On Inspirational Leadership

The ability to lead others, starts with the ability to lead yourself. And leading yourself begins with accurate thinking. In my work with High Performance individuals, teams and organizations, I have found that the following 5 principles unlock the vault to accurate thinking and Inspirational Leadership:

The Columbus principle: When Columbus set sail to the Americas, he did not know where he was going. And when he arrived, he did not know where he was. And when he returned, he did not know where he had been. The Columbus principle is a metaphor for many organizations: they do not know where they are, they are confused about where they have been and are clueless about where they are going. Effective leaders provide therefore clarity: they constantly ask themselves: “what does success look like and how can we get there in the easiest, fastest and most elegant way possible.”

The Everything Counts principle: Effective leaders realize that the minimum behavior they show themselves is the maximum behavior they can expect from others. They are, therefore, very clear about which leadership standards to exhibit all the time. They know that everything counts.

The Strategic Quitting principle: Effective leaders know that ‘more’ is not the answer to ‘too much.’ Therefore, they constantly focus on how to stop existing activities. As a result, more time, energy and money becomes available to do more valuable things. This process is called Strategic Quitting.

The Production-Before-Perfection principle: Effective leaders will launch an initiative when its 80% ready. They know that the remaining 20% can only be done while in motion. They understand that the enemy of accomplishment is perfection.

The Trim Tab principle: Effective leaders see themselves as Trim Tabs: a Trim Tab is a little rudder, which moves a big rudder, which consequently moves a massive oil tanker. It is a metaphor for the ability of leaders to change an entire organization, by consistently applying desired behavior themselves. They know that if an organization improves by 1% every day, it only takes 70 days for the entire organization to become twice as good.

Which of these Leadership principles will you apply tomorrow to inspire yourself and others?

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