Leaders: Denial is absolutely not a river in Egypt

Three weeks into the leadership handover in America, it’s hard to ignore the different styles; standards and objectives. I was so concerned the day I watched one of those leaders elect to run for office that I decided to condense what I believe are 50 lessons anyone wanting a leadership role, needs to be aware of.

I covered Lessons 1-10 in an article I called ‘Know yourself: know your limits and respect boundaries’. You’ll find Lessons 11-21 in an article called ‘Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.’   Lessons 21 – 31 are as follows:

Lesson 21: Chart a clear and concise path. Leaders have to know where they are going; they have to know why that’s important and most important of all, they have to know what they will do (and NOT do) to get there, because …

Lesson 22: If the leader is confused everyone around them will be confused.

Lesson 23: Be aware your credibility is under constant scrutiny. As the saying goes, when you do something right no-one remembers yet when you do something wrong, no-one forgets. That isn’t to say leaders don’t make mistakes, of course they do, but acknowledging the mistake is what counts, acknowledging and then learning from that mistake.

Lesson 24: Does credibility even matter? Yes it does. Leadership is about building trust. If a leader says one thing one day and something else the next, then their followers will be dusting off their CVs in no time.

Lesson 25: Make sure your information comes from reliable sources. For the first time in MY lifetime the concept of ‘fake news’ appeared. Not sure how or when, but reliable information is critical. It comes back to lesson 24: credibility.

Lesson 26: Don’t deny, denigrate, dismiss or debunk expert advice. We may not like what they tell us but learning to listen is vital.

Lesson 27: Never ignore, rubbish or repudiate empirical research and data.

Lesson 28: No leader can ever consider themselves above the law. Some things shouldn’t actually need to be spelled out, yet how often do we hear of leaders who took a back-hander; or did some dodgy deal that lined their pockets at the expense of customers or employees or the community they served.

Lesson 29: Resist self-praise; avoid the ‘hero syndrome’ and never award yourself saint status. No-one walks on water. Leadership is the ultimate test of a person’s self-awareness. Arrogance and self congratulation are such bad looks.

Lesson 30: Avoid getting sucked into playing Blame Games. If you said it, own it. If you did it and it went wrong, acknowledge it.

Lesson 31: Don’t make promises you have no hope of keeping (and shouldn’t have made in the first place). Yes we want to set some exciting goals in our first few months as a new leader, but setting an achievable target and hitting it is so much more relevant from our follower’s point of view than setting a target and failing miserably. It makes the leader look dumb and leaves the follower disgruntled.

No-one ever said being in a leadership role was easy, it is no mistake that someone once said ‘if you want to test a person’s character give him/her power’.

You can purchase the book right here.  I’ve reduced the price from $30 to $20 now he is out of office, however, the basis of leadership remains the same whether someone like him is in power or not.  

‘Leadership styles differ, but at the core, good leaders make the people they are leading accomplish  more than they otherwise would. The most effective leaders do this not through fear, intimidation or title, but rather by building consensus around a common goal.’

– Tom Madine, CEO worldwide Express

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