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Leadership Philosophy – Exercise | Deliberate Practice

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From the Post: Flip the View of Ourselves – One more resolution

The simple fact in all of this is that there is one thing we can control and that’s ourselves. We can control how we perceive things around us. We can ask questions and stay curious. We can suspend judgment and do the right thing. We can teach ourselves to know what to let go of and what to focus on. We can create a space that encourages others to be their best if they choose to be.  

Working on understanding ourselves, in reality, does afford us the ability to influence change in many things. Our actions will always speak louder than our words. 

How do you want to be seen, you have the ability to change that. 

Instead of a New Year’s resolution, how about a today’s resolution? What’s your leadership philosophy? Grab your journal and start writing down thoughts about what it might be. How you see yourself is something that you have control over. 

The structure of a leadership philosophy can vary greatly. Some statements are as short as a sentence while others can be longer. Philosophies are highly personalized statements or positions. 

Leadership philosophies can include the following components:

  • Theories
  • Attitudes
  • Guiding principles
  • Behaviors
  • Personal values
  • Leader values
  • Vision

When I work with leaders on their philosophies I have them practice their statements by walking down a hall and reading their statements out loud. I usually time them, I give them 30 seconds to share their statements. 

What we have found over the years is the best statements are:

  • Clear
  • Concise
  • To the point
  • Easily understood.

Don’t create a statement design to make you look intelligent, wise, or important. Write one that helps you to remember who you are and how you want to be seen as a leader. Here is an example from someone I know:

I am a transformational leader who creates a space to suspend judgment, practice collaboration among everyone, and encourages other to do the same. I strive to understand all sides of conversations and decisions and do the right thing even if I don’t agree. I engage in continual personal and professional growth knowing that I don’t know everything and always have room for improvement.   

 Leadership philosophies must remain open for adjustments and changes over time because our role as leaders will change over time.  

Writing a philosophy will take time and many edits until you reach a statement that represents who you are and your ability to live that philosophy. Don’t be in a hurry to arrive at a statement, enjoy the journey and self-discovery as you write and rewrite your statement. 

Give yourself time and space to do this. That will help you to identify what’s important to you over time and could help you to identify what your core values are. You may be surprised at what you discover. What’s buried deep in your desire to be a leader may be unknown to you until you start to write about it. 

Don’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow never comes. What you have is today and this is the best time to begin anything.   

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