MY LEADERSHIP MANIFESTO
Disruptive, challenging, creative, farsighted, failure-friendly, and comfortable with the future are all words or phrases that describe who I am as a leader. They are terms that make some uncomfortable until they get to know me. Until they realize the excitement that comes from living and thriving under those descriptions. Until they learn that my leadership philosophy is one of a servant and transformational focus on the individual and the team. Until they realize my goal is to develop the team in a way that ultimately renders me irrelevant. As a servant leader, I find pleasure and success in removing barriers to my team’s success. Ensuring they are equipped and empowered to execute the vision based on their abilities. As a transformational leader, I am focused on the personal and professional development of each team member. Always challenging, educating, coaching, and empowering them to be all of the things ascribed to quality leaders. I love the idea that “Although the transformational leader plays a pivotal role in precipitating change, followers and leaders are inextricably bound together in the transformational process.” Experiential learning binds groups together, and this becomes a centerpiece for leaders and followers.
I am guided by several principles in my leadership philosophy. The first is I am incredibly fallible. I am extremely honest with myself. I know when I succeed, I know when I fail, and I know when and where I can focus energy on my personal growth. I’m not in pursuit of perfection; however, I am in pursuit of understanding. It is imperative for a leader to be introspective and it is okay for them to be upfront about their continuous improvement methods. In fact, my methods have become coaching opportunities for members of my team.
Second, I believe in the good of men and women in the world. I believe the people I have the honor to serve and lead were created in the full image of our Creator, and have the traits and characteristics of the Almighty God. They will inevitably have intellect, curiosity, creativity, strength, leadership, humility, and so much more. It is my job to honor them as we work collaboratively on identifying those strengths and developing each personally and professionally.
Lastly, I believe a leader must challenge the status quo and to empower their team to do the same. They must establish a culture where it is not just permitted but promoted. The “status quo” exists because leaders have failed.
Three influential drivers are contributing to the principles of my leadership philosophy. The first is I have had a very successful career and the opportunity to lead thousands of people in a variety of roles. It is not that point, but the fact that I have failed and been given grace and guidance by incredible mentors during that journey. The second driver is my ability to look back at my career and realize that I could not have done it alone. God has been in control the entire time, and it is only by the gifts afforded me and the grace of God that I have anything. Lastly, God has gifted me with creativity, and it is that creativity that I can challenge the status quo. It is that ability I have been able to influence others and influence the direction of an entire industry.
My worldview and passion to be a coach and mentor drive my leadership principles, style, and methods. God has gifted us uniquely and abundantly, and we are commanded to use those gifts to honor Him. Romans 12:8 speaks to this command, ” if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”