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Leadership Foundations Template

Use this template to outline your company's philosophy on leadership, as well as resources to help the new leaders on your team.

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Leadership Foundations Template

Use this template to outline your company's philosophy on leadership, as well as resources to help the new leaders on your team.

This template was created in partnership with executive career coach strategist April Little.

The Importance of Leadership 

Why We Train on Leadership

Leadership serves as the cornerstone of our company's success, driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and guiding our teams toward achieving our collective goals. As we cultivate a culture of excellence and growth, investing in leadership development is paramount to harnessing the full potential of our workforce.

Effective leadership not only inspires trust and confidence but also empowers individuals to excel in their roles, make informed decisions, and navigate challenges with resilience. By equipping our emerging leaders with the necessary skills, knowledge, and mindset, we ensure continuity in driving organizational excellence and adapting to the ever-evolving business landscape.

Moreover, leadership training cultivates a shared vision, promotes accountability, and nurtures talent development, laying the groundwork for sustainable growth and competitive advantage. As we embark on this journey of leadership development, we reinforce our commitment to empowering individuals to lead with purpose, integrity, and vision, driving positive change within our organization and beyond.

Our Company’s Leadership Philosophy

At the heart of our company's leadership philosophy lies a commitment to integrity, empowerment, and collaboration. We believe in fostering an inclusive environment where every voice is valued, and diversity is celebrated. Our leaders lead by example, embodying our core values of respect, accountability, and continuous improvement.

Central to our philosophy is the belief in servant leadership, where leaders prioritize the well-being and growth of their teams above all else. By championing transparency, open communication, and empathy, our leaders inspire trust, foster innovation, and drive exceptional results. With a focus on developing authentic, compassionate leaders, we cultivate a culture of excellence and resilience that propels our organization forward.

Developing a Leadership Mindset

How We Think and Operate

In our leadership, we approach challenges with a proactive and strategic mindset, always seeking opportunities for growth and innovation. We foster a culture of continuous learning and adaptation, recognizing that change is inevitable and embracing it as a catalyst for progress. Our leaders prioritize collaboration and open communication, valuing diverse perspectives and ideas. We operate with integrity, transparency, and accountability, setting the standard for ethical behavior and decision-making. We cultivate resilience and perseverance, knowing that obstacles are opportunities in disguise. 

With a focus on results and impact, we align our actions with our company's mission and values, driving towards a shared vision of success. As leaders, we inspire and empower others, recognizing that our collective efforts are greater than the sum of individual contributions. Through our mindset and actions, we lead by example, guiding our teams towards excellence and achieving our organizational goals.

Continuous Learning and Improvement

In the development of a leadership mindset, continuous learning and improvement are paramount. We recognize that leadership is not a static trait but rather a journey of growth and development. Our leaders are committed to expanding their knowledge, skills, and abilities through ongoing education, training, and self-reflection. We encourage experimentation and exploration, embracing failure as an opportunity for learning and innovation. 

By seeking feedback and soliciting diverse perspectives, our leaders foster a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement. They prioritize personal and professional development, setting aside time for reflection, goal-setting, and skill-building. Through this dedication to lifelong learning, our leaders remain agile, adaptable, and resilient in the face of change, continuously striving to enhance their leadership capabilities and drive positive impact within our organization.

Understanding Your Personal Purpose

Understanding your personal purpose is foundational to developing a leadership mindset. It involves reflecting on your values, passions, and strengths to identify what drives you and gives your work meaning. By clarifying your purpose, you gain a sense of direction and motivation that guides your actions and decisions as a leader. This self-awareness allows you to align your personal goals with the broader objectives of the organization, fostering a sense of fulfillment and commitment to your role. 

Additionally, understanding your personal purpose enables you to lead authentically, as you leverage your unique strengths and values to inspire and influence others. It serves as a compass, guiding you through challenges and opportunities, and helping you stay focused on what truly matters in your leadership journey. By cultivating a deep understanding of your personal purpose, you lay a solid foundation for effective leadership and meaningful impact.


