What are the best lessons every leader should know, understand, and live each day?

  1. Leadership is never about you. It’s always about the mission, team, and customers.

  2. Talent governs the 21st century knowledge economy.  Your team can make or break your company.  Recruit and retain top talent.   Make them want to stay.  Take great care of your team and they’ll take great care of you.

  3. Lead with honesty, humility, and empathy. Your character is everything.

  4. Mission, leadership, culture, team, and alignment determine organizational success.

  5. Make leadership development, succession planning, organizational knowledge retention as employees retire, and alignment of operations with objectives as top priorities for your organization.

  6. We attract, recruit, hire, and promote who we are

  7. Trust is the glue which holds your organization together and enables it do great things.

  8. Create and sustain a climate where employees are safe to speak, tell the truth, and are allowed to admit, make, and learn from mistakes.

  9. Good employees quit bad bosses.  The quality of the relationship with a supervisor is key.

  10. Leaders make decisions on principles, logic, and evidence not on people and personalities.  They are objective not subjective in analysis and decisions.

  11. Get out of the office and into the field and view operations firsthand.  You will learn things you need to know.

  12. Provide members of the team with real time, meaningful, and actionable feedback whether it is positive affirmation or coaching to enhance their performance.

  13. Foster a work culture of civility, respect, and professionalism so you sustain emotional energy and don’t drain it.

  14. When something bad happens on your watch, you have to accept responsibility, tell the truth, apologize and make amends with those who were harmed, and put real reforms in place to prevent its repeat. Anything less is not leadership.

  15. Leaders always try to see the organization they lead through the eyes of customers and employees (Abrashoff, 2002).

  16. Leaders look at ourselves first when something goes wrong (Abrashoff, 2002).

  17. If you don’t hire, evaluate, and promote for it, don’t expect to get it.

  18. There is an inverse relationship between control and performance.  Less control by leaders promotes more performance by members of the team (Abrashoff, 2002).

  19. “A promotion is worth a thousand speeches.” (Welch,2015)

  20. Treat employees like owners and keep them fully informed – where are we, what’s the strategy, and what’s your role in it?  Secrecy is stupid unless required for a legal or ethical reason.  Secrecy encourages inaccurate rumors (Abrashoff, 2002).

I hope these 20 principles and lessons aid you and your team to be your best!

Print the List: Saviak – Leadership Lessons Top 20