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What A Leader Must Do

Vision. Mission. Purpose. Then these:

  1. A leader must believe there is a way. Strategy is nothing without belief. And if you don’t believe, no one else will.
  2. A leader must be a teacher. A leader teaches business, teaches values, teaches strategy, teaches empathy, teaches tactics, teaches personal growth and development, teaches mentorship, teaches coaching, and teaches customer-focus.
  3. A leader must help their team understand why something must be done.
  4. A leader must trust her people to accomplish their missions using tactics of their own choosing. She must build a team of people she trusts enough to use their own resourcefulness and creativity to reach their goals and overcome the inevitable obstacles.
  5. A leader must instill a spirit, a confidence, an esprit de corpes in their followers.
  6. A leader must nurture, sustain, and protect a healthy culture.
  7. A leader must surround themselves with people who will tell them the ugly truth without fear, and the leader must reward their candor (and never punish it).
  8. A leader must collect and share stories of people doing things right, living the purpose, and living the values.
  9. A leader breathes life into the organization’s values by serving as an example of those values.
  10. A leader must build more leaders out his followers, knowing that every follower is someone else’s leader—or will be soon.
  11. A leader must make himself dispensable.
  12. A leader must be decisive. They must make the tough calls.
  13. A leader must do what is unpopular when it is necessary, and they must explain why they made the decision so that others may understand. This is especially true when people’s lives are effected by those decisions.
  14. A leader must care more than anyone else.
  15. A leader must go first when it comes to the most difficult challenges.
  16. A leader must be entrenched in the details.
  17. A leader must accept responsibility and must be accountable for the decisions they take.

These are some things a leader must do.


What do leaders do?

What makes a leader effective?

What are a leader’s most important priorities?

What would you want from a leader?

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  • Arthur Palac

    #3 great point.But I think you can agree with me that most leaders have no clue what their “why” is. This may be the reason we have so many people that dislike their jobs, because they have no clear vision or directions of the company’s “why”

    #7 is so critical to the success of anything one may do. Too often people want to surround themselves with “yes men” instead of “truth men.” I believe Jack Welch does a great job of going over candor in his book “Winning”

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Both Welch books are packed with great leadership insights. Worth reading.

  • Salespod

    Very succinct and sharp. I particularly liked #10. It creates a more cooperative/less competitive environment when a leader wants to see the people under him or her advance and actively works toward that goal.

  • Dawn Chambers

    a leader must show good example everyday