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Setting the Direction

In a news release about the new book The Leader’s Compass, co-author Dennis F. Haley offers the following leadership guidelines:

In a news release about the new book The Leader’s Compass, co-author Dennis F. Haley offers the following leadership guidelines:

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  • Develop a personal leadership philosophy. The personal leadership philosophy is a written document that includes your personal values, how you will carry out your responsibilities, what your priorities are, and what you expect of your people.
  • Familiarize yourself with goals and values of your organization. Figure out how they fit into your philosophy. If your goals and values differ dramatically from the demonstrated ones of your company, you must make a decision: Can you influence your company to live up to the glowing words on its mission statement? Or is it time to move on?
  • Articulate your personal philosophy and your company’s goals/values to your team. Explain the connection between your personal philosophy and the goals and values of your organization. Your team needs to be crystal clear on what you stand for and what you expect from them.
  • Model your personal leadership philosophy. Live it with passion. Your employees expect you to lead by example. If you expect your team to pull an all-nighter to meet a deadline, you must burn the midnight oil right along with them.
  • Don’t be afraid to make the tough decisions. The decisions you make at work can affect the vitality — and in some cases, the very existence — of your organization. You must make your decisions with confidence and resolve.
  • Hold people accountable. Everyone depends on the rest of the company not to let them down. When you’re the leader, you owe it to your team to give 100 percent to everything you do. If you’ve made the rules clear, there is an unshakable basis from which to provide honest feedback.
  • Build your bench. Many people have leadership potential. You are only as good as your ability to develop others. Critical decisions must be made at lower levels than ever before.
  • Don’t be a lone wolf. A strong leader is not a one-man (or woman) operation. If you can’t delegate, you can’t lead. Sometimes people who are very different from you have exactly what your team needs to get a certain job done. Focus on your ability to connect with everyone.
  • Don’t get stuck in survival mode. In anxious times, we tend to operate with tunnel vision, working fast and furious to meet our customer’s needs. When things are a bit more relaxed, it’s time to step back and reflect on the big picture. Don’t be afraid to adjust your company’s goals if there’s a good reason to do so.
  • Never, ever, ever stop growing. You must grow as a leader, every day. And your organization must grow as well. Don’t use an unsteady economy as an excuse to be static; don’t be afraid to take well-thought-out risks.

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