There are people who are promoted to leadership roles in their organizations because they are outstanding individual contributors and demonstrate excellent technical skills.
The risk associated with promoting technically proficient individual contributors is that they may not have the foundation for proficient leadership.
Most successful LEADERS have a foundation that supports them as they navigate their leadership roles and responsibilities. A significant part of that foundation is a set of principles. Purposeful leadership principles serve to guide LEADERS in developing their leadership style.
Purposeful leadership principles best support LEADERS who are intentional about their actions, habits, and behaviors. A growth mindset is essential in being purposeful and intentional.
Leadership is made up of the art and science behaviors that support working with others to get more done. Principles are the guidance that any new or experienced leader will benefit from using regularly.
The five principles will be listed in no specific order: It is up to you to determine how best to incorporate them into your unique leadership style. The principles are Serving Others, Learning More, Improving Things, Sharing Plans, and Achieving Results.
Serving Others is a way of leading that calls for leaders to support their employees in a multitude of ways.
One way of Serving Others is to remove the barriers and obstacles that prevent them from performing their jobs and achieving successful outcomes. When LEADERS serve others, they might convince them versus coerce them in taking on a new role or project.
They also will be adept at building consensus and teamwork with their direct reports. Serving Others tends to be more empowering than a traditional leadership style.
Learning More requires a leader to be open-minded and focused on a growth mindset. Life-long learners tend to be more skills and knowledgeable when it comes to carrying out their leadership tasks.
Being curious keeps the leader in the Learning More mode and asking questions, which almost always will result in learning something new. Learning More supports LEADERS as they seek to share their knowledge and expertise with others.
Improving Things is critical for a leader who is engaged in leading any organization that is running smoothly or in chaos. In either case, the need to continuous quality improvement drives the opportunities to be differentiated from the competition.
Clients and customers want better service each and every time they interact with your organization. Improving Things promotes a culture of innovation and participation.
Sharing Plans is the only way in which a leader can create alignment, focus, and drive When the people of an organization know and understand the key components of a strategic plan, they are more equipped to achieve the successful outcomes of it.
When people are given the opportunity to align with, focus on and drive towards a plan, they are more likely tone successful with it. Sharing Plans leads to a more engaging and interactive culture.
Achieving Results is typically at the top of the list of reasons a company exists. When companies achieve successful results, they are more likely to grow bigger and stronger.
Companies can win in their market against their completion when they are focused on Achieving Results.
All of the other principles in conjunction with this one will yield the successful outcomes a leader is required to deliver on a consistent basis. Achieving Results leads to acknowledging and celebrating others for their contributions.
One of the best ways to include these principles while developing your unique leadership style is to be intentional with them. Be clear about how you will use them to guide your behaviors as a leader.
Allow yourself to set up the best system that supports you in making these principles a habit. Consistency in leadership is essential for others to know what you stand for and how you stand for it.
A habit is something that is done routinely and regularly, which demonstrates a leader’s character.
Habits are a practice, a style or a norm that is repeated over time. While many people think of habits as negative, these habits associated with the principles are positive in their intent and impact. Habits meet the expectation of leaders being consistent so others may engage with them confidently.
There are as many principles as there are people who can come up with them. This set of Five Purposeful Leadership Principles was developed as a result of my 35-year corporate leadership career.
Certainly each of them can be expanded or re-engineered to meet your unique leadership style. The point is to work with them and make them yours in whatever way works best for you.
Developing your unique leadership style requires you to be conscious and aware of the foundation you are working from. If you are on auto-pilot, you may not know the principles or values that are driving your behaviors.
It stands to reason that when you are on auto-pilot, you are less likely to be fully present with others. When you are grounded in your values and principles, you are more likely to be present with others.
Your unique leadership style will set you apart from others when you are present with and aware of your values and principles. Observe and reflect on your own performance in the workplace and determine what you do most often. Is your leadership style principles-based, or is it something else?
Previously published on Goodmenproject.com