Magazine article Talent Development

Jim Kouzes: Dean's Executive Professor of Leadership Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University Orinda, California

Magazine article Talent Development

Jim Kouzes: Dean's Executive Professor of Leadership Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University Orinda, California

Article excerpt

Kouzes is a well-renowned leadership scholar with executive experience. From 1988 to 2000, he served as president, and then CEO and chairman of the Tom Peters Company. He also led the Executive Development Center at Santa Clara University from 1981 to 1987. His distinctions include receiving the Golden Gavel from Toastmasters International (their highest honor) in 2006 and the 2010 Thought Leadership Award from the Instructional Systems Association, and being cited as one of the 12 best executive educators in the United States by The Wall Street Journal.

Along with his collaborator, Barry Posner, Kouzes co-authored the bestselling The Leadership Challenge, named one of the top 10 books on leadership in The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. Posner and Kouzes have written more than a dozen leadership books and developed the Leadership Practices Inventory. For their work, they have received ASTD's award for distinguished contribution to workplace learning and performance.

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Q | DO YOU HAVE ANY MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES FROM WORKING WITH SUCH A VAST GROUP OF ORGANIZATIONS, INCLUDING APPLE, LL. BEAN, VERIZON, AND THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY?

One of the things I write and talk about a lot is personal credibility. Credibility is the foundation of all leadership. I was talking about it in front of a group of about 3,000 store managers from around the country at a big retail organization's annual conference.

I was making a point about being competent, and I was referring to the CEO of this company by his first name: Let's call him Dan. I would say, "As Dan said," because I had the opportunity to interview him before the event. Then, about the third time I quoted him, someone in the back said, "It's David." I had been misspeaking the whole time, and it was very embarrassing! But it was a wonderful learning opportunity to point out to the audience that I had been talking about credibility, and I had just diminished my own by calling somebody by the wrong name. Sometimes the best lessons in life come when you screw up.

Q | WHAT ARE SOME QUALITIES OF AN EFFECTIVE EXECUTIVE COACH?

The first quality that any executive coach has to develop is a trusting relationship with his client. …

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