Tag Archives: Kouzes

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.ZLearning leadership:  The five fundamentals of becoming anLearningLeadershipCover exemplary leader.  San Francisco:  Wiley.

If you have not yet registered, simply click here and save money from the on-site price.

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.

KouzesPicture                                   PosnerPicture

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.


Fundamentals of Exemplary Leadership at the May FFBS

LearningLeadershipCoverAt the May First Friday Book Synopsis, I will present a synopsis of James Kouzes and Barry Posner‘s newest best-seller, Learning Leadership: The Five Fundamentals of Becoming an Exemplary Leader (San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, 2016).

Kouzes (left, below) and Posner (right, below) ve become some of the most powerful and influential writers about the subject of leadership, all published by Jossey-Bass from San Francisco.  You are aware that The Leadership Challenge (6th edition to be released on May 1) remains one of the best-sellers of all time, and is in its 25th anniversary commemoration.  We have presented synopsis of several of their books, including Encouraging the Heart (2003).


I won’t spoil the story for you, because I want you to attend the synopsis, and hear what is between the lines for each of the five fundamentals.

But, here they are:

1. Believe you can.
2. Aspire to excellence.
3. Challenge yourself.
4. Engage support.
5. Practice deliberately.

The authors treat the fundamentals separately, but recognize the strong interdependence among them.

And, please note that they are not talking about just any leader – this book is about becoming an exemplary one!