You can't build a great business unless you can get everyone behind the mission, sharing the core values and building a strong culture. 

Part and parcel of that is strong leadership. There is no one leadership style that guarantees success or failure but there are some basic rules of leadership that guarantee a lack of trust and inspiration if broken.

Basic Leadership

Praise in public, criticize in private.

Praise should be in the order of 10x the amount of criticism. Praise has to be genuine and assumes that you and your team are competent.

If you have a clear mission, clear core values and a well defined culture; you can trust your team to make better decisions and less criticism is required. 

Understand the difference between coaching or mentoring your team members and the requirement for actual correction. Most times the former should be the focus.

Violation of deviation from mission or core values is non-negotiable.

Make it clear how the team succeeds or wins. Tie it to the why. Celebrate the small victories to compound them.

Intermediate Leadership

When things go well, publicly pass on the credit to the team.

Great leaders realize that when success happens it is because of the team. Publicly and authentically recognize the contributions of the team. Don't be one of those leaders who takes all the credit.

Just like in "The Go-Giver" you don't give to get, you give because it is the right way to do it. You give to give.

This is another one of those cases where genuinely giving away the credit actually leaves you open to receive more. You build team loyalty and because your teams always get results, you will be given credit where credit is due. 

This also goes part in parcel with training your replacement. The best leaders also make themselves redundant so they CAN move on; not be stuck in their current level.

Advanced Leadership

When things go wrong, accept the blame on behalf of the team. 

This means "the buck stops here" NOT "my people messed up and I will find the perpetrator".

You are in it as a team. 

Publicly the team and thus you as the leader take fall responsibility and do what is necessary to make the situation right. Something like, "We messed up, I take responsibility and we will fix it for you."

You can deal with your team appropriately (see basic leadership) behind the scenes. 

Coach. Mentor. Change processes. Train. Correct (if necessary). 

If you don't know what to do to fix it within your team ask for coaching, mentoring, assistance, etc. (do it in a way that does not violate this rule).

The outside world should never see it.

Most importantly your team should never be hung out to dry.


Great leaders succeed because they tend to and nurture great teams. Companies that focus on inspiring and treating employees well tend to have much happier customers.

Happier customers lead to many more customers.

This translates directly to the bottom line.

Never forget these rules of leadership.

If these leadership rules are so easy, why isn't everyone doing it right?

Therein lies your opportunity.