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Principles of Leadership

Hello guys,

I think this an important topic as well. I will share the principles I learned from others or from my own life experience.

Be there for the Team

It something that went like a "boom" in my mind when Lucio talked in this post about this:

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on January 1, 2021, 3:34 pm

Yeah, I'm afraid it might be human nature to (also) judge people by work hours.

Imagine you're a boss, and two people in your team have the exact same output.
But with one, you arrive at work, and 80% of the time he's there, and he's 80% of the time there by the time you leave.

Another one, it's the opposite.

The fact that you see him there at both the beginning and end of the day automatically enters the brain's computation as "added benefit" and "team player".
To not to do so, it would take a rational being that goes against the bias. But as we know, few people ever challenge their biases and their "default" way of brain functioning.


But what if one is 80% there early, and the other one 80% there late?

Then, like T says, it depends on the manager / exec, and it's a smart political move to adapt to the boss.

When your boss is neither a morning or late evening person, but more around the average, I suspect that late evenings carry more weight.
As a matter of fact, I suspect that late evening carry more weight in general.

This is because:

  1. Most issues are usually dealt with as they come up during the day, meaning you fix them by staying late, rather than  going early (so the guy who stays ends up being more present, and more often, when the team needs most help)
  2. The early day feels like "I'm coming early, doing my job, and then see you fuckers, the evening is all for me"
  3. The late-day has more of a feel of "sacrificing" for the team

The last two are more cultural, since people usually meet with friends in the evening, not in the morning, so it feels like you're "sacrificing" more for the team, which by social exchange also means "giving more" (you increase the debt of the receiver).


It's also a question of rapport.

The more time you have overlapping with your supervisors, the more you can create rapport / friendship.

And it's the reason why the people who are all jubilant about the "work form home thing" are usually not the guys who are going to have great careers, or be the future C-suite people.

To have a great career, be promoted, and acquire power and status, you need face time.
Sure, if you do great work, you can get promoted even remotely. But if there is someone else who does the same good work (or even almost as good), but he's present in person and and has good enough ("good enough" is enough, not even "great" is necessary) in-person relationship with the boss... then 99% of the time the guy who shows up wins.

This was a major brick in my understanding of social dynamics. So here is my feed-back: it works. Here is my experience:

I could notice that some people were surprised to see me later than they used to see me in the first 10 days. But after that, I could see they were happy to see that I was a) there b) available.

So all of what you say above is true based on my experience.

Part 2: here is my thought pattern.

I made a conscious decision to invest more at work. I wrote in the post I've linked that I was already working too much. That's true, but in my line of work: working too much is the norm. So that is why I don't connect with some of my colleagues: we don't value personal time/life the same vs recognition/status/money/power. I might be wrong, that is my current impression. I might also be juding in a way to feel superior. But I don't think so. I'm open to changing my mind on the topic.

See Lucio (Data-> Experience -> Analysis).

For Leadership, your presence matters. It goes along with the principle from Jocko Willink: a vacuum of power. If you leave a vacuum of power by your absence, by definition someone will fill this power vacuum.

This also goes with a principle from Tom Bilyeu: Sacrifice for the team. If your team see you suffer for the team, they will know that you have the team's best interest in mind. You don't have to say it: you have proven it. Caring for the group is the fundamental definition of leadership. Which brings me to another principle:

Protect the Team

The team you are part of, is your team. As much as for other team members, you are part of their team. So we are all part of our teams. Protecting the team is your duty just as much as the team's duty is to protect you.

 'For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.' - Rudyard Kipling

The wolf is nothing without the pack. Such is the lesson we learn by observing wolves, as Rudyard Kipling did.

Any other leadership principle is welcome! Of course.

Lucio Buffalmano and Matthew Whitewood have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew Whitewood

Great post, John.

All true, and goes both ways: leaders love loyal, supportive, and present team members, and team members love a leader who sacrifices, works hard, and defends his team.

Matthew Whitewood and John Freeman have reacted to this post.
Matthew WhitewoodJohn Freeman
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Be like a father/mother figure 

This one comes from Lucio and I think it’s very helpful. A good leader guides, empowers and protect. Like a parental figure. This also allows us to get into a positive judge role.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Be a leader, don't play at being a leader

Just like being "alpha" or dominant. Posturing is just bad policy. Leaders who are unsure of themselves and play at being a leader look ridiculous. So if you want to lead people: ACTUALLY LEARN TO LEAD PEOPLE.

Don't pretend that you're a leader.

Because newsflash: leadership is actually not about you. It's not about looking cool and powerful. You need to be cool and powerful (self-control) to lead. So it's the other way around. That is why character is the basis of leadership. Nobody said it was easy. People want to be in power but do not want to walk the difficult path of transforming to lead.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano