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The Leadership Challenge

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  5,345 ratings  ·  217 reviews
The most trusted resource on becoming a leader is now updated and revised for a new generation. This leadership classic continues to be a bestseller after three editions and twenty years in print. It is the gold standard for research-based leadership, and the premier resource on becoming a leader. This new edition, with streamlined text, more international and business exa ...more
Paperback, Fourth Edition, 389 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Jossey-Bass (first published October 1987)
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I had to read this for work, which must qualify as some kind of cruel and unusual punishment. Anyway:

The Leadership Challenge – A review in clichés and idioms.

The Leadership Challenge describes itself as an evidence-based primer on the near-universal qualities of excellent leaders. Its authors state that they have conducted years of research on leadership, and have distilled the data into what they have identified as the five practices of successful leaders.

Each of the five practices is then se
Loy Machedo

Great Content, Numerous Personalities being Quoted, Very Apt Anecdotes, Easy to Understand Principles and Universal Application is how I would describe what the book ‘The Leadership Challenge’ is all about.

What is this book about?

What Leaders do and What Constituents Expect
1. The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership:
1) Model the way
2) Inspire a shared vision
3) Challenge the process
4) Enable others to act
5) Encourage the heart

2. Credibility Is The Foundation of Leadership:
For people to
Alex Duncan
Fun and engaging book on leadership.
I received more from this book then I could have hoped for. Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner wrote the original version of this book in 1987 but that shouldn't scare you because they are on their 5th edition of this book in which they add new case studies, more interviews with other leaders, and other updates.
Every time I read a book like this I check the credibility of the authors and if you do your own research you'd know that these two are more then credible to write a book on leadership. Wheneve
When I posted the review on Warren Bennis' "On Leadership", I mentioned that books I had started since I had started Bennis' text had caused me to re-think whether or not I found Bennis' text informative. "The Leadership Challenge" was the book that spurred the re-thinking.

Pretty good insight as to how to become a better leader. Lots of good stories and examples. Many of the tricks they offer are easy to implement - being a better leader is as simple as choosing to be a better leader. This book
I had to read this as part of a group project (for a class in the nonprofit management certificate program).

While I think this book provides some great ideas and insight for leaders, I think it could be shorter. It's a little repetitive and redundant at times. I don't think it provided me with much information that I hadn't heard before--though some of the examples were nice illustrations.

Honestly, I've just read half of it--and will only read one more chapter (the chapter I'm responsible for pr
Tanja Berg
I had a three-day course once, called "the leadership challenge". I thought the book would be similar - that the course was based on the book - and in some sense it was. This book gave me a lot to reflect upon. It also gave me support in affirming that some of the ideas I have been nurturing during summer holiday are worthy of implementation. I've mulled over the content and taken notes. Whether this book deserves a five star rating is something I expect I'll find out eventually.
Bruce Flanagan
I consider Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner to be the best research-based book ever written in the field of leadership.

What I love about this book is that it is actually written for its readers!

Let's face it--very few readers of business books are CEO's of multi-billion corporations. Yet many business books follow the same over-used formula--interviewing CEOs--talking about what they are doing so well--and suggesting that you do the same thing.

Leadership Challenge is based upo
Kouzes, James, and Barry Posner (1987, 1995, 2002, 2007, 2012), The Leadership Challenge, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA. A very readable, well-researched, and practical book about leadership, now in its fourth edition. It includes interesting insights about what followers expect of their leaders, and rich descriptions of how to accomplish the five leadership challenges in contemporary organizations: challenging the process, inspiring a shared vision, enabling others to act, modeling the way, an ...more
Katharine Herndon
It was better than I thought. I don't normally read this type of thing, but it was required reading for a class I'm taking. I was wary because I particularly dislike rah-rah touchy feely self-help books, but it was well-balanced and well-researched. The concepts were clearly presented, and I like that they have what-you're going to read, the chapter, then a summary. That's particularly helpful if you want to review without rereading too much.

That said, there were some fairly repetitive concepts
Reagan Ramsey
This was pretty long and had way too many examples, but I found some of the principles really helpful.
Here are some I liked:
--Set the example. If you have deemed something important to the organization, then make sure that is reflected on your calendar and commitments. Don't say, "we want everyone to take their days off and spend time with their families" when you work until 10pm every night.

--Exercise "outsight". Meaning, often the best ideas come from outside your organization. Ask clients, p
Chapters 1 & 2
Several ideas in these chapters resonated with me and if I were to focus on two it would be to challenge the process and enable others to act. Without challenging the process I think that we would rarely move forward. The expression, (he/she) "doesn't know how to take no for an answer" when it comes to problem solving means that possible solutions will be stifled. Inventions and innovations are results of challenging procedures or ways of thinking, going outside the lines. Thos
Alaeddin Hallak
Absolutely the most comprehensive leadership book I've ever read. Packed with insightful practical tips for becoming a better leader, this is a must-have for anyone who finds himself in a leadership role or anticipates doing so. Will be re-reading this time and again.
Omar Halabieh
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- "Whether in their early twenties, late seventies, or anywhere between, leaders told us that the fundamentals of leadership are the same today as they were in the 1980s, and they've probably have been the same for centuries. Yet the leaders were quick to add that while the content of leadership has not changed, the context—and, in some cases, it has changed dramatically. What is this new context, and what are the implica
Blake Kanewischer
This book was too academic to be really engrossing. As an academic treatise on leadership, it was fine. As a practical manual on leadership, it was lacking in specifics.
This is a helpful book in some ways and does present some solid research. It reads like a self-help book, which I found annoying. The writing is very repetitive as well. I felt as though I had read the same thing twenty times by the end of a chapter.

