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The Leadership Challenge

Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership 

The Leadership Challenge is about how leaders mobilize others to want to get extraordinary things done in organizations. It’s about the practices leaders use to transform values into actions, visions into realities, obstacles into innovations, separateness into solidarity, and risks into rewards. It’s about leadership that makes a positive difference in the workplace and creates the climate in which people turn challenging opportunities into remarkable successes. (Kouzes & Posner, 2017, p. xi). 

According to Kouzes and Posner, the Ten Commitments of Leadership—the essential behaviors that leaders employ to make extraordinary things happen—explain the fundamental principles that support each of The Five Practices. 


Practice #1: Model the Way 

Commitment 1. Clarify values by finding your voice and affirming shared values. 

Commitment 2. Set the example by aligning actions with shared values. 


Practice #2: Inspire a Shared Vision 

Commitment 3. Envision the future by imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities. 

Commitment 4. Enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations. 


Practice #3: Challenge the Process 

Commitment 5. Search for opportunities by seizing the initiative and looking outward for innovative ways to improve. 

Commitment 6. Experiment and take risks by constantly generating small wins and learning from experience. 


Practice #4: Enable Others to Act 

Commitment 7. Foster collaboration by building trust and facilitating relationships. 

Commitment 8. Strengthen others by increasing self-determination and developing competence. 


Practice #5: Encourage the Heart 

Commitment 9. Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence. 

Commitment 10. Celebrate the values and victories by creating a spirit of community. 



Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2017). The leadership challenge: How to make extraordinary things happen in organizations (6th ed). Jossey-Bass.



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