Very few leaders talk about their philosophy about leadership. Perhaps because “philosophy” is a big word that most people think they know but won’t dare define. A philosopher is a lover of knowledge.
I wrote about 19 Leadership Principles, and if you wonder about the difference between philosophy and principles, I have simple answers. Both guide our actions and decisions. Philosophy is about the “what” and “why”, while principles are about “how.”
What is leadership philosophy?
A leadership philosophy is how you view leadership learning, your leadership role, and how you make leadership decisions. It serves as your compass and may have a big influence on the way you relate with and lead others.
Some think that leadership is a divine right. That they deserve to become leaders because they were born to a bloodline or skin color. These are the people who think that leaders are born. On the other hand, some adhere that anyone can learn how to become a leader.
People need to know your leadership philosophy.
Do you ever wonder why politicians spend millions of pesos to run for public office? What do you think is the leadership philosophy of those who made promises (10,000 pesos cash gifts and 20 pesos per kilo of rice) they cannot fulfill? I encourage you to read Budol Government.
Becoming a good leader is simpler than most people imagine. But it gets complicated when we listen to dozens of gurus at the same time. It is a good thing that I am not your guru. I am only here to share what I have learned.
1. Leadership Begins with You
It begins with you though it is not all about you. The first level of leadership is personal development. You will find it difficult to lead others if you cannot lead yourself.
Most often, what prevents people from becoming leaders is a fixed mindset. Examples of a fixed mindset are:
- Only intelligent people can lead.
- Some people are born to become leaders.
- Leadership runs in the blood.
- It is difficult to become a leader if you are an introvert.
Much of leadership is a disposition to serve and we can learn skills that will help us become of better service to others.
We must define our vision, mission, and values before we ask others to walk with us to the future.
2. Leadership Is Learned
Though not everyone becomes the President of the Philippines, everyone can learn how to become an effective leader. You can change your attitude. You can develop skills. You can seek growth opportunities.
You’ve been leading people. Your experiences can teach you one thing or two about your talents and skills. You can learn from mentors, coaches, and trainers.
And contrary to a common belief, learning how to become a leader is simple (but not easy). It is simpler than learning how to become a mechanic. But it is not as easy because people don’t come in the same shape and don’t always fit together.
3. Leadership Is Everyone’s Business
It is a common mistake to think of leadership as a Holy Grail: something sought by the most but is too challenging to find.
For example, one can become a country’s president but not a good leader. Or it can be a person without a title but followed by many.
Many professionals do not invest time in learning how to lead because they mistake leadership for titles.
Leading others is our business. To create breakthroughs, we must invest time in learning how to lead others. We don’t need to wait for someone to promote us to a new post. It is our obligation to become good leaders wherever we are.
Most of what I learned about leadership is from experience. As a kid, I learned the importance of leading others through games. Our games during those days involved physical movements, strategies, and tactics.
Today, most kids play alone and use only two fingers.
I was a school leader in high school. Much of what I learned about leadership I learned outside the classroom. I was involved in many extra-curricular activities.
I tell you this because my experiences shaped my leadership philosophy and principles. I hope you got something helpful today.
As a thank you for spending time with me, I offer you these important articles.
- 10 Strategic Skills for Leaders
- 28 leadership Skills to Learn
- 17 Outstanding Qualities of Good Leaders
- Good Leadership Masterclass
- 3 Steps to Grow Good Leadership Qualities
I encourage you to share your leadership philosophy. Use the comment form to share yours.