When developing your leadership philosophy, you must be aware that each individual’s values and goals will differ, and so will that of the organisation. Your leadership philosophy should reflect these differences.
But there are some fundamental characteristics of effective leadership that are universal and considered essential to developing an effective leadership philosophy.
Leadership philosophies provide foundations on which to build strategies for an organisation, from management to operational activities.
1. Match Individual Needs with Organizational Needs
Ensure that your core values and goals are attuned with the organisation.
Leadership is individualistic. So you should be ‘true to oneself’, and act out of personal conviction and passion. But it is essential for you as a leader to also be true to the organisation, and act in ways that meet the needs of the organisation through others.
You should find it easier to motivate and inspire others if your values reflect the values and expectations of the organisation as a whole.
For example, you may have a 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 organisation by increasing the competitiveness and profitability of your company, as well as your own 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.
Prior to expecting anyone to follow, a leader needs to demonstrate a vision and values worthy of following. Having 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 own motives and make an 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 have a tendency 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 an 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 goals of the organisation. Be open to the best of what everyone everywhere has to offer.
Make sure the right people are given the right jobs, where their skills can be best utilized. Build a team committed to achieving the objectives of the organization. If you are leading a large organisation, you should check that the processes for managing, communicating, and developing people are in place and working properly.
Be aware of differences between yourself and others, and have the capacity to 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 organisation. 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 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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