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Principle-Centered Leadership Summary

5 min read ⌚ 


Control through fear is short-lived.

If you want to build a true following, it is better for you to take another path.

Which one?

We show you the way in the summary below.

Who Should Read “Principle-Centered Leadership”? And Why?

In his book “Principle-Centered Leadership,” Stephen R. Covey teaches you what a principle-centered leader is and gives you the steps toward becoming one.

If you want to become someone who people genuinely value, and has apparent control, but not external and forced, then this is the book that will show you how.

If you always believed that exerting force and fear are the only ways people can stay loyal then delve into this summary, since it might change your mind.

In any case, give it a change. That is the least you can do when it comes to Steven R. Covey’s books.

About Stephen R. Covey

Stephen R. CoveyStephen R. Covey is a writer who established himself as one of the most excellent businessmen, philosophers, theorists, and speakers of the 20th century. He wrote several best-sellers including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleFirst Things FirstThe 8th Habit, etc.

“Principle-Centered Leadership Summary”

There are different types of leaders, that use different methods to gain a following.

There are many management tricks you can use to manipulate people and gain some benefits, but such benefits are always short-lived.

Principle-centered leadership is the rarest and purest form of the command, which begins with yourself and spreads out towards your followers.

When you fail to become a principle-centered leader, your staff will slowly become skeptical about each quick fix solution you introduce.

What makes principle-centered leaders special?

There are eight characteristics that define them, which you should try to incorporate into your own leadership style.

First, principle-centered leaders never stop learning. They learn by reading, taking classes, listening to others, by seeking training or through their experiences.

Second, they are service oriented. They do not see their job and life as a career, but as a mission, and have a strong sense of responsibility.

Third, they emanate positive energy. They are pleasant to be around and are always upbeat and optimistic. They dream, hope, and believe. Positive energy attracts other positive experiences.

Positive energy is extraordinarily powerful when combined with the next characteristic: belief in other people.

Principle-centered leaders don’t overreact to weaknesses and negative conduct since they know the difference between behavior and potential. They do not limit their employees with preconceived stereotypes, and by believing in the unseen, they create a pool of opportunities.

Next is leading a balancing life. Principle-centered leaders do not exaggerate and accept failures, seeing them as opportunities to learn and to better adapt in the future.

Furthermore, principle-centered leaders see life as an adventure. They often go out of their comfort zones and push themselves.

The seventh characteristic is linked with synergy. Synergy happens when the whole has more value and power than the sum of its parts. This means that principle-centered leaders are team players and know how to complement the weaknesses of one team member through the strength of others.

Finally, principle-centered leaders regularly exercise the four dimensions of human character: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

Now, although you know all of these character traits, do not try just to make yourself practice them,

There are no shortcuts to creating a personality. If you mold your personality first, then the behavior will follow.

Three important traits decide whether you will be great or not, and those traits are: integrity, maturity and having an abundance mentality.

You can try some quick fix solutions, but they will not work in the long-haul.

They will be useful as long as the territory does not change. And as you know, in business the territory is in a constant process of change, so you will be much better off if you decide to work harder on becoming the person you would admire, and then seek all others to admire you as well.

Key Lessons from “Principle-Centered Leadership”

1.      Types of Power
2.      Impact of Each Type of Power
3.      Communicating Effectively

Types of Power

    • Coercive power uses fear to gain followers.
    • Utility power followers choose their leader because of the benefits they expect to receive.
  • Principle-centered power is based on willingness – followers believe in their leaders, and they like who they are.

Impact of Each Type of Power

    • Coercive power otherwise called the big-stick approach fuels deceit and dishonesty and can be only temporary, since control through fear cannot last.
    • Utility power reinforces a sense of fairness and equity. It has a bad and a good side, the good side being maintaining a relationship as long as there is a mutual interest.
  • The principle-centered power is rare. It can exist only in the case when the values of the leader and follower overlap. This means that the control exists, but it is not external. People follow you because they choose to and because they like who you are.

Communicating Effectively

Each conflict happens because of differences in perception. People believe that their own understanding of the world is the right one, not believing in subjective interpretations.

So, what can you do when you have a disagreement?

    • Assume good faith.
    • Try to resolve differences in relationships.
    • Be open to influences and do not resist change.
    • Listen to understand.
    • Speak to be understood.
  • Start the communication from a common point of reference.

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“Principle-Centered Leadership” Quotes

Unless we control our appetites, we will not be in control of our passions and emotions. We will instead become victims of our passions, seeking or aspiring our own wealth, dominion, prestige, and power. Click To Tweet When you are living in harmony with your core values and principles, you can be straightforward, honest, and up-front. Click To Tweet Principles are self-evident, self-validating natural laws. Click To Tweet If I try to use manipulative strategies and tactics to get other people to do what I want-while my character is flawed or my competency is questionable-then I can’t be successful over time. Click To Tweet An abundance mentality springs from an internal security, not from external rankings, comparisons, opinions, possessions, or associations. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Principle-Centered Leadership” is another one of Steven R. Covey’s masterpieces, that shift perspective and make people think.

Its pages are full of diagrams, lists, charts, and anecdotes, which help the reader easily comprehend the ideas that Covey conveys.

An interesting fact is that the cover of the book has incorporated the famous quote, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

We can safely say that this quote explains the intention Covey had when writing this book – to teach leaders how to fish.

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