The 7 Principles of Good Leadership

by Simon Ashley on October 24, 2009

There are 7 Vital Principles that make Good Leaders Great. Knowing what they are and how to cultivate them is essential for success.

First and foremost it is necessary to appreciate that good leadership is about building positive, strong and cooperative relationships. In that light what is outlined below pertains to the building of relationship strengths.

The Seven Principles of Great Leadership are:

1. Learning to Listen:

If a leader is isolated from what is going on around them they’ll have shut themselves down to the flow of vital information about what is going on in the organization. Apart from simply being aware of the day to day operations it is imperative to be able to listen to what is “not” being said i.e. the general mood state of one’s employees and/or peers. The mood state can significantly affect, even undermine the optimism, enthusiasm and morale of the troops. Keeping a finger on the pulse of this subtle but important piece of information will help the great leader to know well in advance when the wind has been taken out of the sails thereby helping them take swift corrective action.

2. Learning to Trust Your Self

Self doubt is readily perceived by one’s employees and cannot only undermine their confidence in you it can also spread like a wild fire through the organization leading to loss of focus, enthusiasm, and trust in the overall mission. The ability to trust one’s self, feel and be perceived as exhibiting an internal, unwavering, confident steadiness inspires confidence and optimism in others.

3. Learning to Empower Others

With power comes a feeling of responsibility that often makes the leader feel like they must do everything themselves. Unfortunately this often overwhelms them and under powers the organization. It also neglects the valuable resources and strengths that exist in the powerful synergy of individuals working together as a high performance team. A great leader knows and trusts the strengths of their employees and how to nurture self confidence in them so that they can fully express their creative potential.

4. Learning to be Resilient

Resilience is defined as the ability to not let the negativity in. Much like the metaphor of “like water off a duck’s back” a great leader manifests what to some may appear as a superhuman ability to deflect any and all stress from themselves. This entails cultivating a state of inner emotional strength and vitality that can help them weather any storm. As the captain of the ship the great leader must be able to steer the organization both in good and bad times effortlessly and confidently without wavering emotionally.


5. Learning to Make the Difficult Emotional Decisions

All of a leader’s decisions ultimately affect many other people as well as the vitality and integrity of the organization. Hence the ability to make difficult decisions entails being able to navigate the quagmire of one’s internal emotional concerns about the effects of such decisions on others. A good leader knows how to make decisions that takes into consideration the livelihood of all concerned. This means being able to perceive and appreciate the consequences of one’s decisions on the lives of others while at the same time having the inner strength, confidence and courage to move ahead for the best good of all.

6. Learning to Take Responsibility

A good leader realizes that they have been charged with significant responsibility for the vitality of the organization and ultimately for the lives of the individuals that are a part of it. Too often the bottom line takes precedence over the fact that the employees are the engine or life blood of the organization and that neglecting their welfare will severely cripple any bottom line. In this light a good leader recognizes their role and responsibility to those who work in the organization and exhibits an unwavering concern for them.

7. Learning to Communicate Effectively

Relationships that leave out the ability to communicate effectively are doomed to fail. Communication skills however often start with the ability to be open and receptive to the attitudes, ideas and opinions of others as well as the ability to empathize and understand another’s circumstances. When these fundamental building blocks are in place the probability of conflicts, misunderstandings and lowered performance are significantly reduced.

These 7 principles of Good Leadership can be cultivated only by leaders who recognize that a strong and successful organization depends on their courage and ability to develop themselves emotionally first.

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