The Foundation Principles of a Leader

by Robert Driscoll on July 14, 2010

In my last post, I talked about the pillars of success to help start your venture.  In order to make sure that the pillars stay up, you have to have a solid foundation, which are the principles of the leader.  These principles are: integrity, credibility, attitude, teamwork, excellence and vision.

In order to become a leader, you must have integrity.  Without integrity, you won’t have any followers.  Your integrity is your brand not only within your company, but in the marketplace with your customers as well.  As a leader, you are constantly building it and making it better.  You create, maintain and build your integrity throughout your career, but it only takes one unethical act to destroy it.

As you build and improve your integrity, you start gaining credibility not only within your organization, but with your customers as well, as you keep and fulfill on your promises.  You can’t have integrity and build your credibility without the right attitude.  You need to know how to build people up and help them overcome challenges and go above and beyond to not only create opportunities but create success as well.  An organization with smart people with the right attitude in an organization will go much farther than an organization without.  Sounds simple, but great people with the right attitude are the hardest, and most important, assets to find in a business.

A leader with integrity, credibility and the right attitude with a group of people following them who also have the right attitude must be able to create a teamwork environment.  Employees who are able to effectively work together allow a company to accomplish tasks and meet goals that would be very different, if not impossible to do, as individuals.

Being the leader of a company, you must strive for excellence.  You should constantly push to improve your product and services in the marketplace.  Not only listen to your employees recommendations, but more importantly, your customers as well.  Use these recommendations to continually improve your products or services.

In doing all of this, don’t forget about your company’s vision. Always remember it and ensure that your colleagues and employees practice it, believe in it and share it with your customers.  As a leader, you must be able to not only share the vision with others but also make sure it its being followed and practiced.

We all have skills and capabilities that help our organizations, but none of us are perfect.  If you can master most of these, along with the pillars of success, you will not only be an effective leader, but will create a company with effective employees helping you build a successful business.

robert_driscoll_color This article was contributed by Robert Driscoll, co-founder of Active Garage. You can follow Robert on Twitter at rsdriscoll.
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