Leadership has Rules

Leaders, new and old, sometimes lose sight of the most fundamental tenets of leadership.  Here’s a reminder…

I frequently tell executives that leadership – its concepts, theory, and core applications – haven’t changed in a millennium. Some our demographics may have changed, forcing us to use alternative applications of those concepts, but the basic concepts and theory remain.

So, why don’t we “just do it?”  Sometimes we aren’t motivated; sometimes the “time” just doesn’t seem right.  Maybe we simply forgot some of the basics… hence this article.

I use the following rules for both new managers/leaders, as well as for any level of leadership when taking on a new role – some good things to not forget. So, here goes…

Kevin’s Survival Kit for New Managers — 5 Irrefutable Laws

  1. Never delay or abrogate a decision that must be made. Make it and move on. You may have to immediately make another decision; this doesn’t mean your first one was wrong, merely that your second one had the benefit of additional knowledge.
  2. If you want something specific done, say so specifically, using clear, plain language. Employees, generally, have some difficulty doing their basic jobs; adding “mind-reading” to their description is just plain unfair.
  3. If you always answer employee’s every question, you’ll forever be answering employees’ every question. Questions are teaching moments — don’t rob employees of the opportunity.
  4. Make your expectations clear, then back up a bit and give employees room to do their job. That doesn’t mean “never look back;” to inspect what you expect isn’t micro-management, it’s just good-management.
  5. Employees need their managers to be leaders; they don’t need a shoulder, a buddy, a sympatico, or a commiserator. If you want a friend, buy a dog.

Please print these out, laminate, and put in your top desk drawer…

And follow them zealously.

Be Brazen.

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