I have always considered myself lucky to have been able to lead most of my life. I was never much of a scholar but I could lead. There are certain characteristics that I realized over the years that made me successful as a leader. From captaining sports teams in my early youth, to leading men into battle in my later youth, to starting and growing companies using my leadership skills to get my employees to want to be lead by me. I decided to write the 12 rules to successful leadership.


  1. Always communicate to those around you who you lead. Stay in touch with what they are thinking and doing.
  2. Always validate subordinates for a job well done. It does not always have to be a financial reward. A good pat on the back at the very least.
  3. ALWAYS reward subordinates for a product well produced. NEVER reward mistakes, laziness and outright half ass or criminal products. Penalties are valid for this type of production.
  4. Never give an order that you would not be willing to carry out yourself if you were on the receiving end.
  5. Always remember that your power comes from those around you. Without them you will not succeed so flow the power back to them.
  6. Always stand by the decisions of your subordinates. Support them in their dealings with others and treat them like a team member and have their backs.
  7. Make decisions based on the greatest good of all concerned. You lead a team of people and you have to keep the teams interests first. Don’t be frightened to get rid of a subordinate that refuses to be corrected and puts the team at risk.
  8. Always try to correct a subordinate before firing or getting rid of them. People make mistakes sometimes. Rather find out why and correct the person with extra training.
  9. Be respectful towards your subordinates. Never reprimand anyone in public. Pull them aside out of view and deal with it courteously. Keep your manners about you at all times.
  10. Always leave those working under you feeling better than when you found them.
  11. Always set a good example. This is essential if you are to keep your altitude as a leader. If you want people to respect you you need to stay honest and straight. Present yourself as someone who is surviving well in all areas of life, it’s good public relations. Some of your subordinates will become leaders too and you would want them to be good leaders and follow your example.
  12. Familiarity is a recipe for failure. This does not mean a cold approach will work either. Be professional but friendly in your dealings.

This has worked for me over the years and still does. These rules will never get outdated as long as there are leaders and followers.