Richard Martin’s Bold Leadership Tips

Posted: May 1, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Here is a list of my Bold Leadership Tips that I’ve posted since last year on Twitter. You can follow me at boldleadership.

  1. Be aware of your surroundings, your thoughts, and your emotions. Awareness is key to effective leadership.
  2. Competence is the fuel of leadership. If you’re competent, people will naturally want to follow you.
  3. Strategy and leadership are basically the same. They both aim to change people’s behavior in favor of common goals.
  4. It’s okay to have a certain level of conflict and competition on your team. It energizes people to be creative.
  5. Don’t be afraid to let your subordinates or teammates shine. It shows confidence and is good for business.
  6. Give clear direction and guidance to your subordinates so they know what to do, but leave them to figure out how.
  7. Stop trying to please everyone and to get mindless and useless ego strokes.
  8. If you want to stand out as a leader, make sure you stand for something and that people know about it.
  9. Set challenges for your people so they will be stimulated to perform beyond expectations.
  10. Don’t let tactics and routine procedures get in the way of your strategy.
  11. When most people blindly follow, it’s important for a leader to use his/her mind and question assumptions.
  12. People develop through various levels of leadership capability that correspond to levels of psychological maturity.
  13. Sometimes you have to give more demanding tasks and responsibilities to others so they can truly develop.
  14. If you want others to follow you in your projects, make a plan and start moving forward. Others will join you.
  15. Don’t try to outdo others. Let them have their kudos all to themselves. You’ll get your chance soon enough.
  16. Sometimes it’s better to move with the 60, 40 or even 20 % solution than to not do anything at all.
  17. Take a stand on your principles, but be flexible on other matters.
  18. It’s dangerous to presume to know a person’s motivation for what they do. It’s the easiest way to look foolish.
  19. Leadership and management are not mutually exclusive. You must excel in both to be truly effective.
  20. Be yourself. People will prefer you that way and, besides, it’s much easier on you.
  21. A crisis is the best time to see the real mettle of yourself and your team.
  22. Be the example of the behavior you want in your team members. Model the behavior of the best yourself.
  23. Successes should be attributed to the team. The leader should accept failures.
  24. Stop being so grey. Black and white is good. Be bold in your assertions and decisions, even if they disturb others.
  25. In leadership as in jazz, only those who have truly mastered the basics can improvise with flair and effect.
  26. You can cultivate motivation in others through your actions, but you can never really “motivate” others.
  27. People readily follow people they trust are competent and whom they respect, even if they don’t like them personally.
  28. You don’t need to be the best at everything, but you do need to set the example in ethical conduct and integrity.
  29. Commit to an informal conversation with at least one of your people every day. You’ll be surprised at what you learn.
  30. Strive to be respected, rather than liked. If you’re doing that, the appreciation and affection will follow.
  31. Novice leaders tend to either task or people orientation. Over time versatility can be developed to integrate both.
  32. Set stretch goals for you and your team. If you aren’t a bit nervous or queasy about them, they aren’t stretch goals.
  33. Novice managers often do and say things to ingratiate themselves with subordinates rather getting respect.
  34. Stop trying to please everyone. It rarely works and annoys those who truly appreciate your leadership.
  35. Leadership is the art of influencing others to achieve a desired goal or outcome. Everything else is commentary.
  36. You can’t lead hidden in an office. Get out and about. Talk to people. You might be surprised what you learn.
  37. You’ll get more followers by making bold moves than by being timid and trying to be everything to everyone.
  38. If you can back it up, you add more value by disagreeing than agreeing with your boss.

© 2010 Richard Martin

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