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In “The Leadership Challenge” authors Kouzes and Posner talk about the five practices of exemplary leadership. The first two practices were Model the Way and Inspire a Shared Vision which I discussed in my last two blog posts. The third practice the authors discuss is Challenge the Process.
They say that exemplary leaders search for opportunities and experiment and take risks. Leaders are able to take initiative in searching out new opportunities and looking outside of their organization for inspiration. They network, create partnerships, innovate, and make something happen by being proactive. They also encourage other people in their businesses to look for opportunities and actively look at trends outside of their business in order to find opportunities.
Leaders are also willing to take risks. They know that the great opportunities or innovations never come without taking great risks. But the authors say the way to take risks is by taking small steps and generating small wins as well as learning from experience. It is important for leaders to keep learning and growing. If they take small steps and learn from those steps they will be able to increase their confidence and ultimately get the big win. Albert Einstein and Abraham Lincoln are great examples of leaders who failed many times, but eventually became great leaders through that experience of failing.
Finally the authors say that leaders are resilient. They learn from their failures and learn how to become stronger in order to overcome those mistakes. They grow from those experiences and ultimately become even stronger leaders as a result. Leadership is about change - being open to change, embracing change, and looking for change.
So are you taking risks in your business? Are you searching for opportunities in the current business trends? Are you continuously learning and growing in order to expand your possibilities as a leader? If not what small step can you take today in order to do so?
Monica Thakrar has over 14 years experience in business focused mainly on strategy, change management, leadership development, training and coaching resulting in successful implementations of large scale transformation programs.