In principle, leadership is not reserved for only a few and it need not come only from the person at the front of the room. Leadership can be learned and it can come from anywhere. Any member of a group may practice leadership and when leadership comes from many places, outstanding decisions get made and extraordinary things get done.
In a book called The Leadership Challenge, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner report their survey findings about what the world’s best leaders do to get extraordinary things done—five fundamental leadership practices: challenge the process, inspire a shared vision, enable others to act, model the way, and encourage the heart.
Practical Tip: Learn about leadership and practice it from wherever you are. It’s not about speaking the loudest or appearing the strongest or being in front. It’s about developing and sharing vision. It’s about being a good example, even in small ways. It’s about encouraging others, perhaps behind the scenes. It’s asking questions and trying new ways of doing things. It’s nurturing passion in others and in ourselves.
You don’t have to be a designated leader to practice leadership.
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As our agency was working on our strategic plan, we were able to
incorporate this tip into our strategic plan, recognizing, supporting and
encouraging the various levels of top (big “L”) Leadership and other equally
important (little “l”) leadership.