Dr. Barry Posner is the Chair, of the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business where he’s worked for 47 years. He’s the best-selling author of many books, including The Truth about Leadership and The Leadership Challenge.

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The Learning Leader Show

  • The 4 characteristics of leaders whom we would most choose to follow:
    • Honest (trustworthy, they do what they say they’re going to do)
    • Competent (Smart, and constantly learning)
    • Inspiring – Energetic, enthusiastic. Inspire means to breathe life in to…
    • Forward-looking – They have a sense of the future. They share a compelling vision
  • People all have values, but not everyone knows what they are. To know what our values are, we must be thoughtful and intentional about them and do the reflective work to understand what we value most.
  • What is Kouzes and Posner’s leadership theory? Their research, which they conducted over almost 20 years, suggested that leadership is not a position, but a collection of practices and behaviors. These practices serve as guidance for leaders to accomplish their achievements or “to get extraordinary things done.
  • The Leadership Challenge Leaders drive results and achieve goals. To face the obstacles of today and tomorrow, we need leaders at a high level. The Leadership Challenge gives everyone the tools and practices to Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Hearts of those around them.
  • “In the middle of responding to an audience question one of us was saying, “I don’t know what you call something that’s been the same for twenty-five years, but…,” and Ken Blanchard interrupted, exclaiming, ‘I’d call it the truth.'”
  • The Truth About Leadership
    1. The first truth is that You Make a Difference
    2. The second truth is that Credibility Is the Foundation of Leadership. If people don’t believe in you, they won’t willingly follow you. 
    3. The third truth is that Values Drive Commitment. People want to know what you stand for and believe in. 
    4. The fourth truth is that Focusing on the Future Sets Leaders Apart. The capacity to imagine and articulate exciting future possibilities is a defining competence of leaders. You have to take the long-term perspective. 
    5. You Can’t Do It Alone is the fifth truth. Leadership is a team sport…What strengthens and sustains the relationship between leader and constituent is that leaders are obsessed with what is best for others, not what is best for themselves. 
    6. Trust Rules is the sixth truth. Trust is the social glue that holds individuals and groups together. And the level of trust others have in you will determine the amount of influence you have. You have to earn your constituents’ trust before they’ll be willing to trust you. That means you have to give trust before you can get trust. 
    7. The seventh truth is that Challenge Is the Crucible for Greatness. Great achievements don’t happen when you keep things the same. Change invariably involves a challenge, and challenge tests you. 
    8. Truth number eight reminds you that You Either Lead by Example or You Don’t Lead at All. Leaders have to keep their promises and become role models for the values and actions they espouse. 
    9. Truth number nine is that The Best Leaders Are the Best Learners. Leaders are constant improvement fanatics, and learning is the master skill of leadership.
    10. The tenth truth is that Leadership Is an Affair of the Heart. It could also be the first truth. Leaders are in love with their constituents, their customers and clients, and the mission that they are serving. Leaders make others feel important and are gracious in showing their appreciation. Love is the motivation that energizes leaders to give so much for others. You just won’t work hard enough to become great if you aren’t doing what you love.
  • Credo = Beliefs (credibility)
  • Leadership is a team sport. You can’t do it alone.
    • We are all community-made.
  • The best leaders are the best learners.
  • Challenge is the crucible for greatness.
  • Life/Career advice:
    • Remain curious
    • Ask questions
    • Volunteer
  • Apply to be part of my Leadership Circle

Time Stamps

00:37 – Commonalities of Those Who Have Sustained Excellence

02:33 – How to Evaluate Your Values

07:19 – When Have You Been At Your Personal Best?

10:03 – 4 Common Qualities of Leaders Around the World

23:01 – You Can’t Be Great Alone

30:29 – Thoughts on Always Chasing the Next Job

36:31 – The Best Leaders are the Best Learners

39:19 – Challenge Is So Good For You

44:50 – Career/Life Advice

More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children

Episode #303General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership