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.
I think we learn from leaders everywhere… in our families, at church, in our community and at work… It’s important to notice how we feel as followers. Great leaders are always learning from good and bad leaders.
Good point Karin. We can also learn from those bad guys on the “dark side.” 😉
This is interesting Steve but I also think that it depends on the topic.
If it’s about life then I prefer to think of my family, friends, mentors being those leaders that can help me in this area.
If it’s about business then I do tend to listen to a leader who has been where I want to be. I don’t think for this subject there is a one size fits all. One thing is for sure, I’ve never looked at an entertainer as a leader. No wonder that percentage is low!
Thanks Adrienne. I’d agree, one sizes does not fit all.
This is going to sound strange coming from someone who does some of what I do but I don’t count anyone living as leaders in my life. I always felt my only true leader was my dad. Mom of course is an authority figure, but Dad led the household and has pretty much shaped my beliefs on leadership and ethics.
I’m not going to say I disagree with the two men who did the study because surveys tell us what people are thinking, so if that works for those folks I’m good. Truthfully, I’ve had mentors here and there but none of them actual leaders who I’d follow into battle. However, like almost all of my close friends, I’d be there for all of them in a heartbeat.
Family members came in at 40% so that sounds about right Mitch.