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10 Tips That Make Complex Leadership Ideas Really Simple

Like many Inc.com columnists, I am a consultant and business author. I’ve written five books over the past 25 years and am proud of all of them. My latest, It’s Good To Be King, has done well probably because it simplified what many make complex: leadership principles.

There are over 60 leadership tips presented through the text. Let me share with you my top 10 leadership tips from the book. At the risk of being accused of shameless self-promotion, I believe there’s something in this list for every leader, regardless of their ilk.

Here is my top 10 list:

  1. Leadership is a choice. Sometimes the need to lead is thrust upon you. When this happens, you can rise to the occasion or let someone else take charge. Either way, you live with the consequences of that decision. If you choose to rise to the occasion, do it deliberately and with forethought of action. Don’t just wing it.
  2. Dedicate yourself to being open to learn new things. Sometimes leaders forget how to listen and learn. Don’t fall into that trap. You don’t have to have all of the answers all of the time.
  3. Welcome those who can coach and teach. Even world-class athletes have coaches.  Surround yourself with people who can make you better. So, accept your Yoda.
  4. A foolish student laughs at knowledge. Begin to look backwards to inform your outlook for the future. Gain a full understanding of where your organization or group is today and how it got there, so that you can define a path forward that is right for the current situation.
  5. Leadership styles don’t discriminate. Poor leaders come in many shapes and sizes. Regardless of appearance, a poor leader will wreak havoc on any group or organization of which they are allowed to lead.
  6. Deceitful leaders will destroy all trust within an enterprise or other group. Once trust deteriorates, the culture becomes cut-throat as each team member begins to
  7. It’s almost never too late to right the ship. Even when the situation looks dire and the challenges insurmountable, there may be a path to success that can be discovered through creative thought and perseverance.
  8. When confronted by setback, good leaders dust themselves off and carry on. It’s the only way to succeed. Surely, not every facet of your execution will go flawlessly! Take difficulties in stride and watch how your people follow suit.
  9. A vision is best presented as a story that people can relate to. From an early age, we have all learned to learn through stories. Present your vision as a story that your people can imagine being part of and personally succeeding through and you will engage them in the process of making that story a reality.
  10. A leadership void will always be filled. If you don’t step-up someone else will and the outcome may not be what you prefer or expect.

To close, thanks for indulging me on this. But, as mentioned, I wouldn’t have offered the list if I didn’t already think there was some value in the ideas. I hope that you do, too. If so, be sure to pass this list onto others who may also see the benefit.

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