10 QUALITIES THAT make great leaders

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A man is born to lead. And from times past, God has used man to guide the universe as king, priest and prophet starting from his own house to the outside world. If a man cannot effectively lead a small family, he cannot be expected to steer a multitude to its destination. So this month I purpose that we discuss leadership. And this is not necessarily about political or other elected or appointed kind of leadership. This is first and foremost about that leader who has no title – the one who leads without expecting applause or personal benefit.

A renowned international author and motivational speaker – who I admire a lot – has come up with 10 valuable insights on leadership and I wish to share them with you here. His name is Robin Sharma. It is my hope that just as these insights have inspired me to lead without a title, they will also have the same effect on you.

#1. THE JOB OF A LEADER IS TO GROW MORE LEADERS If you are not building more leaders, then you are not leading; you are following. Your job is to help people do work they never dreamed they could do. Your job is to inspire people to own their talents, express their gifts and do the best work of their lives. #2. NOTHING HAPPENS UNTIL YOU MOVE

Start small, dream huge but begin today. Nothing happens until you take massive action. The sad reality is that we procrastinate a lot. But if we actually pursued our goals and acted on our visions, we would become ultra-successful. And spectacular success brings responsibility. That frightens most among us. And so we put off getting great things done. And blame the world for any mediocrity that infuses our lives.

#3. YOUR BEHAVIOUR REVEALS YOUR BELIEFS

You tell the world what you believe via how you behave. Complain all day long and you reveal a deeply ingrained set of beliefs that you are powerless and apathetic. Present work that has typos and poor wording and you express a belief that average is cool with you. Mistreat others and you reveal that you’re selfish – and disconnected from the beautiful humanity that surrounds you. The good news is that as you wire in the beliefs of leadership (versus victimhood), your behaviour changes automatically.

#4. IDEAS ARE WORTHLESS WITHOUT EXECUTION I would rather have an average idea that my team and I flawlessly execute on than a genius-level idea with poor execution. The best leaders are all about “less talk and more do.” Less meetings and more delivery. Less analysis and more rolling up of sleeves and getting amazing projects done. #5. WHEN YOU LEARN MORE YOU GET TO ACHIEVE MORE To double your income, triple your rate of learning. Genius is less about natural talent and more about out-studying, out-preparing, out-practicing and out-learning everyone around you. Almost nothing yields the return on investment than investing in workshops, conferences, online courses, audiobooks/books and coaching does.

#6. TAKE CARE OF THE RELATIONSHIP AND THE MONEY TAKES CARE OF ITSELF Leadership is about relationships. The smartest, fastest and most effective leaders all get that the whole game is about people – that is, developing teammates + serving customers + making the world a whole lot better by the way you show up in it. Learn to listen like a master. Commit to being more inspirational. Keep your promises. Do nice things for people. Be the most generous person you know. Staggeringly great opportunities will come your way. Trust me.

#7. RESPECT IS NOT GRANTED BUT EARNED

A title, position and a large office do not guarantee people will respect you. Nope. You’ve got to earn that gift. And the quickest way to earn respect is to give it. No need to say more.

#8. DON’T CONFUSE MOVEMENT WITH PROGRESS Yes, we live in The Age of Dramatic Distraction. According to The Financial Times, we collectively spend 100,000,000 minutes a day playing Angry Birds on our smartphones. Most people in business are spending the absolute best hours of their days being busy. Leaders Without Titles are completely different and you can be too. They start their day at 5am or earlier, set five daily goals and get them done before nightfall (that’s 1850 “small wins” in 12 months).

#9. VICTIMS DON’T DO GIANT THINGS Victims make excuses while leaders drive exceptional results. You can spot a victim a mile away: they blame and complain and are negative and cynical. You are not a victim. This day – and every one that follows for the rest of your life – offers a platform of possibility. And the great thing about using your power to make things better is that the more you use it, the more powerful you become.

#10. LIFE IS SHORT SO BE OF USE To truly be a leader has nothing to do with ego stroking, applause and fame. No, to be a leader is to make phenomenal contributions that make the world better and cause a lasting difference. To lead is to serve. And to be of use. Sharma puts it this way: “When you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice.”

Published April 2016

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