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The Leadership Challenge

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  8,034 Ratings  ·  294 Reviews
Guest Reviewer: Marshall Goldsmith Marshall Goldsmith has been recognized by almost every major business publication as one of America's leading executive educators and coaches. He is the author or co-editor of 22 books, including What Got You Here Won't Get You There--a New York Times bestseller and Wall Street Journal #1 business book. I consider Leadership Challenge by ...more
Paperback, Fourth Edition, 416 pages
Published August 15th 2008 by Jossey Bass (first published October 1987)
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Vish Chap
Jan 31, 2017 Vish Chap rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 18, 2013 Carol rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
May 07, 2013 Loy Machedo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Jun 26, 2013 Alex Duncan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 22, 2013 Seth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great ideas and insights from within the book:
Clarify values
Good exercise – write a tribute to yourself:
1. What do you stand for?
2. What do you believe in?
3. What are you discontent about?
4. What brings you suffering?
5. What makes you weep and wail?
6. What makes you jump for joy?
7. What are you passionate about?
8. What keeps you awake at night?
9. What’s grabbed hold and won’t let go?
10. What do you want for your life?
11. What is it you really care about?

Write your credo. “This I believe.”

Share t
Feb 04, 2009 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
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
Dec 31, 2011 Tina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 25, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Bruce Flanagan
Mar 05, 2011 Bruce Flanagan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Tanja Berg
Aug 10, 2014 Tanja Berg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, business
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.
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.
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.
Justin Tapp
Oct 02, 2016 Justin Tapp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership, business
Goodreads' algorithm had this on my "recommended" list for a long time, so I knocked it out. All leadership books overlap or draw from each other; occasionally one, like this one, cites a particular survey. The survey in this book identifies "characteristics of admired leaders" and was done internationally, but the majority of responses were from the US. It was updated in each edition from 1987-2007, without much significant change between the initial survey and the latest. This book reminded me ...more
Omar Halabieh
Jan 12, 2014 Omar Halabieh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
supplemental read for my first grad course. excellent. loved the examples
Angela Lam
At the core, this book is really about finding your inner voice and using that to lead and inspire yourself and others. What's the problem you're here to solve and why is it calling to you? If you look at the main headers / labels, they seem like pretty standard stuff that you'd expect in leadership books. Andif you're well-read and/or have attended enough leadership training, you'll have heard them all before.
Practice 1: Model the Way
Practice 2: Inspire a Shared Vision
Practice 3: Challenge the
John Henry
Nov 19, 2015 John Henry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Kouzes and Posner’s Leadership Challenge outlines how the five practices of leadership, refined and expanded through the ten behaviors of leadership will produce in leaders a continual life of learning and loving people through their leadership relationships. Leadership, at its core is relationship. The foundation of leadership is credibility. This book offers extremely helpful principles and tools for developing the leadership gift, making leadership a relationship, aligning personal values wit ...more
Stacy Holmstedt
Feb 01, 2017 Stacy Holmstedt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good reminders and advice, if it does tend to focus on the fun and positive ("have more celebrations") and less on the difficult choices and conversations that come with being a leader.
MJ Austin
Feb 11, 2017 MJ Austin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
my biz school professor wrote this
Dr Denise
Dec 27, 2016 Dr Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent leadership book!
David Steele
Oct 08, 2012 David Steele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
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
Maria Aliferis-Gjerde
This is a great leadership book, and very useful to people leading others in organizations and teams. I recommend this book highly. It is easy to read.
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
Apr 08, 2013 Ivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
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 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
Gene Babon
Oct 29, 2012 Gene Babon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
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
Mary Kelly
Heavy with lists it makes some good points. Care, try and show appreciation for others and they will respond. Not original but to the point and the book offers many good examples to illustrate its thesis.
Neenz Faleafine
Dec 18, 2016 Neenz Faleafine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book because it was a great reminder of leadership fundamentals.
Eric Nelson
May 20, 2010 Eric Nelson rated it liked it
Shelves: read-but-unowned
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 book�s 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 (thoug ...more
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How can a leader model the way if the way is not accepted in a certain culture? 1 2 Aug 01, 2016 08:20AM  
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.” 5 likes
“Recognition is the most powerful currency you have, and it costs you nothing,” 2 likes
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