The Leadership Challenge
Leadership requires hard work and effort. To become a good leader, a person should spend a long time developing their skills and knowledge. The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership are the model of behavior and a set of rules that help one to achieve success and stay an excellent leader. The five practices are the patterns of actions used by many great leaders, which are the essential part of the good leadership.
Honesty is one of the four characteristics of a good leader, and it stands on the top of this list. Honesty is essential for leaders because it is the most important characteristics people wish to see in their leader. To be honest means to be truthful, ethical, and have strong principles (Kouzes & Posner, n.d.). People trust their leader if he is honest and does not try to hide any facts or information from the employees. If leader lies or covers up some facts or information, the employees fell this and will definitely reveal the truth some day. Such thing will lead to the decreasing confidence in their leader. People will no longer trust and rely on him.
The leader also should not break the promises because of the circumstances. In the case when it is hard to keep his promise, it is much better to inform the employees of the situation and obstacles the leader faced and try to figure out what to together and find some other way to deal with it instead of hiding something. The employees will more likely understand why the leader cannot keep the promise if he would explain the situation and ask for help in making a decision. The consequences of dishonest behavior for a leader are the inability to model the way, to lead people, and control them. In addition, dishonesty will negatively influence the leader’s self-concept; he will lose the confidence and trust of the employees.
Being forward-looking is also the characteristic of the top importance for a good leader. Every leader should have a clear vision of the organization’s future and the detailed plan how to get the desirable result. In other words, the leader should know where he goes and what he should do to get there. If the person has no certain aim and the clear plan how to achieve it, they will never achieve the goal. The vision of future determines the current actions and thoughts of the leader and the company in general. If the leader is forward-looking and has the vision of future, he is able to check every step and every action or decision in order to understand if it will lead the company to the desirable result or not.
Inspiration is another crucial part of the leader’s work. Though it is often considered that an individual should inspire oneself, the real inspiration comes from the outside sources. The leader is a great example. The hard-working, passionate, and ambitious leader encourages the employees to follow him and his example. The emotional condition of the leader influences the emotions of the employees incredibly. If the leader is upset, depressed, and does not know what to do, the people in his team are unlikely to be enthusiastic and ambitious. In the team where the leader is cheerful, enthusiastic and confident, the people are inspired, happy, and willing to work.
One of the most inspiring leaders for me is Steve Jobs. He was an incredible person – demanding, ambitious, enthusiastic, and hard-working. His speeches and interviews inspired me very much and made me start doing something. The example of Steve Jobs makes me believe that everything is possible for the person who wants to achieve success and is ready to work hard. This changed my views of the success drastically.
Competence is also important for a good leader because a person should be aware of business and core operations to manage them effectively. In addition, competence is crucial in forming the leader’s image. The formal position is not enough to be a boss. To be a good boss, a person should be a good specialist in what they work with. The employees who are the specialists in what they do would not respect the leader that is not competent in the fundamentals of the market, professional service environment, or industry.
The five practices of exemplary leadership play an important role in achieving success and can help the person to become an excellent leader. Inspiring a shared vision is one of the core principles of leadership. The leader who believes that any extraordinary future can come true is more likely to achieve the goal and inspire the employees with his vision and confides (Kouzes & Posner, n.d.). If the leader is inspired his enthusiasm is contagious, which leads to achieving better results. Some of the leaders are not concerned about being inspiring though it is an important part of the leadership (Coats, n.d.). The person who is not enthusiastic about his work and does not believe in great perspectives of the work is more likely to be a bad leader. The employees feel the leader’s mood and become not enthusiastic as well. Such cases may take place if the leader is not interested in their work or does not believe that it is possible to achieve success in the certain situation.
Challenging the process is also a good practice for successful leadership. This practice helps the leader to develop their company. Challenging the process favors the business growth (Coats, n.d.). A good leader should constantly search for some innovations and improvement. If the leader is not challenging the process, the company stops to develop while the competitors are growing and innovating their products. As a result, the company loses its customers, popularity, and money. The good example is the Kodak. It lost everything and went bankrupt when its products became no longer relevant (Usborne, 2017). The company cannot stop developing when the world changes so fast. Thus, looking for new products, services, processes, and opportunities is one of the key determinants of success for a good leader.
In conclusion, good leaders are made, but not born. To achieve success in leadership, a person should work hard, study, and develop the qualities of a good leader. The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership are a great tool for those who want to achieve success. These practices are the key of the successful leadership, and they are all equally important. The person who follows this model would definitely become a good leader and make a great contribution to the success of his/her company.
Coats, S. (n.d.). Challenge the process: Part I. Leadershipchallenge.com. Retrieved from http://www.leadershipchallenge.com/resource/inspire-a-shared-vision-challenge-the-process-part-i.aspx
Coats, S. (n.d.). How important is inspiring? Leadershipchallenge.com. Retrieved from http://www.leadershipchallenge.com/resource/inspire-a-shared-vision-how-important-is-inspiring.aspx
Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B.Z. (n.d.). The leadershipchallenge. Hobokem, NJ: Jossey-Bass.
Usborne, D. (2017). The moment it all went wrong for Kodak. The Independent. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/the-moment-it-all-went-wrong-for-kodak-6292212.html