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Discuss Kouzes & Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership.

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Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership

            It is essential for leaders to possess certain skills that draw others to follow their vision. Along with skills, leaders can perform practices that motivate these people to believe in their message. Kouzes and Posner (2017) discuss five practices of exemplary leadership which include: model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart. Each practice is essential for fostering a lasting relationship with team and leader and also leading the entire team in the desired direction.

 Model the way explains how leaders can show employees best practices by being a positive influence and example. Leaders are often positive role models for the employee within the company. The practice of inspiring a shared vision allows leaders to excite others about the common goal and future possibilities. Challenge the process refers to breaking the molds that are set and prevailing over hardship that might negate the future vision. This practice might involve going against previously set ideas or rules in order to create a clearer vision. The practice of enabling others to act creates a culture of teamwork and allows leaders to foster and build relationships. Lastly, encouraging the heart refers to leaders performing selfless acts for others and showing genuine gratitude to others. When leaders employ these best practices, the vision and greater good of the company will benefit.

 Thompson’s (2012) research presented a specific case on application of the five practices of exemplary leadership in nursing management to promote leadership skills of the managers. One example of implementation of the practices was that the managers were instructed to inspire the vision by educating all staff on the importance of specific tasks, even those that seemed mundane or unappealing, which lead to the completion of a greater goal for patient outcome. Another example is the managers modeled the way by creating interactive learning sessions for staff which managers shared their past experiences and applied these situations to current patients in the hospital. The staff members were able to further understand the information and apply this to the treatment of their current patients. Yet another example of implementation of the five practices is the manager encouraged the heart through one on one conversation with staff in order to understand the motivation of each specific staff member and their goals. Through this method of transformational leadership, along with the use of the five practices allows nurse managers to foster relationships, build trust, and promote a positive vision for the company. The implementation of these practices will create a culture of stronger leaders and inspiration and a sense of following from those who look to the leader for guidance. 


Kouzes, J., Posner, B., (2017) The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations. 6th Ed. Jossey-Bass.

Thompson, J. (2012) Transformation leadership can improve workforce competencies. Nursing management. 18 (10) 21-24

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