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Beliefs on the Leadership Journey


Getting clear with ourselves about our beliefs helps connect us to our core values. They will shift over our lives so it's a constant journey of discovery. Here are some things to ponder as you check in on your journey.

Your Leadership Philosophy

Defining what the huge topic of leadership is to you is of utmost importance. It helps us get clear on our approach, communicate it to others, and measure how we're doing every day. Here's mine right now...

It's realizing it's not about me & realizing it's all about me. It's what I'm doing for others and how my behaviors display the evidence of my authentic intentions.

Behavior change is hard

Everyone has the ability to change interpersonal behavior. The reality is that nobody else can motivate us if we don't want to change. Figuring out our blind spots through honest & respectful feedback provides clues to growth areas. Then all you have to do is decide which area you're actually motivated to change and do the work. It won't be easy but it'll be worth it!

Influence is always happening

The basic definition of leadership is influence. All the situations we find ourselves in every day are opportunities to influence others. Aligning our behaviors with who we want to be ensures we have an impact on others in the most authentic way we can.

Coach people, fix processes

There hasn't been a successful team that's been managed into battle. We must lead them. Coaching means being interested in others and what matters to them. Fixing the processes to remove bureaucracy creates space for creativity and imagination for the work you do together.

Success partner

If we see others as people we're in competition with it will be almost impossible to collaborate with them. If we see them as a "success partner" we can blend our talents for complimentary teamwork.

Succeed at being who you are

We all fail (at times) in being the person we really want to be. We find the greatest satisfaction and happiness when we stay in touch with the journey of becoming. How well we succeed at being who we are is the point.

Help more, judge less

"We rise by lifting others." -Robert Ingersoll

Get curious about learning from others instead of trying to prove you're right. Amazing opportunities will come your way through helping others have the impact they want to have.

1% better every day

If you're after continuous improvement for sustained excellence this is a helpful formula to keep in mind. Check out this article by James Clear for more on this.

You can’t coach what the players haven’t been taught!

This helps get our expectations in alignment. If you expect achievement in any area you have to be taught the skills to get there. Decide if it's training (preparation for the known) or education (preparation for the unknown) that's needed to unleash accomplishment.

Be + Do = Have

You already have what you need to have what you want. If you'd like to be an author tell yourself you are one. Then do what authors do, write. Then soon you'll have what authors have, publications.

Life is all about Relationships

Leadership is a relationship. Check out this TED Talk on What Makes a Good Life for more on the importance of our relationships throughout our lives.

Heaven or hell it's between your ears

Thoughts come first then we attach emotions to them, then we act on these emotions. To change our behaviors we must change our emotions. Get in touch with the story you're telling yourself about the situation and ask yourself these questions from Byron Katie's "The Work".


This is all about setting your intention for an open mindset. The more certain we are about life the more closed we are to other perspectives. It's way more fun to have the approach of always growing and learning. My Great Uncle had the approach that there are a whole lot of friends he hadn't met yet in the world. Through this, he made friends everywhere he went and learned something new every day.

Run the experiment

What's your decision-making process? Try the waterline approach. If what you're going to do is going to put a hole below the waterline of the ship and possibly sink it, you need to have lots more information before acting. If what you're going to do will put a hole above the waterline of the ship then go for it because the ship won't sink and you'll likely learn a lot from the experience.

Make your own list of these and share them with others. You'll be surprised how much they come in handy in daily interactions. The journey is the destination, make it a great trip!

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This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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