Insider Intelligence: TIPs for Successful Leadership

Aug. 8, 2022
A catchy mathematical equation to help you remember your role as a leader

This article originally appeared in the August 2022 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention Security Business magazine on LinkedIn and @SecBusinessMag on Twitter.

There are many yardsticks that help us measure success in business. Some measurements may be financial; others operational; and some are more emotional. While I firmly believe a healthy balance and mixture of all three is important in defining true success in business and leading others, I would like to focus on the emotional intelligence skillset ingredients that are needed.

To transform it into a catchy mathematical equation: S (success in leadership) = T (trust & truthfulness) + I (inspiration and inclusion) + P (passion and purpose) - S = TIP 2

Trust and Truthfulness

Trust: According to The Edelman Trust Barometer Report, trust in leadership and societal institutions is at an all-time low. Given that assertion and adding in the increasing economic uncertainties, continuing supply chain shortages and the potential looming recession – people, (read: employees) want to work for a company they can trust. I could just end this article here, as trust is a cornerstone, foundational element in leading a team or a company. Further, trust does not contain any shades of gray – you either are trusted and have built an atmosphere of trust or you have not. There is not much room for a middle ground.

Truthfulness: “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” is what everyone commits to when they take the witness stand at a trial. Imagine, just for a minute, if we were asked to make that same oath at the start of every workday. How do you think that would go over with the management team and crew? Like trust, truthfulness is a trait by which we are judged. If you are not seen as being sincere, honest, and truthful, you will always face an uphill battle getting people to follow you or buy into your vision.

Inspiration and Inclusion

On inspiration, Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”

On inclusion, Benjamin Franklin famously said: Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I will learn.” 

These are powerful quotes and the meaning they convey is essential in understanding the difference between managers and leaders. I have sought out and followed those leaders who, by their words and actions, inspire those around them. When you are inspired, you feel that your actions and work are recognized, appreciated, and needed. Who doesn’t want to feel that? No matter how old, young, or what your background and beliefs are – everyone wants to feel included, inspired, recognized, and appreciated. Everyone. It is fundamental and universal.

Passion and Purpose

Passion: Passion is all about creating a vision and consistently infusing it with excitement, energy and enthusiasm. There is no doubt that leaders who are passionate can profoundly increase productivity in the workplace. To be clear, passion is not a hobby – it is a core belief and practice that you bring and share every day.

Purpose: Understanding, as a leader, why you are doing what you are doing defines your purpose. It is tied to your values, ethics, your view of the world and your place in it.

Don’t be a reluctant leader. Oliver Wendall Holmes said “Many people die with their music still in them. Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.” If the music inside you is your purpose, then embrace it, let it shine and guide you in becoming a better leader for yourself and for those you lead.

 Ric McCullough is president of PSA Security Network. Request more info about PSA at