A principle is a belief that guides a person on how to behave. When making decisions, people think about their principles and how they can show those principles in their actions. For example, if I believe in the principle of treating others how I want to be treated, I will say and do things to others that are kind and helpful. A “leadership principle” is a principle that helps guide the actions of a leader, the person in charge, to be the best leader they can be. That means they help their team work together in the best way possible so they can do a good job.
DISCUSS: Can you name five principles that you think a leader should have? Why are these principles good to have?
Sometimes different principles can clash with each other. For instance, let’s say one of my principles is to “always be honest”. This is helpful for building trust and friendship with your team. Let’s say another one of my principles is to “be a good role model” for my team so they can learn what to do and become leaders like me.
Now imagine this. You make a silly mistake, the type of mistake that you would be disappointed to see your team members make. To follow your principle to be honest may show your team that they should not trust you as a role model. If you don’t tell your team, they will never find out it was you but you won’t be living your principle to be honest. If you do tell your team about your mistake, you risk losing their trust in you as a role model and example.
DISCUSS: Should you tell your team about your mistake? Is there anything to benefit from following this principle of honesty? When should a principle be more important than another principle?
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