Leadership Philosophies Overview

Leadership Philosophies Overview

A leadership philosophy contains value-based ideas of how a leader should be and act and the sources of their power. Any leadership philosophy is a way of thinking and behaving. It is a set of values and beliefs. A philosophy is a series of reference points or a foundation upon which processes, decisions, actions, plans, etc. can be built, developed and applied. Ultimately, a leadership philosophy connects leadership with humanity, morality and ethics, and crucially, trust. 

Leadership philosophies help us to understand how a leader comes to power and stays in power. They are not 'designed' to be applied like a model or a style, but they do enable much greater insight into the wider causes of, and effects upon, leadership from the widest possible human viewpoint. This section explores a range of leadership philosophies, such as Servant Leadership, Authentic Leadership, Ethical Leadership and Values-Based Leadership.

Ultimately, leadership is a matter of personal conviction and believing strongly in a cause or aim, whatever it is. It’s almost a state of mind. You don’t have to be ‘born’ a leader to lead, you just need to adjust your mind-set or be suitably driven by a particular cause. 

If you have strong ethics and a clear vision, then you will probably already by aware of your philosophy. After all, it is this that enables you to grow. 

It’s essential to use all of the concepts in unison and to have everyone and everything all heading in the same direction, achieving the same goal. Understand your way of thinking and look at your behaviour. Does it fit with your values? Does it encourage others to maintain their enthusiasm and productivity? Look at your values and beliefs and how they benefit your aims and means.

But remember, it doesn't define your style or model of leading, it merely sets the foundations upon which to develop it.