The 10 Golden Rules of Leadership

By Panos Mourdoukoutas | for Forbes.com

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What distinguishes the real leader, the man or woman who makes a tangible difference in the work place, from a mere administrator? Where does real leadership begin? How do great leaders turn subordinates into faithful followers?

The answers to these questions are condensed in a little book The Ten Golden Rules Of Leadership (New York: AMACOM, 2015) I co-authored with Michael Soupios.

Rule 1 Know Thyself

Real leadership comes from inside —and the greatest leaders first question themselves before they tackle the world around them. Develop an inner clarity. Understand your own strengths and weaknesses. Self- comprehension is a fundamental precondition necessary for real leadership.

Rule 2 Office Shows The Person

The assumption of authority brings out the leader’s inner world. It reveals whether the leader has undergone a process of honest self-discovery that allows for the productive application of power.

Rule 3 Nurture Community In The Workplace

Community development and positive sentiment are virtues leaders must nurture by providing the right support, guidance and incentives.

Rule 4 Do Not Waste Energy On Things You Cannot Change

Do not waste resources and energies on things you cannot control, and therefore, cannot change.

Rule 5 Always Embrace The Truth

Effective leaders should always embrace truth, always encourage candid criticism throughout the organization, be skeptical of flattering appraisals, and never let authority place a wedge between them and the truth.

Rule 6 Let Competition Reveal Talent

Nurture an environment that can use the forces of competition constructively, create a platform that releases the ingenuity and creativity of your employees in pursuing corporate goals and objectives, identify subordinates who use competition as a constructive force, steer away from subordinates who use competition as a destructive force.

Rule 7 Live Life By A Higher Code

Dedicate yourself to a higher standard of personal conduct. ; don’t harbor ill-will toward those who offend; be ready to assist those whoa are in need without asking something in return; remain calm in the face of crisis; dedicate yourself to principle without compromise; earn the respect, and admiration of your subordinates through your character, nor the authority conferred upon you by the corporate charter; turn authority into power.

Rule 8 Always Evaluate Information With A Critical Eye

Don’t rely upon old premises, assertions, and ambitions. Develop a critical mindset that accepts nothing at face value, certify the credibility and usefulness of critical information, analyze the context that produces critical information and the messengers who carry it, and never rush to judgments.

Rule 9 Never Underestimate The Power of Personal Integrity

Personal integrity is a critical asset for real leadership. Always set an honorable agenda, adhere to a code of personal conduct, never try to justify “dishonesty” and deceit, rather “fail with honor than win with by cheating.”

Rule 10 Character Is Destiny

True leadership is ultimately traceable to factors of character and personal integrity; much of what called “destiny” lies in our hands, not in mysterious forces beyond our control.