How do you get other people to want to follow you? How do you get other people, by free will and free choice, to move forward together on a common purpose? How do you mobilize others to want to struggle to achieve shared aspirations? These are the impor- tant questions we address in The Leadership Challenge. Think of it as

a field guide to take along on your leadership journey. Think of it as a manual you can consult when you want advice and counsel on how to get extraordinary things done in your organization.

In Chapter One, we establish our point of view about leadership by sharing a Personal-Best Leadership Experience—a case study about how one leader helped turn her organization around and develop it into an award-winning venture. We provide an overview of The Five Practices, summarize the findings from our more than three decades of empirical studies about what leaders do when they are at their best, and show that these leadership practices make a difference.

Asking leaders about their personal bests is only half the story. Leadership is a relationship between leaders and followers. A com- plete picture of leadership can be developed only if you ask followers what they look for and admire in a leader. In the second part of Chapter One, we reveal what characteristics people value most in their leaders, and demonstrate that credibility is the foundation of the relationship between leaders and their constituents.

The ten chapters that follow describe The Ten Commitments of Leadership—the essential behaviors that leaders employ to make extraordinary things happen—and explain the fundamental princi- ples that support each of The Five Practices. We offer evidence from our research, and that of others, to support the principles, provide actual case examples of real people who demonstrate each practice, and prescribe specific recommendations of what you can do to make each practice your own and to continue your development as a leader. A Take Action section concludes each of these chapters— here’s what you need to do to make this leadership practice an ongoing and natural part of your behavioral and attitudinal reper- toire. Whether the focus is your own learning or the development of your constituents—your direct reports, team, peers, manager, community members, and the like—you can take immediate action

G E on every one of our recommendations. They don’t require a budget

or approval from top management—or anyone else. They just require your personal commitment and discipline. If you’d like a mobile partner or tool to help you take action along your leadership journey and development path, download The Leadership Challenge Mobile Tool app, which has been designed to work with these sections, the activities within, and the practices in general.

In Chapter Twelve, we offer a call to everyone to accept personal responsibility to be a role model for leadership. Through five editions now of The Leadership Challenge, we keep relearning and reminding ourselves and others that leadership is everyone’s business. The first place to look for leadership is within yourself. Accepting the leader- ship challenge requires practice, reflection, humility, and commit- ment to making a difference. And, in the end, we conclude that leadership is not an affair of the head. Leadership is an affair of the heart.

We recommend that you first read Chapter One, but please note that after that there is no sacred order to proceeding through the rest of this book. Go wherever your interests take you. We wrote this material to support you in your leadership development. Just remem- ber that each practice is essential. Although you might skip around in the book, you can’t skip any of the fundamentals of leadership.

Finally, technology allows us to offer you insights beyond those in this book. On our Web site www.theleadershipchallenge.com, you can find out more about how we conducted our research, look at detailed information on our methodology, review statistical data, read highlights of validation studies by other scholars of our leader- ship paradigm, and sign up for our monthly newsletter.

The domain of leaders is the future. The leader’s unique legacy is the creation of valued institutions that survive over time. The most

Leadership is important, not just in your career and within your organization, but in every sector, in every community, and in every country. We need more exemplary leaders, and we need them more than ever. There is so much extraordinary work that needs to be done. We need leaders who can unite us and ignite us.

In the end, we realize that leadership development is self- development. Meeting the leadership challenge is a personal—and daily—challenge for everyone. We know that if you have the will and the way to lead, you can. You have to supply the will. We’ll do our best to keep supplying the way.

James M. Kouzes Orinda, California

Barry Z. Posner Santa Clara, California

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