Five Principles Integral to Effective Leadership: an Analysis

Topics: Leadership, Management, Kurt Lewin Pages: 9 (3438 words) Published: October 14, 2011



Five Principles Integral Effective Leadership: An Analysis

Table of Contents
Model the Way
Inspire a Shared Vision
Challenging the Process
Enable Others to Act
Encouraging the Heart

This research paper explores the findings and teachings of Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner from 1983 through 1987. The two gentlemen spent over twenty years formulating a series of five principles that they believe every great leader should exhibit. Various group members discuss in this paper these five principles, which can be found in the book The Leadership Challenge. The first principle, model the way, is explained as a leader doing what he or she expects his or her followers to do by modeling the expected behavior at all times. The second principle, inspire a shared vision, means that an exemplary leader should also be a visionary with the ability to make his or her followers strive to reach this common goal using motivation. Principle three, challenging the process, explains how an exemplary leader takes charge, makes goals, and ensures they are completed on time or before expected. This kind of leader does not believe that things are impossible and pushes his or her followers to believe the same. Enable others to act, the fourth principle, is understood as the communication and cooperation between the leader and followers. This includes the leader understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each follower and how the common goal is affected. The last principle discussed, encouraging the heart, is the process of validating others. A leader who encourages the heart often shows a genuine interest in his or her followers, which inspires followers to take an interest in the leader’s actions. When a leader has developed an understanding of all five principles and can successfully use them, his or her ability to transform values into actions, visions into realities, obstacles into innovations, separateness into solidarity, and risk into rewards will make him or her an exemplary leader (About the Leadership Challenge).

Model the Way
In their study, Kouzes and Posner set out to discover what it takes to become an exemplary leader. After analyzing thousands of cases and surveys, they came up with The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, the first being model the way. Modeling the way is the leader doing what he or she expects the followers to do. Simply put, lead by example. If you want someone to respect you, you have to respect him or her (Leadership Behavior: Model the Way). If you want someone to work hard, you should be working hard. People tend to imitate those of higher status. When we see someone on top doing well, we tend to imitate his or her actions because we believe it will lead us to a higher status. Leaders also establish principles concerning the way people should be treated and the way goals should be pursued (Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership). In our group, Madison Pagan stepped up early on and tried to get the group’s attention and commitment to do a part of the research paper. Unfortunately, not all students seemed to be following her example. After some time, Abel Castillo decided to be the leader and start assigning parts to each student and seemed to be somewhat more effective. Both should be commended for stepping up and trying to lead, especially in a situation where it is easy to hide because we are not sitting in a classroom staring each other. It is important for a leader to have clear and regular internet communication so everyone can understand and know what is going on when working as a group. To be an effective leader, one must model the behavior one expects of others, achieve the highest standards and gain commitment. Leaders...
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