The Leadership Practices Inventory developed by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, was based on their 1982 research that set out to understand those times when leaders performed at their personal best.
Centred around five fundamental practices common to extraordinary leadership achievements, known as The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, LPI has been tested, validated and re-validated since, by an estimated 1.3 million leaders around the world!
I first came across the LPI survey when I was employed by the National Australia Bank as a young manager in the 90’s.
For me, the insights I gained about myself as well as my peers, were significant in that it gave me a set of tools to develop my own leadership capabilities, congruent to my own beliefs and values.
Even after all these years, I still personally regard LPI as one of the great break throughs for personal and professional development.
That said, recently I was reading an article in the monthly magazine Entrepreneur – it was titled “The Leadership Issue” (March 2016) and one particular article caught my attention.
“The 22 Must-Have Leadership Qualities” by Adam Bornstein and Jordan Bornstein gave me a pleasant surprise as I could see similarities to the Kouzes and Posner LPI framework.
In summary, Adam and Jordan have tabled 22 leadership qualities put forward individually by various entrepreneurs of which included…
Focus, Confidence, Transparency, Integrity, Inspiration, Passion, Innovation, Patience, Stoicism, Wonkiness, Authenticity, Open-mind, Personableness, Decisiveness, Empowerment, Positivity, Generosity, Persistence, Insightfulness, Communication, Accountability, Restlessness
These similarities prompted me to conclude the possibility that within us all we know what good leadership is when we see it and importantly, we know what great leadership is.
Could it be then, that great leadership transcends everything else?
Whether you are a leader of an IT team, a CEO of a publically listed company, an entrepreneur, a founder of a startup, an elected public official (or have aspirations to be one), or a local community group leader or religious leader, are the attributes of “great” leadership the same?
My answer to this is a resounding yes!
So here’s the important part…
If this hypothesis of mine is correct (by the way after 1.3 million respondents to the LPI survey, the sample size is can be regarded as valid), then should this not be the benchmark we need to seek out, encourage and importantly develop within ourselves?
I believe the world needs more leaders.
Specifically, we need to encourage more leaders with the attributes that Adam and Jordan have described and that Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have spent almost 35 years researching and writing about.
Just imagine if this was achieved!