Saturday, May 1, 2010

Principles of Leadership

To help you be, know, and do, follow these eleven principles of leadership (U.S. Army, 1983). Note that later chapters in this guide expand on these and provide tools for implementing them:
  1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement - In order to know yourself, you have to understand your be, know, and do, attributes. Seeking self-improvement means continually strengthening your attributes. This can be accomplished through self-study, formal classes, reflection, and interacting with others.
  2. Be technically proficient - As a leader, you must know your job and have a solid familiarity with your employees' tasks.
  3. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions - Search for ways to guide your organization to new heights. And when things go wrong, they always do sooner or later — do not blame others. Analyze the situation, take corrective action, and move on to the next challenge.
  4. Make sound and timely decisions - Use good problem solving, decision making, and planning tools.
  5. Set the example - Be a good role model for your employees. They must not only hear what they are expected to do, but also see. We must become the change we want to see - Mahatma Gandhi
  6. Know your people and look out for their well-being - Know human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your workers.
  7. Keep your workers informed - Know how to communicate with not only them, but also seniors and other key people.
  8. Develop a sense of responsibility in your workers - Help to develop good character traits that will help them carry out their professional responsibilities.
  9. Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished - Communication is the key to this responsibility.
  10. Train as a team - Although many so called leaders call their organization, department, section, etc. a team; they are not really teams...they are just a group of people doing their jobs.
  11. Use the full capabilities of your organization - By developing a team spirit, you will be able to employ your organization, department, section, etc. to its fullest capabilities.
If you are a leader who can be trusted, then those around you will grow to respect you. To be such a leader, there is a Leadership Framework to guide you:

BE KNOW DO

BE a professional. Examples: Be loyal to the organization, perform selfless service, take personal responsibility.
BE a professional who possess good character traits. Examples: Honesty, competence, candor, commitment, integrity, courage, straightforwardness, imagination.
KNOW the four factors of leadership — follower, leader, communication, situation.
KNOW yourself. Examples: strengths and weakness of your character, knowledge, and skills.
KNOW human nature. Examples: Human needs, emotions, and how people respond to stress.
KNOW your job. Examples: be proficient and be able to train others in their tasks.
KNOW your organization. Examples: where to go for help, its climate and culture, who the unofficial leaders are.
DO provide direction. Examples: goal setting, problem solving, decision making, planning.
DO implement. Examples: communicating, coordinating, supervising, evaluating.
DO motivate. Examples: develop morale and esprit de corps in the organization, train, coach, counsel.

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