I have been in leadership for over 10 years. In those years, I have learned so many principles that have shaped the way that I lead today.
Many of which I have learned by failure, I am sad to say.
You could write a hundred posts about leadership principles, and never run out of content, but I wanted to share three of the very best leadership principles that I have learned in my lifetime.
You could add so many more to this list, but these are three that have shaped my experience the best:
1. When you stop learning, you stop leading!
When I first graduated from college, I felt that leadership was knowing everything and telling people what to do.
Obviously I knew it was more than that, but at the root of it, that was the premise.
As time goes on, I am learning more and more that you are never too old to stop learning. In fact, I would say the higher that you go in leadership, the more you should be willing to learn.
Basically, if you think you know better than everyone else and you are above learning new things, you might as well pack it up, because you have peaked as a leader.
Leaders learn. It is that simple.
So, leader, keep on learning so you can keep on leading.
Read, ask questions, go to conferences, journal, and watch those around you. You just might learn something along the way.
2. People would rather follow a leader that is always real than a leader that is always right!
Craig Groeschel made this quote famous for me, but it is a principle that has stuck with me.
I think most young leaders tend to view leaders as the ones with all of the answers. So as we move up in leadership, we start believing that we have to have all of the answers.
You have probably felt this in the organization that you lead. Someone asks you a question because you are the senior leader. You don’t have a clue what the answer is, but you feel pressure to give an answer since you are the leader.
Look, knowledge is good. Authenticity is better.
Don’t be afraid to tell the people who you lead “I don’t know, I’ll get back with you.”
They would rather that than you making up something to feel better about yourself.
Be real. be transparent. Be authentic! People will follow this a lot more than someone who thinks they know everything.
3. Longevity requires a succession plan.
As I have surveyed churches and businesses, I have learned that the majority of businesses or churches that shut down is because the succession plan was non-existent.
Successful leaders develop people within the organization to succeed them when they move on.
Leadership is working yourself out of a job.
It is about developing others around you.
Organizations built on one person tend to fall apart when that person leaves the organization.
But organizations who have spent time developing leaders around the organization tends to stick around because the organization was not built on one individual.
If you want your church or business to continue long after you are gone, succession is important and should be something you are working on now.
What leadership principles would you add to this?