Do you have a guiding philosophy? Most people do but they do not realize it. Their choices reveal their philosophy.
For example, for some people it is “live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself.” Others believe “play now and pay later.”
In my first year of college, I joined ROTC. Why? Because I wanted to ride in a helicopter. My father, who was retired military, was a helicopter crew chief and I wanted know what it was like to fly.
Now, I would like to tell you I was a model cadet, however that would not be truthful. I was a terrible cadet during my first year in ROTC. In fact, at the end of my first year in ROTC, I was evaluated by my peers to be the worst cadet in our unit.
I was devastated by the evaluation and I needed to do some soul-searching. Therefore, I made an appointment to meet with our Command Sergeant Major to help me understand why I was rated so poorly. Well he asked me a questioned that rocked my world. In fact, today when I coach other leaders, I often ask the same question.
So what was the question? It was very simple but profound. He asked me “what was my leadership philosophy?” I sat there without an answer. I never really thought about it. My actions indicated my leadership philosophy was “me first.” I left his office wondering, “did my actions line up with my words.”
I decided to make a change. I began to study the traits of great leaders. What I learned still shapes my choices today. Great leaders have vision and courage. They put other’s needs over their own and accept responsibility to lead. Over the next two years, instead of putting myself first, I put others first.
Dan Cathy, President and Chief Operating Officer of Chick-fil-A, said, “There is not a secret formula or magical 3-step process that graduates us into leaders.”
Leaders have the opportunity to influence the lives of others by always looking for ways to inspire and add value. As a leader, our actions must reflect our philosophy.
So how does a leader create an environment where individuals feel appreciated and valued? It starts with the leader.
In his blog, Dan’s Leadership Toolkit, Dan Cathy shares life lessons he has learned from overseeing more than 1,500 Chick-fil-A restaurants and 50, 000+ employees. While many would say his success is based on selling chicken, Cathy credits his success to his leadership philosophy. Dan Cathy leads by example.
In my senior year of college, I was selected as the first female cadet commander. Yes, I went from worst to first. How? I aligned my actions with my leadership philosophy.
So what is my leadership philosophy? To lead by example.
What is your leadership philosophy? And how do you model it…
Dr. Kim Moore
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