TOP 10 RULES OF LEADERSHIP
“The skills that will set you apart from the rest,
get you recognized, and position you as a leader
in your organization.”
Why become a leader?
• Eventually, your employer will expect you to
develop leadership skills -- so you might as
well start now.
• Leadership is the gateway to greater career
success. The higher you want to climb, the
more you need leadership.
• Leadership ability will make you
Why become a leader?
• To make a difference and to have a voice.
• Leadership ability increases your effectiveness
exponentially. It is your lid.
• “The Law of the Lid” – John Maxwell, Author
of “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”
• You can increase effectiveness by working harder.
Law of diminishing returns though.
• You can increase effectiveness by increasing your
• Which is better?
• Talented sports team that can’t win (i.e., isn’t
“effective”) – Why?
• McDonald’s Brothers had a great idea and made a
decent amount of money / Ray Kroc had great
leadership and made many millions of dollars
What is Leadership?
• The ability to attract people who want to
follow you, not because of your title or
position, but because they truly want to.
• The best way to define leadership may be to
study the skills common to great leaders.
• We have distilled these skills into what we call
“the Top 10 Rules of Leadership”
But I’m not a natural leader…
• Some leadership skills come naturally (think
Bill Clinton), but much of it can be learned,
studied, and practiced.
• Charisma can also be developed.
• Developing leadership is like exercise. It may
awkward at first, but will become more and
Extroverts and Introverts
• Extroverts thrive on social interaction; it gives
• Introverts thrive and recharge their batteries
through alone time.
• Both can become great leaders.
• You must evolve and break out of your
comfort zone. As an introvert, you must still
set aside “alone time” to recharge.
1. Leaders Listen
• True leaders know that listening is more
important than talking.
• Leaders listen to gather facts, evaluate all
possible scenarios, and then offer a
• Leaders practice active and empathetic
• Listening helps create trust.
2. Leaders Convey Trust
• In the absence of force, would you follow
someone you do not trust?
• Trust is the most important part of becoming a
• Leaders create trust in others.
• Do what you say you are going to do.
• Honor your commitments.
• Do as you say
• Honor your commitments
• Think of the level of trust others have in you
as money in a bank account. Every time you
do something to build trust, it is like making a
deposit in the account. When you make a bad
decision, there is a withdrawal. You cannot let
your withdrawals overtake your deposits.
• Exemplify competence
• Have good moral character
3. Leaders Give Before They Take
• To become a respected leader, you must give
of yourself before you every take.
• Taking by force or authority does not work in
the long term.
• You will never become a strong leader unless
you make people WANT to give to you.
• You must give REPEATEDLY of yourself.
Leaders Give (cont’d.)
• Leaders Volunteer: charities; serving on
nonprofit boards; civic organizations;
community groups; government.
• Leaders Sacrifice: When someone has to give
something up, leaders are first to volunteer,
such as working during weekend.
• Leaders are the ultimate team players. They
are not afraid to get their hands dirty, chip in
where necessary, and perform any task.
4. Leaders Are Decisive
• Leaders understand that indecision is a direct
path to failure.
• Leaders gather the necessary information,
make a decision, and then take action.
• Leaders are quick to reach decisions, but slow
to change their minds. Adjustments are okay.
• Decisiveness is a characteristic of most
Causes of Indecision
• Ever get “paralysis by analysis”?
• Does fear of failure stop you from making
• Does fear of success stop you from making
• Does negative programming stop you from
Becoming More Decisive
• Leave your comfort zone
• Become comfortable taking measured risks
• Gather information then make decision
• Don’t look back but be willing to make
5. Leaders Influence Others
• You do not need a title to lead.
• True leadership cannot be awarded,
appointed, or assigned.
• Leaders influence family, friends, and co-
• If others turn to you for guidance, you are a
Leaders Influence Others
• Managing v. leading
• Leadership is about influencing people to
follow. Management focuses on maintaining
systems and processes.
• Managers can maintain direction, but not
Leaders Influence Others
• A subordinate can lead a supervisor
• Becoming indispensable to your organization
will de facto make you a leader.
• Volunteering for difficult assignments
• Looking for novel solutions
• If you can get to the point where your boss
won’t make a move without you, you will have
become a leader and wield considerable
How else can you influence?
• Character – who you are
• Relationships – who you know
• Knowledge – what you know
• Intuition – what you feel (sensing energy,
morale, and timing)
• Past success
6. Leaders Empower and Give Credit
• This may seem counterintuitive, but leaders
do not hoard power and they do not hog all of
the credit for successes.
