James Kouzes and Barry Posner are two of my favorite authors on leadership. They are probably best known for their book The Leadership Challenge – if you don’t have it in your library, I highly recommend it to you. However, this morning I want to briefly talk about their other book – The Truth About Leadership. In this book, Kouzes and Posner lay out ten “truths” about leadership that they have discovered. They were consistently being asked what has changed about leadership. What they found was that the context of leadership has and is changing but the content of leadership had not changed. They found that the foundational principles of leadership have not and do not change. For those of us who hold a Biblical worldview, that is no surprise as we understand that God’s principles for how you treat and lead people are unchanging.
The ten foundational truths that Kouzes and Posner list are:
2. Credibility Is the Foundation of Leadership – if people don’t believe in you, they won’t willingly follow you.
3. Values Drive Commitment.
4. Focusing on the Future Sets Leaders Apart.
5. You Can’t Do It Alone. Leadership is a team sport.
6. Trust Rules. Trust is the social glue that holds individuals and groups together.
7. Challenge Is the Crucible for Greatness.
8. You Either Lead by Example or You Don’t Lead at All.
9. The Best Leaders Are the Best Learners. A leader should always be on the path of continuous growth.
10. Leadership is an Affair of the Heart. Love for others is what motivates great leaders.
So what do you think? Are there ones you would add? Ones you would change? Or even ones you would take off this list?
What foundational truths guide you as you lead others? If you want, post your answers and let’s see what others think.