7 Essential Beliefs For Leadership Success
Inconsistency hobbles success. Essential beliefs explain what matters most.
Influence beliefs – change lives.
A leader’s essential beliefs:
- Inform decisions. What you believe about yourself, others, and the future informs daily decisions.
- Enable “no”. Leaders – apart from essential beliefs – end up pushed around by trivialities.
- Empower self-evaluation. How do your leadership behaviors line up with what you believe about leadership?
7 essential beliefs for leadership success:
#1. Identity determines function. The most important thing about you is who you are, not what you do. Who you are always finds behavioral expression.
Fulfillment demands alignment between identity and behavior.
- Believe you matter.
- Believe you have a place.
- Believe your talent fulfills a unique function within your organization.
- Emulate great qualities in others, but never lose your identity.
#2. Leaders go first. Pointing the way is a beginning. Modeling the way is essential. Personal exemption undermines self-indulgent leaders.
Inconsistent leaders need positional authority to get what they want.
#3. People come first. The higher you go, the more necessary it becomes to focus on people.
- Know people.
- Respect people.
- Challenge people.
- Support people.
- Serve people.
Great people deliver great results.
#4. Treat everyone like a volunteer. Peter Drucker wisely said, “Accept the fact that we have to treat almost anybody as a volunteer.” What happens to your attitude when you stop using pay checks as billy clubs?
Winning hearts is more powerful than coercing conformity.
#5. Coach to maximizes potential. Coaching through challenges develops people and delivers great results.
#6. Focus on opportunities – problem solving distracts. Overcome the false belief that fixing problems delivers lasting value. Leaders who constantly put out fires have lost their effectiveness.
Leadership concerns the future.
#7. Progress trumps perfection. Imperfect action today is better than “perfect” action tomorrow. Stalled talent drives leaders crazy.
Perfect as you go, not before.
This list of 7 essential beliefs for leadership success is my first pass at creating a personal leadership philosophy. What might be added, subtracted, or modified?
What does “enable “no” leaders” mean?
Thanks Cathy. I could be wrong. Here’s the thought.
If you believe in excellence you say not to average. If you believe in honest, you say no to lying. If you don’t believe in anything, you’ll feel pressure to say yes to most anything.
Thanks for asking. Great question.
Hi Cathy and Dan. In addition: Saying “no” more often as a leader allows you to say “yes” more often to things that really matter. It’s about being conscious that you have a choice, and about being confident/courageous enough to say “no” and not to take the “people pleasing” approach. – Thank you Dan, amazing post.
I share accolades from clients with the workers who did the project directly, so they know someone notices. I also post on a location for others to see, that they may see how clients perceive our actions, the hope being we are developing a meshed work force that can continue to grow our clients and our workers into becoming leaders by example in their actions and their words.
Dan, thanks for another excellent post! My initial thought was to add “integrity” to the list, but that’s a character quality rather than a belief. Perhaps it warrants mention under #2 (Leaders go first) as part of modeling the way.
#8 Many habit-forming small steps with patience every day add up to big leaps over time.
Hello Dan, I like the simplicity, but power of your 7 beliefs about leadership. I have learned the benefit and importance of being silent and thoughtful before speaking or expressing my view or recommendation. It’s a hard skill to learn, but powerful for leaders to develop. Not really a belief (?), but thanks for allowing me to share. Your #4 bullet under the 3rd belief connects to this idea.
Thanks Renee. I think conscious behaviors are based on beliefs. For example, you believe “silent and thoughtful before speaking” is better than inserting your foot in your mouth. 🙂
Glad you shared.
Thanks Jutta. Well said. We tend to look for dramatic solutions. But often it’s simple daily practices that make the biggest difference.
I totally agree with #1 being first on the list. I use a worldview survey to help people dig into the core of who they are so that they can become who they were made to be.
The worldview survey shows inconsistencies at the core level of beliefs and provides a means to adjust.
Keep your post coming.
Leadership is giving. Giving people the opportunity to do things they don’t necessarily want to do, but need to do…including ourselves.
Perhaps, learning is embedded in one of the beliefs, but the leaders I admire most do all seven and remain constant learners in their field, of people, and of themselves. Thanks.