Leadership is not an affair of the Head…..but of the Heart!! 

What does this mean?  It is not about thinking of being a leader…..but what is your passion and what do you care about!   With my CEO Group of Vistage leaders, I recently shared a video presentation by Jim Kouzes around this topic.  He is the author, along with Barry Posner of The Leadership Challenge.  A very well received business book and based on research from thousands of executives.     (check their website at:   http://www.leadershipchallenge.com/)  

Kouzes asks the audience a fascinating question.  Among the various categories below, who would you choose to model or follow key principles of leadership?

   – Politician
   – Community leader
   – Business Exec
   – Celebrity or entertainer
   – Family member or friend
   – Pastor or religious leader
   – Teacher or Coach  

Who would you?  What do you think the highest categories are?   Maybe not surprisingly….the highest % was for Family member/friend and Teacher/Coach.    Not  Business leader?  Are you surprised?    What do we glean from this?   It is someone close to you as a person…..  i.e. someone you know well.   Someone who can make a difference with you.   So Kouzes point is that  the job of leadership is for every manager….not just the top executives.  

He then goes on to describe that the foundation of leadership is based on being credible & believable.    Somebody who walks the talk….who models the way….who you would willingly follow.  Makes sense.

Another key attribute is regarding sharing an important vision.  Not dictating one to your people, but laying out in a compelling way a path to a better future.  Key is that they, your people, can see themselves in this future….and it is worth doing.  It creates a better place for themself. 

The 5 practices then, for exemplary leadership include:

   Model the way
   Inspire a shared vision
  Challenge the process
  Enable others to act
  Encourage the heart

These are the keys to their principles…..good stuff.  You can listen to this presentation and hear the explanation by going to YouTube.   Click on:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt3hTGpfrSE 

Hope you find it valuable.  Then look at your own leadership practices and see what needs to be changed.