Leadership Insights

Here’s a list of lessons I’ve learned about leadership over the years–both as a leader and follower. Offered without explanation.

  1. Credit belongs to the group. Blame/responsibility belongs to me.
  2. Agency is important. If people aren’t free to try and fail, then they won’t try anything at all.
  3. Personal insecurities and stress should never be vented on other people.
  4. Someone having an open disagreement with me can be a sign of both trust and respect.
  5. People’s preferences and emotions are real and should be acknowledged.
  6. Ideas that don’t originate with me are desirable.
  7. Whenever preferences and emotions become tools of manipulation they need to be confronted.
  8. The best work is done by people who are doing things they want to do, not by people who are forced to do things they have to do.
  9. “I’ll just do it myself” isn’t leadership.
  10. I can’t expect the folks to trust me if I don’t trust them.
  11. It can take years for healthy ideas to take root and grow.
  12. Making sure everyone is happy isn’t being a leader, it’s being a concierge.
  13. Stoking people toward anger, resentment, and insecurity isn’t leadership. It’s sociopathy.