Insights on Leadership


Here are some great insights about leadership from one of the best books ever written about leadership:  The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes & Posner

  • Ten Commitments of Leadership
    • Clarify your values by finding your voice and affirming shared ideas.
    • Set the example by aligning actions with shared values.
    • Envision the future by imagining exciting an ennobling possibilities
    • Enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations
    • Search for opportunities by seizing the initiative and by looking outward for innovative ways to improve
    • Experiment and take risks by constantly generating small wins and learning from experience.
    • Foster collaboration by building trust and building relationships.
    • Strengthen others by increasing self-determination and developing competence.
    • Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence.
    • Celebrate the values and victories by creating a spirit of community.


  • must “clarify values”.
  • are supposed to stand up for their beliefs, so they had better have some beliefs to stand up for.
  • inspire a shared vision.
  • live their lives backward, They see the results before the project begins.
  • clear image of the future pulls them forward.
  • cannot command commitment, only inspire it.
  • have to enlist others to a common vision.
  • challenge the process.
  • search for opportunities to innovate, grow, and improve.
  • must pay attention to the capacity of their constituents.
  • have to enable others to act.
  • must create a culture of celebrating values and victories.
  • have the ability to envision the future.
  • have to communicate the vision in ways that encourage people to sign on for the duration and excite them about the cause.
  • must inspire optimal performance fueled by positive emotions.
  • take strong stands
  • must keep promises
  • personify shared values
  • teach others to model the values
  • are able to envision the future
  • need to bring the vision to life
  • need a sense of ongoing learning
  • must be able to trust their team
  • must be trusted
  • often must relinquish control
  • actively seek out ways to increase choice

To promote trust, be the first to:

  • Disclose information about who you are and what you believe.
  • Admit mistakes
  • Acknowledge the need for personal improvement
  • Ask for feedback—positive or negative
  • Listen attentively to what others are saying
  • Invite interested parties to important meetings
  • Share information that is useful to others
  • Openly acknowledge the contribution of others
  • Show that you are willing to change your mind when someone else comes up with a good idea.
  • Avoid taking negatively about others
  • Say, “We can trust them”, and mean it

Lead On