Lead Your Week: What is Your Leadership “Philosophy?”

I used to hate being asked this question. Not because it wasn’t important, but because of what usually came after it. The idea that your answer had to meet some specified criteria, or was something another person could judge as “correct.” Maybe that’s possible; what I’ve found in the last couple years, though, is that there’s as many answers to this question as there are people in the world.

At least.

And that assumes your philosophy hasn’t changed over time.

Which it likely has.

And I think that’s a good thing.

This week, ponder what your philosophy is. And if you don’t like that word, boil it down this way: HOW and WHY do you lead? What drives you to lead wherever you live and work? What do you think is a leader’s top priority?

No matter your answer; whether you rattled it off immediately or needed a couple days to think about it, the next step is to interrogate that answer. It’s not enough to respond, you have to dig back into it to know whether that’s really what you believe or if it’s only how you respond when being judged by other people. Don’t give the answer you think someone else wants to hear. Answer in a manner true to yourself then take the time to test it, to feel it, to know if it’s genuine and a philosophy you are willing and ready to defend.

Our philosophies on life should evolve over time. That’s called growth. How and why we lead should evolve too, otherwise we risk falling into worn-down habit patterns and leading not from a place of inspiration but routine and boredom. Perhaps that sounds like “comfort” and “ease” but it’ll be anything but for the team members relying on you. Evolving our approach is how we grow and do better for them. At least that’s part of my own philosophy; what do you think?

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