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11 Lessons of Leadership


AHA Solutions

1. Thoroughly Know Yourself

  • Become keenly aware of your strengths and challenges as a leader
  • Learn your “blind spots” and their impact
  • Solicit and act on feedback

2. Build on Strengths, Fix Your Weaknesses

  • Remove skill deficiencies
  • Pro-actively overcome debilitating biases
  • Develop and maintain your own personal development plan
  • Actively seek out opportunities to challenge your weaknesses

3. Master Difficult Conversations

  • Be able to handle difficult conversations
  • Use conversations as a tool of leadership
  • Learn to listen on multiple levels and with empathy
  • Get more accomplished through people

4. Communicate Pro-Actively

  • Get the organization focused on the customer
  • Speak passionately about your strategy and direction
  • Openly ask for commitment to goals
  • Become a powerful public spokesperson for the organization
  • Write clear, crisp documents that get intended results
  • Take full responsibility for interpersonal communication
  • Build communication  strategy into all initiatives
  • Maintain a “transparent” approach to managing

5. Adopt a Facilitative Style

  • Become a catalyst for idea generation
  • Ensure innovative ideas are heard without judgment
  • Successfully exploit the value of competing viewpoints
  • Use conflict as a creative force for change
  • Insist on data-based conclusions
  • Lead powerful, productive meetings

6. Focus on a Few Initiatives

  • Select initiatives with high-impact potential
  • Set appropriate priorities for the organization
  • Accurately assess situations before taking action
  • Accurately analyze unintended consequences of actions
  • Concentrate on results that implement strategy and profits
  • Challenge and remove “activities” that do not lead to results

7. Drive Change

  • Acknowledge and communicate the urgency of change
  • Set challenging goals for everyone
  • Manage the impact of change on the organization
  • Insist on learning and growth in the organization
  • Properly assess the current environment and its implications
  • Develop strategies to remain competitive, vibrant, relevant
  • Set high standards and demand accountability

8. Model a Clear Way

  • Lead by example
  • Consistently demonstrate the connection of work to strategy
  • Model and enforce corporate values and personal integrity
  • Be transparent in executing strategy
  • Share your learning with your people
  • Transmit the culture to newcomers

9. Let Leaders Lead

  • Choose a team with impeccable skills
  • Provide broad guidance regarding strategy, direction
  • Build in appropriate reporting and check-ins
  • Ask openly how you can help
  • Delegate generously and stay out of the way
  • Find ways to develop every person

10. Become a Life-Long Learner

  • Stay tuned in to the changing environment
  • Study the lessons of history
  • Make learning a requirement of managers
  • Lead and participate in development
  • Consistently reward learning in the organization
  • Make every manager a coach/facilitator
  • Make ROI-based training a consistent element of strategy

11. Focus on People

  • Fine tune your own people skills
  • Build an organization that treats everyone with respect
  • Recruit leaders with a record of getting results through people
  • Recognize excellent performance, new ideas