10 Key Leadership Fundamentals Every Leader Must Know

November 23, 2023
10 Key Leadership Fundamentals Every Leader Must Know

Search the web, browse the books, and sit with leaders, and you will find some maxims and examples of leadership principles repeat themselves, like leaders aren’t born, but made; a leader is like a shepherd; a leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

Now the words, phrases, and dialects may vary, yet most maxims from the wise ones focus on a few time-tested leadership fundamentals. And adopting the same can help you become a pro leader.

In this article, we will discuss 10 key leadership fundamentals that can help you become an effective leader and lead your team to glory. Further, these principles share uncanny universality and remain true no matter who you are, what you do, and where you lead.

So, without further ado, let’s turn to 10 leadership fundamentals or principles you must know, follow, share, and preach.

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1. Practice Active Listening

Active listening is more than listening. It entails decoding intent, reading between the lines, and building a deep connection with the speaker. Now how does that benefit you as a leader? Put simply, it helps you connect with the team, decode their predicaments, present effective solutions, and make them feel heard.

Employees crave a leader who listens to their concerns actively as it shows the team the lead care, which, in turn, encourages them to go above and beyond to. So, always listen with intent and lead with your ears wide open.

2. Chase Vision, Not Profits

A good leader is a visionary first. They inspire the team to chase a dream, a vision that defines who they are, what they do, and how they do it. A true leader is never profit-driven. Instead, they value vision over profits. Now what defines a good vision? It could be a commitment to quality and exceptional service or a vow to create an impact. No matter what, it should be impact-driven, not profit.

3. Practice What You Preach

The third leadership fundamental is to practice what you preach. A leader isn’t the person who knows the way. They go the way. They practice what they preach and let their actions create an impact. No matter how eloquently or expertly you convey the message, it impacts relies on whether you practice the same or not. A leader who says one thing and does the opposite seldom succeed in leadership.

So, it is essential to practice what you preach. Lead by example and show team the way. A leader who valiantly faces adversity and rises above wins a team who repeats the same mantra and stands firm.

4. Never Fear Change

Change is the only constant in life, and there is no way to avoid it. So, the best is to embrace it. A leader who fears change unknowingly instills the same fear in the team, making it hard for the unit to evolve and ride the change. In contrast, those who embrace change wholeheartedly promote the same, helping the team stay proactive and ever-ready to ride the change.

5. Respect Inspires

An act of respect or a word or two of appreciation often works better than incentives and bonuses. That said, you cannot ditch the latter and expect respect to inspire continually. However, this leadership fundamental dictates respect must be the default way. The lead who doesn’t respect the team rarely succeeds. Much sooner than later, the team revolts, and the best performers leave.

6. Prioritize People

A simple yet not-so-simple leadership fundamental. Leadership is about behavior, not titles, roles, or net worth. Ultimately, it centers around your ability to handle, inspire, and empower the team. And you can’t do so without prioritizing people. So, don’t turn blind to people and become metric drunk. See people for who they are, the efforts and commitment they invest in, and the impact they make.

7. Diversity Matters

Remember this leadership fundamental. The more diverse the team, the better the impact. Truthfully, diversity works like a charm and highlights your character as a leader. Narrow-minded leaders hate it, while visionaries love it. So, side with the latter and see diversity for what it is; a success enabler.

8. Acknowledge and Accept Mistakes

A good leader takes responsibility and is the first to take the blame. In contrast, the ineffective kind deflects the blame and points fingers. So, never turn a snitch, and acknowledge the misses. Remember, the team follows the leader. So, lead by example and follow this leadership fundamental. Give your team a reason to accept mistakes and make amends.

9. Never Forget Core Values

The best leaders are flexible yet firm. They bend over backward for the team but stand resolute for their values. They never compromise on values and preach the same.

10. Never Stop Learning

Another leadership fundamental to hold for life. Never stop learning. A good leader remains a student for life. They never stop learning, evolving, and growing and continually strive for betterment.

The Wrap Up

So, now you know the 10 key leadership fundamentals behind leaders who win in leadership. Follow the same or devise your own. No matter what, lead with principles, as that’s the only way to excel in leadership.

Read more: A Guide For Lead Software Engineer vs. Senior Software Engineer

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