How Does One DO Leadership?

Chance are that during your time as a 4-H professional you have sat through (and/or led)  your share of leadership workshops.  Interestingly, many of these workshops start in exactly the same way…

Instructor:  “First, we are going to define leadership.  Someone tell me what is ‘leadership?'”

Students:  “Influence.”  “Being a role model.”  “Helping others make things happen.”

While presenting a nice first step, what does this tell us about the tangible practices and behaviors of leaders?  If we stop at the initial question it doesn’t tell us much.

In 1983, Kouzes and Posner began an intensive leadership survey which garnered more than 75,000 responses relative to common behaviors among leaders. From this, the responses were coded into five themes:

You will see that within each of the five themes, there exists two different commandments, or actual practices, that an individual can put into place as a tangible expression of leadership.  I would argue that it is these “expressions” that are often missing from our leadership education programs.  That is to say- teaching others how to “DO” leadership.

For more information about this model, known as the “Five Exemplary Practices of Leadership,” see:

The Leadership Challenge Website

The Leadership Challenge (Book)

The Student Leadership Challenge

There’s even an App for that:  The Leadership Challenge App (Lite Version)




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1 Response to How Does One DO Leadership?

  1. Pingback: Reblog: How does one DO leadership? | Madison County 4-H

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