3 Declarations that have Guided My Leadership for 30 Years

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Have you ever made a leadership declaration?

When I was in my early 20’s and just embarking on my leadership journey, I made several such “declarations”, as I called them. I was beginning to establish my own approach to leadership and I thought it would be helpful if I were to articulate these approaches in the form of a series of definitive statements.

More than 30 years later I can still recite these declarations. More importantly, they have continued to serve as something of a “guiding light” to my approach to leadership. 

Here are three of those declarations that continue to serve me well:

Leadership Declaration #1:

I will take responsibility for my own development as a leader

I have had the privilege of having many wise and generous leaders pour into my life. But while I have gratefully received this mentoring, I have always held to the belief that I am personally responsible for my own development.

As I have said many times since, “Learn from as many leaders as possible. But at the end of the day, no one else is responsible for your own growth. That’s your job.”

Leadership Declaration #2:

I will squeeze every ounce of productivity out of every day

Right from the start I purposed to master the use of time. Some would later call this “energy management”, versus “time management”, but whatever the term, the principle has remained the same; I wanted to extract as much production out of every single minute of every single day as possible.

My mantra has been clear on this; as a leader you must maximize your time.

Leadership Declaration #3:

When it comes to sheer effort, I will push myself to the limits.

In my younger, less mature days I put it this way; “I will work harder than anybody.”

Later, with a bit more seasoning, I learned to compete with myself, not with those around me. I have now learned to say, “I will continually strive to exert maximum effort in all I do.”

I have often said, “There will be many reasons some plans don’t work out. Don’t let lack of sustained effort be one of them.”

Well, these are the declarations I made early on that had the greatest impact in my own leadership.

These might not be yours, but let me urge you to take the time to clarify your own leadership declarations.

They could well become your own leadership guiding light too.

What declarations have guided your leadership?

the author

Scott Cochrane

Lifelong learner, practitioner and coach of leadership, across more than 50 countries. Follower of Jesus, husband of Nora, grateful parent and grandparent.

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