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4 Guiding Leadership Rules


4 Guiding Leadership Rules

Something we talk about at our company are four (4) leadership rules.  We train our leaders on these and remind each other of them at all times.  While we push our leaders on these and they have embraced them as their own and use them every day.

Just yesterday I had to apologize for a mess up and within minutes was forgiven.  Very few places are as safe as ours.  

Here they are:

  1. Make it Safe – make it safe to not know – do not ever make fun of someone because they don’t know or understand something.  You will forever have an environment where people hide mistakes from you and will pretend to know.  That will be your fault too – if you mock them or belittle them, they will not come to you.  In order for your organization to be successful, you have to make it safe for your people to quickly come forward when they don’t know something.  How else will things get done.  

You also must be comfortable coming forward and apologizing when you mess something up.  To be forgiven, not punished for mistakes.  Set a good example.  Show others that it is safe to mess up.  This is the way to lead your people.  

This is by far – the most important rule.  

If you cannot forgive those around you or be forgiven by others – then you are in a very dangerous environment for sure!  You will never feel safe to make mistakes or let others know if something is wrong.  That leads to hidden crap, fear, shame, regret, the dark side are these – and that leads to disaster!  Creating a safe environment requires two things:

  1. Be willing to say “I’m sorry” and
  2. Forgiveness without Punishment

When we have the courage to say “I’m sorry – it sets a good example.”  When we have the patience and compassion and care to forgive and let go without punishment – it makes it safe for others to come forward and apologize.  

  1. Listen, and be willing to change – to share ideas and points of view – to be open to changing the way we do things to create and maintain an environment that everyone can do well in.  This is the way.

This is important for growth of the individual and organization.  It requires two things:

  1. Be willing to listen to “criticism” and
  2. Be willing to find what is right about the other person’s point of view.

Do these two things and you will create better products, improve your effectiveness with people around you, and more. 

  1. Get things done – focus on getting things done – celebrate in the success of a job well done – enjoy the pride and rewards that come with getting things done.  This is the way.  Your team will be more focused and generally happier if they are succeeding in getting things done.  You have to lead them.

This is essential for business success and your own morale.  It requires two things:

  1. Plan what you are going to get done and
  2. Get it done.

Do these two things and you will end every day feeling good and start every day confident in your ability to accomplish anything.

  1. Make work fun – at work – find ways to make work fun – play games at work -with the professionals around you.  This is the way.  Most companies schedule off site activities – that reinforces the idea that fun happens outside of work.  Make work fun by hosting fun activities there.  

Icing on the cake – why not have fun while you work hard?  Find ways to make the work environment fun – if the only fun that happens is outside the office – then the office becomes a lot less fun.  Positively associate your work environment with fun.  It requires two things:

  1. Willing to have fun at work and
  2. Participating in activities that are fun at work.

Most people don’t think about fun as something that requires effort, but sometimes it does…  If no one comes out to play – then there are not games…