Living Your Leadership Philosophy

Posted On: August 29

For more than 30 years, I have been delivering leadership workshops to executives worldwide. I have a precise framework for how I present the information. One of the workshops is for each person to create a list of what they must focus on to be the sort of leader they hope to be.


Based on feedback from thousands of people, here are a few of the key attributes that many people choose.

  • Honest / integrity/ character
  • Visionary
  • Highly competent
  • Excellent communicator
  • Team player/collaborative
  • Innovative/risk taker
  • Strategic thinker
  • Decisive
  • Fair and supportive
  • Creates clear goals and direction
  • Respect/Recognition
  • Passionate/inspiring
  • Personally accountable
  • Proactive/action-oriented
  • Customer/quality focused
  • Adaptable

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should serve as a good benchmark of what other leaders have identified as their key leadership ideals and competencies. I hope you will use this list to develop or refine your leadership philosophy and then use your philosophy as a touchstone to guide your actions, comments, focus, and behavior.


Here is what I did while running large companies to help you be more intentional in implementing the ideas on your list.

I printed out the list and put it in the center of my desk. Each morning when I came in, I would look over the list and focus on what I needed to do to live up to my leadership philosophy that day.

Every evening before I left, I would review the list again and rate myself on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest score) on how well I had lived my philosophy that day.

I handed out a copy of my list to everyone on the team and asked them to hold me accountable to it. I told them I wanted their feedback, and it was safe to tell me if I was violating anything on the list.

Once a quarter, I would ask the entire team to rate me on the 1 to 10 scale. If I scored anything less than a seven, I apologized to the staff and promised to do better.

Having the list in front of me always kept it top of mind. Holding myself accountable and asking the team to hold me accountable increased my focus. The scoring helped me gauge my performance.

If you want to be more thoughtful in your leadership, this is a practice that might be helpful.

If you want to get in contact with me, I’d love to hear from you. Please visit my site at and let me know how I can help.

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