Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration—of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine.
—Lance Secretan, Industry Week, 1998
Real leadership is value-driven, based on principles such as humility, accountability, positivity, and love. Here are eight principles for a more humanistic approach to leadership:
Trust In Others: Trusting in others builds credibility with your team and creates humility within. All great heroes have help achieving their goals.
Embody Values: Values help point the direction of what you are and what you are not. They help protect you from cynics.
Teach Others: Teaching helps guide your team forward. Being able to explain something clearly also forces you to become an expert and have a deep understanding of the subject. Constant learning begets constant results. Keep in mind one of Nobel laureate Richard Feynman’s guiding principles: if you can’t explain it to a freshman class, you don’t truly understand it.1
Be Accountable: You should be just as accountable as your team. Lead by example. Being accountable keeps tension out of the system and allows the business move forward at a peak speed—something necessary in the current, quickly-changing business environment.
Take Measurements: To achieve your goals, you need to know where you are and where you want to go. Measuring progress helps keep you on track and prevents you from swaying in directions that don’t push towards the ultimate vision.
Be Positive: A quality of emotionally intelligent leaders is being motivated, even in the face of opposition. The positivity that this motivation has is contagious: it not only helps you keep up the momentum but it also inspires your team forward.
Love: Love starts with the desire to make someone happy and true love brings joy and freedom to that person. There is no greater kindness. Love can create a higher purpose and meaning for you and your team.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
—1 Corinthians 13:13
- David L. Goodstein and Judith R. Goodstein, Feynman’s Lost Lecture:
The Motion of Planets Around the Sun, 1996. ↩