19 leadership lessons from my past and present leaders
Lesson 1. Don’t panic; even if the whole world is falling down around you, servers are crashing, the power is out, and you’re locked out of the room that holds the master switch. Don’t lose your cool. When you’re calm, you’ll make other people calm.
Lesson 2. Don’t say “let’s chat” without also, in the same sentence, hinting at what you want to chat about.
Lesson 3. Be kind to those you work with, but it’s even more important to be kind to those you don’t work with.
Lesson 4. Encourage your team to communicate with you frequently, but it’s more important that you communicate with them frequently.
Lesson 5. Chastising team members in front of the rest of the team will land you on the “worst bosses” list.
Lesson 6. If you closely examine good leaders, you’ll find a potent mix of humility and confidence.
Lesson 7. Don’t harp on past mistakes. Instead of “why did you do that?”, try “how can we improve that?”
Lesson 8. Don’t dictate; serve.
Lesson 9. Meet with your team members in a one on one setting regularly. This is incredibly beneficial to team health. In those meetings, spend more time listening than talking.
Lesson 10. Your team members are quite often smarter than you. This is a good thing, and you should make sure they know this.
Lesson 11. Tell people when they’re doing good work, and tell them frequently.
Lesson 12. Let your team members know that they’re important.
Lesson 13. Patterns of bad performance reflect more on your leadership and communication than on the person; it’s rare that people truly just don’t care.
Lesson 14. You don’t necessarily have to be friends with those you lead, but you should take genuine interest in them and be easy to get along with.
Lesson 15. You should approach hostility with calmness. Remain present, and respond with firmness and control.
Lesson 16. Ego is the enemy. It’s a hard-fought battle you must win everyday.
Lesson 17. Produce quality in your work, no matter how small the task.
Lesson 18. Trust your people.
Lesson 19. Be damn good to those you serve.