Who do you consider to be the leaders you look up to?

Jim Kouzes, who co-authored the book “The Leadership Challenge” with Barry Posner, did a study of those people considered to be our most influential leaders. Here are the results:

  • Business leader 7%
  • Community leader 11%
  • Entertainer 2%
  • Family member 40%
  • Teacher/Coach 26%
  • Political leader 4%
  • Professional athlete 3%
  • None 7%

If you look at the data, the top three categories: family member, teacher/coach, and community leader makes up 76%.

The leaders who have the most influence on our day to day behavior are those who are closest to us. ~ Jim Kouzes

As Jim points out, those promoted as the leaders we should model our behavior after are business leaders, political leaders, etc. It’s never our mother, father, teacher, etc.

Case studies are usually done on business or political leaders. Yet, we don’t know how to relate to these people.

That’s why I became a facilitator for “The Leadership Challenge.” Kouzes and Posner’s model of the five practices of exemplary leaders is based on studying the lives of people you’ve never heard of. The model is based on personal best leadership stories of every day people.

The leaders in my own life have been predominantly family members. People within my circle of influence. Why? I related to them. I understood their stories. Their backgrounds. The struggles they went through to get to their end game.

Who are your favorite leaders? Do you agree with Kouzes and Posner’s study?

Photo courtesy of the thephotographymuse.

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