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Unformatted text preview: The Leadership Challenge Preface, Ch. 1, Ch. 2 Kouzes, James M. and Barry Z. Posner. The Leadership Challenge . San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass, 2002. p xvii-xxviii. 1 PREFACE: Everyones Business Leadership for Today and Tomorrow The Leadership Challenge is about how leaders mobilize others to want to get extraordinary things done in organizations. Its about the practices leaders use to transform values into actions, visions into realities, obstacles into innovations, separateness into solidarity, and risks into rewards. Its about leadership that creates the climate in which people turn challenging opportunities into remarkable successes. Certainly there are no shortages of challenging opportunities today. In these extraordinary times, the challenges seem to be increasingand through our responses, we have the potential to profoundly change the world in which we live and work. When we published the first edition of this book in the late 1980s, the entrepreneurial spirit was blossoming. When the second edition was released in the mid-1990s, the flower of inventiveness was in full bloom. Then, as we turned the corner on the second year of the new millennium, it all seemed to wither and wilt. The freshness was gone, and people began wondering if what was true about leadership seven, fifteen, or twenty years ago still applied and whether leadership mattered at all. How is leadership different today? Will it be different tomorrow? Does leadership make a difference? LEADERSHIP IN A NEW CONTEXT As part of our research for this significantly revised and updated version of The Leadership Challenge we asked leaders the same question being asked of us: Whats new, and whats different? The responses were identical. Whether in their early twenties, late seventies or anywhere between, leaders told us that the fundamentals of leadership are the same today as they were in the 1980s, and theyve probably been the same for centuries. Yet the leaders were quick to add that while the content of leadership has not changed, the context hasand, in come cases, it has changed dramatically. What is this new context, and what are the implications for the practice of leadership? From heightening uncertainty across the world to an intense search for meaning, our connections as people and as leaders are part of this context. Heightened uncertainty . All our lives were forever altered by the horror unleashed on September 11, 2001. Commercial jets as weapons of mass destruction. Our collective psyche resists: it remains nearly incomprehensible. Within minutes we came to feel much less safe and much less secure than when we had awakened that morning....
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