Review: The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner

Any book on leadership that makes it 25 years and 5 editions is amazing. Twenty-five years with the same base knowledge being pertinent to today. The Leadership Challenge has lasted twenty-five years because of how practical it is, how it makes its points, and how applicable it is.

How do we make people do something we want them to do? The short answer is that we can’t. No matter how much better someone’s life would be if they would just change this one little issue in their lives, we can’t make them change it. They have to make the change themselves. The most practical way to accomplish this is found in this book. The first step is to “Model the Way”. That makes sense. If we tell someone to manage their finances well and then go buy a 104″ TV on a credit card, our credibility is shot.

This book has five steps that leaders go through to foster change. Every one of them just makes sense. Is it practical to have a clear vision? Certainly! My favourite part of this book is that it just makes sense. It is as practical as shutting the refrigerator to keep it cool inside.

Points are made through stories. What better way to prove out a point then to have someone tell a story of how it worked? It’s almost like a before and after commercial without the before part. We read only about what the individual did to succeed in what they considered their best leadership experience. They are stating what worked for them in their own words.

Because stories are used, the book is incredibly readable. It’s almost 400 pages, but we get to meet hundreds of people and hear their stories of success. The stories are inspirational. I didn’t want the book to end when reading it; I wanted more of these great stories by people like you and I.

Twenty-five years of relevancy is something this book has deserved. The main five points that this book revolves around have been echoed (to some extent) in every leadership book I have read. This is a great book to get started in leadership for that reason. Get the points in this book and then see how they show up everywhere else.

There is one thing to be aware of. This books is part of a series of materials. You will be reminded over and over again that there is a mobile app to purchase. A single page reminding of this would’ve been better then on the cover and at the end of every chapter.

This review is glowing and I think that is deservedly so. Simply put, if you have any interest in being a leader, buy this book, read, and apply. It is excellent.

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