:Lead Or Someone Else Will: A Leader's Guide to Leadership"
The author mixed thirty essential leadership principles with practical tools and step-by-step methods to help grow your leadership competencies.
Leadership principles are fundamental assumptions that guide the development of a leader’s reasoning, behavior, and overall performance. These principles provide the leader with four significant benefits: a strong foundation for decision-making; a system of thought that supports the development of the leader’s self-confidence; a well-crafted personal leadership style that the leader can rely on; and a set of intuitive responses to environmental pressures.
Additionally, with the enhancement of the leader’s self-confidence, there is the resultant employee confidence in the leader’s thoughtful responses to the organization’s internal and external challenges. Principled leadership benefits everyone.
Thriving organizations require thoughtful and principled leadership. They expect their leaders to remain abreast of trends. In turn, leaders encourage their organizations to be trendsetters and standard-bearers with principled steady progress.
Through the ages, many underlying principles of leadership and their associated behaviors have remained the same. From time to time, we may hear leaders say, “This is the way I have always done it.” However, we also know, very importantly, that with each employee and stakeholder generation, what may have worked well in the past may not resonate well with employees and stakeholders today. In those situations, modernization is imperative to remain relevant.
Leaders must achieve balance. Along with modernization, we continue to have, generation after generation, some underlying principles that have remained the same. It is those time-tested underlying constructs that the author has tackled in the book, “Lead Or Someone Else Will: A Coach’s Guide to Leadership.” The author also provides practical recommendations for the execution of those principles. It’s the execution that counts.
The author’s preparation for writing included a survey of historical and modern theories of leadership principles. The author found that the author’s thoughts on the subject were quite similar to those of many writers. The similarities were present, particularly when considering what constituted some of the most important guiding principles of leadership.
One writer’s top six principles of leadership were that the leader must have a vision, possess focus and drive, communicate well, the capacity to motivate, the strength of character, and determination and enthusiasm (paraphrased from The McQuaig Institute, Kristen Harcourt, 2016).
Another group of writers suggested that the principles of employee trust and confidence in top leadership were the most reliable predictors of employee satisfaction in an organization. They also suggested that effective leadership communication was the key to employee trust and confidence in the organization (paraphrased from The Hay Group, Lamb, McKee, 2004).
Yet, another group suggested that the top five leadership principles required that competent leaders know themselves and seek self-improvement; maintain technical proficiency and know their jobs; seek responsibility-taking and in turn take responsibility for their actions; make sound and timely decisions; and lastly, set the example for others (paraphrased from Sharma and Jain, 2013).
The leadership role is challenging, and there is much required. Leaders are confronted with novel situations that challenge each leader’s capacity to lead. Difficult decision-points often loom ahead, requiring principled thought and planning. Typically, the leader has little time for conscious considerations of guiding principles.
As a leader, in those moments, you will want your knowledge, experience, and good common sense to guide you to the best outcomes. When the crisis is over, you will regroup and prepare for tomorrow. Practical recommendations in this book will help you prepare.
In writing this book, the author set out to discuss what the author believes are thirty of the essential leadership principles. Yes, there are others worth exploration. However, thirty principles seemed to be enough.
The author hopes that with every chapter, you, the reader, will assess your principled leadership style and your day-to-day leadership challenges. The author also hopes that you use the practical recommendations to strengthen your impact on your organization.
With the author’s efforts and yours, the author hopes that this prompts you to engage daily reflection upon your leadership performance; and as a responsive leader, you will commit to your continual professional development and performance improvement.
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