Ten Truths about Leadership

Leadership in my opinion is the ability to dream big, inspire others and take massive action. Not everyone can really think big but great leaders truly think big. The Truth about Leadership by James Kouzes and Barry Posner is a wonderful primer on leadership. In my opinion this is a great leadership book that is needed as this truly gets to the truth about what leadership is.
Here are the ten truths of leadership with my take on each.
You make a Difference – You need to believe that you can make a difference. Only if you believe in yourself you can inspire others to action. It will also enable you take the necessary risks to reach higher.
Credibility – For others to believe in you your credibility is the key. Speak with candor and practice integrity in all situations.
Values drive commitment – A leader has to be absolutely clear on where they are heading and what they stand for. Take time to understand what your ultimate meaning is. Define your values.
Focusing on the future sets leaders apart – Vision is the number one requirement for a leader. It is the ability to forecast and imagine possibilities that sets the leaders apart from others. Future orientation is a key quality of top leaders.
You cannot do it alone – All work is done by teams. Unless you can work with others you cannot be a truly great leader. Praise your team and take responsibility when things go wrong.
Trust – Trust is the crucible on which leadership is tested. When trust crumbles it is due to ineffective leadership. You need to develop trust at all levels of the organization.
Challenge is the crucible of greatness – You need to challenge the status quo. If you want to be a truly great leader look where others don’t and do what others don’t. Always look for better opportunities and make people move out of their comfort zones
You either lead by example or don’t lead at all – Think of yourself as the example that everyone has to follow. This will put internal pressure to follow through on your commitment. For example we all know exercise is good for us but follow through is the key. Imagine you are setting the example for your family and work out daily. Get up earlier if you need to. This is the best way to develop the discipline muscle.  
Leaders are best learners – With the information explosion and technological revolution this is the time for a leader to be learning all the time. Reading, listening and sharing what you learned is the key. My formula is simple find the experts in your field, read their blogs, listen to their podcasts, read their books, document what you have learned and share with your team.  
Leadership is an affair of the heart – Finally unless you are in love with what you do you cannot lead from the highest level. Love your work and it will elevate your leadership to the highest level.
There you have it the 10 truths about leadership.
The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.

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