Back in December 2010 I wrote a post talking about my leadership series Keys To Leadership, which you see there on the left for purchase. The article talked about the live seminars and told a story about how I came to record them.




Two years earlier I actually put the 15 total points that the series covered in a post that I thought would get some traction, but I probably should have known better. It was November 2008, just after the general election that swept President Obama into office, and I posted the 15 points and asked people to evaluate soon to be former President Bush. Instead, people stayed away from it in droves; it got a few reads, but overall, it wasn't very popular.

I thought it was time to revisit the topics of that post but with a different request. Instead of looking to evaluate someone else, I'd like you to give an honest assessment of the 15 points as they relate to either you as a leader, or it relates to leaders you'd like to work with.

These seem easy, but they're probably not. I've met many people who don't know how to evaluate themselves or their feelings. Either that or they're uncomfortable doing it. I've always felt that once someone's in a leadership position they not only have to evaluate employee performance but their own ability to lead the group they're working with.

I've encountered some interesting people over the years as a consultant. I've stepped into leadership roles that, luckily, have worked most of the time. The one time it didn't work didn't have anything to do with me personally; it was a confrontation between management and the union, and there wasn't anything I could do to win them over until the last two weeks I was there when they knew I was leaving.

For everyone else, what I've found is the 15 principles listed below have come into play every time. They change in importance depending on what the role is or the goals are, but they've been consistent. I realize that just because I see them as being important doesn't mean others will see it the same way. That's why I'm offering this platform to see what others think.

In my seminar series, I have stories and my own points of view for each of these, so I'm not going to rehash all of those here. However, I did tell a story that relates to point #2 on this list when I talked about Deliveries.

Here you go; what are your thoughts on each point?

1. Position doesn't make the leader, the leader makes him or herself

2. You need to make sure everyone's on the same page if you wish to succeed

3. You are ultimately responsible for the performance of your team

4. Show loyalty to those you're responsible for

5. Give others the tools to succeed, and you'll succeed also

6. Real leaders don't wait for someone else to tell them to do what's necessary

7. Saying yes, saying no; when and when not to

8. A bad decision is better than no decision

9. Change for change's sake isn't good

10. Learn to resolve conflict by any means necessary

11. Learn to master delegation

12. Stay in control of your emotions

13. Allow people to grow, learn, & make mistakes

14. People are going to leave; make sure it's not for negative reasons

15. Don't be afraid to lead