Ask an Expert

Q: What benefits can a good leader bring to a company?

A: My co-author Barry Posner and I have been tracking the impact leaders have on their constituents and their organizations for many years. We’ve analyzed data from well over a million respondents and hundreds of other researchers have used our model and the Leadership Practices Inventory® to gather data from thousands more. The findings from all these studies point to one very clear conclusion: managers, volunteers, pastors, government administrators, military officers, teachers, school principals, students, and other leaders who use The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® more frequently are seen by others as better leaders. For example, they:
  • More successfully meet job-related demands
  • More effectively represent their units to upper management
  • Create higher-performing teams
  • Increase sales and customer satisfaction levels
  • Foster renewed loyalty and greater organizational commitment
  • Increase motivation and the willingness to work hard
  • Facilitate high patient satisfaction scores and meet family member needs
  • Promote high degrees of involvement and engagement in schools
  • Enlarge the size of their congregations
  • Expand fundraising results and gift-giving levels
  • Extend the range of their agency’s services
  • Reduce absenteeism, turnover, and dropout rates
  • Positively influence recruitment rates
  • Earn higher scores on measures of leader credibility

Additionally, people working with leaders who demonstrate The Five Practices are significantly more satisfied with the actions and strategies of their leaders; they feel more committed, excited, energized, influential, and powerful; and they are more productive. In other words, the more you engage in the practices of exemplary leadership, the more likely it is that you’ll have a positive influence on others in the organization.

Jim Kouzes is the Dean’s Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University. Cited by The Wall Street Journal as one of the twelve best executive educators in the U.S., he was also winner of the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award by Trust Across America. Together with Barry Posner, he is author of over 30 books and workbooks on leadership and leadership development, including the just released fully-revised and updated sixth edition of the international bestseller, The Leadership Challenge, and Learning Leadership, selected by Strategy+Business as one of the 2016 Best Business Books of Year.

Adapted from an interview with Jim Kouzes, What Makes a Good Leader?, previously published in Gulf Business, the premier business monthly reaching leaders across the Middle East, including UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia.

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