Decision-making Models and Frameworks

Effective decision-making is the lifeblood of successful leadership within our organization. Decisions shape the direction, culture, and performance of our company, influencing outcomes at every level. In today's fast-paced and dynamic business landscape, leaders must navigate complex challenges and seize opportunities with clarity and confidence. By mastering decision-making techniques and embracing ethical principles, our leaders empower themselves to drive positive change, inspire their teams, and achieve strategic objectives. Through thoughtful and informed decision-making, our organization remains agile, resilient, and poised for long-term success in an ever-evolving marketplace.

Critical thinking and problem-solving techniques are indispensable skills for effective leadership. Our leaders are equipped with the tools to analyze complex situations, break down problems into manageable components, and explore creative solutions. By fostering a culture of critical inquiry and intellectual curiosity, leaders are empowered to approach challenges with confidence and ingenuity. Through continuous learning and skill development, our leaders sharpen their problem-solving abilities, enabling them to navigate uncertainty and drive innovation in our organization.

Ethical decision-making is a cornerstone of our leadership philosophy. Our leaders are committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity, honesty, and fairness in all their interactions. They consider the ethical implications of their decisions, weighing the potential impact on stakeholders, society, and the environment. By adhering to our company values and ethical principles, leaders build trust and credibility, fostering a culture of transparency and accountability. Through ethical leadership, our organization maintains its reputation as a responsible corporate citizen and earns the respect and loyalty of employees, customers, and partners alike.

Our Decision-making Principles

We want to empower every single team member — not just leaders — to feel confident making decisions, taking more ownership, and functioning autonomously. In order to do this (without devolving into utter chaos), we’ve documented some of the filters we’ve developed over the years to make decisions. These filters are so explicit that any person consulting them will be able to make a decision that’s aligned with our core operating principles. 

Front-page news

If something you did unexpectedly made front-page news, would you be proud of the decision you made?

This principle is all about integrity. We know that some conversations and decisions will occur behind closed doors, and not everyone can or will participate. But we should always operate knowing that we could, in good conscience, publicly defend every decision we make.

How You Do One Thing is How You Do Everything

Leave everything better than you found it.

How you react to “little” things — returning carts, being kind to your wait staff, vacuuming out your sandy rental car — sets the precedent for how you behave when bigger situations roll around.

Don’t expect others to clean up your messes. Be an owner.

Do It Now

It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you let the little things stack up, so create habits that help you stay organized and efficient.

Process information quickly and take quick action so you can knock an item off your to-do list.

It’s easy to push off little tasks or add them to a seemingly never-ending to-do list. Let’s try an exercise. Anything that can be done in less than 5 minutes, just do it now. Trust me.

Failure is Encouraged

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and fail. That’s how we learn. Learn from it, shake it off, and move on.

As the great Michael Jordan once said, “I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Challenge How It's Done but Respect Who Has Done it

Don’t shy away from conflict, but be kind and respectful with feedback.

When you’re working with someone or joining a new project, make sure you understand the “why” and gather all the context you need prior to offering critiques. So ask questions, gather context, thank folks for their contributions, respect the process, and suggest improvements with kindness.

🔥 Tip: Check out our Feedback Training Process for tips on how to give and receive great feedback that helps everyone grow.

Authenticity: Walk the Talk

We want everything we do internally and externally to reflect real people and real experiences.

And just know: You can bring your full self to work without fear of being reprimanded or seen as unprofessional. Our team embraces you because of your differences and the uniqueness of you.

Curiosity Gets Answers

If you want to know something, just ask.

When people ask questions, they get answers.

Do you want to join a meeting? Do you want information? Do you have a question? Speak up! Ask! And straight-up get things done.

Leading Your Team

Building and Leading an Effective Team

Building an effective team is essential for achieving organizational goals and driving success. As a leader, you play a crucial role in assembling and nurturing a high-performing team that collaborates cohesively towards shared objectives. By cultivating a strong team, you harness diverse talents, perspectives, and strengths to tackle challenges, innovate, and deliver exceptional results.

When building your team, use this process:

  1. Conduct one-on-one meetings to understand roles, strengths, and areas for development.
  2. Host a team kickoff meeting to share your leadership philosophy and foster open communication.
  3. Review current projects, processes, and SOPs, and identify quick wins for improvement.
  4. Schedule recurring team meetings and check-ins for ongoing communication.
  5. Conduct skills assessments and develop personalized development plans for team members.
  6. Review processes and workflows, involving team members in identifying improvements.
  7. Facilitate goal-setting exercises to align team objectives with organizational priorities.
  8. Implement feedback mechanisms for continuous improvement.

