Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My Leadership Philosophy

George Ambler has an article advocating The Importance of a Clear Leadership Philosophy. In this outstanding post, he recommends that leaders write down the philosophy behind their leadership approach including:
  • What you believe about people ...
  • What you believe about life ...
  • What you believe makes groups and organizations effective ...

Let's give it a try:

  • All people are good in their own sight. They behave according to what they think is right, just and fair. In disputes, most people see themselves as good and the other guy as bad. This is ego driven by a lack of self-confidence. People who excel in one area tend to excel in many areas. I believe this is also driven by self-confidence. People want to be successful and part of a successful community. They want the safety of a leader they can trust. People who feel self-confident, valued and safe can be mentored to do almost anything.
  • Life is a journey in pursuit of happiness. Life's journey is infinite, continuous, chaotic and shared. Because it is infinite, we should strive for lasting happiness. We should value long-term success over short-term. Because life is continuous, we should seek the happiness in our current situation. While we should make sacrifices for greater success, we should not put off happiness for later. Because it is chaotic, we recognize that life includes sadness. Life is not scriptable or predictable. Bad things happen, and we deal with them when they do. Because life is shared, we pursue happiness for our communities as well as ourselves. Those communities include our families, friends, coworkers, larger communities and humankind as a whole.
  • I believe organizations are successful when they have shared values, a clear vision of success, motivation to succeed together, and respect for the various roles required to succeed. Shared values help avoid irreconcilable differences. While the vision must be clear, the leadership needs to be flexible. The world changes, and successful organizations need leaders who can guide them through those changes. Every member of the team must be motivated to participate in the team's success, although different people may have different motivations. One of a leader's roles is to understand those motivations and address the needs of the people on the team. One critical shared value is recognition of the importance of every person's role on the team. When people don't feel valued, they loose motivation to support the success of the team.

That was a good exercise. I'm sure I'll revisit it in the future. Thanks for the challenge, George.


Mike said...


Prescient bit of leadership philosophizing! I am in violent agreement with you about the importance of "shared values" to an organization's success.


Ken Flowers said...

Sounds like you've been burned by this in the past.

Anonymous said...

Good read!

- Steven Burda, MBA

Anonymous said...

I loved your statements! especially about the fact that life is continuous and we should seek happiness!

Very inspiring!