Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success is unlike any leadership book I’ve ever read. When I read author John Eades’ words, I hear an appeal to accountability, a wake-up call, and an empathetic mind. Immediately, you know John has been there, and he draws on his experience as a businessman and a coach and gives us the truth about what people need.
Your Job as a Leader: Love, Discipline, Elevation
“There is more to leadership than hiring, firing, and barking out orders. The most important job of a leader today is to elevate others. In order to elevate others, leaders need to use high levels of love and discipline.”
It’s almost like John is reading my mind about my past experiences, where either I failed someone or someone failed me as a leader. We can all relate to a time in our lives where we felt drained, exhausted, or simply let down by a lack of leadership, maybe even in ourselves. Sometimes we may not even realize that this might have been a problem.
“It’s as if everywhere you turn, our culture is telling each of us to do the things that provide immediate gratification. I have news for you, this isn’t leadership. In fact, it’s the opposite of leadership.”
When a team feels cohesive, when you are empowered by the leaders you turn to, when you trust those in charge, when you are invigorated by the enthusiasm your leader has and the belief they have in the skills you bring to the table . . . I think we can all agree these things make a world of difference. We all would much rather work with someone like this—and personally, I would much rather be like this.
Your Role in Workplace Culture
“The majority of top performers gladly exit a toxic environment instead of tolerating lousy leadership. Regardless of the leadership you’ve experienced, the leader that you are and the impact that you will have is a choice that lies within you.”
John’s book gives a roadmap for a leader to make that choice, which he outlines in 8 principles that are refreshingly simple, yet powerfully compelling.
1. Use high levels of love and discipline to elevate others.
2. Without strong relationships, you can’t lead.
3. Culture starts with you, but your people prove it.
4. People persevere because of purpose, not pay.
5. Goals aren’t achieved without priorities put into action.
6. The instant you lower your standards is the instant performance erodes.
7. Accountability is an advantage—make it your obligation.
8. Coaching unlocks potential and elevates performance.
Summarizing these principles in a short paragraph does not do his work justice—but suffice it to say, with each of these 8 principles I can clearly see, in a very real sense, the kind of leader I want to be and the kind of leader I want to work with.
I resonate strongly with principles 4, 6, 7, and 8. The money has been (and always will be) simply a means to an end for me. I do the work I do because there is meaningful purpose behind it. Pay is important, but motivating others with meaning and purpose must be a part of that. If it isn’t, it makes it much harder to justify sticking around. While I wouldn’t say 6, 7, and 8 should be lumped together, they all define the qualities in a true leader with integrity. The kind that you trust, and the kind that you feel you can go to in a tough situation.
John summarized it best when he said the following:
“Leaders who get up every morning and reject the notion of making their life all about themselves. This world needs you more than ever.”
He couldn’t be more right.
If you read Building the Best, what were some of your key takeaways?