Learning Leadership Means Debunking Popular Myths
On Friday at the First Friday Book Synopsis at the Dallas Park City Club, I will present this best-seller:
Kouzes, J.M. & Posner, B.Z. Learning leadership: The five fundamentals of becoming an exemplary leader. San Francisco: Wiley.
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The book’s authors are James Kouzes and Barry Posner. Kouzes is pictured on the left, and Posner is on the right. Their other famous books are The Leadership Challenge and Encouraging the Heart.
Early in the book, the authors address whether leaders are born or made. Here is what they say:
“Asking, ‘Are leaders born or made?’ is not a very productive question. It’s the old nature versus nurture argument, and it doesn’t get at a more important question that must be asked and answered. The more useful question is ‘Can you, and those you work with, become better leaders than you are today?’ The answer to that question is a resounding yes” (p. 4).
Just a few pages later, the authors talk about some myths associated with leadership:
Four Myths (pp. 5-11)
Talent myth – Leadership is not a talent, “but an observable, learnable set of skills and abilities. Leadership is distributed in the population like any other set of skills” (p. 5).
Position myth – Leadership is not a rank, title, or place
Strengths myth – You cannot do your best without searching for challenges, doing things you’ve never done, making mistakes, and learning from them
Self-reliance myth – the best leaders know they can’t do it alone
If you miss the synopsis live this Friday, you can access it later at 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com.