The Leadership Challenge

The Leadership Challenge : How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations

4.03 (12,834 ratings by Goodreads)
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The most trusted source of leadership wisdom, updated to address today's realities The Leadership Challenge is the gold-standard manual for effective leadership, grounded in research and written by the premier authorities in the field. With deep insight into the complex interpersonal dynamics of the workplace, this book positions leadership both as a skill to be learned, and as a relationship that must be nurtured to reach its full potential. This new sixth edition has been revised to address current challenges, and includes more international examples and a laser focus on business issues; you'll learn how extraordinary leaders accomplish extraordinary things, and how to develop your leadership skills and style to deliver quality results every time. Engaging stories delve into the fundamental roles that great leaders fulfill, and simple frameworks provide a primer for those who seek continuous improvement; by internalizing key insights and putting concepts into action, you'll become a more effective, more impactful leader. A good leader gets things done; a great leader aspires, inspires, and achieves more.
This book highlights the differences between good and great, and shows you how to bridge the chasm between getting things done and making things happen. * Gain deep insight into leadership's critical role in organizational health * Navigate the shift toward team-oriented work relationships * Motivate and inspire to break through the pervasive new cynicism * Leverage the electronic global village to deliver better results Business is evolving at an increasingly rapid rate, and leaders must keep pace with the changes or risk stagnation. People work differently, are motivated differently, and have different expectations today business as usual is quickly losing its effectiveness. The Leadership Challenge helps you stay current, relevant, and effective in the modern workplace.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 151 x 245 x 27mm | 864g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 6th Edition
  • 1119278961
  • 9781119278962
  • 7,146

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"This is a classic--one of the few books on leadership that's actually worth reading. The Leadership Challenge is more relevant than ever: a practical, evidence-based resource on how to mobilize people around a common goal."
--Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

"The Leadership Challenge sets the standard for leadership and is a must read at any stage of your career. 'The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership' provide a comprehensive road map to help us understand what it takes to inspire those we are privileged to lead, and also teaches us to lead with empathy, conviction, and authenticity."
--Mike Selfridge, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer, First Republic Bank

"Up-to-date, superbly compelling, and full of heart, the sixth edition of Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner's classic draws on an unmatched trove of new data to offer fresh context to the fundamentals of great leadership. The Leadership Challenge remains the essential text for leaders who want to achieve the extraordinary in today's hypercompetitive environment."
--Sally Helgesen, author, The Female Vision, The Web of Inclusion, and The Female Advantage

"The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership are the foundation and road map for developing leadership skills that are needed today more than ever. The Leadership Challenge, Sixth Edition shares real world examples of how putting the practices to work makes great companies and leaders. This book should be on every leader's desk and have lots of bookmarks."
--Garry Ridge, President and CEO, WD-40 Company, coauthor of Helping People Win at Work
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Back cover copy

Since it was first published in 1987, The Leadership Challenge has become the gold-standard on becoming an exemplary leader. Well-grounded in research and written by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, the premier authorities in the field, this essential resource has sold over 2.5 million copies and has been translated into more than 20 languages. Filled with deep insight into the complex interpersonal dynamics of mobilizing others to achieve shared aspirations, the sixth edition of the classic bestseller describes the practices that individuals must learn and the relationships that they must cultivate in order to engage constituents and create great workplaces.

Revised to address current challenges with updated cases, this edition includes numerous international examples and perspectives from a variety of disciplines and industries. The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership(R)--the model that Jim and Barry derived from studying personal-best leadership experiences--continues to prove its validity as a clear, evidence-based path to achieving the extraordinary for individuals, teams, organizations, and communities. Real-life examples of the behaviors that all leaders at all levels demonstrate when they are at their personal best are provided, and the book clearly shows that leadership is not about personality; it's about an observable and learnable set of skills and abilities. The Leadership Challenge, Sixth Edition, turns the abstract concept of leadership into easy-to-grasp actions and behaviors that can be learned by anyone willing to step up and accept the challenge to lead.
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Table of contents


Making Extraordinary Things Happen in Organisations xi


1 When Leaders Are at Their Best 3

2 Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership 25



3 Clarify Values 47

4 Set the Example 71



5 Envision the Future 95

6 Enlist Others 117



7 Search for Opportunities 145

8 Experiment and Take Risks 169



9 Foster Collaboration 195

10 Strengthen Others 219



11 Recognise Contribution 247

12 Celebrate the Values and Victories 271

13 Leadership is Everyone's Business 295

Endnotes 315

Acknowledgements 349

About the Authors 351

Index 355
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Review Text

"For anyone who wants to improve their leadership, The Leadership Challenge is the perfect book for you." (The association of MBA's, June 2017)
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Review quote

"For anyone who wants to improve their leadership, The Leadership Challenge is the perfect book for you." (The association of MBA's, June 2017)

"...this book is a well written piece of art, which gives the reader practical skills and tips on how to start and maintain conversations in any situation." (Nursing Times, April 2018)
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About James M. Kouzes

JAMES M. KOUZES is the Dean's Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, and lectures on leadership around the world to corporations, governments, and nonprofits. BARRY Z. POSNER is Accolti Professor of Leadership and former Dean of the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University. An accomplished scholar, he also provides leadership workshops and seminars worldwide. Kouzes and Posner are the authors of Learning Leadership, Credibility, The Truth About Leadership, A Leader's Legacy, Encouraging the Heart, and The Student Leadership Challenge, among many other works. They also developed the highly-acclaimed Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI)(R). Visit to learn more.
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Rating details

12,834 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 39% (4,973)
4 35% (4,471)
3 19% (2,462)
2 5% (651)
1 2% (277)
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