Four Leadership Principles

There are four main leadership principles that will help you rise to the top.  These involve working with others and having people work with you.  

In order to gain their support and cooperation, you will also need good leadership skills.  Skills that include leadership traits such as integrity, where you do what is right.

Being a leader also means you will coach and inspire people to do their best.  If things are working, you will fix it. 

You, as a leader, will get everyone moving, show them how to do it and reward them for accomplishing the groups goal.

No matter where you are, there seems to be different leadership traits and principles that can be applied to most situations. 

The military have one definition of leadership, schools have another and corporations define leadership yet, another way.

They all have something in common.  And that is to improve yourself and your team players, respect each person as an individual and have a clear vision of what yo want to achieve.

Leadership Principles

You can use the following four principles to help your team players do things that will also increase your success as a leader.

First, you have to think like a leader and then you need to practice these principles in every day situations, whether it's at work, at home or in the store.

Leadership Principles 1:

Think like the person you're trying to lead.  Put yourself in their shoes.  Once you understand how they think or how they would react to something, it will help you lead them in the right direction.  If you try to influence someone based on your needs and wants, it won't work.  If you find out their needs and wants first, you then can become successful at leading them to your desired outcome.

  • It's important to find out the other person's interests and background.  It could be different than yours.

  • Place yourself in their situation to see how you would react.

  • Tailor your leadership style, program, marketing, discipline to fit that reaction.

Sometimes just trying to think like the other person won't work.  If your background has been used to expensive, high-quality things, it might be difficult to imagine what its like to look at things from a lower socio-economic viewpoint.

In that case, you're probably better off doing a survey to find the answers you need.

Let's take coffee for example.  K-cups have been on store shelves for awhile now.  They're easy, convenient, have many flavors but they are very expensive.  Lets say you own a general store in a small town and have decided that it's time to make your shop a little more upscale by ordering the new K-cups coffee for your patrons.  It's something you like because of the convenience and variety.  You think to yourself that the K-cups will be a hit and you'll make more profit from them.

After awhile you notice that coffee sales are way down.  In fact, the sales for the whole store have decreased.  Is it because of the economy?  Did the downturn finally hit your store?  The economy has not been that great for awhile and sales have been steady until the new coffee choices were put in.

Instead of finding out what the customers want, you end up selling product that you want.  This is where looking at the situation is important.  After a few months, you decide to ask some customers why they aren't buying the coffee.  They explain that they're on a budget and they can't see spending extra money on fancy coffee just for the convenience.  Instead of coming in for coffee they make it at home or stop at a different store to buy their coffee.  Since the customers aren't coming in for coffee, they are no longer buying the extra items like snacks or drinks. 

If you want your customers to buy more coffee and other products, you need to look at the situation through their eyes and start setting expectations through their needs.  When you put yourself in the other person's shoes, the solution to how you can influence them will appear.

Leadership Principles 2:

Treat others with respect.  Treat people as humans, not objects.  Whoever is under a leader's power is also under their protection.  Treat people the way they want to be treated.  If someone isn't doing things correctly there's a way you, as a leader, can fix it.

  • Always talk to them privately.  There's no need to embarrass them in front of others.

  • Point out everything they're doing well.

  • Show them the thing they could do better and help them find a way and learn how to set goals.

  • Tell them again, about everything they're doing well.

When you treat people with respect, they will treat you with respect.

If you come across problems that most people would get angry over, stop and think.  Think about what the other person is going through.  How would you want to be treated?  Sometimes its best to put all the bad feelings towards this incident aside.  Lead this person away from the situation and give them another chance.

I did just that.  My daughter was making plans without asking if there was some other commitment.  I mentioned that she was scheduled to do volunteer work.  She didn't want to do volunteer work, she wanted to go roller skating with friends.  This led to her complaining to a friend about how mean I was.  We didn't discuss this again until the next day.  I told her the roller skating was later in the day and that she could still volunteer before going to the rink with her friends.

Instead of being angry and grounding her, I treated her like a person.  She agreed that both volunteering and roller skating could take place.  Since then, she has been more willing to help out with other things in addition to volunteering.

You don't want to be sarcastic or try to put someone in their place.  You just want to see people as people not objects to do your bidding.

Treating them as people now will pay off later on.  Praise your employees and family members.  Show genuine interest in the things they do outside of work, such as their hobbies.  Compliment them at every opportunity.  Create happy relationships.   Praise is the best incentive you could give someone.

Leadership Principles 3:

Be forward thinking.  Have a vision.

Find ways to improve what you're doing now and set high standards in everything you do.

Use these leadership principles to make improvements on how you can get more business, give better customer service or find ways to give more incentives.  Keep looking for ways to make things better by using team building techniques.

When you lead a group, whether it be for a business or at home, the people in the group will adjust their behavior to the standards you set.

How you think, act, talk is how those you lead will think, act, talk.

Leadership Principles 4:

Spend time alone to think.  To be successful you need to spend time alone to work out problems and make plans.

Many people do not reach their potential because they don't spend time alone.  They have a need to talk with people and be surrounded by others.  They're afraid to think for themselves.

By spending time alone, you are able to understand yourself better.  You can work through problems and have a clear thought process on what the best solution is.

To become a better leader, you need to set aside 30 minutes or so a day to spend alone with yourself without distractions.  This could be sitting quietly or hiking in the woods.  Do not listen to music or watch TV.  Just enjoy the quiet solitude and you'll be able to think clearly.

You can use this time to work on problems that you are facing now.  Or you can just let your mind choose what to think about.

These four leadership principles will help you get started on a path to success.  As part of a personal development plan, you can work on them all at once or try one at a time. 

When you incorporate these changes, you need to be consistent.   Just trying the leadership principles out once and forgetting to do them continuously won't get you too far.  You'll end up falling back into the same pattern as before.

Try using these leadership principles in your every day life and make a habit of practicing them over and over.  After awhile, you will begin to develop a success mindset!

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