Principled Leadership

key-principle-leadershipI have noticed lately that there is a tendency for leaders of any stripe to over utilize social media to discover the latest and greatest strategy that they can employ. Don’t get me wrong, I am obviously using social media now to make a point. We live in a wonderful age where there is more practical information available to us than ever before. Leaders can and should take advantage of this great resource. The problem lies in that we are a people who tend to believe that the latest strategy that worked for someone else will be equally effective for us. But leaders must innovate and contextualize to be effective in their own setting. Therefore, we can’t afford to get caught up in the “latest and greatest” craze.

The key is to take a principled approach to your leadership.

Every leadership role has a context.

That context is shaped by a vision, mission and values (or at least it should be).

The best way to tap into the ideation that exists through social media is to be ruthless in looking for the principle beyond the strategy.

Look for what drove a particular strategy.

Ask “why” another leader chose to utilize a specific strategy to achieve effective results.

True leadership principles stand the test of time.

Strategies come and go.

The key to your effectiveness will not be in mimicking someone else’s success.

It will lie in discovering the principle behind the new idea and to contextualize that principle according to your organization’s DNA and vision, mission and values.

Only then can you know that you have led purposefully and strategically for the context you are in.

This is why I strongly advocate keeping a leadership journal.

It can be a digital one or an old school ink and paper variety.

Let it be a place where you can regularly capture leadership principles that can then be considered and thought through for fresh contextualized application within your leadership setting.

Where you draw your principles from matters too. Are you standing upon truth? Are you aiming for leadership integrity? Is your true desire to serve others?

Are you taking aim at principled leadership?

Lead well!

(photo credit)

5 replies
  1. Dan Black on Leadership
    Dan Black on Leadership says:

    Being a leader of principle and values is so essential. The foundation of who we are will allow us to move forward or not, so focusing on self is important. A persons character needs to be strong before they develop a strategy to accomplish something. Great reminder.

  2. Philip C Tarroja
    Philip C Tarroja says:

    YEP! PRINCIPLES that drive leadership, specially in decision-making moments spell it all. BUT, what kind of principles? or values? I know a leader whose principles and values revolved around his belief in power and authority. “Never let the top seat go!” And another (a minister) who built quite a large congregation saying, “volunteer-ism? that’s a lot of crap. If you want something done around here, pay him!”

    They moved forward (in their own perspective). The view from behind is havoc on the other hand. What principles? What values?


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