The Leadership Challenge®: On the Forefront of Leadership Development

Jun 15, 2022

For centuries, leadership has been thought of as something that is reserved for people born with certain traits or are fortunate enough to be in the right social environment to develop leadership competency. These thoughts have permeated our society and left people believing that leadership is unattainable or predicated by luck. We now know through our research that these old and outdated constructs for what makes a leader are simply false.

As leadership has become more of a science, James Kouzes and Barry Posner, co-authors of The Leadership Challenge, have pioneered research that has been at the forefront of the field for more than 40 years - breaking down the barriers of who and what makes a leader. The Leadership Challenge® has done rigorous research into leadership behaviors and unlocked one overwhelming, reliable, and valid truth about leadership: anyone who engages in The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® can be a leader. This is due to the fact that leadership is about the frequency by which individuals practice certain behaviors, and when engaging in the heavily researched Five Practices framework, leadership becomes attainable for everyone.

The LPI®: Leadership Practices Inventory® - The Science Behind Exemplary Leadership

When Kouzes and Posner set out to discover what effective leaders do when they’re at their personal best, they collected thousands of stories from ordinary people. The authors discovered that when leaders experience their personal best, they display five core practices: they Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart. Jim and Barry called these behaviors The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®.

Together, these practices provide the basis for The LPI® and The Leadership Challenge®. From the author’s personal best-leadership case-study research, The LPI®: The Leadership Practices Inventory® was born to validate their qualitative findings. This psychometrically sound leadership assessment tool contains 30 behavioral statements, six for each of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, that research has shown the more an individual engages in these behaviors, the more effective leader they will be. It’s important to note that The LPI specifically focuses on measuring the frequency of observable behaviors – it does not evaluate your IQ, leadership style, management skill or personality, which means that it’s a powerful instrument that is straightforward, concrete, and accessible to all.

The LPI was not developed overnight. The assessment went through numerous psychometric processes to ensure validity and reliability. To date, over five million leaders have taken the LPI worldwide over the past 35+ years and it has become the gold standard leadership development framework. The LPI continues to unlock the leader in everyone and has built a thriving international academic research community.

The Leadership Challenge Self Empowered™: The Future of Leadership

Our newest product, Self Empowered™ harnesses the power of the LPI by translating the data from the over five million leaders who have already taken the LPI.

While based on the same rigorously developed and psychometrically sound assessment as The Leadership Challenge, what makes Self Empowered™ unique is the complex algorithm we created to analyze leaders’ scores. Our algorithm compares any leader who takes the assessment to the 5+ million leaders in our normative database without the need for 360 observer feedback.

The output of our algorithm produces an in-depth feedback report that outlines where the leader is on their journey in each practice area, gives them solutions for increasing the frequency of their leadership behaviors, and tips to help them keep moving forward in their leadership development. This intentional design opens the door to leadership for more individuals, earlier in their leadership journey, by introducing them to The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®. With a comparative self-assessment rather than 360 observer feedback, Self Empowered is more accessible to individuals at all levels within an organization rather than traditional leaders who have greater visibility from individuals on their team and across their organization. Self Empowered allows everyone to learn and develop leadership behaviors.

From the development of the Leadership Practices Inventory to the newest solution, Self Empowered, The Leadership Challenge is at the forefront of leadership development, revolutionizing what it means to be a leader and elevating organizations through powerful development solutions.

Learn more about the entire suite of The Leadership Challenge solutions.

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