Seven Demands of Leadership

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“Seven Demands of Leadership”

I think that the more you read and understand about management and leadership concepts, the better leader you will be, and it will help you to make sense out of all of it.  It will help you develop and refine your own leadership style.

A few years ago I attended a leadership training seminar at the Gallup Organization out in Lincoln, Nebraska, for a week.  I learned a lot, especially that I still don’t know everything and, for that matter, never will.  One thing that I liked a lot and has stayed with me was this concept of the “Seven Demands of Leadership.”  I think understanding the demands of leadership helps all of us better understand what responsibilities we have taken on when we decide to become Leaders, which is our role in the show.  We auditioned for the part, we got the role, and now we have to perform.

  1. Visioning:  Not everyone is a visionary, but someone on our team should be.  your vision should be developed for the organization.  Once the vision is developed, make sure you understand it and share it.  The Walt Disney World® Vision is very powerful and emotional.  Vision needs to be discussed frequently.
  2. Mentoring:  Everyone who is successful in life has a mentor.  You need someone who will tell you the truth and give you guidance about your work and behaviors.  Have a mentor, and be a mentor.
  3. Challenging Experiences:  Always set stretch assignments for individuals.  We know that good people need challenging assignments to become great and to grow.  The leaders who continue to ask for and accept new experiences and new assignments are the ones that become great.  This is the best way to develop leaders.
  4. Knowing Self:  Know what you can and can’t do and manage it.  Use your strengths.  People who understand themselves are very effective.  Let others know what you are good at and what you are not good at.
  5. Making Sense of Experiences:  Continuous learning opportunities, seminars, publications like The Main Street Diary and others, benchmarking, and more.  Learning together with your people and reflecting on past experiences are powerful developers of leadership.  Learn from your mistakes and learn from your successes.
  6. Stabilizing Values:  Knowing what you stand for—values and respect for people.  Things that you won’t negotiate.
  7. Building a Constituency:  Name recognition.  Do people know who you are, what you are doing for them, and what you stand for?  Tell them what to expect and what your vision is.  Know your personal and career Board of Directors, who can support you and from whom you will receive honest feedback.  These Boards are usually small.  Pick them carefully, and then tell the people you have chosen that you count on them to help direct you and to do the right things.

I hope you enjoy thinking about the “Seven Demands of Leadership” and how they impact you, now and in the future, as you develop yourself into the kind of Leader you want to be.

I have thought about them a lot over the last few years; and they have helped me, and I hope they help you too.

As far as mentors, I am lucky that I have several people here who tell me the raw, honest truth; and I do that for a few people too.

As far as challenging experiences are concerned, the Disneyland® Paris assignment I had was the toughest job I ever had . . . and I am better for it today.

When it comes to knowing self, that is one of my strong points.  I know what I am good at and what I am not good at.  I always make sure that my boss and my wife Priscilla know too; and that is liberating. 

Making sense of experiences is one I am an expert at since I was fired once in my career 36 years ago and passed over for a promotion once.  My first thought was to blame them.  It could not be my fault.  Well, after reflecting on it all, it was my fault (at least 51 percent).  That is the day my career took off.  I have not repeated those errors again in my leadership style.

Stabilizing values is one that you need to decide early in your career.  Don’t wait until the battle starts to try to figure out what you stand for. You have to decide now whether you are going to go down with the ship or not . . . because you will be very busy helping others survive when it’s going down if you are the captain.  Treating everyone respectfully is one of my values and is one that I don’t ever plan to give in on.

Building a constituency is a big deal, and you need to think about how you will do that.  In my opinion it’s like running for office.  People vote for you because of what you did for them or what you say you are going to do for them, so keep your promises.   . . . Lee

1 Comment
  1. Just love these blogs..they hold a multitude of great advice and I try and retain and emulate as much as I can of them during the course of my week.Super stuff Lee! Please come to DC!!

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