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Fr. J. Patrick Murphy is a teacher and administrator at DePaul University, Chicago.

Credibility, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner (Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1993, $24.95).

What characteristics do people find in the best leaders? They find, first and preeminently, honesty. Next, people want their leaders forward-looking, inspiring and competent.

What I like best about Kouzes and Posner is that they anchor their leader. ship theory in such fine scholarship, but write in such a conversational and convincing style. Although they write for and about leaders in all kinds of organizations, applying their ideas to church, parish, even family and relationships comes easily because they use language and stories we understand immediately. They refer to followers as constituents, not employees or subordinates (whatever they are). They speak of shared values, serving a purpose, developing capacity, sustaining hope and struggling to be human. Credibility seems well-suited to organizations that do well by doing good.

The book is also about using stories to foster belief. Kouzes and Posner talk of community as the new metaphor for organizations. They provide practical steps for sustaining hope.
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Author:Murphy, J. Patrick
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 19, 1993
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