Leading Blog






05.07.13

11 Ground Rules that Leaders Ought to Know

Leadership
Phillip Van Hooser has condensed his leadership experience down to 11 ground rules that Leaders Ought to Know.

Van Hooser begins with the fact that leaders are made: Leadership is a choice, reinforced by individual effort. In his earlier days, he was moved by a comment that Deming wrote in Out of the Crisis:
Long-term commitment to new learning and new philosophy is required of any management that seeks transformation. The timid and the fainthearted, and the people that expect quick results, are doomed to disappointment.
His choice to be a leader has proven to be his most important professional decision. And it could be yours too. But as Deming noted it takes deliberate work and is not a quick transformation. It is the choice to make the effort that makes a leader.

The choice can be made by anyone anywhere because leadership is not a title. It is, as he states in ground rule 2, the ability to offer service and the willingness to take action—especially on those things we already know we should be doing, but aren't.

He continues with ground rules on earning respect, integrity, motivation, preventive leadership, courage, leadership pitfalls, and some good commonsense.

Ground Rule 3: Leaders cannot function in a vacuum; Leadership requires willing and able followers.
Ground Rule 4: Leaders don't plan to be disrespected; Leaders practice universal principles than earn respect.
Ground Rule 5: Leaders don't play loose with the truth; Leaders lead from a position of unquestioned honesty.
Ground Rule 6: Leaders don't motivate followers; Leaders search for the wants and needs that motivate followers.
Ground Rule 7: Leaders can't predict followers' behavior; Leaders need to know why people do what they do.
Ground Rule 8: Leaders don't overreact to problems; Leaders prevent problems before they materialize.
Ground Rule 9: Leaders aren't fearless; Leaders face their fears courageously.
Ground Rule 10: Leaders' wounds shouldn't be self-inflicted; Leaders flourish when serious errors of judgment are avoided.
Ground Rule 11: Leaders don't always need to plow new ground; Leaders can watch, listen, and learn from the success of others.

Van Hooser on keeping your distance: You can be a supervisor or manager without getting close to your followers; however, you cannot be a leader unless you get close to your followers.

Van Hooser was given this advice on parenting: "You may not always be able to predict what your child will do, or say, or think. But you're the father; your child must always be able to predict with certainty what you will do, or say, or think. That way, he can adapt and adjust his behavior to yours." He relates it to leadership: A leader's consistency provides a predictive foundation from which followers can begin to think, decide, and act. If a leader does not establish that foundation, he or she—albeit unintentionally—creates confusion, uncertainty, and potentially chaos in the followers' minds.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:21 PM
| Comments (0) | Leadership Development



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