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My personal and simple leadership principles

  • Posted on July 7, 2014

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I recently read Bob Knowling ‘s very personal and touching book “You can get there from here” which really made me reflect about a lot of things I take for granted. About the same time, I came across an interesting article from Doug Sundheim from Harvard Business Review outlining his personal take on leadership principles. This inspired me to reflect on my own personal journey and try to summarize my own leadership principles, and to do this in less than 15 minutes to make it honest and direct rather than a well-crafted and sterile analysis . These may come across as pompous clichés, but they are very personal to me, following my latest pivotal experience as Avanade’s new CTIO where I’ve had to take on a, for me, whole new level of responsibility.  In a few weeks, I’ve had to go from a regional role which I knew well, to a global role with many unknowns and  a lot of “firsts”, in parallel with relocating my family overseas and becoming a father.

These are my five principles, as influenced by this experience:

  1. Accept that leadership (and management) is situational and who you need to be changes frequently. 
    • As a manager, you set and explain the target, and support your team to achieve it.
    • As a leader, you point through the fog towards the general direction, motivate the team to define the precise goal and coach them to reach the destination.
    • As a leader of leaders, your mission is to ensure the environment and the vision is in place for other leaders to consistently and scalably rise to the occasion and make point #2 happen without your involvement.
  1. The most efficient and consistent path to top results is to enable others to be even more successful than yourself.  Let your colleagues, teams and partners succeed. Help them to take the front stage and to be the heroes. This also applies to customers: making your customer famous rather than using the customer to make you famous.
  1. The only certainty is uncertainty and change.  Help people unlearn and re-learn at least as much as they learn. (Alvin Toffler’s books are an inspiration for me in this respect)
  1. Chasing yearly and quarterly results is important, but being true to yourself and to the legacy you want to leave behind is more fundamental. As a leader, you have the privilege and the responsibility to build something positive, which will stand the test of time.  Don’t waste that opportunity.
  1. For everyday decisions follow your head, your heart and your gut-feeling. In that order. For really big decisions, it is the other way around.

Now comes the “tiny” challenge of always executing on these principles in a consistent manner - and the only way to get better is practice and experience. I would love to hear about your own personal leadership principles, experiences and advice.

Julie Bruns

Hi Florin, I recently saw your keynote address at TechSummit and was inspired by so many things that week. I really appreciate your insight and comments about leadership. It's always the best leaders who inspire others, then sit back to see their progress and smile when they succeed. You've certainly made some sacrifices moving to Seattle with your family but it sounds like you're just the person to take Avanade to the next level. I'm so proud to work here and be surrounded by such great people!

July 24, 2014

Florin

thanks for the kind words Julie. Glad you liked TechSummit

July 30, 2014

Ken

Great advice.

July 16, 2014

Darren Nippard

It's the simple stuff that really does make a difference and differentiates true leaders. Nice blog. Good luck with the family move.

July 13, 2014

Florin

thanks Darren. somebody much smarter then me once said: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” :)

July 16, 2014

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