18 Effective Leadership Axioms YOU Should Use or #Fail
As self-evident truths or principles, axioms are effective, timeless standards
to conduct our lives and business affairs by. There are various axioms I use in my life, even though I sometimes fall short of their meaning. When I use the following examples, I have better results than when I don’t.

  1. 1. It’s not who’s right, it’s what’s right.
  2. 2. An organization’s most valuable commodity is its people.
  3. 3. The most common outcome to verbal communication is misunderstanding.
  4. 4. Help comes from empathy not sympathy.
  5. 5. Look for Character First. (The idea that an employee’s character is more important than skill or knowledge)
  6. 6. Find, coach, and keep the best people. This is an approach I’ve embraced in hiring processes, via the Top Grading system
  7. 7. Many employees believe personal recognition, being part of a team, and having a boss they can talk with, to be the most important ingredients to job satisfaction.
  8. 8. Don’t make your problems your customer’s problem. Under-promise and over-deliver.
  9. 9. Don’t dwell on what can’t be done; concentrate on what can be done.
  10. 10. Don’t dwell on what you cannot control; concentrate on improving what you can control.
  11. 11. If people did not need leadership, guidance, and direction, no one would need managers. Don’t expect your team to do it on their own without your leadership and direction.
  12. 12. Don’t base communication on the assumption others think like you do – they don’t.
  13. 13. Don’t assume others learn like you learn. Learn how they learn. Train how they learn.
  14. 14. You do not need to be close friends to work together efficiently; you are expected to be best teammates by supporting each other.
  15. 15. Use The PINCH Theory for conflict resolution. The PINCH Theory for conflict resolution says people will have differences in expectations, or “pinches.” Left unresolved, these pinches might lead to disruptive conflict. Openly sharing expectations when a pinch occurs may avoid conflict.
  16. 16. Do not operate as a silo. Tear down your silos, and work together to reach peak performance.
  17. 17. Eliminate the word “worry” from your vocabulary. Replace “worry” with “concern.” Concerns fit one of two categories; you can do something about it, or you cannot.

Too often, we tell others how the clock was built when they only asked what time it was.

I originally used this list for a leadership development training course. Each trainee was asked to pick one axiom and live by it for a week. Which one would you pick?