3 Essential Leadership Lessons

Recently I was having a conversation with a supervisor of one of the teams I am over.  The conversation centered around complaints that I was receiving from those on this particular supervisors team.  During this conversation I shared with this newly promoted individual what was shared with me when I was first put over a team a few years ago.  These three tips have been and continue to be helpful in my everyday leadership responsibilities and I hope they will help you as well.


Don’t Confuse Being A Leader And Being A Tyrant

When someone is placed in a leadership role one of two things will being to occur.  The person will either begin to develop/grow leadership abilities that draw people to follow them or they will become a tyrant in which people work for but hate to be around.

The difference of course is not immediately obvious to the leader.  In fact I, like many others, have had to learn the hard way that many people that worked for me in the past did not necessarily like working for me because I was at time a tyrant.

The difference between a leader and a tyrant is that a leader leads with grace and a tyrant leads with fear.  The same element is found in both, respect.  A tyrant demands respect and in turn rarely receives it and a leader earns respect and in turn almost always gains it.

Your Ideas Are Rarely The Best Ideas

A good idea is like a diamond, when its found its valuable but the finder rarely put in any of the work into the making of it.

Many of the best ideas that I have ever had weren’t even my ideas.  These ideas either came from other leaders that I have worked with or people that worked for me that were able to see a more logical way to complete a task that, for whatever reason, I was blind too.

Early on in my career I always tried to be the one with the best idea.  I would spend hours trying to think of the best way to invent a wheel that was already working just fine.  However as the years have pasted I have learned that many of the best ideas come from others.

A good leader knows how to filter through all the ideas presented to them so a to make the most effective decision possible.

Never Assume Those That Work For You Can Read Your Mind

One of the mistakes that leaders often make is not balancing positive and negative comments.  Leaders often get so caught up with the end goal that terms like “thank you” and “I appreciate what you do” get lost in the fast paced task driven work place. In turn workers normally hear phrases like “Do that faster” or “That’s not enough” and feel as if they are not important to the team.

I recently took a complaint about a supervisor of a team from one of their workers. The employee simply stated that they felt as if the supervisor didn’t think they knew how to do their job and had repeatedly told them so.  However that very same day just a few hours before the supervisor had commented about that very employee and had stated to me that he was excited that they were on his team because of the type of worker they were.

So what was the problem?  How could there be that much confusion?

Simple, the supervisor rarely if ever thanked his employees.  He was so tasked driven that he never took a second to step back and to thank the employees for the quality work that they were doing.  All the employees were hearing was the bad and therefore assumed only the worst.


No matter where you are on the ladder of leadership remember that its important to keep a healthy balance in how to lead.  If you begin to tilt one way or the other you may begin to think that you can do it all on your own.  If that does ever happen just remember one simply rule: Your only as good as your team.