The 6 Stars of Leadership

TJ Waldorf
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Over the last few years I have been focused (borderline obsessed) with honing my leadership skills and abilities. If you were to look through my library, this would be a very apparent area of interest. There is a plethora of literature on the subject, and an equal number of opinions about do’s and don’ts as well.

Nonetheless, I’ve set out to develop my personal leadership model/philosophy, which I call ‘The 6 Six Stars of Leadership’. Why ‘stars’? Well, I found it quite compelling to liken leadership principles to the navigational attributes of stars. Without a map, you need something to help guide your direction, and that is exactly what certain stars do. I initially set out to try and mold each principle so that it would create some cool acronym. It wasn’t working for me, so instead focused on the principles I find most helpful in guiding the way. With that said, here are my 6 Stars of Leadership.

  1. Courage: As a leader, you must have courage to do a lot of things. The courage to initiate, to set things in motion, to defend, debate, the courage to decide, to let go, and to admit mistakes.
  2. Inclusion: You have to include the people who are, and will be, affected by your decisions. The easiest and most effective way to get people to follow you as the leader is to include them in paving a path together.
  3. Competence: Know what you’re good at, and what you’re not. You cannot be great at everything, so don’t try. It’s a fruitless endeavor. Instead, focus your time and energy in the areas you excel, and get help from your team and the people around you for everything else.  This also encompasses courage and inclusion to a great degree. You have to have the courage to admit what you’re weaknesses, and then include the folks around you to enable greatness.
  4. Clarity: There is uncertainty all around us- We cannot escape it. A leader must be a source of clarity among the chaos. Boil complex issues down to clear decisions and directives. Inspire your team through clarity and laser focus on what matters most. And communicate regularly so that your vision and direction are crystal clear.
  5. Coaching: When it comes to leadership, coaching comes in two forms. The first form is receiving, meaning, the leader must be on the receiving end of coaching to enhance and develop their skills. No one becomes great alone. The second form is giving, meaning, the leader must provide coaching to the people around them. Rather than being the source of all answers, teach the people around you to be great so you can grow them into leaders as well.
  6. Influence: By regularly exercising the previous 5 leadership stars, you will hold the keys to influencing the people around you. It is through this influence that you can truly make great things happen.

I’d love to hear your feedback and what you think.

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