Leadership Principles to Live By

Thursday, August 4th, 2005
Think you're a good manager? A good leader?  Consider these leadership principles to live by:
  • Eagerly start the day's main work.
  • Do not murmur at your busyness or the shortness of time, but buy up all the time around.
  • Never murmur when correspondence [or e-mail] is brought in
  • Never exaggerate duties by seeming to suffer under the load, but treat all responsibilities as liberty and gladness.
  • Never call attention to crowded work or trivial experiences.
  • Before confrontation or censure, obtain from God, a real love for the one at fault. Know the facts; be generous in your judgement. Otherwise, how ineffective, how unintelligible, or perhaps provocative your well-intentioned censure may be.
  • Do not believe everything you hear; do not spread gossip.
  • Do not seek praise, gratitude, respect, or regard for past service.
  • Avoid complaining when your advice or opinion is not consulted, or having been consulted, set aside.
  • Never allow yourself to be placed in favorable contrast with anyone.
  • Do not press conversation to your own needs and concerns.
  • Seek no favors, nor sympathies; do not ask for tenderness, but receive what comes.
  • Bear the blame, do not share or transfer it.
  • Give thanks when credit for your own work or ideas is given to another.
How did you do? What if everyone managed according to these principles all the time?

As I typed these up for this blog, I was convicted as memories of my own violations of each of these principles came to mind. A very sobering experience. I'm going to print these out in a card on my wallet and try to read them often .....

These ideas are not my own. They were penned by Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury. J. Oswald Sanders writes of Benson, in his book Spiritual Leadership:
Even though he lived in another era, his noble rules for life carry relevance today.

Here's a challenge for you. Start your day by writing down these principles in your own handwriting. Personalize them if you want. See what kind of impact it has on your leadership.

Discussion/Comments (6):

Leadership Principles to Live By

Indeed, good reminders Eric. I've added the book to my Amazon cart. Thanks for the pointer.

Posted at 8/4/2005 1:51:13 PM by Michael Sampson

Leadership Principles to Live By

Hi Eric

These are great. Thanks for sharing.

Best wishes


Posted at 8/4/2005 3:13:01 PM by Des Paroz

Leadership Principles to Live By


I really like your 2nd and 3d bullets. As I think about the times I've felt burdened, two main factors came to mind 1) How tense the boss was going to get if I didn't get those then things done this night and 2) how much I let my perception of my boss affect my tension.

Of course, there are other factors, but those were very significant for me.

Posted at 8/4/2005 10:44:01 PM by Nikolas Chapapas

Leadership Principles to Live By

Sounds like a summarization of the Book Of James, with the exception that it's given as "Business Leadership" - if someone associated it with biblical teachings, many wouldn't listen out of sheer defiance.

Funny how that works, eh?

Posted at 8/5/2005 12:00:59 PM by Jon Johnston

Leadership Principles to Live By

It's amazing how truth transends generations. For me it is so easy to wollow in the feeling that I am really busy. Over the last two days I have become less busy. It hasn't stopped me scurrying around trying to look busy though. A long way to go yet.

Posted at 9/1/2005 2:55:33 AM by Graham Chastney

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