|What Works |
Most editions of this newsletter contains a section I call "What Works."
Mostly "What Works" focuses on either Why Organizations Thrive and Why Organizations Go Off Course, both of which detail lessons I learned while growing the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV), buttressed by my observations of dozens of other groups both in Oregon and across the country.
I recently turned Why Organizations Thrive into a free E-Book which can be downloaded and read as either a PDF or on various e-readers (Kindle, I-Pad, etc.).
Taking a break from those series this month, I review the book The Leadership Challenge, by James Kouzes and Barry Posner.
I've become very interested in how to evaluate and teach leadership. I've encountered more and more situations in my own consulting practice where client organizations come to me looking for training on discrete skills (e.g. fundraising) or good group process (e.g. strategic planning), but are also in dire need of staff and board members who act as "leaders." The good I can do as a consultant is severely constrained as a result.
The question I've become focused on is can leadership be taught? And, if so, how?
Kouzes and Posner believe the answer is definitely yes to the former and offers up some concrete ideas on the latter. In their view: "Leadership is not a gene and it's not an inheritance. Leadership is an identifiable set of skills and abilities that are available to all of us."
Based on research they've been updating since in 1983, the book outlines five "practices of exemplary leadership."
Read the rest of the review.
Download the review as a PDF