In essence, the reason to do business and to identify and achieve goals is to ultimately contribute. Contribute to society, to others and to the world around you. Because of something you did, the world will be different, and hopefully, better. Though Contribution, our next Leadership Principle, can be on a small or a large scale, in order to illustrate this Principle, let’s examine the lives of two people we have already referenced whose successes have allowed them to contribute on a grand scale.
A person who does not hold him/herself responsible for what he/she does is not a strong business leader. Seems fairly obvious, does it not? This person may blame other people for his/her non-successes, and fails at accomplishing his/her goals. This brings me to our next Leadership Principle: Accountability. Accountability means exactly what it sounds like—you hold yourself responsible (accountable) for results. Can you imagine any business being successful if its leaders didn’t take responsibility for their thoughts to materialize? If you have a business idea or are starting an initiative, there would be no real motivation to get anything done if you didn’t make yourself personally responsible to make things happen.
It’s great to have business goals and to believe in your ideas, but they mean absolutely nothing if they’re not accompanied by a sense of urgency. You need to work with a reasonable timeline, believing in the necessity of accomplishing now, as if your life depended on your individual efforts. Though, often times, after the initial step of proposing an idea—business related or otherwise— we tend to drag our feet and let way too much time pass without any real work getting done. And this is nothing new. People have struggled with “habitual hesitation” for thousands of years! The Greek poet, Hesiod, approximately around 800 B.C., wrote “do not put your work off till tomorrow and the day after.” Roman consul and philosopher Cicero condemned procrastination, calling it “hateful.”If procrastination is so bad, why do we do it? There are several proposed theories for why people are sluggish to accomplish. Let’s explore a couple.
It’s a new year. 2015. Did you make New Years’ Resolutions? Have you in the past? Have you accomplished them? Maybe you failed to accomplish others. What made the difference in accomplishing versus not? BELIEVING. Believing in your ambitions, and believing in yourself to make them come true.
Nothing great has ever been done without someone first believing it could happen, hence, Possibility Thinking is our first Leadership Principle. Someone has to both have an idea, and also believe in its actualization. This Principle is absolutely crucial, as it sets the rest of the Principles into motion and calls people to action to achieve.
There are many different types of businesses, but no matter what the kind, there exist immutable, indubitable principles that a company must uphold if it wishes to subsist in a sustainable and thriving way. At their core, these unchanging, unfailing principles, these eight Leadership Principles, provide the foundation for a prosperous organization. Let’s explore.
1. Possibility thinking. Nothing great has ever been done without someone first believing that it indeed, could be done. This first leadership principle is absolutely critical. Someone first has to have faith in an idea, in the work he/she is doing, in his/her efforts, in the innovation he/she is creating. This positive thinking, this faith in an idea, this belief in possibility, is what sets these principles into motion and calls people to action to achieve.