Seven Timeless Leadership Principles Revealed During Crisis
Here are seven principles of leadership that were real before the pandemic, but certainly have been revealed more clearly during the last two years. Embracing these principles will make you more effective, resilient, and happy.
1. Control is an illusion
The more you try to control things, the less efficient you get. Focus on influencing what you can, let go of the rest.
2. Protection is an illusion
The bigger the wall, the bigger the shadow. You can’t ultimately protect everyone. But you can be transparent about your fears, and partner with your people to come together to face adversity. That’s what Gary Ridge did at WD-40, and the result was increased employee engagement and loyalty during the pandemic.
3. You are 100% responsible for your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors
Freedom comes with responsibility. Ironically, when you take ownership over your stuff, and only your stuff, your scope of influence can increase dramatically because your behavior invites others to do the same.
4. Openness is the only path to connection
Vulnerability and transparency is what brings people together. We don’t need saviors, we need partners.
5. Authentic anger is one of the last frontiers for true intimacy
Owning and expressing anger without blame or attack is a critical life skill. This isn’t the same as anger turned inward (depression), projected anger (rage), or passive-aggression.
6. Ultimately, only you can make the next decision
Leaders make decisions. If you don’t make it, someone might try to make it for you.
7. You will fall down
Everyone makes mistakes. It’s what you do next that matters most. Are you a learning leader who grows from mistakes, or a leader who believes the ego-driven myth that failure is not an option? The most inspirational leaders create a culture that turns mistakes into stepping stones for success. This is one of the most crucial points in the seven principles of leadership!
Great leadership is revealed and honed during crisis. Embracing these seven principles of leadership is what compassionate leadership is all about, during crisis and beyond.