If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. — John Quincy Adams
This quote has inspired me throughout my career. As a young man, and as with most new leaders, I eagerly searched for leadership advice. The elegance, simplicity, and directness of this quote served as a beacon as I journeyed in a leadership role.
Over the years, I’ve been privileged to build and be part of various talented teams. Through trial and error, I’ve collected a handful of insights and organically formed a simple framework comprised of three core principles: Inspire, Direct, and Support. As a leader, ask yourself three questions: Does the team feel inspired? Does the team have clarity on direction? Does the team have enough support?
Yes, there are hundreds of books and articles discussing leadership methodologies. Why write another blog post? The answer is simple; there isn’t one perfect approach to leading; however, I do believe that there is a core framework. Each team has its own personality, rhythm, and nuances. When leading creative professionals — designers, engineers, writers, or product managers — there is a heightened sense of independence, ingenuity and uniqueness.
Please understand that this framework serves as a guideline and overarching plan that provides the flexibility and latitude within it to tailor to the unique needs and personality of your team. With this said, I can attest that this framework has helped deliver quite a few happy and productive teams along the way.