1. The most important principle of leadership is to lead by example. If at all possible, a leader should have already done that which he will ask others to do.
2. The best leaders, more often than not, "come up through the ranks." They lead by example and by experience.
3. An indispensable principle is that the leader believe absolutely in the cause for which he is to fight. The devotion of a leader is transferred to his men.
4. A leader must not observe, but rather share with his men that which they are to endure. Leadership does not consist of commanding, but of leading.
5. The man who will not do himself, that which he asks others to do, is a commander, not a leader.
6. There is no room for the theorist in a good leader. His successes are measured by accomplishments, not by theories. Good ideas are those that work, all others are for speculators.
7. Leaders are not given respect, they earn it. If there is no respect from the ranks, then the leader must look to himself for the answer as to why.
8. The man who after serious thought and deliberation envisions himself a leader, usually is not, or he would already be leading instead of contemplating doing so.
9. There are men who seem to be "born leaders," as well as men who are born leading. The former possess a natural ability and talent from the beginning, the latter by training and experience.
10. A leader is not an island unto himself, he understands people and what motivates them. Praise and recognition is given by him to men who are successful, concern and help to those who fail. Men in the ranks are always given a second chance to prove themselves. No man who has given it his all should be judged harshly upon a single incident that may have been subject to the vicissitudes of life.
11. The hardest task for a competent leader is to delegate authority. Doing so, where possible, is what makes him superior to those leaders that can not.
12. A truly brilliant leader, is always looking for his replacement.
by Louis Beam, Reprinted from The Seditionist