Having A Written Leadership Philosophy Helps Leaders Be Consistent
One of of the most important foundations for great leaders is having an understanding of their own leadership platform — a set of beliefs, values, and personal rules related to the kind of leader they want to be.
A leadership philosophy is a set of beliefs and principles that strongly influences how you interpret reality and guides how you react to people, events, and situations. Research has shown that consistent leadership behavior and actions require a clear personal leadership philosophy.
Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic in Japan, is known in that country as the “god of management” for his writings and speeches on leadership and management. He wrote, “If you are a leader, you must have an ideology of leadership. If you lack an ideology, and attempt to decide everything on a case-by-case basis, you will never be capable of strong leadership.”
A written leadership philosophy helps leaders demonstrate and communicate to team members and others what they expect, what they value, and how they will act in any given situation. This helps to make their workplace environment less stressful and more productive, as well as keeping them on track and aligned with their core beliefs and values.
Having a written personal leadership philosophy is one of the distinctions between great leaders and average leaders.
While a leadership philosophy is a set of core beliefs and principles about leadership and the type of leader you want to be, a leadership mindset, though closely related, is different. A leadership mindset is a set of core values upon which leadership behaviors are based.
Integrating these two sets of beliefs creates a foundation that will drive the organizational environment and climate of the team a leader leads, whether this is a four-person department or a multinational company with tens of thousands of employees.
Combining consistent behavioral actions with a personal leadership philosophy creates great leadership. These are the leaders who not only get results, but do so while building and enhancing the climate of their respective organizations, continuously developing the skills of themselves and their team members, and simultaneously creating new leaders (not just followers).
When a leader is consistent, they are able to inspire trust; whereas an inconsistent leader causes confusion, anxiety, angst, and uncertainty within their troops.
This article is excerpted from my book Great Leadership Words of Wisdom, which is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.