Developing Equals - The First Degree of Success

If you could view your leadership from the eyes of someone else what do you think you would see?  How effective do you believe others think you are as a leader?  Asking others to comment on your leadership is ok – but it is not enough to identify to you why others should or would follow you.  The one thing we do not get to do as people or as leaders is – well – to get to see and be on the receiving end of our own leadership.  Ask yourself, why do you think others would voluntarily follow you?

The first principle of being the leaders others would voluntarily follow is to develop the unmistaken ability to lead yourself well; this is the first degree of success.  People follow your success not your failures; they follow your ideas more than they follow your objectives; they align with what you can make them to become because they see what you have become at your own hands.  People who have conquered this first degree of success have achieved what I call a state of leadership that thrives.  Thriving leadership is the ability to achieve highly effective performance in leading yourself and in developing uncommonly effective personal, professional and organizational performance through others.

So how can you rise to the level of thriving leadership?  Well there are ten leadership principles common to those who master the first degree of success to achieve a level of thriving leadership.

  • Learn to lead yourself;  leadership is more will than skill; the mindset of a leader must be within you before leadership of others can really start with you;
  • Develop Purpose; purpose will anchor you in values and it explains why you are moved to do what you do.  Purpose enables you to cast a long shadow and to extend influence with others;
  • Develop an environment for leadership; leadership is more easily caught than it is taught.  You want people to learn to lead more than they learn to follow;
  • Develop a winning Way With People (WWP); people resist performing for someone they cannot like.  An unlikeable person leads no one; people will do as you say but they will never do as you do;
  • Develop a an uncommonly effective perspective; power, authority, status and so forth are tools – not leadership; learn to see things in a different but better way;
  • Develop and work from a vision; with vision people will come through more than they are overcome;
  • Inspect what you expect; thriving leaders change themselves because it is the best way to bring change in others;
  • Be of more value than cost to others; make others treasure what you enable them to become and never to groan at what you try to get from who they are;
  • Prepare yourself to be successful; sharpen the axe of your leadership before you put it to the work of developing the people you will lead;
  • Work from a strategic perspective; goals not born from a clear strategy are a slow road to failure and;
  • Deliver extraordinary results; learn to become excellent.  Determination is the key to success – make things better not harder in the lives of others.

If you cannot master the first degree of success as a leader it is probable that you are on the path of 99 degrees of failure.  When people perceive or believe that you have not mastered the ability to lead yourself well they will not permit you to lead them.  So you may say but I have the position or title or status of a leader so that will make me the leader among others.  No, that just makes you have something others do not have.

Thriving leadership thrives in the lives of others because it gives to others and makes others to be in their roles what the leader is in his role.  Thriving leadership makes it possible for everyone to become a leader where ever they are.  It makes people more like the leader than different from the leader.  When you make the leadership of the people you lead equal to your own leadership you enable people to become equal leaders with you.  This is why people follow leaders who demonstrate the thriving leadership found in the first degree of success.