Do you consider yourself to be a leader?
And if so, do you believe you are an effective leader? Do you possess the right leadership principles that have the capacity to influence others?
So what are leadership principles and why do they matter so much?
A principle is a value; a code that governs how you act and behave.
In a leadership capacity, there is a governing code that determines how you behave, how you lead and conduct yourself in order to influence others.
These are the 5 fundamental principles you MUST adhere to if you want to succeed as a leader…
Principle #1: Lead by example
As a leader, you are in charge of mentoring and bringing up other leaders under your wing.
There are those that look up to you; emulate you and want to be like you. You should be a preacher and drinker of water meaning you must lead by your own example.
If you advocate for values like integrity, fairness, honesty, trustworthiness etc.
Therefore, you have to be aware that others pick more of what you do and not necessarily what you say.
You could be purporting to be an excellent leader, but your subordinates question your leadership methods.
Principle #2: Do NOT rule with an iron fist
People can fear you but that does not equate respect.
A leader is one who rules by collaboration and valuing his/her employees without having to instill fear.
You know how they say “people do not leave a company they leave a boss?”. This is a very accurate statement in the sense that making people fear you and forcing respect will only drive them away.
Your employees want to feel safe and value not intimidated because they are afraid of stating their opinion or disagreeing with you.
As a leader you need people to succeed. You need to let them know that you are approachable as well as logical and show genuine care for their needs and concerns.
You should focus more on building a culture of openness and tolerance for each other’s different personalities as well as provide your employees with opportunities for career growth and advancement.
Principle #3: Communicate the vision
You are the driver of the bus! With you behind the wheel, people know the route they shall use, the highs and lows of the journey but ultimately, the goal is to arrive at the destination!
Think of your bus as the vision you have. Where you see yourself, your staff and company in the future.
Then go ahead and paint the picture of this future as vividly as you can in the minds of your employees.
The route symbolizes the steps to be taken to reach there as well as communicating what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and strengths lie along the way.
Have a very clear vision as a leader otherwise people won’t understand the essence of why they are working.
Communicate the vision by re-iterating, “this is where we are now and this is where we want to go.”
Principle #4: Nurture the next generation of leaders
In your position of leadership, you are also a mentor. You are in charge of ensuring that other leaders grow are molded to lead others. This is what succession planning is all about in an organization.
You need to have protégés you are preparing to take up leadership positions by showing them the art of strategic and visionary leadership.
You are meant to cultivate and hone their leadership skills by instilling values, giving them opportunities to lead, challenging them to boldly face their fears, helping them focus on the right career path etc.
Principle #5: Effective resource management
This is by far a very important if not critical leadership principle. How well do you manage resources in a company?
And these are resources such as workforce, finances, supplies etc.
Your ability to effectively manage resources by cutting down on expenses by ensuring that you are spending less and saving more will greatly determine your success as a leader.
How well you are able to retain your top performing employees will have a positive impact on the company’s return on investment as well as sustainability.
A leader knows the way, shows the way and goes the way…
If you can start practicing these 5 fundamental principles as a leader, then there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to influence others towards positive change.