In the third chapter “Clarify Values” the authors highlight the importance of setting values stressing they shape the overall direction of the company, encourage managing difficult situations and making the right decisions. Actually, values are acceptable standards that govern behavior of employees within organization. I think that values are important as they prevent behavior that is not acceptable in organization. Further, values are important for setting the mission and the vision meaning they provide necessary framework for effective leadership. Even analysts admit that historical leaders are admires because of their strong belief in something, they are people of principles. Clarifying values suggests finding the voice and affirming shared values. Clear and strong beliefs of a leader make people follow his example increasing, in such a way, productivity and commitment to organizational success. Of course, shared values are based on a dialogue meaning that effective leader shares what he has learnt about personal and shared values.
In the fourth chapter “Set the Example” the authors argue that setting personal example shows other employees how to behave, what to expect and how to organize working process. I agree with the authors that setting example is more than simply straying out of the problematic situation; instead, setting example suggests identifying key driving forces that encourage and lead employees. I think that setting example is showing the right way, raising goals and standards. Setting example is active process that deals with avoiding the wrong actions. When setting example effective leader knows why to do the right things and what the results will be. The authors define two essentials – personification of shared values and teaching others to model the values – as the cores of setting examples. These essentials create the necessary model of organizational culture that drives employees to remain committed to aligning with shared values. Finally, the leaders are recommended to refer to storytelling because it encourages others to share their stories.
In the fifth chapter “Envision the Future” the authors underline that effective leader always tries to figure out what may happen in future. It means that if a person is going to become effective leader, he should be able to predict future outcomes. I think that the firs step in envisioning the future is feeling passionate about the legacy the person is willing to leave. The leader should ask himself what his goals and vision are. Effective leaders are forward-looking meaning they are able to grasp the horizon and to look beyond traditional and conventional actions. They are able to image the greater opportunities that may happen in future if the right actions are taken now. However, envisioning the future and organizational vision are not the same because envisioning the future suggests shared vision. I agree with the authors that shared vision suggests high levels of motivation and resisting to internal and external challenges. Two essentials are necessary for developing and mastering envisioning the future: imagining the possibilities and finding a common purpose. The key idea is to experiment and listen to the voices of employees.
In the sixth chapter “Enlist Others” the authors suggest that effective leaders are able to present powerfully compelling future to involve employees in aligning with the vision. It is passion and pride that drive performance, not technical actions. Thus, I think that emotional aspect of communicating with employees values today more than technical performance. Organizational success depends on such personal qualities as empathy, self-confidence, self-awareness, trustworthiness and adaptability, and effective leaders should be able to persuade his employees to develop those qualities. Appealing to common ideals and animating the vision are two components of enlisting the other. Leader should refer to practice as nothing is delivered extemporaneously. Energy and enthusiasm should be prioritized when involving employees into friendly-oriented working environment. Of course, expressiveness skills and expanding communication skills are of great importance because vision is argued to be the most difficult of all effective leadership skills.
Kouzes, J., & Posner, B.Z. (2007). The Leadership Challenge. (4th ed.). USA: Jossey-Bass.