Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, are authors of bestselling book The Leadership Challenge. Libby Garratty reviews the inaugural Leadership Challenge public workshop
The Leadership Challenge Workshop was
developed by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner,
authors of bestselling book The Leadership
Challenge, which is based on 25 years of
research and data from more than 3 million
everyday leaders. Their research began with a
project in which they asked leaders what they
did when they were at their “personal best” in
leading others. Through this research they
distilled five practices common to the person
al best leadership stories, all of which are
WorkSmart Australia, a specialist in lead
ership development, is the first company in
Australia to be accredited and licensed to run
The Leadership Challenge and the inaugural
public workshop was held on 26 and 27
November 2008 in Sydney. The aim of the
workshop was to enable each of the partici
pants to learn how to Model the Way, Inspire
a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process,
Enable Others to Act and Encourage the
Heart. It was interactive and challenging, with
time for self-reflection on current practices and putting together ideas and actions on
how we could live each of the practices.
The first day started with participant shar
ing in groups their “personal best leadership
experience” that we were asked to prepare
and bring with us. As Kouzes and Posner did,
through discussing these we were able to
identify key themes common to all the experi
ences which ensured the exceptional results
people had produced. Those key themes
could all be related back to the 5 practices.
The activity allowed each of us to start the
process of learning to look at our own experi
ences. The two days was then spent looking
at each of the practices in detail.
Prior to attending the course, each partici
pant was required to complete the
Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) 360-
degree instrument. This allowed each partici
pant to see the extent to which they are cur
rently demonstrating each of the 5 practices
and how they rank with 250,000 leaders
around the world who have completed the
LPI. The results for each of the practices were
examined in detail, as they were covered over
the two days.
The course was facilitated by the Director
of Worksmart Australia, Michael Bunting,
whose extensive knowledge in the area of
leadership was apparent throughout. The
course can be quite challenging in parts and
Michael created a safe and supportive envi
ronment in which to share and learn.
At the end of the course, each participant
was ask to choose the one leadership prac
tice they most wanted to improve and put
together some specific goals and actions.
Participants were encouraged to share their
goals with another and agree to follow up at
30 and the 90 days after the workshop to
check each other’s progress.
The learning doesn’t end at the conclusion
of the two days. Participants receive a weekly
e-mail for 12 weeks following the workshop.
These are designed to keep leadership front of mind and to provide some practical tips on
each of the Leadership Practices.
The Leadership Challenge workshop was
highly engaging, well structured, practical and
inspirational and is suitable for all levels of leaders.
Libby Garratty is a training & development specialist with LexisNexis