Leadership: Because you can’t use a hammer on a project that requires a screwdriver!

Because you can’t use a hammer on a project that requires a screwdriver!

Kevin Jackson

Kevin Jackson

Friends, we’ve all been there! Remember the piece of furniture or kid’s toy that had these dreaded words printed on the side of the box – Some Assembly Required? How could we forget!!

As we opened the box, we crossed our fingers and our toes and hoped that the majority of the work was already done for us. However, that was never the case! There were always 45 packets of screws and nails, 3 packs of wooden dowels, a bottle of Elmer’s glue, one allen wrench and a set of instructions that were clearly written by someone who never put anything like this together in their lifetime.

At this point, every one of us clearly recognized that our success was based on the tools and the instructions given to us. The same applies when it comes to leadership. It’s all about the tools!isisisis

Here’s 10 things that I think contribute to great leadership. Ready? Let’s do this!

#1 – Empathy – You alone are not the expert on what’s best for your customers, your employees and your teams. Investing in other people’s perspectives and experiences, and taking appropriate action as a result of this understanding, will only help you to become a better leader. Empathy doesn’t require you to actually walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, but it does require you to recognize that their shoes are different than yours. So try them on. Walk around a little bit.

#2 – Authenticity – Just keep it real! Everyone knows if you are being authentic or not. Yes, leadership does require gravitas, professionalism, executive presence or what some people call the “it factor”. However, most leaders were not born with this trait, but they are so authentic that they clearly make decisions based on what they would want for themselves and their own families.

#3 – Care – True leaders care. They care about their people, their communities, their industries, their partners and yes, they do care about their profits. The leaders that show they care are admired by many. Not because of their stature or job title, but because they change the world with their approaches.

#4 – Knowledge – Knowledge is power and is necessary to be effective. But, never stop learning! If you do, you have already fallen behind.

#5 – Optimism – Every day we have a choice and so do our customers, employees, investors and friends. Let’s start our days with positivity. I promise, if you do this on a consistent basis your perspective will change and so will your reality!

#6 – Openness – If you lead with a closed mind and closed palms you might as well close your office door and prepare to close your business. True leaders are open to ideas, suggestions, new approaches, innovation and diversity. Being a leader does not always mean that your answers are the best. Keep an open mind to ensure your business has a chance to remain open for the long term.

#7 – Passion – Let people see it, feel it, experience it and live it with you. There is something about passion that drives people to action!

#8 – Influence – I didn’t say authority, I said influence. There is a big difference my friends and if you don’t know the difference, google it! Work on numbers 1-7 and I can guarantee you that you will become or remain an influential leader.

#9 – Commitment – Commit to carrying out your personal, professional and company core values. If they don’t align, you’re in the wrong place. Your commitment will always shine through to your final product (whatever that may be). Don’t tell me that you are committed, show me!

#10 – Accountability – All leaders, regardless of level, are accountable to someone. Stay on top of your game by recognizing that your output is someone else’s input. Be on-purpose, on-point and on-time!!

There is always “Some Assembly Required” when it comes to leadership. These ten tools represent the screwdriver, hammer, allen-wrench and glue to get the job done. When it’s time to lead, never forget your toolbox! #letsgo

Kevin Jackson


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