I actually wrote a five page analysis of this text. Perhaps at some point, I will share the more important snippets here. For now, let's just say that it was dry, dull, and redundant. It is worth browsing through for the content, but reading the lis
supplemental read for my first grad course. excellent. loved the examples
Zhi Han
Kouzes and Posner have provided excellent leadership trainings. But in terms of writing, they are not particularly good at writing books. This book is more like a compilation of the materials discussed in many training sessions, without well thought organization. The points are contributed by the various participants in the training. And the authors simply put them in writing. It is no surprise that the book is extremely long and tries to cover every bit of challenges in a leader's life. I would ...more
Rachel Reynolds
I read this book as part of my Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program. It's difficult to argue with the premise, mainly that leaders embody a consistent set of principles and practices that make them effective in motivating employees and making teams successful. I agreed with almost everything they presented and the authors definitely have a solid research base to pull from. I pulled a handful of salient ideas from the book that I will try to incorporate into my work as well. My only problem is the ...more
Eric Nelson
The best part of this detailed look at leadership in the workplace is its focus on respect of individuals and acknowledgement of the power of teams. Viewing leaders as ones who enable others to act not by hoarding the power they have but by giving it away, is critical to the books thrust, resulting in advice on how to reward individuals and teams and not only encouraging but actually empowering people to become heroes. The authors even conclude that love should be a guiding principle (though thi ...more
This is a great common sense book although difficult practice book about the best leadership practices that all managers/leaders/parents/ etc. could benefit from practicing. The payoff is life long relationships and long term business and life results.

As with all personal change processes to become a better leader, finding ways to hold one's self accountable, inquire to others about changes they see, etc. should be a part of any personal change process. So, the book is great, adding personal pr
The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner, is a book about discussing how leaders can get extraordinary things accomplished. The purpose of the book is to tell about the challenging opportunities and practices that can transform leaders’ visions into successes and how it will help people from all walks of life bring out the leader within them. The content of the book, discusses ‘The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership.’

The five exemplary practices are model the way, inspire a shared visio
Brenda Peick
Recently, I saw a talk by Barry Posner at the College of St. Catherine. The guy was engaging. I was all ready to not like him, but he had me hooked before he even began. I was gazing into space (instead of networking) before his talk, and he came up to me and asked me if I was sleeping. Sarcastic people unite!! or, is it untie? Whatever, I love people with a sense of humor. And, it wasn't like there was only 10 people there, I bet there was 150 or more people at this function. He was working the ...more
Paul Signorelli
James Kouzes and Barry Posner, throughout "The Leadership Challenge," effectively document the obvious and important influences leaders have on those around them. Their “Five Practices and Ten Commitments of Leadership” include reminders that leaders “model the way,” “inspire a shared vision,” “challenge the process,” “enable others to act,” and “encourage the heart,” and their suggested commitments include one to “set the example by aligning actions with shared values” —ideas that we all too of ...more
Gene Babon
Very few actions (or inactions) can bring an organization to its knees more quickly than poor leadership. If you are part of an organization that is not currently functioning on all cylinders, then take The Leadership Challenge.

It is rare that a business book makes it to a fifth edition, 25 years after its first publication. This book has staying power.

First, a definition: "Leaders get people moving."

The Leadership Challenge is evidence-based. It outlines Five Practices that are derived from res
Dr. David Steele
The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner assists people in furthering their abilities to lead others in order to get extraordinary things done. Every person has the capacity to develop the necessary skills and character qualities to reach a level of measurable leadership effectiveness. Leadership is defined at the outset as “the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations.”

The central thesis of the book is that leaders are at their best when they particip
While at times it is good to examine some of the more practical elements of leadership, I think it is more fruitful to consider the core aspects of leadership that drive and fuel the more practical implications. I believe that is where Kouzes and Posner’s book, The Leadership Challenge, excels. Now in its fourth edition, this now classic work distills five practices of exemplary leadership: 1) model the way; 2) inspire a shared vision; 3) challenge the process; 4) enable others to act; and 5) en ...more
I really enjoyed this book. It teaches many important leadership skills and principles. I was inspired and want to be a good leader! Here are some of the main take aways:

Leadership is a relationship.

Credibility is the foundation of leadership. Be honest, forward-looking, inspiring, and competent.

Model the Way by clarifying values and setting an example.

Inspire a Shared Vision by envisioning the future and enlisting others. As a part of this you need to imagine the possibilities and find a common
I received this book from my father-in-law for my birthday (2006). He's using it as a textbook for a leadership course at Neumont University. Most business-related books I've read (like The Tipping Point, almost done which is why I don't have a post yet) seem to be filled to the brim with case studies. While I understand the importance of citing evidence in the proposed point(s) of the book, it seems very "fluffy" to me and I tend to scan rather than digest. This book follows that recipe and the ...more
I read the Leadership Challenge as part of an IT management Book Club. The discussions about leadership amongst the management team was enjoyable and rewarding. The book served as the backdrop, but by itself was not so enjoyable.
I am not a big fan of self help or motivational books, so the Leadership Challenge started at a disadvantage. It did have plenty of real world examples to back up the teachings and was neatly organized into 5 topics of leadership.
However, there seemed to be too much fluf
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The Leadership Ch...: Wonderful Idea 2 5 Jun 07, 2013 06:38AM  
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“Exemplary leaders know that if they want to gain commitment and achieve the highest standards, they must be models of the behavior they expect of others.” 3 likes
“The climb to the top is arduous and steep. People become exhausted, frustrated, and disenchanted, and are often tempted to give up. Genuine acts of caring draw people forward.” 0 likes
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