What do you think is the most important leadership principle?
There are so-called leaders. And then there are effective leaders. They don’t follow the same principles.
Just imagine how disappointed you’d be after getting the leadership position you wanted, only to drive your team’s performance to the ground with a bossy attitude that fails to motivate and inspire your staff. It’d be like getting your favorite car only to drive it over a cliff—shortly after.
Like they say, “Employees leave managers, not companies.” But the opposite is also true. Employees stay because of good leaders. And true leaders attract excellent talents.
What kind of leader do you want to be? A manipulator that takes advantage of the little guy—or a guide that inspires people to be their best self and do their best work? It’s your choice to make.
As former US President John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
To become everyone’s favorite leader you should be able to motivate, inspire and coach them. Above all, you must understand the one principle that separates effective leaders from self-centered supervisors and managers.
“Which principle?” you asked?
Here's the ultimate leadership principle.
Unlike most managers and supervisors that overlook the purpose of leadership, great leaders understand key leadership principles. They know how to leverage power and influence for the greater good.
“What’s purpose of leadership?” you may ask.
Here’s how Dr. Edwards Deming, the father of quality and continuous improvement, described it:
“The aim of leadership should be to improve the performance of man and machine, to improve quality, to increase output, and simultaneously to bring pride of workmanship to people. Put in a negative way, the aim of leadership is not merely to find and record failures of men, but to remove the causes of failure: to help people to do a better job with less effort.”
Put differently, unless leaders create systems that put human resources first, they are doomed—and their company will eventually pay the price.
To quote Jim Rohn, “A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.”
Do you have questions? Shoot the CBL Team an email. And don’t forget to share this post with a smart friend or colleague that you care about.
PS: A few posts that you might have missed:
- 10 Continuous Improvement Books for Professionals Who Want to be Remarkable
- The Superpower Most Good Employees Forget they Have
- What Undervalued Employees Can Learn from this Champion
- A Daily Mistake That Devalues Even Smart Professionals