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Leaders: Who Do You Think You Are?

Anyone who has studied leadership knows that some leaders lack self-awareness. These leaders have never really thought much about their approach to leadership or how it came to be. And they don’t understand how important it is for their team members to get to know them not just as a leader, but also as a human being.

When a person reports to a leader who never shares information about themselves, their values, or their motivations as a leader, that person has no reason to trust or engage with that leader. Why? Because they really don’t know the leader.

Four Steps to Developing Your Leadership Point of View


To help others get to know you, take time to develop a Leadership Point of View. Reflect for a moment on how you might answer these questions: What kind of leader do you think you are? Do you know what makes you tick? What motivates you to get up every day and lead people? You might be able to explain your feelings and philosophies about leadership in general, but have you ever thought about where those ideas came from?

When you discover your answers to these questions, you will be well on your way to establishing your Leadership Point of ViewThe journey of determining a clear, teachable Leadership Point of View (LPOV) entails four thoughtful steps. I’ll share them below, along with parts of my own LPOV.

1. Identify and write about key people in your life who shaped and inspired your feelings about leadership. Who were (or are) your teachers/mentors/influencers? 

For me, these people were my mom and dad. My mom was the ultimate positive thinker. My dad was a prime example of a servant leader. My perspectives on life and leadership came mainly from my parents.

2. Now reflect on the experiences that stand out as turning points in your life. What did you learn from these events? What influence did they have on your life? Write about them.

In my LPOV, I share two lessons from my parents that I’ve never forgotten.

My mom taught me to be humble and not to judge others. She said, “Ken, don’t act like you’re better than anybody else. But don’t let anyone act like they’re better than you, either. Remember, there’s a pearl of goodness in everyone—sometimes you have to dig to find it.”

And my dad, who retired as an admiral in the US Navy, had a lesson for me when I was elected president of the seventh grade. I came home from school all excited and announced my victory. Dad said, “Congratulations, Ken! But as president of your class, don’t use your position. Great leaders are followed not because they have position power, but because they’re respected and trusted as individuals.”

3. List and define your leadership values.

First, make a list of every quality and principle you value—honesty, learning, excellence, humor, love, power, loyalty, success, security, etc. You may come up with a long list of values. Narrow your list by holding each value against the others until you have identified the three to five values that you feel the most deeply about.

After listing all the qualities I valued, I had trouble narrowing them down for my LPOV. So, I combined two words to create spiritual peace as my number one value, followed by integrity, love, and success.

Once you’ve got your three to five top values, define what each of them means to you.

To give you an example, here is how I define love in my LPOV:

“I value love. I know I am living by this value anytime I feel loving toward myself and others, anytime I express compassion, anytime I show love to others, and anytime I receive the love of others.”

4. Think about and write the expectations you have of yourself and of your people.

This is the essence of your LPOV, because your expectations naturally stem from those key people and events that have influenced you and your values. Sharing what you expect from yourself lets people know what they can expect from you. And letting people know what you expect of them is a gift, because it tells them how they can be successful under your leadership. Sharing your expectations emphasizes the critical message that good leadership is a partnership.

As part of this section in my LPOV, I say, “If I am living up to my expectations of myself as a leader, everything I do with you will be geared toward helping you produce good results, and, in the process, feel good about yourself.” I also stress, “I expect us to have fun together. Life is a very special occasion, and we don’t want to miss it!”

Sharing Your LPOV Benefits Both You and Your Followers


“While moving through the Leadership Point of View exercise, leaders discover and synthesize influential experiences from their past,” explains Pat Zigarmi, coauthor of Blanchard’s Leadership Point of View program. “When leaders share their LPOV, team members better understand their intentions, which inspires employee engagement.”

By creating a Leadership Point of View, you can:

  • eliminate misunderstandings by accelerating people’s awareness of your values and expectations,
  • improve relationships by helping people see you as more authentic and accessible, and
  • foster loyalty by becoming more connected and supportive.

Working through the details of your LPOV is a process of discovery. Don’t rush it! The work can be challenging and emotional, but it will lead to deeper, more productive relationships between you and those you lead.


Editor’s Note: To learn more about building powerful leadership habits, join Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley for a free webinar, Simple Truths of Leadership: Moving From Intention to Action on Wednesday, February 21, 7:00 AM PST. You can register for this complimentary event at https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/4444232/962C05294BC6C39A0C1D43B595A0D7AB

About the Author

Dr. Ken Blanchard is the cofounder and Chief Spiritual Officer of Blanchard®, an international management training and consulting firm. Ken is the coauthor of The One Minute Manager, as well as 65 other books with combined sales totaling more than 21 million copies.

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