What is your leadership credo?

If you were to write down the 10 most important principles that you live by, what would they be? This is your credo.

Why is a personal credo important?

Writing your leadership or personal credo is “like the blueprint for the culture that you want to create.”

In the video and post below I share the importance of intention — identifying your purpose and values, and aligning your actions in that direction — and how, when you write a personal or leadership credo, you document how you will lead and live with intention.

Creating a credo documents the actions and behaviors aligned with the leader you want to be.

And it makes it explicit to the people around you of the culture you collectively can create.

Your credo makes the invisible, visible.

Be sure to check out the rest of this post where I share more resources to help inspire and support you in getting started with your own credo.

Leading with intention: Defining the actions that align with your purpose

Living and leading with intention is my purpose and inspiring others — you! — around the world to do the same is my passion.

In my Leading to Learn Accelerator program, and with my private clients, I challenge and support people to draft their own leadership credos.

These leaders go on a journey with me, reflecting on the lessons within my book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn and on the exercises within the Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn Workbook (which you too can use!) to bring more awareness, intention, and reflection to their daily practices as leaders and people.

The Leading to Learn Accelerator also available as a self-paced learning program so that you can learn and grow when you have the time and space.

CLICK HERE to download a copy of Isao Yoshino’s 10-point leadership credo highlighted in the book and workbook.

Creating a credo is a way to make the invisible visible.

Your credo defines who you want to be and how you plan to show up each and every day to be that person. Inevitably we ask ourselves how to write a leadership credo?

Think about these questions:

  • What are the principles that you value the most?
  • What is your purpose?
  • How do you endeavor to show up to be that person?
  • And how are you clearly communicating those values and actions to the people around you as well?

By putting your thoughts down on paper (or on your computer), it’s an opportunity to document and codify what you consider the most important actions to take.

It can serve as a guide for the culture you want to create.

It makes explicit the actions that you intend to take to be the leader you aspire to be each and every day.

Your Challenge: Define Your Leadership Credo

Today I challenge you too in getting started with drafting your leadership credo.

How do you define the actions that align with the leader — and the person — that you want to be?

To get started, reflect on your purpose:

  • Who do you want to BE? (For some help in this, check out this post on the difference between intentions and goals).
  • What culture do you want to create?

Then reflect on what actions align with and demonstrate those qualities.

Start creating a list of the different actions that align with your values and the behaviors that you want to model for the people around you.

Don’t worry about being perfect. Just get started — and share your credo drafts in the comments below.

Leadership Credo Examples

In the book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn, I write about how Toyota leader Isao Yoshino crafted his leadership credo when he was transitioning to a new senior management role in Japan, after living in the United States for four years.

To download a copy of Isao Yoshino’s 10-point leadership credo CLICK HERE!

Inspired by Toyota leader Masao Nemoto’s 10-point leadership credo a decade earlier, Mr. Yoshino drafted his by hand and sent it by fax to his soon-to-be new team of roughly 50 people.

He called this document his “10 Principles”. When looking back on them now three decades later he exclaims:

“They still work!”

Katie Anderson’s Leadership Credo

When I wrote this article, I too advanced the draft of my personal leadership credo. While not perfect (what is?), it is the start of what I define as my personal leadership credo. I share it to perhaps inspire you too to get started!

  1. Connect with your heart and hold precious what it means to be human. Show kindness first.
  2. Assume positive intent. Challenge all other assumptions by asking questions, going to see, and listening with an open mind and heart.
  3. Be purposeful and intentional in your actions. Be explicit about what you are doing and thinking — make the invisible visible.
  4. Establish a clear direction and learn your way towards clarity.
  5. Celebrate learning and the process, not just the result. Be willing to hear and share “bad news”, always with a positive intent.
  6. Offer challenges and provide support. Let others always know that you are there to help based on what they need, not what you want to share.
  7. Pursue excellence, and embrace mistakes, failures, and setbacks as a source of learning.
  8. Choose a positive mindset. Find the good, even in challenging situations.
  9. Start with yourself and model the behaviors you want to develop in others. Always keep learning. Reflect, study learn. Study – adjust – plan – do. Seek and share wisdom.
  10. Live and lead with intention by connecting with your purpose and aligning your actions, each and every day.

Want to be inspired and supported in exploring your credo?

For more support in creating your leadership credo, defining your purpose, and understanding the actions that align with fulfilling your role as a leader, check out the Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn Workbook — a companion study guide to Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn.

The 100-page workbook provides you with exercises, reflection, questions, and additional leadership and coaching practices to connect with your purpose and align your actions with the person and leader you want to be.

Get your copy of the 100-page hard copy, or electronic downloadable workbook today! Click here for more information and to purchase.

What is your credo?

Please share what YOU start to draft as your credo – in the comments below or on social media.

Together we can inspire each other and work to create a more intentional people-centered global culture.

Want personalized help to develop your leadership credo?

Join the Leading to Learn Accelerator or reach out to have me support you and your team in a custom learning event or custom Accelerator program.

A big part of the Leading to Learn Accelerator and my custom work with clients is about developing a leadership credo.

People walk away feeling more confident and intentional. The Accelerator is available as a stand-alone course, or as the occasional community cohort, you can bring it into your organization and build confidence and more intention in your people, too. Reach out to me and let’s work together!

Leading to Learn

Learn to be a more intentional, people-centered leader in just 10 weeks, and build a meaningful legacy.

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