• Leaders give power and credit.
• Leaders delegate.
• Leaders make their followers into additional
• These actions make the leader stronger.
• Hoarding power is a short-term strategy
• Tempting to fear that your followers will
overtake you or jump ship to another
• Leaders become more respected to those
whom they train. Who is the stronger leader,
the leader with followers, or the leader with
followers who are themselves leaders?
• A company or employer will not long overlook
a leader who develops other leaders.
• This is the most valuable contribution a leader
can make to an organization.
• While the company may not recognize every
little thing you do, there will be no hiding the
fact that you churn out additional leaders
from your ranks.
• Leaders do not take all of the credit – they
don’t need to.
• Leaders are self-confident and would rather
see their followers receive credit.
• A true leader relishes seeing his followers
receiving credit and becoming stronger.
• The stronger the followers, the stronger the
7. Leaders Take Risks
• Risky is the new safe, especially post-2008.
• The days of obtaining a secure corporate job,
working 40 years, and retiring with a gold
watch are over.
• You will not get ahead without taking some
measured risks in life.
• Are you basically just doing the same thing
every day, hoping that you will magically get
• Leaders get out ahead of the curve, create
change, and influence people. They don’t
simply react to what happened yesterday.
• How can you take risks?
• Volunteering for the difficult assignment.
• Networking in situations that might, at first,
be uncomfortable. For example, with “higher-
8. Leaders Plan and Prioritize
• Action is important.
• Action alone does not, however, solve
• Activities must be planned and prioritized.
• Consult with your close advisors / team
• Action must be taken at the right time.
9. Leaders Have Close Advisors
• Nobody does anything great alone.
• A leader does not succeed alone.
• A leaders’ potential is determined by those
closest to him.
• Think of the five people with whom you spend
the most time.
• You are likely the product of these five people in
terms of financial success, attitude, relationships,
• Your spouse may be one. A co-worker you spend
most of the day with may be one. That’s two.
• Environment is everything. Your potential is
determined by those closest to you. Are these
people positive influences? Negative? Do you
need to change some of these people?
The Inner Circle
• Leaders develop and maintain a close group of
advisors. “Inner Circle”; “Circle of Trust”;
• Tight-knit group of trusted people with whom
you regularly interact.
• These are people you trust completely.
• They offer you perspective and feedback.
The Inner Circle
• “You can do what I cannot do. I can do what
you cannot do. Together we can do great
things.” -- Mother Teresa
• The Master Mind
• Who are you drawing into your inner circle?
We tend to attract like-minded people.
Potential Inner Circle Members
• Do they have high influence with others?
• Do they bring a complementary gift to the
• Do they hold a strategic position within the
• Do they add value to you?
• Do they positively impact you and other inner
The Inner Circle
• Like leadership itself, the Inner Circle is a
“process.” You should never stop improving
your Inner Circle.
• There are two types of people, those who
“lift” and those who “lean” – fill your Inner
Circle with those who lift you up.
10. Leaders Lead
• Who is more convincing: the leader who tells
you what to do, or the leader who tells you
what to do and then joins in?
• A leader may not be able to join in every
effort, but his followers will know from past
experience that he won’t give an order that he
himself would not be willing to carry out.
• The leader is the ultimate team player.
Leaders Chart the Course
• Does a leader charge ahead without planning?
• A leader takes time to chart the proper
• A manager charts the progress through the
forest. A leader climbs a tree, looks around,
and says “we’re in the wrong forest.”
• Once a plan of action is set, a leader is
reluctant to change his mind, but may alter
the plans if needed.
Leaders Chart the Course
• “A leader is one who sees more than what
other see, who sees farther than others see,
and who sees before others do.” -- Leroy Eims
• This doesn’t happen overnight. It comes from
practice, thinking, training, and knowledge,
and past experience. Then it become
Leaders Look for Opportunities
• Every failure is an opportunity to learn and
• Opportunities are presented to you every day.
This seminar is an opportunity. You exercised
leadership by taking advantage of it.
The “Leadership Lens”
• Leaders evaluate everything through a
• Leaders look at things differently than others
• Leadership intuition. “What is the best way to
approach this situation?”
Leaders Take Action
• Leaders don’t just talk. They take action.
• How much time will you spend thinking and
talking about the things you want to do in life?
• At some point, you have to stop talking about
it and do it.
• Break out of your comfort zone and do it.
• Leaders lead!