Here are the principles of leadership I tried to follow when I was running the Underground Literary Alliance.
1.) LEAD FROM THE FRONT.
I never asked anyone to do what I wasn't willing to do myself. At most of our actions I was at the head of the pack. No one worked harder.
From 10/8/2000 to 12/31/2007 I defended the ULA and its writers in every possible forum, against all comers. But loyalty has to work in both directions.
The leader of a project must take responsibility for that project-- whether any "fault" was truly his or not. In that regard, the ULA's failings were my failings, and in some respects still are.
With responsibility should come authority, however, and that I didn't have.
I made myself consistently accountable, to friends and foes alike, on this blog and elsewhere. It was probably the single biggest use of my time! The extreme example of this was late 2006, receiving on the ULA forum an endless barrage of questions and criticisms from one V. Schwartzman, page after page, day after day after day, which I attempted to patiently and forthrightly answer until someone else finally cut him off. Such events were enormous time-wasters. I'd not go through that again. There has to be some element of trust.
The most important principle, and the rarest.
Not losing sight of the objective. Keeping your head while everyone else is panicking-- which happened often.
7.) UNDERSTANDING THE STRATEGY.
This means holding in your head the overall picture, recognizing the real enemies, deciding which fights are worthwhile and which aren't. It's the factor with the most flexibility for a decision-maker and one of the hardest to carry out.
8.) MANAGING THE TEAM.
Keeping morale up; your people content, motivated, and active; egos stroked; internal fights resolved for the good of all. With undergrounders: Impossible.