The question every good leader wants to know is how to be both the boss everyone wants to work for and the high achiever every CEO wants to hire. The ten principles highlighted below are supported by research and experience.

1. Close your open-door policy

It is important to promote transparency, trust and informational flow. But it’s better to have office hours, set ground rules, weekly one-on-one meetings and a scheduled system of communication.

2. Shut your smartphone off

Smartphones are very distracting, they diminish brain power and they contribute to stress and accidents. Putting a smartphone away and limiting the access during the day will improve your safety and your focus.

3. Have no rules

Principles do more and go further than any rule ever could. Principles are less micromanaging. So instead of rules, leaders need to hire people who can be trusted, make the company values actionable, set guidelines and be willing to coach those who make honest mistakes.

4. Be likeable, not liked

A boss who wants to be liked is very normal but it makes tough choices difficult. We have to remind ourselves that leadership is not about us but it’s about what is best for those you lead. You can be tough and tender at the same time.

5. Lead with love

Leadership is not something easy. Sometimes leaders forget the difference between liking and loving. Whether an employee likes you and you like him back is irrelevant. The key is to lead with love.

6. Crowd your calendar

Make sure you put every little task you have to in your calendar. The things you usually would put on a ‘to do list’ will go in your calendar instead with the exact date, time and duration. This way you make sure nothing gets left behind and you don’t miss anything.

7. Play favorites

This may seem strange at first sight, but if you think about it, you would probably not like it when you performed better and were more engaged than one of your colleagues but were still treated the same. It is important that as a leader, you give the right amount of appreciation to everyone of your employees.

8. Reveal everything

And by everything, we mean everything. Even salaries. This results in your employees being able to adapt to fast changes and make thoughtful decisions.

9. Show weakness

Vulnerability build trust. When you are open about your weaknesses and/or doubts, your employees will see this as a sign of confidence and courage. However, it is wise to keep your personal, bigger issues (for example anxiety attacks) to yourself.

10. Leadership is not a choice

Leadership isn’t a passive activity, it is something we need to take responsibility for.

Kevin Kruse (2019). Great Leaders Have No Rules: Contrarian Leadership Principles To Transform Your Team and Business#

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