Much has been written on the characteristics of leadership. What do leaders actually do? How do they do it? How do they interact with their followers? What are the methods by which they are able to influence and guide.

Of course, various authors and researchers have had their say on such matters.

Listed below therefore, is a table from the likes of James Kouzes and Barry Posner on the left side as reflected in their book “The Leadership Challenge” across to John P Kotter in his publication “The Force for Change.”

Not surprisingly, all these authors have their perspective on leadership and while a case can be made for some overlap, there are also some differences.

Kouzes & Posner

“The Leadership Challenge”
Warren Bennis

“Leader, Why Leader Can’t Lead”
Ken Blanchard

“Situational Leadership, The One-Minute Leader”
Terry Anderson

“Transforming Leadership”
Tom Peters

“Thriving on Chaos”
Stephen Covey

“Principle-Centered Leadership”
John P. Kotter

“A Force for Change”
Challenges the process Creates an inspired vision Sets clear goals Well-defined sense of mission, purpose, value, goals Vision that guides all activity Continually learning Establishing Direction
Inspires a shared vision Manages others by example Provides clear direction Exceptional physical health Self-confident Service orientated Aligning People
Enables others to act Visible to employees, customers, vendors Supports people as they need it Exercise self-mastery Willing to share achievement Radiates positive energy Aligning People
Models the way Listens attentively Delegates and empowers as followers are ready to accept Uses course correction Displays caring Has love supported by faith and hope Motivating and inspiring produces change
Encourages the heart Delegates to the front line Provides feedback on performance Is results orientated Decisive Is typically grateful
Builds a flatter organisation Is flexible Manages change Committed to employees and their projects Sense of wonder about life
Assures essential training Develops team to accomplish results Likes to be surrounded by highly competent people Courage combined with emotional vulnerability
Search for truth and beauty
Caring, sharing, and forgiving
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