Fundamental rules to keep in mind in order to succeed as a new leader, by former U.S. Navy Seal Jocko Willink
- Be humble. It is an honour to be in a leadership position. Your team is counting on your to make the right decisions.
- Don’t act like you know everything. You don’t. The team knows that. Ask smart questions.
- Listen. Ask for advice and heed it.
- Treat people with respect. Regardless of rank, everyone is a human being and plays an important role in the team. Treat them that way. Take care of your people and they will take care of you.
- Take ownership of failures and mistakes.
- Pass credit for success up and down the chain.
- Work hard. As the leader, you should be working harder than anyone else on the team. No job is beneath you.
- Have integrity. Do what you say; say what you do. Don’t lie up or down the chain of command.
- Be balanced. Extreme actions and opinions are usually not good.
- Be decisive. When it is time to make a decision, make one.
- Build relationships. That is your main goal as a leader. A team is a group of people who have relationships and trust one another. Otherwise, it is just a disconnected, incoherent cluster of people.
- Get the job done. This is the purpose of a leader — to lead a team in accomplishing a mission. If you don’t accomplish the mission, you fail as a leader. Performance counts.
These are straightforward rules. They make sense on paper, but they can be hard to remember and implement in a leadership environment. Review them often. Look at them in the morning, before meetings, and when you are about to make things happen.