Tips for new leaders


One fine day, the brave and newly commissioned young ship captain Smith and his crew of sailors were sailing the ocean blue. Suddenly, on the horizon, there loomed a ship with a skull and crossbones raised on the mast.

The crew was frantic, seeking refuge and asking the captain what to do.

The young leader, Captain Smith, displayed remarkable bravery and quick thinking. After looking at the approaching ship momentarily, he calmly said, “Bring me my red shirt.”

A cabin boy took the call at once. Captain Smith ordered the man at the wheel to head straight for the pirate ship when he had the shirt. In the ensuing fight, the pirate ship was all but destroyed. The sailors recounted their triumphs afterward when someone asked Captain Smith why he had asked for his red shirt before the battle.

The crew’s response was met with newfound admiration. They talked all night about his bravery and leadership, realizing the importance of his actions. About a week later, 10 pirate ships loomed on the horizon. Once again, the crew looked to its captain for leadership. Calmly, Captain Smith said, “Boys, bring me my brown pants!”

I think something will happen to him that this young leader would not want his crew to see. Imagine yourself in the shoes of the brave and newly commissioned young ship captain Smith. You are young and capable and your future looks bright. How would you maximize your potential and level up your leadership capability? Here are a few ideas, including suggested action plans, that you might find valuable and helpful, inspired by the leadership journey of Captain Smith.

Be humble and embrace continuous learning. Listen to diverse perspectives and be open to constructive criticism. You have countless opportunities to sharpen your leadership skills every day. Attend professional development workshops, courses and training programs to enhance leadership skills. Seek mentorship from experienced leaders who can provide guidance and insights based on their experiences. Stay updated on industry trends and best practices through reading, networking and attending conferences.

Build strong relationships. To build trust and rapport, foster open and transparent communication with your team members, colleagues and superiors. Actively listen to the needs and concerns of others and demonstrate empathy and compassion in your interactions. Collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams to achieve common goals and drive organizational success.

Develop self-awareness. Self-reflection is a crucial aspect of leadership development. Identify your strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement as a leader. Cultivate emotional intelligence to better understand and manage your emotions and those of others in various situations.

Adapt and innovate. Stay agile and adaptable to change. Embrace new ideas, technologies and methodologies to drive innovation. Encourage a culture of creativity and experimentation within your team and reward initiative and risk-taking. Continuously evaluate and refine your strategies and approaches to leadership based on feedback, insights and evolving circumstances.

Lead by example. Set high standards for yourself and demonstrate a strong work ethic, integrity and professionalism in all your endeavors. People need to know they can count on you to deliver on your promises and complete tasks on time. Follow through on commitments, meet deadlines and build trust. Dependability is the cornerstone of building trust within your team. Inspire and motivate others through your actions and words and celebrate achievements and milestones as a team.

Take the initiative and make things happen. Seek out additional responsibilities, identify areas for improvement within your team or organization and propose solutions. The initiative showcases your leadership potential and dedication to success.

Delegate effectively. Provide clear instructions, guidelines and expectations to ensure clarity and alignment on delegated tasks. Empower team members to take ownership of their work and make decisions autonomously while providing support and guidance as needed. But always remember that as a leader, you can only delegate authority, but you cannot delegate responsibility.

Embrace accountability and be a pillar of dependability. Take ownership of your actions and decisions, successes and failures. Be willing to admit mistakes, learn from them and proactively take steps to rectify any shortcomings. Owning your actions demonstrates leadership maturity.

Cultivate consistency. Leaders consistently deliver high-quality work and demonstrate reliable performance. Set clear goals, prioritize effectively and manage your time well to produce your best work consistently. Be comfortable with challenges and adversities, always stand up for your team and protect the company’s interests. When you do this, you are practicing what I would call “Entrepreneurial leadership.”

One last point: leaders have to fight fires constantly. Leveling up your leadership skills enables you to face whatever challenges or adversities you face. Then, you would not have to worry about the color pants you must wear.


(Francis Kong’s “Inspiring Excellence” podcast is now available on Spotify, Apple, Google, or other podcast streaming platforms).

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with