15 Proactive Axioms

Over the past 10 years I have focused a tremendous amount of my time and energy on learning about, and helping others learn about, Leadership. There is no question it is an often used subject for books, lectures, seminars, and other blogs I am sure. Yet, there must be a reason so many of us are interested in the topic.

I would submit the competencies and skills of leadership are needed in every facet of life; are constantly shifting due to context; and are fluid requiring the “in the moment” assembly of knowledge and intuition to effectively influence.

The only real training for leadership is leadership.
~Antony Jay

To me lasting leadership is about integrity, service, and the accurate use of self-awareness to the benefit of something or someone other than ourselves.

Over the past decade or more, the following 15 principles have emerged in my mind as proactive axioms. But first let’s define proactive and axiom in this context.


The word proactive was used by the psychiatrist Victor Frankl in his 1946 book Man’s Search For Meaning to describe a person who took responsibility for his or her life, rather than looking for causes in outside circumstances or other people.

Axiom: (I love this word)

In traditional logic, an axiom is a proposition that is not proved or demonstrated but considered to be either self-evident, or subject to necessary decisions. Therefore, its truth is taken for granted, and serves as a starting point for deducing and inferring other truths.

So, the following are the self-evident truths by which I take personal responsibility when leading in my family, community, and business life. I hope you find them useful and enjoy pondering your own.

Between September and October 2010 I will be writing about each of these. Where there is a link, you’ll find the initial post outlining my experiences or lessons learned on that axiom. If there’s no link, then it’s still in development stop back a few times each week and see what’s new.

1. Know yourself

2. Enjoy the journey

3. Self respect is not tied to position

4. Love is the “killer app” – of happiness and productivity

5. Know your cheerleaders

6. Fear is not a choice

7. Courage is the proactive response to fear

8. Choose to ignore the voices of negativity – which are pervasive

9. The “right” choice is often hard

10. Never play victim

11. Listen, proactively

12. Ask for feedback

13. Don’t take yourself too seriously

14. Don’t Delay, Delay Is Death

15. Leave your “comfort zone”