Issue Number 29: Leadership: Finding What You’re Looking For

My principles are based on my life experiences and those of people I have known. They are captured in the notion that, whether in life or in leadership, you are going to find what you are looking for. If you are looking for people who are working hard or hardly working, you are going to find them. If you are looking for people who are trying to get ahead or just trying to get by, you are going to find them. If you are people who want to be noticed or to stay under the radar, you are going to find them.

And many of them are looking at you for clues.

If you micro-manage, so will they. If you empower, so will they. If you demonstrate honesty, integrity, deception or disloyalty, so will they. You communicate through your words and actions what it takes to succeed. Everything you say and do sends a message, so make sure it is the message you want to send.

I don’t waste my time looking only for things that will make me successful. I take a broader view and look for things that will make all of us successful, and I encourage you to do the same.

I base my search on three principles.

1. Look for people doing something right, not wrong.

2. Look for more leaders, not more followers.

3. Look for substance over style.

The key to becoming a great leader is creating a foundation of principles on which your leadership philosophy is based. If you create a solid foundation of principles, you will be able to accomplish far more than if you just set out with a list of tasks. You will also leave a powerful, enabling philosophy for your successors to follow. Include on that list the foundational principles that guide your leadership, because, like it or not, that is the leader you are going to be.

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