Establishing Team Unity

Establishing team unity is essential for fostering a collaborative and high-performing work environment. As a leader, you can achieve this by:

  1. Communicating a clear vision: Articulating the team's purpose, goals, and values to create a shared sense of direction.
  2. Building trust: Establishing trust through transparency, integrity, and consistency in actions and decisions.
  3. Encouraging open communication: Creating a culture where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas, feedback, and concerns.
  4. Promoting collaboration: Encouraging teamwork, cross-functional collaboration, and knowledge sharing to leverage collective strengths.
  5. Recognizing and celebrating achievements: Acknowledging individual and team contributions to foster a sense of accomplishment and belonging.
  6. Leading by example: Demonstrating empathy, respect, and inclusivity in interactions with team members to set a positive tone for collaboration. By prioritizing these strategies, I can cultivate a cohesive and unified team that works together towards shared goals and success.

Empowering Team Members

Empowering team members is integral to effective leadership as it enables individuals to take ownership of their work, make decisions, and contribute meaningfully to the team's success. As a leader, you can empower team members by:

  1. Providing autonomy: Allowing individuals to take responsibility for their tasks and make decisions within their scope of authority.
  2. Offering support and resources: Equipping team members with the necessary tools, training, and guidance to excel in their roles.
  3. Encouraging creativity and innovation: Fostering an environment where team members feel empowered to explore new ideas, experiment, and propose solutions.
  4. Recognizing and valuing contributions: Acknowledging and appreciating the efforts and achievements of team members to boost morale and motivation. By empowering team members, I cultivate a culture of trust, collaboration, and accountability, driving collective growth and success.

Designing Group Processes

Designing effective group processes is essential for fostering collaboration, maximizing productivity, and achieving team goals. Here are some guidelines for creating successful group processes:

  1. Clear objectives: Clearly define the purpose and goals of the group process to ensure alignment and focus among team members.
  2. Structured agenda: Develop a well-organized agenda outlining topics, time allocations, and desired outcomes to guide discussions and activities.
  3. Active participation: Encourage active participation from all team members by promoting inclusivity, soliciting input, and fostering a supportive environment for sharing ideas.
  4. Effective facilitation: Designate a skilled facilitator to guide the group process, manage discussions, and facilitate decision-making to ensure efficiency and engagement.
  5. Flexibility: Remain adaptable and open to adjustments during the group process to accommodate unforeseen challenges or opportunities and maintain momentum towards achieving objectives.
  6. Reflection and evaluation: Allocate time for reflection and evaluation at the conclusion of the group process to assess outcomes, identify lessons learned, and inform future improvements.

By adhering to these guidelines, teams can enhance their effectiveness and collaboration in achieving shared goals.

Managing Change

Change management is a critical aspect of leadership, especially when steering organizations through transitions and transformations. Here's how leaders can effectively manage change:

  1. Leading organizational change: Leaders should articulate a compelling vision for change, outlining the rationale, benefits, and desired outcomes. They must demonstrate commitment, provide clear direction, and mobilize support across the organization to drive change initiatives forward.
  2. Overcoming resistance to change: Leaders need to anticipate and address resistance by fostering open communication, addressing concerns, and involving stakeholders in the change process. Building trust, providing resources and support, and emphasizing the positive aspects of change can help mitigate resistance and promote acceptance.
  3. Creating a culture of innovation: Leaders play a crucial role in fostering a culture that embraces innovation and continuous improvement. They should encourage experimentation, reward risk-taking, and empower employees to generate and implement new ideas. By fostering a culture of innovation, leaders can drive creativity, adaptability, and resilience within their organizations.

Want more information about becoming a master of change management? Check out our change champion program.

Company Alignment

Creating Buy-in

Leaders play a pivotal role in creating alignment with the company by articulating a clear vision, fostering open communication, and empowering team members to contribute meaningfully. Through their actions and decisions, leaders shape the organizational culture and inspire commitment to shared goals, driving collective success and growth.

Creating buy-in among team members is essential for aligning with the company's goals and fostering commitment to shared objectives. Leaders can achieve buy-in by effectively communicating the rationale behind decisions and initiatives, highlighting the relevance and benefits to individual team members and the organization as a whole. Engaging in open dialogue, soliciting input, and addressing concerns can help build trust and confidence in leadership and the direction of the company. 

