Monday, June 24, 2013

Foundation of Leadership

indexAs a youngster, I could remember wanting to be an architect among other things. I use to build everything from card houses, dog houses, sand castles and Lego houses. And I learned one thing. If you want to build a large house, you have build a larger foundation. And the larger the house, the deeper the foundation has to be.

When building a foundation or structure, the most important stone is the cornerstone. The cornerstone determines how straight a building will be. If the cornerstone is flush or straight, the rest of the stones or bricks will be straight. Conversely, if the cornerstone is rounded or not flush, so will be the rest of the stones or bricks. One stone can determine the solidness of the entire structure.

militaryThe same principles applies to leadership. You must have a solid foundation to be a good leader. And the larger the team or organization, the more solid the leader's foundation has to be. If the leader is solid in his convictions or beliefs, the more solid the organization or the team will be. And if the leadership is shaky, the entire or organization will be shaky.

There are three core structures that build a solid team or organization:
  • Commitment - When Jesus was recruiting disciples, Jesus asked will you follow me. The man said yes I'll follow you but I have to say goodbye to my family. Jesus said a man who put his hand to the blow and look backwards isn't fit for the kingdom. Jesus, like most leaders, know that times will get hard. You need committed followers. Followers who look back will quit when times are hard.
  • Courage - I can remember watching the movie "Saving Private Ryan." I always cringe in fear during the opening scene when the American forces storm Omaha Beach. Thousands of soldiers stormed the beach that day knowing they would be killed. Ten thousand soldiers died on the beach that day. Can you imagine how afraid those soldiers they were when they heard the bullets ricocheting of the boats as they approached the beach. They were afraid but they stormed the beach anyway.
  • Honor - Although honor isn't taken as seriously as it once was, the best leaders, the most successful companies and teams know how important honor is. Teams and organizations that take honor seriously tend to have the best camaraderie, best long term growth and best overall company loyalty. Honor separates ultra successful from mediocre teams and organizations
I'm sure that there are more key foundations of leadership. But I believe these three keys are the most important. Leadership requires a stable and deep foundation with committed, courageous and loyal followers. I would like your comments and feedback on this blog. Give me your input on more structures that will build a success leader and team.

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