5 Leadership Rules to Live By

By: Todd Dewett Phd., Andersen Alumnus, author and speaker

What do facing your fears, leadership, and success have in common?

When I wrote my latest book, Dancing with Monsters, I really tried to weed through the many useful rules, maxims, and suggestions that dot the leadership literature and popular press. After a little thought, I came up with five essentials. They don’t define leadership, but they do define a heck of a great place to start. Here they are in no particular order:

Collaborate, Don’t Dictate. Adult humans want to be partners with you, not kids who receive orders. So, even if you have authority, sometimes you need to share it – or even give it away. The less you unilaterally assert power, the more they support your use of it when needed.

Candor Not Just Kindness. Kindness is non-negotiable. It’s essential. It’s also not enough! The most productive teams have a balanced amount of kindness and candor. With kindness as a foundation, they are happy to respect critical feedback when needed.

Opportunities, Not Obstacles. Perspective is everything! You will help the team navigate many challenges. How they think, feel, and act in the face of that challenge is largely determined by you. Define the upside for them and try to keep them positive throughout.

Authenticity, Not Acting. Sure, some things we need to filter, but mostly we have to stop over-indulging in impression management. You were not trained to be an actor, so stop trying. People can smell insincerity, so just be kind and keep it real.

Be the Change, Not the Boss. Formal authority makes you the boss, but walking the talk, holding yourself to high standards, and modeling the way makes you a leader worth following. Don’t just tell them what needs to be done. Show them.

Start with a clear focus on these five and you’ll be off to a great start or a much-needed reboot with your leadership efforts. Good luck! Pick up your copy of Dancing with Monsters here: https://amzn.to/40B1RhX.

Dr. Todd Dewett is one of the world’s most watched leadership personalities:

A thought leader, an authenticity expert, best-selling author, top global instructor at LinkedIn Learning, a TEDx speaker, and an Inc. Magazine Top 100 leadership speaker. He has been quoted in the New York Times, TIME, Businessweek, Forbes, and many other outlets. Todd has delivered over 1,000 speeches to audiences at Microsoft, ExxonMobil, Pepsi, Boeing, General Electric, IBM, Kraft Heinz, Caterpillar, and hundreds more. Visit his home online at www.drdewett.com or connect with Todd on LinkedIn. He can be reached at todd@drdewett.com