8 Principles For Humanistic Leadership

The quintessential leader lives in the moment and leads from the heart. —Lance secretan

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.1 Corinthians 13:13

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:

Embody Values: Values determine what types of behaviors are in line with your company’s purpose that will help you achieve your vision. Values can never be given up. They guide you in good times and in tough times. They determine what you are and what you are not. Living up to your values protects you from cynics.

Trust In Others: Trusting in others builds credibility with your team and creates humility within. All great heroes have help in achieving their goals.

Teach Others: Teaching helps guide your team forward. Being able to explain something clearly also forces you to have a strong 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 to 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 and close that gap. 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.

Be Honest: When you aren’t honest about a situation and the situation turns out to be something other than what you said it is, you lose trust. And, without trust, it becomes difficult to lead. Being honest isn’t always easy, but it sets appropriate expectations and lets people know that you’re all in it together.

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.


If you want guidance in thinking more deeply about your company’s purpose and vision, our Ultimate Guide to Creating a Company Vision coaches you through the process of creating a purpose and a vision using the best tools we’ve found over nearly two decades. You can download it by clicking here. We hope it helps you become a more humanistic leader and create a more humanistic organization.


  1. David L. Goodstein and Judith R. Goodstein, Feynman’s Lost Lecture:
    The Motion of Planets Around the Sun
    , 1996.
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