How good is your model of Leadership?

This month in our #Gamechanging leadership program we are moving into leadership. Reviewing all the material for the groups got me thinking about my very own leadership. I’ve been mulling the subject over in my mind for a week and realized it’s been a while since I held a mirror up to my own behaviors, skills, knowledge.


Over the weekend I decided to take a self-awareness test from The Institute of Leadership and Management to see how I was measuring up. You can find the test here.

The audit fits nicely into The Institute of Leadership and Management’s framework - The 5 dimensions of leadership.

Institute of Leadership and Management’s framework, The 5 dimensions of leadership. Authenticity Vision Acheivement ownership collaboration

There are many leadership models out there (just put that phrase into google and see what you get) but I was originally taught using Kouzes and Posner’s The Leadership Challenge.


(1) In their model Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner suggest 5 practices of leadership, behaviors that all effective leaders do when they’re at their personal best.

Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner leadership model Model inspire challenge enable encourage image steps
Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner leadership model Model inspire challenge enable encourage detailed explained

They suggest people are looking for the following traits in their leaders.

  • Honest

  • Forward-Looking

  • Inspirational

  • Competent

  • Fair-minded

  • Support

Day in day out, how would you score against these traits? Yes, at our best we are probably all on it, but what about our less than perfect days. The days we are tired, facing challenges or up against it. What then?


(2) Another leadership researcher Gardner suggest that real life leaders demonstrate

  • Physical vitality/stamina

  • Intelligence/action-oriented judgement

  • Eager for responsibility

  • Task competence

  • Understanding of others needs

  • People skills

  • Need for achievement

  • Motivator

  • Courage and resolution

  • Trust

  • Decisive

  • Self-confident

  • Assertive

  • Adaptable

They work with these characteristics through nine tasks comprising the most significant leadership functions, including envisioning goals, affirming values, motivating others, managing, achieving workable unity, explaining and teaching, serving as a symbol, representing the group, and renewing the system to enhance its future. A summary of what Gardner said can be found in this article.


(3) In the idea of ‘First Follower Leadership’ seen in this TED Talk, Derek Sivers suggests its more powerful to be a first follower, that this person is the power behind great leadership and that act of following first is an act of leadership.



Who are your leadership Role Models?

Role models are important they serve as examples for us, inspiring us into action through their own actions and individual personalities. Whether it be New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern, Visionaries like Martin Luther King, Groundbreaking OPRAH WINFREY or Wartime leaders like Winston Churchill finding a leadership role model that fits your leadership style is important. Who would you choose? Let me know I’m pulling together a list of Top Leaders.

El cid statue representing leadership knight on horseback

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