1. The buck stops with you.
Practice accountability but ultimately you, the leader, is responsible. As tempting as it is, don’t blame others.
2. Don’t gossip about people.
Nothing else undermines your credibility more, or contributes the most to an unpleasant environment. Don’t play people against each other.
3. Don’t get caught up in petty bickering.
Personalities will clash. People will look to get ahead by getting others down. Sometimes bickering will suck you in too. Regardless, don’t get involved.
4. Keep your eyes on the end game.
Have a clear vision. If you are in leadership it is probably because for a time or space you are responsible for getting a job done. Don’t get distracted.
5. The job is the key, not your ego.
This continues on from No. 4. If you are doing a good job, there will be others wanting a piece of the pie, the praise and the pay. Even the job. Don’t allow insecurity to drive your actions. If it’s time for you to step down, then so be it. If not, keep going.
6. Keep short accounts.
Forgive, forgive, and when you’re done, forgive again. This includes yourself. You want to travel light.
7. Appreciate diversity.
Everyone has something to bring to the table. If you are struggling to see this, perhaps you need to team up with someone else who can.
8. Collaboration is another key.
No one person can do it all. When you have a team on a journey and everyone has a sense of ownership, then everyone is emotionally invested. What more can a leader want?
9. Be honest.
The truth is a heck of a lot easier to remember than a lie.
10. Be respectful.
Don’t be a bully. Be appreciative of others’ efforts and remember to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ And do No. 9 with gentleness and courtesy.
People matter more than results.
11. Pull up your sleeves and get in there.
Doing the real work keeps you in touch with what’s going on with everyone in the team. It helps you remember you are a part of a whole, not a detached demi-god.
Your team isn’t there to serve you, but to serve a higher end.
I have learnt each lesson above at some point some where from others who are leaders. All these points resonate strongly with me. I like to think that they are the secrets of leadership that is radically relational and am continually challenged by these as I lead.
Of course, I am not a successful CEO of an international corporation. My efforts at leadership are quite puny. And I understand that there are many leadership styles. So I am interested in hearing what you think should be added to or taken away from this list.