Organizational Leadership: 3 Laws For Higher Leadership Effectiveness

3 simple principles when properly applied will make your leadership journey rewarding.

As a Marine Aviator, business owner, and consultant I have discovered three simple principles that, when properly applied, will make your leadership journey incredibly rewarding.

  • No. One - it is all about you.
  • No. Two - it is all about them.
  • No. Three - it is all about the organization.

I confirmed these proven principles in interviews with over one-hundred successful leaders. I have seen them applied successfully in many contractor organizations. I have also seen them disregarded in many failing construction firms. Here they are:

Law No. One - It is all about you.
You must make the conscious choice to accept the leadership role. It is not enough to occupy a position of leadership (as defined by a box on the organization chart with your name in it). In fact, many people have made the choice to lead, exercising vast influence, without being in a so-called "leadership" position. If you cannot, or will not, lead yourself, you cannot lead others.

The three essential elements of this first law that you must first master are:

  • Integrity - do you deliver on your commitments?
  • Technical competence - do you understand the tasks?
  • Setting the example - are you a proper role model?

Once you embrace these three elements, you are ready to move on to the next law.

Law No. Two - It is all about them.
In this case, them refers to those we lead. Your purpose as a leader is to engage and motivate your employees to bring 100% of themselves to work, every day. This applies in the office and in the field. Truly successful contractors set the pace for the entire job site not just their own firm. It is your responsibility to create the right environment for them to motivate themselves and to exceed your expectations. Your focus should be on helping people perform more effectively and efficiently.

The three essential elements of this law are:

  • Self-awareness - do you know what you do well?
  • Taking care of people - do you look out for them?
  • Developing new leaders - do you help people advance?

Now your employees will become more efficient, more productive, and more effective --which brings us to law number three. If we only follow the first and second laws we would have a nice club where everyone got along.

Law No. Three - It is about the organization.
We come together in associations or businesses to accomplish something that we could not accomplish alone. In fact, the owner contracts with you to do something they cannot do. This is your mission and reason for existing as a company. Your employees give you their time and you compensate them with benefits. As a leader within your organization, you must recognize that you are part of the organization, but not the organization itself. The organization has a job to do and these principles help people understand what that job is and how the firm will do it.

The essential three elements of this law are:

  • Commander's intent - where are we going and why?
  • Culture and Values - what makes this place tick?
  • Practice - Do we work to get better at what we do?

Clearly, there are many layers to each of these laws. There are nuances depending the type of firm you are in. The construction world is an opportune one these days. Construction volumes across most market sectors are at record, or near record, high levels. Once you embrace these three laws, you are on your way to becoming a truly successful leader and you will create a thriving organization as you navigate your way through the tumultuous sea to the land of new opportunities - new opportunities not seen by many.

About the Author:
As a U.S. Marine deployed throughout the world to participate in training, peacekeeping, and combat operations, Wally Adamchik, President of FireStarter Speaking and Consulting honed his motivational and training skills. He refined these skills in corporate America. Now as an author, speaker and business consultant, Wally helps businesses and organizations apply his leadership philosophies in pursuit of operational excellence in business. His new book NO YELLING: The Nine Secrets of Marine Corps Leadership You MUST Know To WIN In Business is loaded with examples of what effective leadership looks like, and how to do it in the trenches, on the shop floor and in the office. Get it now at: