12 Powerful A’s for Leaders


Add: Increase. “She added to our fulfillment by scheduling round-table conversations with satisfied customers.”

Abandon: Unreserved dedication to people, mission, and vision. “He fully committed to making his team successful.”

Adjust: Look for better ways to reach short and long-term goals. She never used, “We’ve always done it that way,” as an excuse to ignore new ideas.

Affirm: Point out behaviors and attitudes that get things done. “He told them their commitment to bring out the best in each other was central to their success.”

And: Bring the best of all ideas together to reach the richest decision. She worked toward “and” rather than “either/or” decisions.

Apologize: Acknowledge wrongs. After acting rudely toward teammates he said, “I was wrong. Will you forgive me?”

Approve: Look for things you like and let people know you like them. Say four positives for every negative. She said, “I really like the way you solve problems together.” (See affirm.)

Approachable: Without protective barriers. He welcomed people into his space and asked, “How can I help?”

Aspire: Stay in touch with your inner dream. She was glad for reaching career milestones but continued looking for ways to make meaningful contribution.

Ass: Self absorbed leader who believes they are the center of the universe. He gloated over his executive parking space and the windows in his office.

Authentic: Without mask or manipulation. She spoke from her heart when dealing with performance issues.

Authorize: Give permission. He went out of his way to tell people to make the best decision and move forward as long as they expressed organizational values and worked toward goals that aligned with organizational mission.

What “A” words would you add to the ABC’s for leaders?

How would you add to or modify definitions I’ve offered?

See Facebook for more A’s for leaders.

I’m working my way through the alphabet and look forward to your contributions.