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It all started when...

At a young age I found myself leading either out of a desire to or out of necessity. I always wanted to lead but really had no idea how to. Everything changed however when I discovered that leaders are not born, they are developed. By this I mean that anyone can improve their leadership if they are dedicated and passionate enough. This ignited a life long passion in me to develop as a leader and to begin to furnish my own leadership locker.

We all have a set way of doing things, some by nurture, many by nature and they impact our leadership more than we are aware. These principles take up residency on the inside of us but are played out in our day to day for all to see. Over the years they shape who we are and perhaps more significantly, enable others to understand the method behind our leadership. I like to think of these principles as being what I call your leadership locker. I use the metaphor of a locker because like an athlete or student, leaders also have a place where you’ll find what’s most important to them and what they’ll rely on when it’s time for action. To an athlete it could be their trusty trainers, a student their books. To a leader it’s the principles that make them the leader they are.

Over the years I’ve discovered that many leaders when asked, don’t really know why they lead the way they do. When I’m coaching people in leadership I often hover around this topic and encourage them to get clarity on their thinking. I challenge them to write down the principles or beliefs that drive their leadership and ultimately shape their leadership style.

When you know why you lead the way you do, it sets you free and gives you confidence in who you are. It allows you to make modifications to your leadership and plot a course for improvement.

And why does this matter? It matters because good leadership is essential. When I say ‘good’ I mean thought through, intentional and effective. The challenge of leadership isn’t to be taken lightly, many fail in leadership, some spectacularly! The great news is that failure doesn’t have to be fatal, indeed later in this book you’ll read that I believe failure is ironically a necessary part of the journey.

In this book I share 20 principles that define the way I lead and encourage you to define yours too. Each bite sized chapter unpacks a thought or lesson to underpin the principle in focus. Some you’ll recognise in people you know and some you’ll recognise from your own leadership locker. Writing them down has helped me and my team understand the ‘why’ behind my leadership style - this book is in effect my leadership locker. I firstly focus on the principles that govern the way I lead myself and then look at the principles in my locker that explain how I lead others.

As you open the door and peek into my leadership locker you will discover how successful leaders live and lead. These principles will challenge you to grow in leadership and help you increase your effectiveness. You’ll also be inspired to define the ‘why’ behind the way you lead, helping you to furnish your own leadership locker.