I was a Marine Corps infantry officer. I currently work in corporate America. I have had the honor of serving and leading across multiple professions and industries. I have worked for and with some outstanding leaders and leaders that left something to be desired. I have had exceptional people work for me, as well as people that did not pass muster. I did my best to listen, learn, and adjust course as needed. I am still learning.
I believe that leadership principles have become buzzwords instead of honest-to-goodness practices. In that spirit, I have put together a few bullet points that I think, if followed, can form a foundation that will drive anyone to happiness and success.
Know your role – Enough said.
Know yourself – This is a journey, and it is exhausting, fun, and everything in between. But know yourself and your roots. Never stop being self-aware.
Habits breed success – I can quickly sum up with the phrase Do the things that will make you successful. Everything else is gorgeous window dressing.
Own your mistakes – It is ok to go in the wrong direction. It is ok to fail spectacularly. It is not ok to drop the ball on owning it.
Let yourself off the hook –Never forget this one. The thing that works best for me is breaking something down, analyzing, improving, and then moving on.
Your team is your responsibility (to a point) – Drive them to success, coach, and mentor them. Protect them and make sure that you do what you can for their success. Any mistake they make is your mistake too. Please talk about the error and fix it together. If an individual is not cutting muster despite repeated efforts, you need to do the hard thing.
Any success your team has is their success – If you did your job right, you coached the team to victory. The world does not need to know that. The best work a leader does is behind closed doors anyway.
Make self-care a habit – This is for your mental well-being. It is self-explanatory. Take care of your mind by continuously learning. Curiosity did not kill the cat, and it will not kill you. Take care of your body by eating right and exercising.
Watch your emotions – Your mood will affect the people above, below, and around you. If you run the emotional rollercoaster, your team will feel it and live it too. I ask you to understand how your emotion affects people and keep them at the door (not saying you cannot have fun). Your team will react similarly to things as you do. Never forget it.