I have no shame. 🙂 Today's post is kind of a retread of a post I wrote back in 2013 titled Keys To Leadership Points Redux, which was kind of a follow up to an original post I wrote in 2010 titled Keys To Leadership.


The first post was about my seminar series, which is over there to the left. The second highlighted the points that I was supposed to do in the 3 seminars I planned (one of which had to be canceled because of the weather). This time around I'm not only going to highlight the 15 points but I'm going to say something about them also.

I figure that every 3 years I should return to the scene of the crime, and the crime in this case is that no one commented on the earlier posts and I didn't have Google Analytics for the first post but I'm not sure the second post got that much love either. So I'm trying again; let's see where this goes.

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

There's managers and there's leaders. The title matters more to managers than it does to leaders. More often than not true leaders lead and managers just get in the way. Everyone knows which is which; in a pinch, which one do you think most people will go to?

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

Not only do employees need direction, but they need training and they need to know what the ultimate goal is. If you decide to be a hands off type of leader, you're going to have more chaos than success.

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

All anyone needs to do is look at team sports. If your team doesn't win, you won't be in charge long. If your employees can't help you succeed, it's easier to get rid of you than all of them.

4. Show loyalty to those you’re responsible for

In my own set of morals, loyalty is at the top of the list. Loyalty goes both ways, but sometimes leaders have to prove that they're going to be loyal to their employees to get loyalty back.

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

Old equipment, lack of procedures, no real training... it doesn't matter how much you know if you're in a leadership position, if your employees don't know as much as you or at least as much as they can about the work they do then you and your organization is going to fail.

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

When you step into a leadership position, you're expected to lead. If you don't know how then you shouldn't have taken the position. Real leaders don't wait around hoping someone else tells them what to do. They need to be ready to act on their own with the best of intentions and knowledge possible.

Coke Yes Girl
National Museum of American History
Smithsonian Institution
via Compfight

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

Leaders can't always say either yes or no. True leaders know how to evaluate situations and make the best decision possible based on those evaluations. Don't treat employees like children.

8. A bad decision is better than no decision

There's never a perfect time to do something, and waiting around for the perfect time or the perfect answer means that you're waiting around for things to get worse. Fortune favors the bold; if you have good information to make the decision go for it. You can always fix it later.

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

Don't upset the status quo because you're bored or trying to trick people into a different behavior. The belief that if everyone's mad at you that they'll work better is fallacy. Having a good reason for a drastic change is easier for others to accept.

10. Learn to resolve conflict by any means necessary

Other than getting physical with others, this is essentially true. If you have to raise your voice to stop others from fighting or say something shocking to gain control of a situation, recognize that there's never a chance to solve anything if conflicts persist.

11. Learn to master delegation

No one person can do everything within a big organization, and sometimes not even in a small one. If you're in a position of leadership, you need to learn how to delegate work to others so you can do the job you were hired to do. Never use it as punishment but as a way to strengthen the team.

12. Stay in control of your emotions

No one does this 100%, but if you can master your emotions at least 95% of the time your employees will appreciate it. Truthfully, it's better if you're always mad than if you're emotions are all over the place. At least your employees will get used to you and learn how to work with you (although if you're angry all the time they won't put up with it for long).

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

If you have a well trained staff, and you've given them all the tools they need to succeed, then you have to be ready to step aside and let them do the job you've hired them for. You'll never be able to evaluate their talent until you do, and most studies show that employees want a chance to show what they can do.

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

Employee actions aren't always personal and they're not always about you as the leader. Don't be a baby and react badly to employees leaving, especially if they're leaving for a better opportunity because you've shown them how to grow. If you're driving employees away, you'll know it because you'll always be hiring; no one likes that.

15. Don’t be afraid to lead

Leadership can be scary, not only to new managers but sometimes to those who've been in leadership a long time. You took the position, took the money, so you might as well step up to the plate and lead. Who knows; you might be good at it and you might like it. If either of those occurs, your employees will like you and do anything for you. There's few things more satisfying than that.