Leader, Know Thyself #43 #cong21

Dennis Deery


Leadership begins with an internal certainty about who you are. Considering your personal leadership philosophy is key to leading well, especially in difficult times.

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Know yourself.
  2. Spend time thinking about leadership principles and strategy, not just tactics.
  3. Build resilience.
  4. Followership is as important as leadership.

About Dennis Deery

I work as a change management consultant with businesses, nonprofit organizations and communities throughout the US and internationally. Despite having attained a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University in 2018, I am amazed every day at how much I still have to learn about leadership.

Contacting Dennis Deery

You can connect with Dennis on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.  You can also see his work on DennisDeery and IrishRose websites or send him an email.

By Dennis Deery

We all have opportunities to be leaders – sometimes we choose them, sometimes they choose us. To properly prepare for those times, I think it’s important to spend time considering what your own personal leadership philosophy is. Herewith, my personal leadership philosophy.

I believe we all are called to be leaders at many times in our lives. I will work to recognize the situations in my life when I am called to be a leader. Through knowing myself and my abilities better, I will seek out opportunities to have a positive impact on the people, places and communities around me. I will seek out and nurture relationships that will buttress me with the strength to serve when the call is difficult.

I will strive to be open and knowable to all who wish to have a relationship with me. True effective leadership requires a relationship of caring, trust and faith between leader and followers, along with the knowledge that the leader of today is the follower of tomorrow. I will work to balance my introvert tendencies with the goal of finding a larger circle of friends who will enrich my life. I will do better at boisterously celebrating the accomplishments of people around me, while continuing to demonstrate to them the quiet joy I believe we can all find in solitude. I will trust first, even when it feels easier to not do so.

I will continue my passion to be a lifelong learner driven by intense curiosity about the world. I know that the world we face tomorrow will be different than today, with new challenges and opportunities. Only through a constant willingness to learn and adapt can I participate in creating that new world. I will seek out formal educational opportunities, but I will also intentionally reflect to find the lessons, big and small, in everyday life. I will continue to voraciously consume books, but I will work for greater balance by seeking out friends and teachers who can boost the human dimension of my learning. I will ask for and remain open to the guidance of my peers, knowing that at times they can see me more clearly than I can see myself.

I will be resilient. When faced with adversity and failure, I will strive to remember the many incredible experiences that have created the person I am today. I will embrace the lessons to be learned and move on to new adventures. I will remember the difficulties as events that provided those lessons, but I will not relive them in ways that damage my future. When pushed by circumstance I will bend and change, but not beyond the core that makes me who I am.

I will innovate. Driven by Einstein’s admonition that “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them,” I will work to always understand all sides of an issue in pursuit of the way forward. I will remember that all members of a community bring a unique perspective to the table, and those perspectives must be integrated to fully understand issues and implement change.

I will have fun. No matter the situation, I will remember the bigger picture, the better world we are all striving for, and I will bring that thought to the task at hand. I will not lead from above or ahead, but from beside. I will make sure that while the work is shared equally, we will also share the joy equally. I will work to bolster the inner spirit of the people around me, to be there as a sounding board and support whenever needed.

I will strive for wholeness in all I do. From work to personal relationships to volunteer activities, I will be the same person, driven by the same values. I will not sacrifice one realm of my existence with the false hope that other realms will make up for it. I will bring all of who I am to any endeavor in which I am involved, and I will spend time on activities which feed all aspects of my being. I will always find time for reflection to ensure that I am centered and balanced.

I have a vision for the world in which I want to live, and I will spend the rest of my life learning the skills, building the relationships and taking the actions that are needed make that vision reality. I look at the world today and I see the ways in which it is better because of the work of those who came before us. From their example, I know that we all have that ability, that duty. I will always encourage people, to help them remember that they can change the world. I will surround myself with people who will remind me, when I forget, that I can change the world. I will share my vision with those around me, through the written and spoken word and in all my actions.

On each day of my journey I will be content, but I will never be complacent.

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