When developing your leadership philosophy, you must be aware that each individual’s values and goals will differ from the organization’s. Your leadership philosophy should reflect these differences.
But some fundamental characteristics of effective leadership are universal and considered essential to developing an effective leadership philosophy.
Leadership philosophies provide foundations for building strategies for an organization, from management to operational activities.
1. Match Individual Needs
Ensure that your core values and goals are tuned to the organization.
Leadership is individualistic. So you should be ‘true to yourself and act out of personal conviction and passion. But it is essential for you as a leader to also be true to the organization and act in ways that meet the organization’s needs through others.
The most effective leadership is one based on matching individual needs and goals to organisational needs and goals, where the requirements of neither the individual nor organization are sacrificed.
You should find it easier to motivate and inspire others if your values reflect the values and expectations of the organization as a whole.
For example, you may desire to make a difference for others. Acting on this means listening to your clients and customers, understanding what is important to them, and making the necessary changes. This meets the needs of the organization by increasing the competitiveness and profitability of your company and your desire to make a positive difference.
2. Have Personal Conviction and Sincerity
Ensure your way of leading, managing, influencing, and relating to others is compatible with your own beliefs and values. You will come across as sincere and find it easier to state your opinions openly.
Before expecting anyone to follow, a leader must demonstrate a vision and values worthy of following. Having a personal conviction will make it easier to inspire and motivate others. You will come across as genuine.
3. Introspection and Self-Awareness
True leaders possess the ability to analyze their motives and make objective judgment of their behavior. These judgments can result in constructive improvements in how they relate to others and help identify unhelpful reactions or defensiveness in themselves.
Perhaps you tend to control or dominate based on a fear of failure. Or maybe you have a fear of conflict and a desire to appease others. Or you could have excessive competitiveness that leads to distrust.
Introspection enables managers to identify personal motives that are less distorted by unconscious bias, take corrective action, and lead according to circumstance.
4. Awareness of Others
You should be aware of the motivations, strengths, and skills of other individuals and groups to better enable you to harness these to facilitate the organization’s goals. Be open to the best of what everyone everywhere has to offer.
Ensure the right people are given the right jobs to utilize their skills best. Build a team committed to achieving the objectives of the organization. If you are leading a large organization, you should check that the processes for managing, communicating, and developing people are in place and working correctly.
Be aware of differences between yourself and others, and can understand and value those differences, making others feel valued for a job well done. Communication is critical. Listen, consult, involve, and explain what needs to be done and why.
Based on the above characteristics of good leadership, your leadership philosophy could look something like this:
“Make sure my goals, values, and needs match those of my company. Be sincere and passionate. Have conviction in myself and the organization. Be aware of my strengths and weaknesses. Be aware of my motives and take corrective action if these are unhelpful while being aware of the motives and talents of others so that they are harnessed for the benefit of the company. Communicate, listen and inspire others to share my vision and lead with authority.”
What’s Your Leadership Philosophy?
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