The First Systematic Book on
Xenophon authored the first systematic book on leadership, two
thousand years ago, and it is still one of the best. Xenophon
was a general. Xenophon practiced leadership in a different time
and a different place, but the lessons of his experiences, the
principles or laws of integrity, commitment, duty and the others
have eternal value.
Leadership Lessons of Xenophon
Leadership is done from in front. Never ask others to do what
you, if challenged, would not be willing to do yourself.
Authority flows to the one who knows: a leader must be
technically and professionally competent in his or her field.
You must know your business. This is the necessary condition for
winning respect and trust.
Lead by example: a leader shares fully in the risks, hardships
and dangers of the army or workforce.
A leader inspires others by encouraging them in times of
difficulty or challenge, expressing confidence in them and their
ability to surmount the hurdles before them. You can lift
people's spirits with a word of encouragement and support.
A leader reminds people of why they are working and striving –
for self, family and comrades certainly, but for that which
A leader has to be firm and just in maintaining necessary order.
Without a certain toughness in this regard you will not win the
respect of the group as a whole.
A leader should show humanity, a basic empathy with people.
Rejoice with others when any good befalls them, and sympathize
when ills overtake them, as they can us all. Give practical help
to individual team members in any kind of need where you can do
Above all, a leader is there – at the right time and place.
Never underestimate the positive influence that your very
presence can exert in a situation.
Articulate Your Vision
Self-Leadership: 4 Strategies
Be Different and Make a Difference!
12 Leadership Roles
12 Causes of Failure in Leadership
Don't Manage, Lead
The Tao of Leadership
Making Big Changes: 10 Questions
Motivating through Communicating Your Strategic Focus
Motivation depends on
having clear objectives. Since motivation is personal, aim to align
staff's individual drives with the company's purposes in general and
your unit's in particular. "Most companies are filled with people
who have no clue of the big picture – what the organization is
really trying to accomplish – and because they don't feel that they
or their contributions are important, they do their job... and
nothing more,” say Jason Jennings and Laurence Haughton. To unleash
the power of your organization and achieve exceptional results, you
must empower employees and motivate them to follow through on your
strategic focus. Your business will be able to bring new
products/services to the market much faster if "everyone within the
organization had their heart and soul wrapped up in taking aim and
shooting at the same target".
Creating an Inspiring Vision
vision has two functions: directional and
motivational. The main task of a leader is creating a clear and
exciting vision for the future and communicating it in such a way
that other eventually see the vision belonging to them and join the
Take the time to think
through and develop a clear picture of where you want the
organization to be in the future, then
communicate your vision
in an inspiring and enduring way. Verbal communication is not enough
however. You should
live your vision and be seen living it.
"Not the cry but the
flight of the wild duck leads the flock to fly and to follow," says
Chinese proverb. Great visions inspire, energize and motivate
people to give of their best. Participation motivates. People are
excited about being a part of something great. "Every single person
you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, 'Make me feel
important.' If you can do that, you'll be a success not only in
business but in
life as well," says Mary Kay Ash.
Your Creative Energy To Energize Others
Don't follow the
market, lead it. Use your creative energy to
energize others. "Creative energy whispers 'edge energy', the
next collective movement and direction. No one can touch the true
country and white light of inspiration for a false goal. You can't
dive into the deep-down, belly place of pure creativity while
peeking over your shoulder to monitor the preferences of strangers,"
advises Tama J. Kieves, a carrier coach and the author of This Time
I Dance! Creating the Work You Love.