Recently, I read a blog post from Perry Noble. Perry is the senior pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina. In the post he explains that he had been reading a lot of theological papers and books. He doesn’t say so, but I sense he was a bit frustrated with the length and wordiness of some of these documents. (Please correct me if I’m wrong, Perry!) I say this because he then proceeded to present his own nine-point personal statement of theology. It was short, concise, and to the point – and profound.
Well, in my line of work, consultant and university professor, I also read a tremendous amount of long treatises on various leadership topics. Many of them are very good and there is actually value in developing the conversation to the depth that many of them do. However, they are rarely practical for the common leader. So, inspired by Perry Noble, I have created my own concise seven principles of leadership. This is my first stab at this, so I welcome spirited debate!
Scott’s Seven Principles of Leadership
- What is leadership? Leadership is the influence of others’ thoughts, perceptions, and actions toward a goal, mission, or vision.
- Who are leaders? Those who influence others (for good OR bad).
- Can anyone be a leader? Everyone is a leader in some way because everyone has influence on others.
- Are leaders made or born? Yes.
- Who are followers? Those who accept the influence of others – either consciously or unconsciously.
- How is management different than leadership? Leadership’s first distinctive is envisioning a better future whereas management’s first distinctive is the skillful use of resources to make that vision happen.
- Am I only a leader when I am in a leadership role? No. The first steps of influencing others occur in your own heart and mind. Self-leadership is a pre-requisite to leading others and to leading organizations.
What essentials are missing from this list? What should not be on the list? Which points need to be modified?