Have you ever had a boss who asked you to oversee a project or perform a task without giving you much, if any, information on what they wanted? How about a boss you thought would respond a certain way to a given situation, but they caught you off guard and responded totally differently to what you expected? Did you enjoy working for them? Do you know what their leadership philosophy is? I would guess not. However, you could probably make an educated guess as to what it is based on how you were treated.
How about you? Do you have a leadership philosophy? Have you even thought about a leadership philosophy? Until recently, I had never really thought about it. I knew what I believed about leadership and the values that I subscribed to, but it was never written down. A business coach that worked with me while at Owens Corning sent me a book titled the The Leader's Compass published by Academy Leadership. It's probably one of the best books I have read on leadership. It focused on the development of a leader’s personal leadership philosophy and is told in the form of a story.
After reading the book, I was motivated to sit down and write my leadership philosophy. Why is a leadership philosophy important? A well written philosophy gives you clarity on what you stand for as a leader. It will also bring consistency to your leadership that your team can trust. Your leadership philosophy affects your behavior and ultimately your leadership effectiveness.
In developing your leadership philosophy it should describe these key beliefs:
- What do I believe about people and about life?
- What are the principles by which I will operate as a leader?
- What are do you believe about groups that make organizations effective?
Your philosophy should consist of the following:
- Your purpose: Why are you here? What are you most passionate about?
- Your vision: Where are you going and how are you going to get there?
- Your values/principles: What do you believe in. A set of guiding principles which influence the way you live and lead.
One last important thing, your philosophy should be published and shared with your team. It is amazing that so many leaders will not develop or publish their philosophy because they do not want to be held accountable for living by it.
I challenge you to be a different kind of leader, one that is willing to be held strictly accountable and will not compromise on the things you say you believe in.