8 Pillars of Leadership

Communication: Provides clarity, direction and enhances vision buy-in. Ensures success. No one wants to be left out the loop. You need to be constantly engaged and talking with your team. Everyone on your team needs to know what the plan is: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. If there are changes to the plan, it needs to be articulated clearly and succinctly. Don’t waste time on flowery words and declarations. Get the information out quickly and in an easy-to-understand way.

Unity: Don’t tolerate a gossiping spirit; conflict must be resolved. A gossiping spirit will destroy reputations and insert mistrust between team-mates and friends. Gossip is so closely related to slander that many times it is hard to tell the two apart. Many times a gossiping spirit will disguise itself as a concern; for example, how many times have you heard this type of phrase: “Did you hear about so-an-so? I sure hope they are o.k.”. This is a gossiping spirit and it needs to be exterminated. If you have this going on in your organization, you’d better be sensitive to it and nip it in the bud with a quickness.

Organization: Have a plan and be organized. Make sure everyone is on the same page. If there is confusion or doubt going into a board or team meeting, you’d better clear that up before the meeting is over. Leave the meeting as one voice. Organizational structure is paramount for survival. Everyone must know exactly what their lane and roll is and how they are contributing to the team. Plans are to be clearly and simply laid out. A team that is well-organized will move in the same direction. Everyone has the vision and intimately knows what the team is about. Deadlines are kept, obligations are met and ultimately goals will not just be achieved, they will be exceeded.

Simplicity: Don’t get so caught up with thrills, frills, bells and whistles that you un-necessarily complicate a process. Remember that the simpler the process, the easier it is to execute. If your base and foundation is not established, all the fancy ornamentation, publication, colors and lights are just really pretty paperweights. Don’t confuse complicated with significance. In fact, the more significant something is, the more easily it should be understood and executed by your organization or team.

Strategy: Slow is smooth – smooth is fast. Don’t confuse bold and daring with reckless and hair-brained. Be strategic and intentional. Do your recon and get your intel on the situation before making a major decision. There will be times as a leader that you’ll need to act on spot, but ‘on-the-fly’ methodology should be the exception rather than the rule. Good leaders plan but great leaders are strategic.

Adaptability: Improvise, adapt, overcome. Life is not static. In fact, some studies have shown that the average adult makes about 35,000 decisions in a day: of which approximately 260 are just to figure what to eat that day. Add in life processes, with all this decision-making going on around us, and you’re bound to come up against situations where you’re best laid plan will go into the trash bin. At this point you’ll need to be flexible and clear-headed enough to make a sound and rational decision for you and your team. Don’t be afraid to try unconventional methods and new ideas. If it works do it; as long as it’s moral, legal and ethical.

Accountability: Have someone bigger and smarter than yourself that you answer to. This can be in the form of a board of advisors, trusted agents, or some close mentors. These are people who have a close finger on the pulse of your life and can tell when something is not right; they can detect minor climate changes before a storm arises.  The people, who hold the leader accountable, will keep the leader humble and never let them become egotistical or take themselves too seriously. Accountability provides clarity and transparency; ensuring genuineness and authenticity.

Humility:  The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Sure, there may be perks to being a leader; as the old saying goes “Rank has its privileges”. But they are exactly that…privileges NOT rights. In fact, the only reason the concept of a leader having privilege exists is not for the sake of privilege alone. It is to act as an incentive for people to desire a position of leadership. Why? Because leadership is hard…it’s supposed to be. It’s not about glamour, fame and fortune. It is about shouldering the hard decisions, being accountable and most it’s about humble service. Leadership = service. In fact, a person in a position of leadership, should be the biggest servant of the entire team. Once a leader forgets that they are a servant, they have started down the road to becoming an ego-maniac and tyrant. This leads to the abuse of power, erosion of trust and ultimately the destruction of the organization.

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