Elements of a Personal Leadership Philosophy

by Melissa Cooper

When a person decides to become a leader or recognizes that part of himself, he sets forth a clear philosophy, upon which he bases his mission and his goals to achieve it. He decides to adopt or sharpen certain positive personality traits and ideologies that will steer him to becoming a leader in whom his employees, colleagues, fellow volunteers or constituents can believe and trust.

Vision

In leading your organization or charity, your vision should be clear, concise and easily articulated to your colleagues, because it is your mission statement. According to the website The Practice of Leadership, your vision must state a significant purpose, a picture of the future, and a clear set of values. Knowing your purpose, why you believe in it, and confidently communicating that to your colleagues is invaluable in reaching them and winning their support of your vision. Showing or clearly describing to your followers what the final result will look like helps them to understand your vision, as opposed to vague descriptions of what may happen. A clear set of values will act as a road map or a moral compass for your vision and your goals. Values help steer you in the right direction when you may be tempted to veer off course. Define your values, share them with your community and stick to them.

Team Building

An effective leader engages in team building activities to increase the effectiveness of groups and the satisfaction of individuals working in groups, according to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. By making sure that you include your team, you make them feel like they are an integral part of your vision. Listen to your team's concerns, take constructive criticism and ideas to heart, make sure your team is enjoying the process of working toward the organization's goals, and guide them toward the end result with confidence and compassion.

Diversity

Diversity will help you to look at your mission from different perspectives. Men and women, of various ethnic, racial, religious backgrounds and experiences, reflect the treasured differences that make a unique and powerful organization and provides organizational richness that gives leaders myriad ways to tackle issues and challenges and ultimately find better solutions, according to Air University.

Service

A good leader is willing, happy and considers it her duty to serve. Service to others and the public good is the cornerstone of great leadership, an important leadership element to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. When you, as a leader, serve your community, your colleagues will follow suit. Even if you are on your own in your service, you know that you are leading by serving. By serving, you are creating an opportunity to inspire, which is another element in personal leadership philosophy.

Recognize Change and Adapt

Projects, jobs, organizations and parts of vision change, and you must be prepared to look at that change and adapt to it and its needs. The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society states that one of the most important tasks of the leader is to encourage the ongoing rejuvenation of a group or organization. Since people can buck at the suggestion of change, you will often find resistance, which will be a challenge for you as much as the change itself will be for others.

Self-Respect and Care

As a leader, you need to believe in yourself as much as you believe in your mission or organization. A good leader attends to his physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs, according to The Practice of Leadership.

About the Author

Melissa Cooper writes on topics including education, fitness and business, using her Bahelor of Arts in English at Ohio State University. An effective researcher in her expert subjects, Cooper has produced a newsletter and an internal office website that focused on fitness and well-being.

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