Developing your personal leadership philosophy is the first step to becoming a leader. As for advice to give to others, the best I can offer is to share the leadership principles that I have followed in my own career.
I truly believe that success in life is determined not by what happens to us, but by what we make happen. If you aspire to be a leader, you must first establish a reputation as someone who can make things happen. Take on challenging assignments that stretch you beyond your comfort zone, and then deliver results that go above and beyond expectations.
Delivering results, however,is only the beginning. The difference between success and failure is often not in “what” you do, but in “how” you do it. When I reflect on my career,Irecognize it is howI went about my work that set me apart and paved the way for advancement. Tackle your work with conviction and enthusiasm. Value people and treat them with respect. Show moral courage to “do the right thing,” even if it’s unpopular.Be willing to make the hard call. All of these qualities will help you earn credibility and respect as a leader.
Don’t be limited by the boundaries of your job description. Learn more than you need to know to do the job you have today. Understand your company’s business inside and out. Know the issues and challenges facing your organization, and try to look at the world from the perspective of your firm’s top management.
Have a vision of what you are trying to accomplish and pursue it with passion. I realized early in my career that I relished the role of being a change agent. The bigger the obstacles, the more energized Ibecame. Embrace change—that alone will set you apart. If you believe passionately in what you are trying to accomplish, you will inspire others.
Build effective give-and-take relationships. Very few people achieve success without the help and support of others. Surround yourself with talented people and empower them to achieve. Make time to help others to succeed, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it yourself. Seek feedback and accept it un-defensively. Excel at teamwork and be generous about sharing the credit for a job well done.
Finally, believe in yourself and be comfortable with who you are. Strive to keep balance in your life. Know your priorities and make time for what’s most important to you. Be grateful for all of life’s gifts.