When developing your leadership philosophy you must be aware that each individual’s values and goals will differ, and so will that of the organisation. Your leadership philosophy should reflect these differences.
However there are some fundamental characteristics of effective leadership that are universal and considered essential to developing an effective leadership philosophy.
Leadership philosophies provide foundations on which to build strategies for an organisation from management to operational activities.
Match individual needs with organizational needs
Firstly insure that your own core values and goals are attuned with the organisation.
Leadership is fundamentally individualistic. So you should be ‘true to oneself’, to act out of personal conviction and passion. However it is also essential for you as a leader to also be ‘true to the organisation’ and act in ways that meet the needs of the organisation through others.
The most effective leadership therefore is one based on matching individual needs and goals to organisational needs and goals where the requirements of neither the individual nor of the organisation are sacrificed.
You should also find it easier to motivate and inspire others if your values reflect the values and expectations of the organisation as a whole.
For example you may have a desire to make a difference to other people’s lives. Putting this into action could involve listening to your clients or customers, understanding what is important to them and making the necessary changes. This in turn meets the needs of the organisation by increasing the competitiveness and profitability of your company but also your own desire to make a positive difference to others.
Have Personal Conviction and Sincerity
Insuring that your way of leading, managing, influencing and relating to others is compatible with your own beliefs and values. This will insure you come across as sincere and find it easier to state your opinions openly and boldly.
Prior to expecting anyone to follow, a leader first needs to demonstrate a vision and values worthy of a following. Having personal conviction will make it easier to inspire and motivate others. You will come across as genuine and your message more convincing.
Introspection and self awareness
True leaders possess the ability to analyse their own motives and make objective judgements of their behaviour. These judgements can result in constructive improvements in how they relate to others and help identify unhelpful reactions or defences in themselves. Perhaps you have a tendency to control or dominate based on a fear of failure; perhaps you have a fear of conflict and a desire to appease others; or an excessive competitiveness that leads to distrust.
Introspection enables managers to identify personal motives that are less distorted by unconscious bias and take corrective action and lead according to circumstance.
Extrospection and awareness of others
You should be aware of the motivations, strengths and skills of other individuals and groups to better enable you to harness these to facilitate the goals of the organisation. Be open to the best of what everyone, everywhere, has to offer.
Insure that the right people are given the right jobs where their skills can be best utilized and build a team committed to achieving the objectives of the organisation. Ensure that communications and relationships are good. If you are leading a large organisation you should check that the processes for managing, communicating and developing people are in place and working properly.
Be aware of the differences between yourself and others and have the capacity to understand and value those differences making others feel valued for a job well done and giving them credit for it.
Communication is critical. Listen, consult, involve, explain why as well as what needs to be done.
Based on the above universal qualities and characteristics of good leadership your leadership philosophy could look something like this:
Insure that my goals, values and needs match those of my company. Be sincere, passionate and have conviction in myself and the organisation. Be aware of my strengths and weaknesses. Be aware of my motives and take corrective action if these are unhelpful while being aware of the motives and talents of others so that they harnessed for the benefit of the company. Communicate, listen and inspire others to share my vision and lead with authority.