I have seen great leadership and bad leadership. As a leader, I have also made my share of mistakes, and I am sure I will make more. When I do, I will immediately take ownership of it, learn from it, and do all I can not to make the same mistake. However, there will be times I may not recognize my failure, as can happen with any leader. This points to something critically important: Leaders need to be held accountable.
My leadership style is that of a servant leader inculcated in me from my earliest days at West Point. Several years ago, I created what I call “My Ten Commandments of a Servant Leader.” These ten commandments are based upon life experiences with lessons learned and wisdom found and my personal faith journey. At the end of each week, I will go down a checklist of these ten commandments to see if I met them, thus holding myself accountable. My Ten Commandments of a Servant Leader are:
1. People are your most precious resource; take care of them.
2. “Clothe yourself with humility.”
3. Eat and sleep last. (Your people’s needs come before your needs.)
4. “Open wide your heart.” (Being transparent.)
5. Trust is the foundation of all relationships.
6. Make a difference each day, one life at a time.
7. Encourage, teach, and mentor every chance you can.
8. Every day is a good day, and some days are better than others. (Having a positive attitude.)
9. Listen more and talk less.
10. Learn to follow. (Much about leadership, both good and bad, can be learned in being a follower first.)
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