Decide How You Are Going to Lead

Karl Bimshas
3 min readFeb 27, 2024

A good number of leadership problems I see come about because the leader has never given any thought to the question, “How are you going to lead?”

Many are dumbfounded. Though, to be fair, if you ask a writer, “How are you going to write?” there is similar confusion.

The smart ones in both camps reply with a smile and say, “Well.”

That’s a good start. No one aspires to be a lousy writer or a lousy leader, yet both are abundant.

After some thought, a writer might talk about their discipline. “I will write for three hours every night and edit four hours during the day.” They might speak of outlines, research, and summoning the muse. They envision book launches, cocktail parties, and movie adaptations.

As heart-quickening and aspirational as all that may be, it still leaves the question unanswered.

Given enough time to ponder, the writer will talk about other authors, the books they like and abhor, favorite characters, settings, styles, and genres. They’ll talk about their craft and how they are working to improve it. What rules they adhere to, which ones they bend, and those they detest and ignore. They have opinions and a point of view. They have a preferred method of writing but will use crayons on a used paper coffee cup to capture their words if they must.

What they have is a philosophy.

What is the difference between a plan and a philosophy? A plan is a concrete strategy with specific steps to achieve a particular goal. A philosophy is a broader set of principles and beliefs that shape your approach to leadership. You ought to have a plan for leading based on your leadership philosophy. What other leaders do you learn from, positively and negatively? What do you like about leading? What makes you uncomfortable? What kind of people and causes do you easily support, and what challenges you? What norms and perspectives do you honor, and which ones do you rebel against? How do your strengths and values inform your point of view? Is it unyielding, or will it change if you suddenly work for a competitor?

You may not have answers, but be curious enough to learn. Learn more about yourself so your leadership is decisive and confident, based on your purpose, not on a whim.

Key Takeaway:

As a leader, have a well-defined philosophy guiding your decisions and actions that encompasses:

  • Your Influences
  • Your Values
  • Your Strengths & Weaknesses
  • Your Purpose

Having a clearly defined philosophy allows you to lead with confidence and conviction. It provides a foundation for decision-making, builds self-awareness, and ensures your leadership style is genuine and purpose-driven.

About Karl Bimshas

Karl Bimshas is a Boston-bred, California-chilled Leadership Consultant and Writer. As the founder of Karl Bimshas Consulting, he provides customized leadership development resources and accountability partnering for busy professionals who want to manage better and lead well.



Karl Bimshas

Boston-bred and California-chilled Leadership Adviser | Writer | Podcast Host who helps busy professionals who want to manage better and lead well.