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Principled-Centered Leadership

Key Idea

Made popular by Stephen Covey, principled-centered leadership is the notion that our principles, like a compass, will always let us know the direction we should take. Our principles become our values, habits, and the language we use to lead.

Book to Read 

Principled-Centered Leadership
by Stephen Covey (1990)

Quick Take from the Book

Covey has identified eight characteristics of principled-centered learners:

  1. They are continually learning (humility).
  2. They are service-oriented (contribution).
  3. They radiate positive energy (hope and optimism).
  4. They believe in other people (compassionate).
  5. They lead balanced lives (flexible).
  6. They see life as an adventure (courage).
  7. They are synergistic (wisdom).

Quote of Note

"Principled-centered leadership introduces a new paradigm – that we center our lives and our leadership in organizations and people on certain “true north” principles…[The idea is that] our effectiveness is predicated upon certain inviolate principles – natural laws in the human dimension that are just as real, just as unchanging, as laws such as gravity are in the physical dimension. These principles are woven into the fabric of every civilized society and constitute the roots of every family and institution that has endured and prospered." — Stephen Covey

Related Styles: Authentic Leadership, Ontological Leadership, Transformational Leadership

Return to List of Leadership Styles