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Saturday, October 08, 2005

What Makes A Good Leader?

No one can argue that a great leader can boost an organization’s growth and performance in much the same way a poor leader can run one into the ground.

According to Jim Kouzes, lecturer and author of seven books on leadership, including the best-seller “The Leadership Challenge,” the qualities that make an effective leader have two distinct perspectives:
  1. What followers look for
  2. What research from the past few decades has shown
Kouzes lists three consistent characteristics that people most look for in a leader:

  1. People want a leader who’s honest, trustworthy and has integrity.
  2. People want a leader who's forward-looking, who has a vision of the future, foresight and thinks about the long term.
  3. People want a leader who is competent, has expertise, knows what they’re doing, and fourth is inspiring, dynamic, energetic, optimistic and positive about the future.”
Research on how leaders execute those qualities or how leaders put those attributes into action, has produced five practices that successfully leaders indulge.

  1. They model the way. They set an example with their own behavior, and they are clear about what their values and beliefs are, as well as the values and beliefs of the organization.
  2. They inspire a shared vision. They are forward-looking and envision an uplifting or ennobling future and then enlist others in that.
  3. They challenge the process. They search for opportunities to change and innovate, to grow and improve, and then they also experiment and take risks.
  4. They enable others to act. They support individual development, and they also foster collaboration.
  5. They recognize and reward individual achievements and they also celebrate team accomplishments.

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