- Leaders have vision. Leaders have a strong sense of direction and a clear point of view. Unless the leader knows where he is going, people will be hesitant to follow. Leaders are always looking towards the future, plotting the course to new land, leaders are modern explorers, always seeking new lands and striving for distant shores.
- Leaders create change. Leaders bring change and leaders challenge the status quo. Leaders initiate change, before there is an urgent need for change. If there is no need for change, there is no need for leadership! Leaders bring about change, they initiate, they innovate, they make things happen, they disturb the status quo!
- Leaders face reality. Leaders have the courage to face reality as it is, not as they imagine it to be. Leaders who fail to face reality as it is, delude themselves, they make change impossible and are doomed to fail. Leaders who face reality adapt their strategy and tactics to reflect reality. Leaders embrace reality and use it as a catalyst to accelerate change.
- Leaders are unique. Leaders are unique and original, they are not clones. They do not have a specific personality type, they do not all exhibit a specific leadership style and they do not all exhibit the same set of leadership traits or competencies. They are all different, they have their own peculiarities and they all have their own unique personality and style.
- Leaders set high standards. They set high standards for themselves and for those they lead. They set stretch goals that go beyond what is expected. They push the boundaries. they pioneer, they blaze new paths. They stretch our abilities, they stretch our thinking and they stretch our capabilities. Leaders we’re responsible to set the example and the example they set should inspire others to a higher standard.
- Leadership is a choice. Leadership does not just happen. Leadership is a choice we make to live our a vision and purpose every day. When we don’t intentionally chose to lead, we ultimately choose to follow. Leaders are not passive, they make proactive and intentional choices.
- Leaders are made and not born. Leaders know who they are, understand their unique purpose, strengths and skills. Leaders are made, that is they learn, grow and develop into great leaders through the books they read, the people they associate with and from their experiences. They use who they are to bring their vision into the present.
- Leaders set the example. Leading by example is the most powerful form of leadership. Leaders are constantly seeking to become the change that they want to see in the world. They set the example and show the way.
- Leaders incite conversation. Leaders are the custodians of an organisations conversation. The quality of the conversation can be directly correlated with the quality of the organisation’s leadership. Leaders make sure that the ideas that get talked about are the ones worth talking about, the ones that will make a difference.
- Leaders understand character matters. Character sets the foundation for leadership. Character establishes the necessary environment for trust. Without trust you cannot lead. Ability may get you there, but it is character that keeps you there! You cannot rise above the limits of your character. Behaviour is the expression of the leaders character.
- Leaders communicate continually. Communication is critical to effective leadership, however it’s often something we take for granted and not given the attention it deserves. Without effective communication you cannot lead… you end up talking a walk on your own. No communication, no leadership!
- Leaders take responsibility. Leaders don’t wait for permission or authority, before they take responsibility and act to make a difference. When a situation needs to be improved, leaders make the choice to take responsibility. The accept responsibility to face reality, to create vision, to be the example, to develop their character, to inspire, to develop others and for the results they achieve.
- Leaders invest in themselves. Leaders take care of their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical needs.
- Leaders are results focused. Leaders initiate and make things happen. Leaders are judged by their results. Failing to achieve positive results undermines a leaders influence and erodes trust. Leader focus on results and outcomes.
- Leaders inspire others. Leaders cannot achieve their visions alone. They inspire others to come alongside and participate in the journey. They lead in ways the inspire others to volunteer their talents and energy towards the achievement of the shared vision.
- Leaders leave a legacy. Success is what we do for ourselves whilst legacy is what we do for other. A leaders legacy is what they do for other and how they have invested in and developed others.
- Leaders build influence. Leaders achieve their vision through others, this requires influence. Leaders consciously build the influence required to execute on the vision.
If you have any ideas or principles that you would like to add please feel free to leave a comment below.