Leadership Philosophy (Part 1)

As leaders in the marketplace, our churches, and our communities, many of us have “leadership philosophies” (LP)—systems that inform our direct reports and cross-functional teams what we believe, how we are going to act, and what we expect from ourselves and everybody else. My LP has been the patchwork of many great leaders. In other words, there’s not one original part of my leadership philosophy. But it is unique in that I have cherry-picked from some of the best and made it my own. Without further ado, here is the first part of my LP:

Note: Integrity, trust, and performance/results are non-negotiables and will be by-products of the following six tenets:

  1. Own your lane, and know his/her lane. Simply stated, instill a mindset of accountability, attention to detail, and reliability in your people. Each person is responsible for his or her responsibilities on the job. Bottom line: How do those responsibilities dovetail and impact the rest of the unit or organization. This is where an autonomous spirit coalesces with collaborating teamwork.
  2. Have a servant attitude. This means you are positive, available, you show empathy, you openly display concern for those around you, you get your people where they want to go, you capture your subordinates’ successes, and you develop your people with good coaching and mentoring. Bottom line: The leader is there to add value to the team (an “it’s not about me” mindset). This is character and respect melded together.
  3. Have a vision for change and embrace change even when you didn’t have the vision. Okay, that’s a mind-twister. Simply stated, it’s two-fold. First, I am not asking you to have a crystal ball and predict the future. Instead, I am asking you to create the future. Have the creativity, ingenuity, and courage to see how we can do things differently to make our organizations better—“fresh eyes” captures the spirit. Second, if you are not creative, that’s okay—but embrace the change when it comes. It’s 2015 and business doesn’t stay the same. What got you to number one last year will have you and the team in the middle-of-the-pack this year. Bottom line: Be fluid and flexible; resistance to change communicates complacency and selfishness.

I know mine is not perfect, but it has suited me well. I would love to hear from you. What is your LP?

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my LP where we will discuss the remaining three tenets.