10 Things Every Leader Needs To Know

March 9th, 2010 by Rob Berman Leave a reply »

I attended a presentation by Hal Lewis on leadership in non-profit organizations.  His 10 points apply equally as well to leadership in the field of Marketing.  Here are the 10 things every leader needs to know.

1. Leadership is behavior, not title

It is not about behavior and actions.  Leadership is not derived from where you sit in the organization chart but rather how the marketer impacts the customer experience.

2. Leaders are made, not born

Training, education and experience sculpt our leadership experiences.

3. Leaders don’t have to have all the answers; they collaborate

We need to fight the temptation to try to do it all.  Leaders delegate and do not feel they have to do it all.  We each have finite capacity.  It is multiplied by working with others with different skill sets and perspectives.

4. Humility matters more than perfection

Leaders shun the spotlight in favor of their team.  They are comfortable in their own skin and allow the team to handle important projects and presentations.

5. Leaders need someone to tell them the truth

Many managers subscribe to the “no surprises” philosophy.  However, the higher up you go the less access you have to the truth.  Your staff and others in the organization try to put things in their best light or endeavor to couch their comments in an attempt to not upset you.  Do the managers really want “no surprises?”

6. Leadership is dangerous

Those who stick their neck out run the risk of having their head chopped off.  Nevertheless, at times, we need to take principled stands.

7. People are watching

Leaders should be role models that exemplify appropriate traits.

8. Competence and Character are not substitutes for one another

Being good at your job is important.  However, that competence should be delivered with character.

9. Replace yourself

Good leaders identify, nurture, and empower staff and team members in preparation for their career advancement.  Hopefully, at least one person on the team will be groomed to take over for the manager.

10. Know yourself

Leadership is the beginning of learning, not the end of learning.  Make time for your own ongoing learning needs.  Do not just arrange for your staff’s training.

The Takeaway

Leaders need to be aware of their leadership style and how it impacts the organization.

Those are my thoughts.  What do you think? Please respond in Comments below.

  1. What is your leadership style?
  2. What else would you add to the list?
  3. What has been your experience?
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