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Simple Truths of Leadership

Simple Truths of Leadership

COMMON sense never seems to be common practice. To address this problem, Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley wrote Simple Truths of Leadership—52 of them.

We wrote this book because we know a lot of people aren’t applying commonsense principles in the workplace. The format of the book is simple. On the left page, we identify a Simple Truth about servant leadership or trust. On the right page, we describe the puzzling lack of the use of the concept and briefly explain why it is important. The final element is a call to action for readers—“Making Common Sense Common Practice”—where we break down the concept into ideas that leaders can easily apply on the job.

Some of the more memorable truths are:

#1: Servant leadership is the best way to achieve both great results and great relationships.

#5: The key to developing people is to catch them doing something right.

#7: When people are off track, don’t reprimand them—redirect them.

#9: Effective servant leaders realize they have to use different strokes for different folks.

#12: Create autonomy through boundaries.

#13: You get from people what you expect.

#23: Servant leaders love feedback.

#30: Someone must make the first move to extend trust. Leaders go first.

#33: Fear is the enemy of trust.

#41: #Trust is always trending. Doing the right thing never goes out of style.

#44: The most important part of leadership is what happens when you’re not there.

#48: Building trust is a journey, not a destination.

#50: Apologizing is not necessarily an admission of guilt, but it is an admission of responsibility.

The only truth that I think needs further explanation is #46: “People don’t resist change; they resist being controlled.” It’s true. If people feel controlled, they will resist. And their prescription is spot on: “It is important that they know the reasons the change is needed and the anticipated advantage of effectively implementing it.” Absolutely. People are more likely to change when they have faith in the promised outcome—the why.

It is interesting, though, as studies have demonstrated, people who have had life-threatening heart conditions, when told that they need to change their lifestyle and eating habits, don’t. In his book Change or Die, Alan Deutschman tells us that Edward Miller of John Hopkins University has reported that if you “look at people after coronary-artery bypass grafting two years later, ninety percent of them have not changed their lifestyle.” They would rather die than change even though they are fully aware of the stakes. Perhaps the Simple Truth should be, “People are likely to resist change when they don’t know the why of the change.”

The problem, of course, is that with all 52 of the rules, we know these things intellectually, but making them a part of how we lead is difficult because it requires some introspection and intentional forethought. And then action. You know, change. That often seems harder than the status quo. Or, we begin to make the change but tire of the effort.

Nevertheless, we all benefit by reviewing these truths and, better yet, discussing them with our peers and co-workers. We can’t fix what we don’t think about. And we can use the support of others. These 52 Simple Truths will help us to move in the right direction.

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Servant Leadership in Action 10 Laws of Trust

Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:56 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Leadership



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