Leading Blog






12.20.10

Bill Cohen’s Eight Universal Laws of Heroic Leadership

Heroic Leadership
Bill Cohen says “Heroic leadership is special. It requires leading a group with absolute integrity while raising individual performance to a personal best and building a team spirit of sacrifice for the common good,” and adds, “heroic leadership requires tough standards.”

Cohen correctly states in Heroic Leadership, that “we cannot lead on automatic.” It takes “considerable thought, intention, and action.” He believes that good leadership must be grounded in the following eight principles of heroic leadership:
  1. Maintain Absolute Integrity   Leadership is a trust. Keep your word; do the harder right instead of the easier wrong; be principled.
  2. Know Your Stuff   “People don’t follow leaders because they are good at office politics; they follow them because they are good at what they do.” Learn from every experience. It’s what you know and how you use it.
  3. Declare Your Expectations   What exactly does “successful” look like? How will you know when you are there? You need to decide on where you’re going and then declare it, and promote it in everything you do. Get feedback and adjust your strategy as needed.
  4. Show Uncommon Commitment   Army Brigadier General Edward Markham explained, “A leader must take a bulldog approach to accomplish the mission.” When a leader does this, others do the same.
  5. Expect Positive Results   Winners expect to win. Visualize success. Vincent Lombardi once said, “We never lose, but sometimes the clock runs out on us.” “You can expect positive results and still not get exactly what you want,” says Cohen, “but, research demonstrates that those who “think positive” achieve more and get better results than those that don’t.”
  6. Take Care of Your People   “Take care of your men and they will take care of you,” says Brigadier General Philip Bolte. Thomas Noel told Cohen, “You are what your people are, no more, and no less.” Cohen adds, “If you are the leader, you’ve got to learn to give the needs of those you lead greater weight than you give your personal needs.”
  7. Put Duty before Self   Sometimes the mission must come first, sometimes the people, but both must always come before self. Harry Walters, former Veterans Administration Administrator, looks at it this way, “To me, duty before self means inclusion with no secrets. Why should there be any secrets, when the leader puts his own interests last? If you don’t put duty before self, you can’t create a team environment.”
  8. Get Out in Front   You have to be “up front” where the action is. General Harry Aderholt said, “There’s no secret about leadership. You’ve got to know your people, live with them, and be seen always out front.”

Posted by Michael McKinney at 01:54 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Leadership



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