10 Things to Make a Better Leader with Kouzes & Posner

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As a global training partner for Kouzes & Posner, we feel by approaching leadership as a measurable, learnable and teachable set of behaviours, ‘The Five Practices’ have helped many to achieve extraordinary results, and today ‘The Leadership Challenge® Model’ is one of the most recognised models of leadership excellence in the world’

“Three decades later, The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership model continues to prove its effectiveness as a clear, evidence-based path to achieving the extraordinary – for individuals, teams, organisations and communities” – The Leadership Challenge

Over the years, at Masterclass, we have trained a lot of clients on Leadership, whether it was a 1-2-1 training or a workshop. We have seen many people succeed at their current organisation or seen them evolve into bigger roles in their careers.

We have listed below 10 things we feel will make you a better leader:


Positivity – Inspire Shared Vision

As a leader, your actions set the tone for what is appropriate behaviour in the workplace.  Your behaviour and your body language are looked upon by your staff and being a leader/mentor, you need to be positive so this follows throughout the whole group.

Humble – Encourage the Heart

Being humble is a massive part of being a great leader. Share your success together, don’t take credit for other people’s work and acknowledge their efforts and time being put in. If a member of your team makes a mistake, help them, correct them and demonstrate your willingness to help others.

Effective communication – Model the Way

Be approachable, whether it’s a workplace or personal issue. Let your team members know that you are there should they need to discuss any matter with you. Build trust and rapport with your colleagues, always making sure that everything is understood before going ahead and starting a new project.

Mentoring – Model the Way

Being confident will make you realise there are a lot more things to learn, not only about the job, but also about yourself. Always be prepared to give advice, and never judge someone seeking advice as a sign of weakness.

Awareness – Encourage the Heart

Be aware of your surroundings; make sure that you know how to deal with the people you work with. Understand and acknowledge the sensitivities of others, making sure that they are okay and they can be open with you, regardless!

Encouragement – Enable others to act

The last thing you want is to turn up to work and everyone being mentally drained and not feeling appreciated enough, which then leads to less productivity and employees leaving the workplace.

Encourage and listen to the opinions and ideas that your employees have to offer, always give back constructive advice as warranted. Being open to ideas will give your employees the motivation to produce more content, which leads to ideas and problem-solving opportunities.

Commitment to goals – Challenging the process

When you lead, you have to show a great commitment to whatever you are applying yourself to. Your commitment and hard work reflect on the people that you work with. You are being looked up to by your employees as a mentor, therefore showing commitment will demonstrate how much of a leader you are to the company.

Rapport – Enable others to act

As a leader, it’s good to know your employees because you are a working family and you will be spending a lot of time with them. Having that connection will allow everyone to work well together and not have any issues communicating. Ask them about their families, social activities (you may have some in common) or even their sports team? By doing this, you will show you are caring and willing to listen to them as human beings and not workers.

Challenge your staff – Challenge the process

As a leader, it’s very important to keep your employees motivated because they can easily lose interest in a particular job or task they are doing for a long period of time. Providing constructive feedback on current and up to date challenges will give your staff a sense of achievement, therefore it will show that you have organisation skills and management skills to find a solution to a problem.

Be yourself – Inspire the Vision

You don’t want to be acting differently in a workplace, so be yourself. People want to know the real you and build confidence with you, so don’t let them down, but more importantly don’t let yourself down. If you have made a mistake, own up and take the blame, this will build your persona around your colleagues and clients.



Model The Way

Leaders should establish principles concerning the way people (constituents, peers, colleagues, and customers alike) should be treated and the way goals should be pursued. They create standards of excellence and then set an example for others to follow. As the prospect of complex change can overwhelm people and stifle action, they set interim goals so that people can achieve small wins as they work toward larger objectives. They unravel bureaucracy when it impedes action; they put up signposts when people are unsure of where to go or how to get there; and they create opportunities for success.

Inspire a Shared Vision

Leaders passionately believe that they can make a difference. They envision the future and create an ideal and unique image of what the organisation can become. Through their charisma and influence, leaders enlist others in their dreams. They breathe life into their visions and they get people to see exciting possibilities for the future.

Challenge the Process

Leaders search for opportunities to change the status quo. They look for innovative ways to improve the organisation and by doing so, they experiment and take risks. As leaders know that risk taking involves mistakes and failures, they accept the inevitable disappointments as learning opportunities and they use this to foster positive change.

Enable Others to Act

Leaders foster collaboration and build spirited teams. They actively involve others and create a safe, trusting environment to experiment in. Leaders understand that mutual respect is what sustains extraordinary efforts; they strive to create an atmosphere of trust and human dignity. They strengthen others, making each person feel capable and powerful.

Encourage the Heart

Accomplishing extraordinary things in organisations is hard work. To keep hope and determination alive, leaders recognise contributions that individuals make. In every winning team, the members need to share in the rewards of their efforts, so leaders celebrate accomplishments. They make people feel like heroes.