Aug 21, 2007

The Ten Commandments Of Leadership

There are many behaviors and approaches that enhance your ability to work successfully with people, especially if you are in management or supervision. As you know, they also work well within families, with your friends, and as you participate in your community.

You know to avoid dealing with people in win/lose terms, to accept shared responsibility for assuring others get their interests met, and to remember and own what you have said, agreed to, and what you have done.

You also know to try to decrease your use of power and control as you increase your influence, to make the difficult or unpopular decisions and accept responsibility for them when you believe it is necessary, and to be prepared to handle people’s being upset or unhappy with you at times.

You understand that there are usually several ways to get the job done and not a best way; and you avoid over-managing or over-controlling activities or people. You even know that you do not pass on your responsibility when you delegate tasks and activities, know not to delegate duties that require your direct involvement, know not to delegate a task and then try to manage it, and know to always delegate both required activities and as much scope of authority as necessary to get the job done.

You are up-to-speed with the latest and greatest strategies and techniques; your people skills are top notch. What you may not know are the ten commandments of leadership, so here they are.

1. You shall have a clear mission, shall vigorously champion that mission, and shall pursue no other mission before it.

2. You shall clearly define and communicate your goals and motivations and shall enable others to understand how their responsibilities fit in with your mission-related goals.

3. You shall anticipate opportunities and problems associated with your mission, shall understand the what and why of those opportunities and problems, shall seek to understand those opportunities and problems from the points of view of other people, and shall evaluate the cost and benefit of any potential initiatives or solutions before pursuing them.

4. You shall accurately understand your skills and limitations, shall be familiar with and know how to use resources currently available to compensate for your limitations, and shall know how to develop new resources to complement your skills and limitations.

5. You shall give people reasons and explanations for your behavior and actions and shall not hold yourself out as the standard for how others should think, feel, and behave.

6. You shall be responsive to the needs and interests of those associated with your mission, shall assume that they believe what they say and do not intentionally misrepresent anything, shall remember that people seldom complain when there is not a real problem, and shall trust them to act in ways compatible with your mission.

7. You shall value the varying styles and personalities of people, shall be sensitive to their motivations and interests, and shall be open to their feelings and opinions.

8. You shall be clear about what you expect from others and shall assure that they understand why things need done, why they are important.

9. You shall assume that people are trying to do well, are trying to succeed; and if they are not succeeding, you shall assume that they do not know how, do not think it matters, or are being prevented from succeeding.

10. You shall ask people to help solve your problems instead of simply trying to get them to accept your solutions, shall hold them responsible only for what they can do and can control, and shall make sure they knew what behavior was expected, knew how to do what was expected, could have done what was expected, and actually did not behave reasonably and responsibly under the circumstances, before you consider criticizing anyone.

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