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The three F’s of leadership

There comes a point in every relationship, organization, business, and related activity where leaders must lead. The different teams have made their design. Committees have reviewed it. Management has approved it. Now is the time for leaders to take control and execute. This is true whether we’re talking about building a rocket ship or selling a house; once plans are made they have to be executed.

Leaders are the people who make it happen. They execute the plans and ensure that the objectives are met. Whether they are leading a large group of fellow associates or an individual performance leader, such as a sales leader, they set the pace and standards of the work to be done.

Leaders accomplish this through other people. A team leader will guide and direct their team ensuring that all members maintain their focus on achieving desired results. A sales leader will work with all parties to a transaction to ensure they stay focused on completing the transaction. The primary role of leadership in any situation involves working with and through other people to achieve goal results.

Working with and through other people can be challenging, but that’s why you’re the leader. As a leader, it is important to learn and apply the three F’s of leadership in all of your work relationships and interactions with others. A leader should treat everyone with respect by being:

  1. fair
  2. Signature
  3. Frank


Your reputation is one of the most important assets you have. How people perceive you will determine how willing they are to work with you. As a team leader, a positive reputation will cause your associates to go the extra mile to achieve any goal. As a sales leader, your reputation will bring you business and customers.

Being fair is simply treating all people equally. If people know they can trust you, they will want to work with you. Be honest with all parties and work to find a win-win solution to any issues that arise.

Spend time with all of your associates and business partners. This will go a long way in helping you achieve a reputation for being fair. Showing favoritism in any business relationship can have strong negative consequences.

Even in businesses where professional and corporate guidelines/rules seem to restrict your relationship with one party or another in a business transaction, you can still be fair in your actions. Be honest. If you can’t do something, tell the party you can’t. By following the guidelines to the letter, you maintain your fairness in the business relationship. Simply applying the rules equally to all parties fairly and honestly helps you achieve your goals.


In the old days, when you said a leader was firm, you meant he ruled with an iron fist. There are still times when a leader has to be strict, but being firm means more than that. It means being a decisive leader, one who can make a decision and carry it out.

Being firm, you must adhere to your principles and company policies/rules in all your business dealings. Don’t be indecisive when it comes to doing what is right or wrong. Let its principles and policies guide you in your decisions and how you implement actions.

When you make a decision, stick with it, don’t be vapid about it. You are not a “yes person” but you are the leader and sometimes it is your job to make the tough decisions that are necessary to achieve the goal.

Being firm also means that when your decision or your plans need to be changed, you change them. But he bases the need to change on the facts necessary to achieve his goal. A good leader knows when and how to be flexible and adaptable.

Be open to suggestions, ideas, guidance and advice. A good leader does not make decisions in a vacuum but in the end a good leader makes the decision.


A good leader is an honest leader. His very principles demand truthfulness and honesty. He shares all the facts that he can with his team and/or clients to help them achieve the goal.

When working in a team environment, a good leader deals with all situations honestly, whether with the team or with an individual. If the praise is warranted, he gives it honestly and freely. If correction is needed, he handles it just as frankly, dealing with facts.

An individual leader like a sales leader is frank with his associates and customers. It gives them all the facts, both good and bad, so they can make the best decision for their goals.

By following the three “F’s” of leadership, a good leader will find interaction with peers and customers easier and more rewarding. Developing a reputation for being fair, firm, and forthright in your business dealings will help you go from being a good leader to being a great leader.

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