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5 Things Outstanding Leaders Do Daily

leadership behaviors to practice daily

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership are guideposts for leaders

Many managers and leaders deal with a balancing act of tasks each day: working with direct reports and others in the organization, performing their daily duties, and planning and realizing big-picture organizational plans.

Since 1982, The Leadership Challenge authors Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner have seen through their research how leaders perform when they are at their best. Whether it was leading a project or managing a department, these leaders shared their Personal-Best Leadership Experiences and through these stories, Kouzes and Posner found the behaviors that exceptional leaders engage in.

These behaviors are the basis of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart.


Putting the five practices of exemplary leadership to work

Here are some examples of how you can bring The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® to life into your workplace:

  1. Make sure that you communicate to your team members what’s important to you as a leader, identify what’s important to your team members, and use what you learn to rally around a common purpose.
  2. Help your people get excited about the future that you are creating together. Share with them how their work will make a difference–one year from now, three years from now, five years from now, ten years from now.
  3. Provide opportunities for team members to grow personally and professionally. This involves not only honing their skills but facilitating opportunities to deepen relationships.
  4. And always say thanks and show appreciation for everything your people do!


The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® are a balancing act within themselves. It’s certainly possible to rely too significantly on one practice or a few practices more than others. That’s why the research shows leaders who exhibit each of The Five Practices® more frequently are more effective.

At its heart, The Leadership Challenge encourages leaders to get outside their own comfort zone–to Challenge the Process–and diversify their skills. Each leader tends toward some of The Five Practices® more than others. It’s human nature. The hard part comes when you are tasked with improving in areas of weakness.

Download an Overview of The Leadership Challenge

Bill Mugavin

Bill Mugavin , CPLP, is a senior consultant at FlashPoint. He has worked with top-tier Fortune 1000 global organizations to improve leadership and management effectiveness