Most if not all businesses to ever be in existence have operated under the guidance of a mission statement. Mission statements are a key component to success in keeping a business’ staff and daily transactions both cohesive and focused on a shared goal. They also help translate the vision and values of the company to any current and potential stakeholders. All of these things can lead to success in the business world. Doesn’t it then make sense for humans to have a personal mission statement as well? A document to effectively translate their values and aid them in remaining focused on their journey to success. The more I think on it, the more I feel that this should be a necessary asset in the lives of those that strive for greatness. Following the views of this most recent revelation I have compiled a set of values and visions that I work to present in my everyday actions, this document is called my Leadership Philosophy.
The first thing I will identify with my Leadership Philosophy is the set of values I hold highly in my life. These are values I try very hard to model on a daily basis; they also set the standard that I often have for the people around me.
- Honesty – My number one goal is to be truthful above all else with my words and subsequently my actions when interacting with others as well as when I communicate internally. I apply this value to the decisions I make every day, but I also hold this standard of honesty for the people I interact with. I feel it’s completely appropriate for me to expect others to aim for complete honesty with me because I aim to do the same for them, even when it is less than pleasant or hard to do.
- Kindness– Does the saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all” ring any childhood bells? I have been taught this from a young age and I firmly believe that the words we speak to others often have much more power than we initially realize. I recently became more acutely aware of this due to the recollections people have articulated to me of things I have said to them that I don’t even remember speaking. This, to me, just proves that no matter how insignificant you feel the words you say are; to someone else they could hold profound meaning. This is why I strive to hold back any and all negative words that board my train of thought, instead releasing only the positive, encouraging, informative, inquisitive, etc. ones. There are so many other wonderful expressions your tongue can communicate that don’t involve negative or degrading words! Part of my drive for living by this value is that I don’t want my words to be the cause of another’s pain simply because I know I’ve been hurt by the words of others and do not enjoy that feeling one teensy bit!
- Independence– As both a leader and a human being I place a high importance on my independence. The dictionary defines independence as “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.” While I agree that this definition is accurate in regards to independence as a value I also view it as my right to solve problems and handle situations in my own way. I enjoy nothing more than I enjoy the freedom and independence to make my own decisions regarding everything, from the actions I choose to take in any given situation to the thought process I use to decide on those actions. It’s my opinion that in this world a person’s independence is a frightfully precarious thing and should be stood up for at all times. There is no one on Earth who can act or think exactly as you do; that’s a special trait that should be respected and preserved.
Some of my other values include Compassion, Love, Spirituality, Respect, Curiosity, and an Appreciation for Life.
As a leader I have a certain contribution I hope to make to the people I’m serving. This contribution does not involve me helping others get from point A to point B; I want no part in acting as their tour guide through life’s problems. Instead I hope the one thing, if any, that people take from an interaction with me is the ability and internal drive to conquer issues on their own, in a way that is unique to them. I want to teach people to stop waiting for rules/instructions/guidelines in life and make their own. Not only do I want people to understand why I do the things I do (No I’m not just some silly rebellious teenager, there is a method to most of my madness…), but I want to inspire others to create within themselves the same spark for positive independent leadership as I harbor in my soul. I suppose to sum it up; I want my leadership contribution to be defined as encouragement through example to become your own leader by creating unique solutions for any problem as well as living by personally constructed guidelines in your day to day life. From a Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) standpoint my contribution goals can be translated into aspiring to instill in others a more habitual practice of Challenging the Process when it comes to both leadership positions and everyday life situations. Taking that one step further, I would like for people to Challenge the Process in ways that are especially unique to them, ways that reflect and complement their overall lifestyle.