Nine Leadership Tenets for Personal and Professional Effectiveness

May 23, 2018

learn more about maxwell leadership

explore our strength leader services

You'll also love

tell me more

I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

Meet Deb


Over decades of service as a leader and in working with and studying under the mentorship of some of the greatest leaders of our time, I have noticed nine tenets of leadership.

Here are those tenets.

  1. Life brings both comfort and adversity. You learn the most from adversity.

If you were to chart your life, you would see high points and low points. Everyone has them. We like to think there should be no low points, but the reality is, they happen to everyone. While you may have enjoyed the high points the most, it is likely you have learned the most from the low points.

In fact, what you learn in the valley is often what carries you to a mountaintop. As a leader, you must learn to live outside the comfort zone. Valuable lessons are there for you – lessons that will make you stronger and more effective as you lead others.

  1. We are here to serve others.

When you think about it, life is all about people. It’s the people you live with, work with, and deal with on a daily basis. If you, as a leader, had to describe your mission in two words, it would necessarily be “SERVE OTHERS.”

“But I watch the bottom line,” you may say, “That is my mission.”

Consider that without your team and without customers, there is no bottom line.

In finding a way to serve others, you also find your true purpose as a leader.

  1. Character matters.

We are a society with a surplus of leadership mistrust. This is rooted in character failures across all sectors. (Remember Enron, for example.) Trust is bedrock to any relationship, whether personal or professional. Lose trust, and the path of destruction is broad.

How do you build or regain trust?

You go back to character. Be true to your word and true to your principles. Others may not always agree with you in word or principle, but they will respect that you keep your word and live by principle.

Living and working by your principles engenders self-respect; and self-respect has the advantage of protecting you from the snares that may otherwise entrap you.

  1. Solutions come, not from withdrawal and anger, but from caring and communication.

How do you as a leader respond to problems? It is a compelling – and telling – question. The answer reveals your effectiveness as a leader.

Employees, clients, vendors, family members, friends, and those with whom you come into contact each day have one thing in common: they are all human. The reality is, people make mistakes. People disappoint. People do things they shouldn’t…and don’t do things they should.

But attacking the person doesn’t solve the root issues. Get to the real problem and address ways you can resolve that problem. Not only do you solve the problem, but you can also salvage important relationships in this way. “Attack the issue and not the person.”

  1. Invest in what really matters.

This is all about values. What do you value personally? What are your values as an organization?

Write down your 3-5 core values. Then look at your expenditures and your calendar. Are those values reflected in the numbers and calendar items? If not, you have some adjusting to do.

Values are those things in your life and business that do not change. You may adapt to situations and environments, but those values will always be integral to who you are personally and as an organization. Honor them with your life, actions, and daily practices.

The greatest conflict of interest is when you are attempting to do something that is outside your values personally or organizationally.

  1. Engage in work and activities that fit your strengths.

Do you love what you do? What about your people? Do they enjoy their work?

Some of the most miserable people in the world are those who are living and working in a way that is disingenuous to their strengths and passion. The best leaders are those who not only work in their strengths, but create a team where each individual works in theirs.

This creates an unstoppable force of people who love what they do, and the results are amazing.

  1. Personal responsibility and challenge build stronger individuals and teams.

While we all wish life had an “easy” button like that commercial, the fact is, it doesn’t. But that’s not a bad thing. Having to work for something makes us stronger and more appreciative.

As the leader of a team, it is not your job to do the work of your people. It is to teach your people how to do the work themselves – and to equip them to do it on their own in the future. Being a leader of leaders means you equip your team to take charge and get things done.

You empower them within defined boundaries, which gives them a fulfilling sense of control over their success. If your team is bored, it may be time to set some new goals and challenge them a bit to reach those goals.

  1. Lead the charge.

In any given crowd, the inclination of the majority is to “wait and see what happens.”

A real leader will step out from the crowd and show the way. When one person takes a stand, others gain the courage to move forward as well. If you see a problem or a situation, be courageous enough to step up. The reinforcements you need will come.

  1. Laugh

We’ve all been in those serious meetings or situations where you could slice the tension with a knife.

This is where we can all take a lesson from our beloved I-wired team members (and why every team should have one).

These individuals inevitably will sense that tension and throw a humorous curve ball into the midst of it. When that happens, everyone laughs – and it is amazing how much laughing eases the tension and clears the atmosphere to make room for new ideas.

Meetings get long. Life gets tough. Don’t forget to laugh along the way. It’s good medicine.

Following these nine tenets of leadership results in greater effectiveness as a leader.

  1. Welcome adversity.
  2. Serve others.
  3. Have character.
  4. Communicate with care.
  5. Invest in what matters most to you.
  6. Live and work in your strengths zone.
  7. Take the challenge and accept the responsibility.
  8. Lead the charge.
  9. Laugh through the tension point.

As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.

When you have a strong team that collaborates well,
you have a competitive advantage.

How Leaders Gain Respect - FREE E-book Copy

Click here to get instant access to the complimentary FREE e-book!