What is your leadership philosophy, and how does this philosophy shape your approach to leadership?
To help you shape your approach to leadership, we asked business professionals and leaders this question for their insights. From having strength in numbers to nothing is impossible, several leadership philosophies can shape your approach to leadership.
Here are eleven leadership philosophies that shaped eleven business leaders:
- Have Strength In Numbers
- Together You Can Achieve More
- Unfair and Unethical Behavior Undermines Trust
- Find the Seeds of Opportunity
- Working Together is Key
- Flexibility and Open-Mindedness Over Rigidity
- Always Be Direct
- Positive Future Vision Leadership Philosophy
- Nothing is Impossible
- Focus on Solutions, Not Problems
- Empathy and Active Listening Skills Can Be Learned
Have Strength In Numbers
This might not be the most inspirational type of leadership philosophy, but “spreadsheets” best shape my approach to leadership. The reason? There’s a lot of uncertainties and options you have as a leader. Running scenarios and numbers through spreadsheets give a leader confidence in their decisions, and people generally want a confident leader to lead the business. Have strength in numbers, and you’ll be stronger as a leader.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Together You Can Achieve More
Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” I think that embodies my philosophy of leadership. The best leaders aren’t the lone heroes of the story, and they know it. Truly great leaders see themselves as one of many members on a team, collaborating with others in both struggle and triumph to make great things happen.
Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital
Unfair and Unethical Behavior Undermines Trust
Don’t ask others to do what you’re not willing to do yourself. If you tell the people who work for you that they’re on a team, you have to act like it. Yes, the buck stops with you, but treat everyone on your staff with the dignity and respect they deserve. Show them that kind of loyalty, and they’ll pay you back on their own.
Allan J. Switalski, AVANA Capital
Find the Seeds of Opportunity
Within every crisis, there is the seed of an opportunity. When something goes wrong, at first blush it’s human nature to pull back, circle the wagons, and wait for the dust to settle. Still, if you’re paying attention when the going gets tough, which can be difficult, you can find the seeds of opportunity and recovery. Even in the worst of times, you have to have your eyes open to possibilities.
Randall Smalley, Cruise America
Working Together is Key
I firmly believe that success is only possible when everyone works together toward a common goal. And, I want those working for me to feel as invested in the success of the business as I am. Therefore, I don’t expect more of my employees than I do from myself. I lead by example, showing myself as part of the team. and I think it’s more inspirational.
Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional
Flexibility and Open-Mindedness Over Rigidity
I prize flexibility and open-mindedness over rigidity and narrow-mindedness, at every level of the organization. Someone who refuses to budge on an issue even when the facts overwhelmingly say they should does not have their company’s best interests at heart. A rigid leader is a weak leader. They’re operating out of a sense of fear. If I’m convinced that one way is the right way, but someone else disagrees, I’ll hear them out. They may be right.
Nick Santora, Curricula
Always Be Direct
Strive to be a direct leader. No one enjoys following an employer who is not direct and difficult to follow. It is better for employees and team members alike when you are direct and follows through with each request. Then, people always know what to expect from you and how to respond.
Olivia Young, Conscious Items
Positive Future Vision Leadership Philosophy
I am an eternal optimist and very hopeful for the future. I use a Positive Future Vision Leadership Philosophy to stay motivated, get through tough times, and persevere. I believe everyone has great potential; they just need to be in the right situation and put the work in. I use this philosophy to look for the positive in all situations and guide those around me. I believe a positive leader can help their organization to build hard-working employees and remind others of the greater future goal they are working towards.
Alison Stine, Stine Wealth Management
Focus on Solutions, Not Problems
The only resources a leader should spend on a problem are the time and effort required to identify it. An exemplary leader knows that every challenge presents a hidden opportunity for growth, which is why they quickly bounce back and come up with unconventional ways to solve traditional problems. When leaders pass on this philosophy to their employees, every problem at the workplace can be resolved with efficiency and effectiveness. A leader should teach employees to view the identification of a problem as an accomplishment and then show them how to now divert every effort towards finding and testing optimal solutions.
Krista Haws, Dripped Coffee
Empathy and Active Listening Skills Can Be Learned
People, in general, want to be heard. Your team members and employees want to know that you’re listening to their thoughts and ideas, and if you simply take in the information without action, it doesn’t feel sincere or thoughtful. Active listening is a skill that can be learned. It’s also directly related to empathy and, if we’ve learned anything from the crises of the past year, we could all use more empathy in the workplace.
Whether you’re a manager or colleague, others will find great value in having a person around who reaches out and shows understanding. Simply knowing and acknowledging some of the work-related or personal issues that face your team will make them feel valued, and likely inspire confidence. And it’s respected, self-assured teams who accomplish great things.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, Workology
Nothing is Impossible
That’s how I see things, and that’s how I approach my role as a leader. I seek to inspire those I work with and who work for me to believe this as well. We’re all on the same team and working towards the same goal. If there’s an issue or obstacle, it’s not only up to one person to figure out a solution. We all work together to find a way around it.
Henry Babicheknko, Stomadent