loudly, that no one will be hearing what you are saying.
That is why it is so important to not only set a personal example of what you expect from others by being explicitly clear with your words, but also to show them through your daily actions – this is Modeling the Way.