Five Key Thoughts and Principles of Leadership (Part 1 of 5)

During a recent executive education program we led, the CEO of the organization came to have an informal discussion with the participants.  The focus of the executive education program was to build additional perspectives and capabilities as the organization was preparing itself to continue to lead in a highly volatile market.  The CEO started off by noting that nothing that the CEO was about to say was new, because they had heard these five key thoughts and principles from previous town hall meetings. I asked if I was able to take notes and share the nuggets, which was granted.  I’ll outline these five key thoughts and insights in a series of posts, starting with the first thought from the CEO.

1-KNOW WHO YOU ARE- You need to know what you believe, your sense of right and wrong, what makes your heart sing, what depresses you, what makes you angry, and what makes you happy.  If you don’t have personal clarity in your own mind, it will be more difficult for you to be a leader and have others follow you.  If you don’t know where you are, its hard for you to know where you are going.

How do you do that? Start with your personal belief set-spiritual, political and everything in between.  Nothing is necessaily right or wrong. But it is VERY important for you to clearly think this through.  You might be asked to articulate this. What are your underpinnings?  If you get fog or vagueness, you are missing the boat and you are less effective as a leader.

You’re NOT selling your point of view but you may be forced to look at right and wrong (ethics).  You must be prepared to articulate what the red lines are for you.  This is the foundation-immutable, anchors, immutable principles for integrity.  Finally, be careful how you deploy your beliefs but do not depart from them.