What are Leadership Principles?
Summary of 'Leadership Thoughts' by J. Richards
In the article “Leadership Thoughts,” writer Jamie Richards of the Oakland Tribune discusses the qualities of leaders versus those who are in authority.
Richards makes the distinction between true leaders and those who are merely in authority, noting, “politicians aren't leaders. They’re just holding leadership positions” (Richards, 2011, paragraph 11). Conversely, teachers are not only in a place of authority, but “foster real authority” (Richards, paragraph 14).
This sentiment goes hand-in-hand with the principles in Blanchard and Miller's The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do (2004), which purports that true leaders serve. Modern politicians do not fit this model of servant leadership, as they tend to vote how they want, rather than how the constituents may want.
While Richards may or may not or may not be a Christian, he certainly understands some basic principles of spiritual leadership and the role of teachers. Richards also agrees in part with Blackaby and Blackaby (2001) with the understanding that leaders set an example for others, and act how they expect their followers to act (Blackaby & Blackaby, p. 104).
Although likely intended in the secular context, Richards noted “the best leaders care about their people first and their project second” (Richards, paragraph 17); this is a prime example of the servant-leader model, as described by Blanchard and Miller.
Successful leaders don’t get discouraged with the seemingly “small” projects given to them. They understand that if they can be successful in the smaller things they are more apt to be successful in the larger projects in life.
One of my former managers shared with me that we weren't in the retail business so much as the "people" business. This concept holds true in leadership as well. Instead of touting ideas and spouting knowledge, leaders ought to inspire their subordinates to want to work together for success as well.
Blackaby, H. & Blackaby, R. (2001). Spiritual leadership. Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing.
Blanchard, K. & Miller, M. (2004). The secret: What great leaders know and do. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Richards, J. (2011). Leadership thoughts. The Oakland Tribune.