“A personal leadership philosophy is a set of beliefs and principles you use to evaluate information and respond to people and situations.”

Drew Dudley, “Without a personal leadership philosophy, you don’t have a plan.” Quartz at Work. 21 Aug 2018

Recently, I had a lot of time to think about, and practice leadership. As part of this practice the opportunity arose to write down my personal leadership philosophy.

Given the current world situation, leadership is of the utmost importance. The featured image at the top of this post can give you an idea of what I believe to be one example of outstanding leadership.

You do not have to be an “official” leader to be a leader or to have a leadership philosophy. Flight controller training taught us that at any time we may need to step in and lead. Even if you are not an identified leader in your role, your leadership philosophy can guide your decisions in a time of crisis, when you need to make a big decision about your career or a relationship, and when you need to ground yourself when things are chaotic.

Below you will find my personal leadership philosophy in the context of leading a team of people, and being part of a leadership team. Feel free to drop me a line and ask any questions you might have. Did I forget something? Is there something that is not clear? Let me know.

My leadership philosophy – Andrew Rechenberg

Leadership requires dedication and practice. Leaders listen and learn.

Excellent leadership is listening, learning, adapting, and adjusting.

I will never stop learning, about my work, and about myself. I will listen and learn, from my team, my peers, my leaders, and my friends. I will take those learnings and practice them with thoughtful deliberation to improve myself, my team, my organization, my community, and our world.

Leaders lead by example.

Leaders must “walk the walk” to build those around them. Leaders focus on the fundamentals and do the small things well. These fundamentals are the foundation upon which excellence is built.

I commit to doing the small things well, to communicate clear expectations, and to lead by example.

Leaders communicate facts and objective information, and are transparent whenever possible.

Leaders who are transparent with facts, objective information, data, and rationale, build trust with their team.

I commit to communicating the facts, data, and rationale to the team. I commit to being as transparent as possible given the situation. Once a decision has been made we will follow it through as a team.

Leaders value the thoughts and ideas of all members of their team.

Inclusion is one of the key foundations of a strong team. Every member of the team is encouraged to share their ideas. Every member of the organization is expected to listen to those ideas with an open mind.

I may not always agree with you, or be able to change our direction. I will always listen to, and consider your thoughts, concerns, and ideas.

Leaders give and receive Fearless Feedback.

Fearless Feedback is the process of providing thoughtful, purposeful, and direct feedback to a team member (subordinate, peer, or lead) for a situation that may need improvement, or one where positive behavior is to be applauded and reinforced. This feedback is always delivered respectfully and with a positive intent to improve the individual, team, and organization. Ideally this feedback is provided soon after the observed situation to ensure both individuals (the giver and receiver) recall the details of the event with a fresh perspective.

I commit to giving and receiving Fearless Feedback to, and from, my team, my peers, and my leaders and use it to improve myself, our organization, my community, and our world

Leaders are accountable.

Accountability breeds trust. Trust breeds a strong and successful team.

I commit to be accountable to what I say and expect you to hold me to task. The opposite is also true – I expect all team members to be accountable for their work, hold their peers to account, and to uphold a high standard and attention to detail in their work.

Leaders empower.

Leadership is providing the team the facts and data, and empowering the team to make a good decision. Empowering the team in this fashion invites members to invest in the team and themselves, and build trust among peers and leaders.

I commit to providing you with the necessary information, and data, and empowering you to make good decisions on behalf of the team and the organization.

Leaders develop new leaders.

Leaders have a plan to develop the next generation of leaders. Leaders must expect their team members to move on to other opportunities at some point. It is the leader’s job to ensure that their team members are prepared for the next step in their journey, and that the rest of the team is positioned for success upon a members’ departure.

I commit to doing everything I can to get you to the next destination and provide the skills you need to excel. I expect you to help me and yourself in this journey.

Leaders do not compromise on their core beliefs.

These are the things on which I will not compromise:

  • Integrity
  • Honesty

One can be honest without having integrity; the inverse is not true. Excellent leaders have integrity and by proxy must also be honest.

I commit to standing by my core beliefs. My expectation is that we, as a team and organization, also will not compromise on those tenets.

References


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