I’ve read that the average person uses only 10% of his or her brain capacity. In my experience, a lot more use even less.
Throughout my 35 years of existence, I’ve had the good fortune of being in a position of leadership and management. From my scouting years until my corporate and business life, I’ve never shied away from the role of a leader when the task was given to me.
These are my top Ten (10) Leadership Lessons that I’ve learned from my 35 Years of Existence; I haven’t perfected them yet because as the old cliché goes, I’m still a work in progress.
How can you expect your subordinates to abide by the rules you implement if you can’t apply them yourself?
Forcing your staff to do something is hard. But, making your staff understand the task and leading them to its completion is easier and will be met with less resistance.
Rather than forcing people to do what you want, show them how to do it and then let them follow your lead. For example, there’s a new order from upper management, make sure that you obey that order first before you require everyone else do to the same. Don’t just be a loudspeaker for your bosses.
A real leader makes it a point to have a plan of succession. You don’t want to always be in that position. Train your staff to be capable of doing your job eventually, so that when you move up or move out, your team will still function well. Doing so will also give those below you the opportunity to explore their leadership potentials. Leaders grow themselves and grow other people, too.
If you respect your subordinates they most of the time will respect you back. But there will always be one or more that won’t. For those exemptions, just treat them fairly and justly. Respect is earned, not demanded.
Give them the assurance that if they do the right thing they will be rewarded or at least won’t be harassed. Build up the culture of honesty. Also, empowering your staff to always do the right thing will benefit your company’s reputation in the long run. Honesty is an investment.
You can’t always expect all your staff to like you: that’s a fact of life. Instead of wasting your time, just accept that fact and do your job. Treat your staff fairly, justly, and they will eventually learn to tolerate you.
This is one skill that all managers should learn. If you prioritize the demands of upper managements and neglect the sentiments and welfare of your subordinates, sooner or later your staff will complain. Worse, they can even make your life harder because they will accuse you of being a suck up. It’s the responsibility of a manager to make sure that the demands of the company are attainable and fair for the employees that will do them. If you feel that the demands are beyond the capabilities of your team, raise the concern to upper management and/or find a way for your team to be able to meet those requirements.
This is very basic: if it’s your fault, accept the blame and sincerely apologize. Afterwards, move on and work on improving yourself and your team. Real leaders knows how to say “I’m sorry” sincerely.
As our business mentor, Francis Kong, always say: “Great leaders read a lot and never stop learning.” Accept the reality that you are not perfect and you don’t know everything, hence you need to study more and improve yourself faster.
I am in no way a perfect leader. I’m still working out the kinks and making an effort to master the 10 lessons above.
One thing is certain, I am thankful to everyone who has allowed me to lead them, and even more thankful to God for giving me the skills and opportunities to lead and teach other people.
After 35 Years of Existence I look forward to more years of leadership opportunities. Thank you everyone.