We are not born with an instruction book.
Entrepreneurship is about taking a vision and turning it into action. All the tasks of assembling people, professionals, and other resources needed to succeed are driven by leadership. No organization grows without leadership. The entire culture of an organization is shaped by leadership, big or small.
And yet, most entrepreneurs have little training in leadership. And when they do, they face a dizzying array of leadership approaches ranging from academic theories to folklore wisdom.
The sheer quantity of leadership theories that confront the entrepreneur is daunting. Perhaps more daunting is the fact that most leadership theories show no consistent results in effectiveness, particularly for entrepreneurs.
Leadership is an ephemeral moving target. The leadership skills that are required to start an organization are generally different for an organization as it grows and transforms.
Leadership is a transformational set of skills, and many entrepreneurs fail in realizing their dreams because they do not understand this and are unable to transform as their organization transforms.
Four Basic Principles of Leadership
There are countless books on leadership, espousing the hows, whats and wheres of leadership, but there are four basic principles to leadership that stand out as truths, which are “out of sight in plain sight”.
- The number one measure of leadership is trust, and the number one element of trust is integrity, namely “congruence of self with espoused values. Integrity based leadership is the most important element of leadership
- People follow vision, but ultimately resonate with values. Values are core to one’s integrity. Without coherent and aligned values, both leaders and followers are adrift without a compass.
- Everything in leadership is made of stories. The currency of leadership is storytelling. Everything from ideas, vision, mission, values and decision making is accomplished through the medium of storytelling.
- The most important tool an entrepreneur can carry is inquiry. If there was only one leadership tool an entrepreneur could carry, it is inquiry.
This is the entrepreneur’s instruction book. This is the Back Pocket Strategy that allows the entrepreneur to succeed and stand the test of time for 20 or 30 years.
We teach Integrity Based Leadership™ and the keys to integrity, aligning values, the currencies of leadership and the Discipline of Inquiry. We have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and their organizations around the world.
If you would like to learn more about our Leadership Philosophy and Training, please contact us.