Leadership Manifestos

A leadership manifesto serves as a declaration, whether public or private, of intentions, goals, and practices that reflect who we are and who we wish to be.  It illustrates priorities and memorializes the principles underlying our long-term goals and our interactions with others.  It outlines our strengths and prescribes the ways in which we will apply them during challenging times.  It is a resource document that changes as we advance in our leadership over time.

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day and herald the coming of spring—always a time of renewal, the Institute for Professional Leadership’s Hardwick Fellows and Interim Director share current versions of their leadership manifestos below.  We hope by sharing our reflections and commitments to encourage readers to reflect on their own goals and values, develop their own leadership manifesto, share it with others, refine it over time, and refer to it for foundational guidance often throughout their careers.

Hardwick Fellow Alex Wright’s Leadership Manifesto

Leadership is the “ability to get others to respect you and follow.”

I will use my abilities every day to make positive change with a willingness to make decisions I think to be right.

Kindness – Putting my best foot forward translates into leadership.

Strength – A solid foundation is the key to making change.

Discipline – Making the tough choices and sticking with them shows grit.

Growth – I have been a student my whole life. I am on the cusp of becoming a lawyer-leader.

Attitude – I am an optimist who builds others up.

I will live by my values. My core values are perseverance and loyalty.

Perseverance means that I will keep pushing and fighting until I get my desired outcome and result, yet I know when to pull back while still moving forward.

Loyalty means that I will surround myself with trustworthy people and ideas, and that if I have the loyalty of someone, then I am giving it back to that person.

I choose to devote myself to people and organizations that I feel have power and influence to do good in my community and society. I know that multiple voices can make a change and will unite under a common goal. I position myself to be able to constantly learn and grow and welcome adversity.

Here is how I promise to show up as a leader:

  • I will keep my emotions in check and think strategically. 
  • I will support others while tending to my own mental and physical well-being.
  • I will be open to growth and maintain the mindset that anything worth doing is worth doing correctly.
  • I will maintain a positive mentality and be a person who makes others’ days better.
  • I will be specific with my goals and effective at communicating them to others.

Hardwick Fellow Sarah Beth Cain’s Leadership Manifesto

Leadership is the “facilitation of progress.”

I will use my strengths to create opportunities for advancement for myself and others.

Love of Learning – I embrace opportunities to learn, evolve, adapt, and try new things.

Social Intelligence – I effectively navigate complex social situations to motivate myself and others.

Leadership – I establish goals and facilitate teamwork to tap into people’s unique strengths.

Bravery – I approach challenges head-on and will encourage others to do the same.

Judgment  – I use logic, intuition, and ethical principles to weigh options and make decisions.

I will live by my values.  My most cherished values are accountability and awareness.

Accountability means I will be transparent, engaged, introspective, and will solicit and embrace constructive criticisms.

Awareness means I will be conscious of the actions, feelings, and perceptions that I hold and that are manifested by others.

I perceive the world around me through a framework built of my own experiences.  I will seek out diverse perspectives to inform my outlook, strengthen my decision-making skills, and enhance my problem-solving strategies.

Here is how I promise to show up as a leader:

  • I will be intentional, honest, reliable, and consistent in my speech and conduct.
  • I will balance diplomacy and advocacy to find solutions that are fair and equitable.
  • I will take the time to feel and express gratitude toward other people.
  • I will not waste resources and will use what is available to me first and seek creative solutions.
  • I will give credit and take responsibility when receiving feedback on a collaborative work.
  • I will act in accordance with the standards I set for others and model behaviors that maximize potential.

Rick Rose Distinguished Professor of Law Joan Macleod Heminway’s Leadership Manifesto

Leadership is “building and maintaining authentic, sincere relationships.”

I will use my strengths every day to lead myself and others in a spirit of teamwork—creating genuine, sustainable human connections that enable others to thrive and foster the achievement of mutually held goals.

Love – I value my relations with others.  I believe in giving as well as receiving.

Gratitude – My privilege is a key source of my positivity.

Curiosity – I enjoy the journey of discovery.  I share that joy with others.

Perspective – I practice self-awareness.  My life is a teacher.  I use my experience to counsel others.

Leadership – I am energized by motivating others to succeed; I celebrate their victories.

I will live by my values.  My most cherished values are loyalty and transparency.

Loyalty means I will unfailingly ally myself with principles, ideas, people, and institutions that make the world a better place

Transparency means I will be straight with people, basing my relationships on trustworthy, candid, and complete. communications.

I associate myself with organizations and activities that have meaning to me.  I faithfully pursue the objectives of the teams I join with zest and an open mind.  I understand that together we are stronger and achieve more.  Every moment presents a new opportunity to build knowledge and experience to work with others to achieve a better future.

Here is how I promise to show up as a leader:

  • I will approach situations purposefully, diligently, with intention.
  • I will focus on understanding and accepting people through loving kindness.  I will search for the common ground that binds us.
  • I will thoughtfully evaluate situations to determine the best course of action.  I will attentively listen before I act.
  • I will offer people authentic, practical assessments of their work; I will seek the same of mine.
  • I will work tirelessly to help others live the true, best version of themselves.
  • I will bring my energy, passion, and fun-loving nature to the people, causes, and tasks that are important to me.

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