Resource Development Associates

The Best Behaviors of Leaders

By Patricia Marrone Bennett, PhD

At RDA, we stand committed to developing leadership from within the organization and insuring that leadership is shared to create what Craig Pearce describes as the “dynamic, interactive influence necessary to achieve organizational goals” (Pearce and Conger, 2003).  We recognize that this requires all of us to understand and practice the best behaviors of leadership. Here are 10 elements of outstanding leadership adopted from Kouzes’ and Poser’s “The Truth about Leadership.”

  1. Strive to make a difference
  2. Credibility is the foundation of leadership
  3. Model value-driven commitment
  4. Focus on the future
  5. Leadership is a team sport
  6. Trust is the glue that holds groups together
  7. Challenge is the crucible for greatness
  8. Lead by example or don’t lead at all
  9. Good leaders are good learners
  10. Leadership inspires the heart (Kouzes and Poser, 2010).

However, for most of us, the word “leader” also implies having a level of authority and power over others. We may assume that leaders have special powers, possess undisclosed information, and are allowed to exercise privilege. This myth of leadership is programmed into our collective mindset regardless of its truthfulness or our best intentions. That is why the best leaders are keenly aware of how their actions and words impact others.

Good leaders need to be aware of their body language, their tone of voice, and the impact they may be having on a team of people, or any individual with whom they are interacting.  When we sit in the room, how and when we make statements or ask questions, make eye contact, or demonstrate that we are listening are all read and interpreted through the lens of leadership.

Regardless of our rank or title, when we are able to practice the best behaviors of leadership, our organization will grow stronger and more able to accomplish its goals.



Pearce, C. L., & Conger, J. A. (2003). A landscape of opportunities. Shared leadership. Reframing the hows and whys of leadership.
Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2010). The truth about leadership: The no-fads, heart-of-the-matter facts you need to know. John Wiley & Sons.


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