Teach Principles First, Practices Second

Most people in leadership struggle with control issues. As a leader you understand (or should) the responsibility of being in charge. Some leaders, though, feel as though they need to dictate every specific action of those on their team.

This almost never works. Why? People don’t like to be controlled, and people don’t like not being trusted by those their leader. This is especially true when people believe in their work, work incredibly hard, yet are still not trusted.

If you’re in leadership, are you teaching your people solid principles for good decision-making? Teaching these principles helps give your people a framework of thinking, which will influence their actions. Working on changing actions first almost never works, because changing actions is like putting a band aid on a severed leg: it barely touches the surface of the true issue.

What are your foundational principles for decision-making in your life? In your work? For those you lead? Are you teaching and conveying those principles clearly and regularly? Working through this process with those you lead will shape their thinking, which will affect their actions.

Be prepared for this: your people may understand what you teach, but they may act on it a little differently than you. That’s ok. At least they get it, right?

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