Many people would benefit from reading this book. Some, in particular, include supervisors, managerial staff, and even coaches. This book is made for anyone that wants to improve upon their leadership abilities, and even gives the opportunity for him or to actively practice skills and find motivation. The five key leadership points I could apply to my future leadership skills would be the five fundamentals outlined within the book: believe you can aspire to excel, challenge yourself, engage support, and practice deliberately. The first key leadership point I will apply to my future in leadership, believe you can, will allow me to never lose faith in myself. Kouzes and Posner state that believing that you have the ability to lead is “absolutely essential to developing your leadership skills”.
This will also allow me to enter each and every leadership position with confidence in myself to perform my duties. If I were to lack confidence in myself, who is to say that won’t have a trickle-down effect to my followers? Prior to holding a leadership position, it is imperative to believe you will be successful in said position. The next key leadership point I will apply to my future, aspire to excel, goes back to ethics and beliefs. Both of these core attributes will steer you into certain directions with your operations and choices. When you speak with conviction about the things you believe in, others will be able to feel your passion and follow suit.
If I show that making a difference is the reason behind my leadership, I will be able to better inspire my followers along the way. Next, I will need to challenge myself in the different leadership roles I take on. This will allow me to step out of my comfort zone and make new experiences through the jumps I take: I will either fly or fall. Taking this step will allow me to learn from both my successes and failures. I need to never be content with where or the way I am. I need to expand my horizons and gain as much knowledge and experience as I can. One finding of research by Kouzes and Posner is that “challenge is the motivating environment for excellence” (2016). The next leadership point I will apply to my future in leadership is engaging support. I have found that I struggle in one aspect: delegation. I have found, by relying on myself to do most things, that I do not learn the best this way.
It is important to look for contributions when possible, whether that be through the support of others, the guidance of leaders around you, or even further information found through counseling from others. Making connections will allow me to spot other leaders and even allow me to receive feedback on the way I do things and how they affect the people around me. This, along with the previous leadership points will allow me to continue my growth as a leader. The last leadership point I will apply to my future in leadership is practicing deliberately. Much like my athletic career, I will not make any progress in the realm of leadership if I do not practice. Through practice, I will learn my strengths and how to highlight and build upon those as well as my weaknesses that I should address and work to improve upon.
Practice also goes along with a dedication to education. It is imperative to seek learning experiences whenever and wherever possible. This book further touches upon the topic mentioned in class and discussions is ethics and values. Each leader is unique because of their background and what they value. A quote from the authors says, “you have to determine what you care most about and why it’s important”. They state that identifying your values makes your motivation more natural because a leader will be focused on aligning his or her goals with what they believe in. Leaders that identify their values and ethics can also assist others in identifying their own. This book identified good leadership very extensively. What I would like to see, however, is examples of how not to use their guideline