Applying leadership principles

  • Winning “too much” — the need to win at all costs and in all situations, when it matters, when it doesn’t and when it is totally beside the point. Many managers struggle with differentiating between the battle and the war, often mistaking every battle for the war.
  • Withholding information — the refusal to share information in order to maintain the advantage over others. Ultimately, the job for leaders is to ensure that all employees have access to the right amount of relevant information in order to optimise their work efforts successfully.
  • Not listening — the obvious notion that people don’t like working with others who simply don’t listen or who talk over them. Goldsmith calls this the most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues.
  • An excessive need to be “me” — the development of a false belief that because we’ve proved our success being who we are, others have to take the bad with the good. By not making excuses for weaknesses, we demonstrate humility and vulnerability. If not, we communicate that we simply don’t care that employees have to deal with all the bad that we offer them in order to work with us.
  1. Shaping a better reality — leadership is not a position, but rather empowering people to discover and use their potential effectively. Leaders must take responsibility for making decisions and bringing change.
  2. Setting an example — influence-ability comes from the development of character and competence. Character consistency enhances trustworthiness as a leader.
  3. Chasing vision, not money — without vision, activities become meaningless. Vision inspires action and accountability. Sales and subsequent profit follow consistent behaviours aligned to the vision.
  4. Caring appropriately — actions speak louder than words, so demonstrate tangible acts of kindness and care.
  5. Living the values — flexibility, a good trait, applies to style depending on a context, but not to values. No matter the situation, values should never be “customised” to suit leadership endeavours.
  6. Communicating effectively — listening well and answering with expressions of dignity. Engage with employees deeply and honour their ideas. Keep them informed.
  7. Admitting mistakes — mistakes prove that you are acting, doing something, but these actions need to be analysed and improved. Demonstrate that you are wise enough to learn from your mistakes.
  8. Maintaining team loyalty and respect for each other — team cohesiveness and team spirit are essential ingredients for successful task completion and overcoming difficulties together. Never stop developing the team.



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Jonathan Mills

Jonathan Mills


Jonathan has spent over 30 years focusing his efforts on developing people throughout the world. He believes that people have the most impact when stretched.