Leadership / Principles / Personal Development
Leadership in 5 Minutes
People often get caught up in the nuances and complexity of leadership. Those matter and it can be complex, but engaging at those higher levels without understanding basic underlying principles can lead you astray.
Here’s a quick rundown of basic things every leader, regardless of domain, must get right to be successful.
Leadership starts with communication. Someone who cannot share ideas with others is doomed to work alone. Someone who cannot understand others is also working in a vacuum. Communication has to be two-way, no matter the level of the organization. One-way communication does not work. It leads to misunderstandings, wasted effort, and wrong priorities. Communication! Work at it! Here are a few articles I’ve written about communication for more depth.
The second key piece of leadership is accountability. It starts with you! If you can’t own your mistakes, then you cannot hold others responsible for theirs. People who do that are called hypocrites. No one likes a hypocrite. Accountability goes up, down, and sideways. People always embrace down. That’s easy. Holding peers accountable is hard but therein lies the path to excellence. Holding the boss accountable is tricky and cannot be done with all bosses. With peers and bosses, do it one-on-one, in private. Do it in public and you’ve burned that relationship. Accountability is no excuse to treat people poorly. Be clear, concise, consistent, and considerate. A big part of accountability is performance feedback. Here’s more I’ve written about that.
Third, respect. Can people be thin-skinned in this day and age? Absolutely. Get over it. Their perception is their reality. I hate West Virginia jokes and for a long time, was ready to throw hands when someone told them. Were they trying to insult my upbringing, family, friends, etc.? Probably not but it took a while for me to get over it. Even if someone says they’re okay with sexual / racial / ethnic jokes, don’t. First of all, you’re the boss and people won’t always be upfront with you, especially about personal things. Second, even if they are comfortable, others may not be. As the leader, your personal example is the…