Should the principles of leadership change over time? Should each new generation of leaders redefine what leading is? It is my belief that the principles should not, and need not, change. Leadership strategy and navigation techniques will change as the conditions demand, but sound principles of leadership do not change over time. What does change, however, is the person who is responsible to lead with those sound principles.
New leaders do not need to redefine what leadership is; they need to energize and refine how they apply the principles that have and will continue to outlive us all.
Here are five tips for new leaders. DO NOT STOP reading if you are a veteran leader. Use the following as a reminder to reenergize your leadership beliefs and as a tool for multiplying the new leaders in your circle.
1. It is not about you anymore.
If you seek a lot of attention, then leading is not yet for you. Build your confidence in leading by making others better at their success. Leaders are polite backseat drivers.
2. Your success is scored in their success.
When I want to size up the ability of a leader, the first place I look is at their team. Is their team successful, united, positive, passionate, productive and confident? The team is a reflection of the leader.
3. Leaders do not grow companies.
They grow people. If the people grow, the company will grow. Focus on the people. Give needed structure by creating processes and boundaries. This will give people freedom to perform (freedom through structure).
4. Create a safe environment.
Mistakes will happen. Learn from them and allow others to learn from them as well. Do not take mistakes lightly. Fix them, then discuss and learn from them. Mistakes that are not hidden allow people to grow. Mistakes that are ignored create lackadaisical energy.
5. Be balanced.
Too much of one style, even if it is good, makes you lopsided. Be loving and supportive when you can so you can be firm and demanding when you have to.
Being new to leading should be an exciting time in your career. It is a responsibility that no one should take lightly because you are stewarding the welfare of others.