The Leadership Challenge®

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"Leadership development is self-development" is the first of several principles that shape the design and delivery of "The Leadership Challenge® Workshop. In the design of leadership development programs, we believe that principles come before prescriptions. So before we talk about some of the practical details of the workshop, let's take a look at a few other basic concepts that inform the architecture of the program. Regardless of content, learning activity, or setting, here are a few important principles that help to shape all our designs:

Leadership is Everyone's Business
Leaders aren't just the extraordinary people you read about in business magazines.  Leaders are men and women, young and old, from a variety of organizations, public and private, government and third sector, high-tech and low-tech, small and large, schools and professional services. They're not famous people or mega-stars. They're people who might live next door or work in the next cubicle. They're people just like you and me. We focus on leaders like this because we firmly believe that leadership is about relationships, credibility, and what people do.

Leadership is a Relationship
Leadership is a relationship between those who aspire to lead and those who chose to follow. Sometimes the relationship is one-to-many. Sometimes it's one-to-one. But regardless of whether the number is one or one thousand, leadership is a relationship.

Leadership is Learned
It's nonsense to assume that leadership is genetic. There's no hard evidence to support that assumption, and worse, it dooms every one of us to accept our limitations as our destiny.

The truth is that leadership is an observable set of skills and abilities that is useful whether one is in the executive suite or on the front line, on Wall Street or Main Street. And any skill can be strengthened, honed, and enhanced if we have the motivation and desire, the practice and feedback, the role models and coaching, and the support and recognition.

Leaders Make a Difference
In our classes and workshops we ask people to share a story about a Personal-Best Leadership Experience—a time when they set their own individual standard of excellence. From this exercise we hope they'll discover for themselves the practices of exemplary leadership. We have another objective as well—we want them to discover the power that lies within each one of us to make a difference.