Kouzes and Posner (2002) suggested 5 important steps that can be used in the workplace or elsewhere to lead others more effectively. Although, designed to better understand the context of leadership when it is challenged by events like New Economy’s bubble or September 11. This post highlights how to use these steps, at work or in everyday life, to help you become a better leader.
1. Model the way: This may be the hardest step to do all the time, but it is important to try and lead by example. Ways you can do this, reflecting on your own values and philosophy. This will help you find your own voice as a leader.
2. Inspire a shared vision: This step requires you to use your voice as a leader to compel others with your vision. This vision acts as a road map that will help guide you and your followers to accomplish the intended goals.
3. Challenge the process: It is important to ask questions as a leader, take risks, and experiment with new ideas. Having an open mind to new ideas will help you know when it is time to change the status quo.
4. Enable others to act: This step demonstrates the importance of team work and cooperation. Collaborative decision making promotes trust which can act like a glue that gels people together to accomplish the intended goals.
5. Encourage the heart: Acknowledgement of followers is one of the most important steps. It is always important to give a reward to a follower for an accomplishment, whether it be big or small. It is especially critical that these are authentic celebrations and rituals to show appreciation and encouragement to others.
By using these 5 leadership steps research has demonstrated that it is possible to create a climate in where people turn challenging opportunities into remarkable successes.
Kouzes J M, Posner B Z (2002), The Leadership Challenge, 3rd Edition, Jossey-Bass