Their work is second to none, and–as many of my readers already know–my own body of work on Extreme Leadership is deeply informed by Jim and Barry’s foundational 5 Practices: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart.
In the 1990′s, I spent 6 years as Vice President of The Tom Peters Company (where Jim Kouzes was the president, at the time) facilitating (and teaching others to facilitate) workshops based on these 5 Practices. Not only was it a transformational experience for our clients, it was a veritable tectonic shift for me as a coach, consultant, speaker, author, and mensch. And on a personal note, I consider Jim not only a friend, but a mentor in the true sense of the word.
Jossey-Bass has just published The 25th Anniversary and fifth edition of The Leadership Challenge.
25 years since its first publication. Two and a half decades. So…
If you haven’t read it yet (where you been?), now’s the time; if you have, trust me–it’s more important now than ever. Here’s how Jim and Barry say it in the introduction:
“Leaders get people moving. They energize and mobilize. They take people and organizations to places they’ve never been before. Leadership is not a fad, and the leadership challenge never goes away.
“In uncertain and turbulent times, accepting that challenge is the only antidote to chaos, stagnation, and disintegration. Times change, problems change, technologies change, and people change. Leadership endures. Teams, organizations, and communities need people to step up and take charge. This is why we first wrote The Leadership Challenge, and why we found it imperative to write this fifth edition.
“Change is the province of leaders. It is the work of leaders to inspire people to do things differently, to struggle against uncertain odds, and to persevere toward a misty image of a better future. Without leadership there would not be the extraordinary efforts necessary to solve existing problems and realize unimagined opportunities. We have today, at best, only faint clues of what the future may hold, but we are confident that without leadership the possibilities will neither be envisioned nor attained.”
Amen to all of the above–and all that follows in this venerable leadership masterpiece.
Go see for yourself–and make extraordinary things happen in your organization.