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The 5 Practices of Exemplary Leadership

These practices and descriptions are originally from the book The Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner.


Model the Way

  • Clarify your personal values
  • Set the example by aligning activities and behavior with shares values
  • Establish principles concerning the way people should be treated and the way they should pursue goals
  • Put up signposts when people feel unsure of where to go or how to get there
  • Create opportunities for success
  • Do what you say you will do


Inspire a Shared Vision

  • Envision the future and create an ideal and unique image of what your unit can become
  • Enlist others in a common vision by appeal to shared aspirations
  • Passionately believe you can make a difference
  • Get people to see exciting possibilities for the future
  • Focus on meaningful work, shared dedication


Challenge the Process

  • Search for opportunities by seeking innovative ways to change the status quo and improve the organization
  • Experiment and take risks by constantly generating small wins and learning from mistakes
  • Set interim goals so that people can achieve small wins as they work toward larger objectives
  • Unravel bureaucracy when it impedes action
  • Accept occasional disappointments as opportunities to learn
  • Empower others to take initiative to improve, to experiment and take risks


Enable Others to Act

  • Foster collaboration by promoting cooperative goals and building trust
  • Strengthen others by sharing power and discretion
  • Actively involve others
  • Understand that mutual respect sustains extraordinary efforts
  •  Strive to create an atmosphere of trust and human dignity
  • Strengthen others, making each person feel capable and powerful
  • Foster collaboration, share power, and strengthen others


Encourage the Heart

  • Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence
  • Celebrate the values and victories by creating a spirit of community
  • Make people feel like heroes
  • Celebrate the actions that contribute to culture, encourage them and recognize their successes