I recently listened to a lecture by Dr. Tariq Suwaidan on the Prophet (peace be upon him) and how he was the greatest role model of an effective leader. And in his lecture, he made reference to the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership which are found in Kouzes & Posner book “The Leadership Challenge” which is cited to be the most trusted source on becoming a better leader and based on over 20 years of research of what the best and exemplary leadership practices are. And alhamdullilah, I happened to have the book so started to browse through it again.
Here’s a summary of the five practices:
1) Model the way
-Clarify Values: Find your voice, affirm shared values, reflection and action
-Set the Example: personify the shared values, teach others to model the values, reflection and action
2) Inspire a shared vision
-Envision the Future: imagine the possibilities, find a common purpose, reflection and action
-Enlist Others: appeal to common ideals, animate the vision, reflection and action
3) Challenge the Process
-Search for Opportunities: seize the initiative, exercise outsight, reflection and action
-Experiment and take risks: generate small wins, learn from experience, reflection and action
4) Enable others to act
-Foster collaboration: create a climate of trust, facilitate relationships, reflection and action
-Strengthen others: enable self-determination, develop competence and confidence, reflection and action
5) Encourage the heart
-Recognize contributions: expect the best, personalize recognition, reflection and action
-Celebrate the values and victories: create a spirit of community, be personally involved, reflection and action
And a few of the most interesting quotes I found in the introductory chapters were:
“Leadership is not the private reserve of a few charismatic men and women. It is a process ordinary people use when they are bringing forth the best from themselves and others. When the leader in everyone is liberated, extraordinary things happen”.
“The domain of leaders is the future. The leader’s unique legacy is the creation of valued institutions that survive over tie. The most significant contribution leaders make is not simply to today’s bottom line; it is the long-term development of people and institutions so they can adapt, change, prosper, and grow”
In sha Allah we can practice and inspire these practices in our children so that Allah (Swt) makes them among the leaders of the righteous:) Ameen.