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Lead Your Team Leadership

Leadership Lessons: John Addison of Addison Leadership Group

There's no one "right" way to lead a business. Today's leaders have a lot of wisdom to impart about managing the modern workforce, because each one approaches leadership in his or her own unique way. Every week, Business News Daily will share a leadership lesson from a successful business owner or executive.

  • The leader: John Addison, CEO of Addison Leadership Group and leadership editor of Success magazine
  • Time in current position: 1 year
  • John's philosophy: "Most leaders are weathervanes — whichever way the wind blows, that's the way they turn. Real leaders are lighthouses, embedded in the rock and there to lead their people through the dark and turbulent times." (Click to tweet)

Addison explains the experiences that helped form his personal leadership philosophy:

"I spent more than three decades rising through the leadership ranks at Primerica. I started my career at the company in 1981 and retired as co-CEO in 2015. During my tenure, I experienced massive changes in the company's ownership and leadership, and learned a lot about the qualities a person needs to be the most effective leader possible.

"Weathering changes at Primerica that often lead to uncertainty and chaos helped me develop a leadership philosophy steeped in being someone my teams can turn to for guidance, even during the most turbulent times. Whether it was another leadership change or trying to save the company during [the recession], my people could say I would make the best decision for their future, and stand firm on that decision, even if it wasn't popular with everyone. Being a weathervane twisting in the wind wasn't going to instill the confidence they very much needed, so I had to learn to be a lighthouse: someone they knew would still be standing strong once the storm passed. Thankfully, [my] mentor, Primerica founder Art Williams, demonstrated being a lighthouse for many years, and I was able to follow his example.

"Through my writing, speaking engagements and position as leadership editor for Success magazine, I am able to share my leadership message with a wider audience and play a role in shaping future generations of leaders. My hope through sharing my message is that one day we will have more leaders who are lighthouses and far fewer who are weathervanes."

Nicole Fallon Taylor

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant managing editor. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.