12 Leadership Principles To Live By

Leadership principles aren’t just pretty inspirational wall hangings. These principles should work hard, just like you do. Leaders in your organisation should use them, every day, whether they’re discussing ideas for expansion, deciding on the best solution in a complex relational issue or recruiting volunteers.

Have you defined your leadership principles?

What is the expectation in your organisation?

In my role as Lead Pastor at Home Church I shared some essential leadership principles with the team. They keep us on the same page, sharp and ready to move forward.

I'm sharing them with you to not only inspire you but also to challenge you to better define what it means to be a leader in your organisation.


1. We have a leaders lens.

We have a leader's mindset. Whatever the matter, leadership matters. Our team approach every situation, task or challenge with a leader's mindset.

“Whatever the matter, leadership matters”


2. We take ownership.

We take responsibility for everything, every department, every challenge and every mess. It doesn't have to be 'our' thing or 'our' mess - we act as if we own it.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” — Winston S. Churchill


3. We are agile.

Change is our friend and we love it when it turns up. We can adapt and move quickly when opportunity comes knocking.

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new” — Socrates


4. We do things right.

We do what is right not what is easy. Character matters to us. Not all shortcuts are as good as they look and we don't mind taking the long way around.

“Short cuts make long delays.” — "The Fellowship of the Ring, "J.R.R. Tolkien"


5. We have one vision.

We get behind the vision. We value followship as much as we do leadership. We don't wander from the vision, edit or adapt it. We embrace it and live it.

“Success is often achieved with 1% vision and 99% alignment.”


6. We develop leaders.

We measure success not in terms of how many followers we have but how many leaders we have raised up. We are confident and empower others.

“Be a river not a reservoir.” — John C Maxwell


7. We simplify.

We always find ways to keep things simple. We love cutting the red tape and bend some rules if necessary. We value clarity and simplicity.

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” — Albert Einstein


8. We earn it.

Leadership is not a title, badge or special entitlement. It's something we earn, an honour and we work hard at it when we receive it.

“Position is a poor substitute for influence.” — "The 5 Levels of Leadership," John C. Maxwell


9. We dream big and see small.

We have an expansive, wide open vision but don't neglect the details, daily routine or the person in the picture. It's always about the one.


10. We are organised.

Leadership is thought through and planned. If we fail to plan we plan to fail. There are no excuses for late communication, 'winging' it or associating with 'last minute dot com' leadership.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin


11. We disagree and commit.

We respectfully challenge decisions when we disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable. We do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. However, once a decision is determined, we commit wholly.

“Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument an exchange of ignorance.” — Robert Quillen


12. We prefer face-to-face.

Our preference is always face-to-face. We are personal. Email, text and group chats are all good communication tools but we never eliminate face-to-face interaction. We are relational leaders not automated ones.