By involving team members in the decision-making process and empowering them to contribute to the achievement of goals, leaders can cultivate a sense of ownership and accountability, driving greater alignment and collective success.

Building Motivation with Quick Wins

Building motivation with quick wins involves identifying achievable objectives that yield visible results in a short time frame. By setting clear goals and celebrating small victories, leaders can instill a sense of accomplishment and momentum within the team. Quick wins not only boost morale but also demonstrate progress towards larger objectives, fostering a culture of success and alignment with company goals. 

These early successes serve as building blocks for sustained motivation, encouraging team members to remain engaged and committed to achieving organizational objectives. Additionally, recognizing and rewarding individual and collective efforts further reinforces a culture of alignment and accountability, driving continuous improvement and success.

Creating Team Goals

Creating team goals involves aligning the objectives of the team with the broader mission and vision of the company. These goals should reflect the company's overarching purpose and direction, ensuring that the team's efforts contribute meaningfully to the organization's success. By establishing clear and measurable team goals that support the company's mission and vision, leaders can foster a sense of purpose and alignment among team members.

To create effective team goals, leaders should involve team members in the goal-setting process, encouraging collaboration and ownership. This ensures that goals are realistic, relevant, and achievable within the team's capabilities. Additionally, team goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound), providing clarity and accountability for all stakeholders.

By setting team goals that align with the company mission and vision, leaders inspire motivation, focus, and commitment among team members. This alignment ensures that the team's efforts are strategically aligned with the broader objectives of the organization, driving collective success and impact.

Leadership Growth

Mentoring and Coaching

As part of our commitment to nurturing leadership talent within the company, we provide comprehensive mentoring and coaching programs for individuals stepping into leadership roles. These programs offer invaluable support and guidance, pairing emerging leaders with experienced mentors who can provide personalized advice, feedback, and insight based on their own professional journey.

Mentoring relationships foster a sense of camaraderie and trust, allowing mentees to seek guidance on various challenges they may encounter in their leadership journey. Additionally, coaching sessions provide structured opportunities for leaders to develop specific skills and competencies, such as communication, decision-making, and conflict resolution.

By investing in mentoring and coaching initiatives, we empower emerging leaders to navigate their leadership roles with confidence, resilience, and strategic vision. These programs not only accelerate leadership development but also cultivate a culture of continuous learning and growth within the organization.

Managing Stress and Burnout

Managing stress and preventing burnout are essential aspects of effective leadership. Leaders can adopt several strategies to maintain their well-being while navigating the demands of their roles. Firstly, it's crucial for leaders to prioritize self-care by incorporating healthy habits such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, and mindfulness practices into their daily routine. Additionally, effective time management and delegation can help leaders avoid feeling overwhelmed by workload pressures.

Furthermore, fostering open communication and creating a supportive work environment where team members feel comfortable discussing challenges and seeking assistance can alleviate some of the burdens of leadership. Leaders should also set realistic expectations for themselves and others, recognizing that perfection is unattainable and embracing a growth mindset that allows for learning from setbacks.

Finally, leaders should not hesitate to seek support from mentors, peers, or professional counselors if they experience persistent stress or burnout symptoms. By proactively addressing their well-being, leaders can better fulfill their responsibilities and lead their teams with clarity, resilience, and compassion.

Self-awareness and Self-assessment

Self-awareness and self-assessment are fundamental qualities for effective leadership. Leaders who possess these traits are better equipped to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for development. By regularly reflecting on their thoughts, emotions, and actions, leaders can gain insights into how they impact others and the organization as a whole. Additionally, self-aware leaders are more adept at recognizing their biases, blind spots, and limiting beliefs, allowing them to make more informed decisions and cultivate healthier relationships with their team members. Through ongoing self-assessment, leaders can identify opportunities for growth, seek feedback from others, and continually refine their leadership approach to maximize their impact and effectiveness.


Have Questions?

In conclusion, effective leadership is built upon a foundation of self-awareness, continuous learning, and alignment with organizational goals. By prioritizing self-assessment, nurturing team unity, and embracing change, leaders can navigate challenges, inspire their teams, and drive meaningful results. 

If you have any questions about these leadership foundations, reach out to the head of HR.

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