Our own leadership practice has been influenced by a number of different models and frameworks.

One that we keep coming back to is The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes & Posner, which is steeped in research from the past thirty-plus years.

We particularly like the 4 qualities of leadership highlighted in this model, considered by the authors as the most important and summarised here as:

  • Honest: leaders are expected to be truthful, ethical and act in a principled manner. In order to gain trust, their words and behaviour need to be consistent. 
  • Competent: leaders must be credible and capable of carrying out what they are responsible for in order for people to follow them. 
  • Forward-Looking: leaders must be concerned with the long-term, clearly setting, communicating and steering direction. 
  • Inspirational: people follow those who are passionate, energetic and real, inspiring us with their confidence and 'can do' attitude 

How do you measure up to these?

Rate yourself against each, on a scale of 1-5 where 1 represents NEVER and 5 ALWAYS demonstrating these characteristics.

Or better still, have a few of your reports rate you using the same scale?

When you've done that, ask yourself these two questions:

  • how did I get to that rating?
  • what can I possibly do to improve the rating by just one place?

Let us know how this lands for you.