The top 4 leadership principles

The top 4 Leadership principles

If these four principles are not at the top of your leadership
list, nothing else matters.

By SJ White

Leadership Styles:

Just because you may not fill a particular leadership position for one organization, doesn’t mean  you wouldn’t be perfect for another. It all depends on what type of leader they are looking for. For example, they’re visionary leaders, directional, strategic, managing, motivational, team-building leaders, etc, etc. The job of any top notch organization is to make sure they have the right leader in the right position. You don’t want to end up wasting a lot of time trying to turn a visionary leader into a managing leader. You’ll bore the person to death and in the end, the quality of their work will suffer. I believe most of us who love leadership recognize it’s an ongoing process. There is always something new to learn. That’s what makes it so exciting to be a part of. Let us dig a little deeper into this thing called leadership and unveil what really makes a great leader.   

I believe most of you would agree that the one word that best describes leadership, is influence. Our ability to influence others determines our level of success. Acquiring followers is what leaders do. If there is nobody following you, you’re just taking a walk. I believe we can also agree that just because someone is in a leadership position, appointed, elected, or otherwise, doesn’t necessarily make them a leader. They may have the title, but titles don’t make a leader. Influence does. If they’re not influencing anyone, all their doing is handing out orders and collecting a paycheck.

Leading at the highest level:

So, what makes a great leader? A person people want to follow? Not just because they’re paid to. I imagine it all depends on the leader’s personal philosophy. Now there are a lot of leader philosophies that keep us hopping from job to job. What we are looking for is a leader with a philosophy that makes us feel as if we are a part of something special. That what we do matters. They listen, they care, and they love and appreciate people. 

There was an article in a fortune 500 magazine quite a few years ago, where they interviewed top executives from all around the country. When asked what they believed was the most important thing concerning their leadership? Their number one answer? Integrity. They said once you lose trust, it’s over. You may still be in a leadership position, but you’re nobody’s leader. You got it, all you’re doing is taking a walk. 

You can spot a great leader by who they spend most of their time with on the job. The great ones spend eighty percent of their time with the twenty percent of employees who are the most productive, and twenty percent of their time with the eighty percent who are not. That’s because great leaders are out to grow leaders. They know leaders multiply, and they also realize that the best way to grow any organization is to grow the people within the organization. Separating the people who show up to collect a paycheck as opposed to those who have the potential to become leaders, is something great leaders are really good at. They can spot a jack-ass a mile away. 

The top 4 leadership principles: 

If you’re a leader, or aspiring to become one, make a commitment to put these four principles at the top of your list, and keep tabs on them regularly: Integrity, Loyalty, Reliability, and Ability. Notice I put ability last. That’s because if you don’t get the first three down, nobody cares how much ability you have. By the way, if you should ever lose your integrity, be forewarned , it takes years to recover.  

Principles that matter:

As we all know, there is a lot more to leadership than the following four principles: Integrity, loyalty, reliability, ability. There’s self-discipline, attitude of course, nobody wants to follow Rude and Moody, to name just a few. But if you don’t get the four main dogs down, especially number one, integrity, because there ain’t nobody following a leader they don’t trust, not if they’re in their right mind they don’t. If you don’t get the main four down, nothing else matters. Because without them, your ship will sink before it leaves port. Trust is the glue that holds the leadership boat together. Now don’t expect your leader to tell you all their business, but whatever they do tell you, it better be the truth, because in the leadership game, you only get one swing at the integrity ball, and if you miss – it’s game over!

A few Leadership tips to keep in mind:

  • Your growth will determine your organizations growth.
  • Pay the price: Integrity, loyalty, reliability, ability.
  • Develop a meaningful relationship with those you lead.
  • Mentor, model, and give them the tools they need to succeed.
  • Share your vision
  • Develop a strategy for equipping your people for success.
  • Keep an eye on yourself. Make sure you are continually growing. No one can pass on what they don’t have. As the leader, you better have the goods.  

The most satisfying feeling in the leadership game is helping someone climb the ladder of leadership, knowing they will pass on what you teach, plus… Real leaders, grow leaders.


    SJ White

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