Your leadership manifesto ensures you stay the course in challenging times and focus on what’s most important at all times.
Leadership Manifesto - what is it?
A manifesto is a statement of beliefs and intentions. A leadership manifesto declares your beliefs about leadership and how you intend to enact those beliefs.
How to Develop Your Leadership Manifesto
- Begin by uncovering your deeply held beliefs about people. Explore what experts say, what research reveals.
- What conditions bring out the best in people? The worst?
- What causes people to reach beyond their grasp?
- When and why are people inclined to act on behalf of something beyond self interest?
- What motivates and demotivates people?
- In light of these beliefs, what environment do you intend to create for people in your organization?
- What will you do to create that environment?
Write it down. Put it aside. Review, modify and sign it. Leaders tell me signing their manifesto is a powerful action. It secures their commitment to enact what they wrote.
Leadership Manifesto - Examples
I’ve worked with clients to develop their own leadership manifesto and know several other leaders who have done so. They consult their manifesto regularly to ensure actions align with intentions. The leadership manifesto also serves as an important guide in stressful times, when re-actions readily overtake intentions.
Debra’s Leadership Manifesto:
- Be a strong and positive presence
- Demonstrate strength of character
- Reach for the seemingly impossible
- I won’t have all the answers, but together we will figure out how to get there
- We will create the future one possibility at a time
- I will Inspire unwavering confidence in people’s ability to achieve our vision
After completing her leadership manifesto, Debra placed it next to her calendar. She color coded activities that were in concert with her intentions and those that weren’t. She noted how many meetings she attended at other people’s request. Most had little to do with what she wanted to manifest as a leader. So instead of automatically accepting these invitations, she decided to ask questions:
- What’s the purpose for my attendance?
- Problem solving?
- Decision making?
- Inspiring confidence?
- Painting a picture of the future?
Debra decided to skip FYI meetings and request summary statements instead. She put “Thinking Time” on her calendar.
- My role is to inspire people and create an environment where we constantly leap frog over previous solutions, innovations and achievements
- Innovation is key
- Our products and services solve customer problems more effectively
- Our employees grow, expanding their thinking, skills and talents
- Our solutions don’t create adverse affects for employees, customers, communities
- Demonstrate integrity in all things at all times
- Walk your talk
- Build trusted and trusting relationships
- Trust is about caring
- Care about people first
- Caring is about listening
- Create a great team
- Care as much about relationships on the team as the results they produce
Several years after Howard wrote his leadership manifesto, the company where he served as CEO was acquired. His manifesto helped him evaluate the cultural fit, and guided him through the stressful acquisition and post-acquisition periods.
Your Next Step
If you’d like to access Germane Coaching & Consulting’s leadership manifesto template, a series of questions and thoughts to guide you through writing your own manifesto, give a shout here.
Have a look at Frank Lloyd Wright’s apprentice manifesto. How about a manifesto for and by your team?