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12 Winning Leadership Qualities
Unleash The Leader I nstinct Within You!

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A Vision 5

Willingness to Take Responsibility 9

Strength of Character 13

Effective Communication Skills 17

A Positive Attitude 20

Ability To Influence 23

Self Discipline 26

Trustworthiness 29

Willingness to Make Changes 32

Ability To Prioritize 35

Planning Skills 38

Mentoring Skills 41


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The greatest need we have today, in every area of our lives, is for men and women to
practice the values of leadership such as trust, discipline, responsibility, positive thinking and
acting with integrity. These are the some of the key qualities of leadership.
The most powerful people in the world are those with the best reputation for leadership in their
areas of responsibility. Our society needs leaders at all levels who practice the principles that lead
to long term-success for all. Especially, we need people in positions of leadership to encourage
others, whose lives and work they influence, to develop the leadership qualities throughout life.
There is always room for improvement for every one of us. David Rooke, partner at Harthill
Consulting and co-author of the Harvard Business Reviews Leadership Can Be Learnt, says that
there is room for us all to develop and maximize our leadership capabilities.
Why do some people make outstanding leaders? The key to effective leadership does not depend
primarily in the abilities we are born with, personality of the individual or from the philosophy of
leadership, but from enthusiasm to become the person other people will follow.
So, whether your desire is to be a business leader, lead a student campaign, start a charitable
initiative or teach your children to reach the top of the world, the first step in achieving it is to
know what it takes to be a leaderand a winner in one.
In the following pages, we will touch upon and elaborate on the 12 most important and desirable
leadership qualities. It is my hope that this book will help you start the process and contemplation
within yourself on becoming the best leader that you can be.
So, lets start bringing out the leader in you!
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A Vision

Have a Vision and Cast it Effectively
Vision is the primary and most
important quality of a leader. All great
leaders have a sense of meaning and
purpose in what they do and what they
hope to achieve in every area of their life.
Vision is the core fundamental
commitment to a cause that a leader
believes in and is passionate about.
Vision combines a purpose, a mission with boldness and challenge rooted in reality.
Perhaps the greatest example of a vision is exemplified in John F Kennedys speech in 1961 on his
commitment to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade. As we all know, that
passionate challenge to NASA engineers resulted in the successful manned mission to the moon by
US astronauts in 1969.
Jeff Earlywine, a famous author, compares casting vision with fishing. He made that
comparison because the hobby of fishing was one of his greatest loves as a kid. That love,
according to him, developed quickly because his family owned a little bait shop that was located
near Toledo Bend Lake in Louisiana. Toledo Bend is known for its large bass and large quantity of
He soon found out that there is a lot more to fishing than just catching fish. Learning to cast
a fishing lure into a fish hole takes great skill. However, casting is just the start; you have to learn
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to make the lure look irresistible to the fish below, so irresistible that an attack on that bait is
Casting a vision works much the same way the vision should be effective, useful, and
purposeful so that success would be easy to reach. It is the process, that when executed well would
lead to a realization of your goals.
Therefore, to be a leader, you must have a vision. Great leaders have the ability to stand
back and look at the big picture and look at things in a larger context. Visionary leaders are excited
about their goals and enthusiastic about achieving excellence. You not only exemplify excellence,
but you also translate it to others so that they are also committed to that vision. Without a clear
vision of what you want to do and where you want to go, you just cannot hope for great things to
Bringing Out that Vision in You
To develop a vision, look within yourself. Vision comes from the inner self. Hence, it is not
necessarily difficult. In a way, it is easy to develop a vision for yourself and for the leader that you
want to be. However, it requires incredible courage to follow through on your vision and on your
commitments. No sooner have you set a high goal or vision, you will run into all kinds of
roadblocks. You will be surrounded by temptations to compromise your vision. Your desire to
earn the respect and cooperation of others will be rooted in your ability to step out in faith, and cast
your vision effectively. This is where your leadership takes shape.
Here are 5 steps to casting your vision:
1. Listen to Yourself. Since vision starts within, you have to listen and feel what your mind
and heart really wants. What stirs your heart? What is your greatest desire? What do you
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dream about? If what you wish to pursue does not really come from the inner depths of
your soul, it would be difficult to find fulfillment with anything else.
The process of casting a vision begins with you, the leader. As mentioned earlier, the vision
begins in your mind and heart. It is something that you can feel, taste, see, hear, and touch
with your soul. Your vision should be greater than you. Warren Bennis, author of The
Leadership Institute, even said, Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.
On the other hand, in fulfilling a greater vision, you need a good team to support you.
Nobody can accomplish big dreams alone. Hence, listen to good advice from a people who
have more experience than you in leadership roles. Find a mentor. Seek for help
occasionally. Ask for guidance. Even leaders need to learn to make continued progress.
A truly valuable vision must be coupled with faith. A good way to visualize is to retreat to
a quiet and tranquil place deep thinking in silence will allow your mind to think
creatively and crystallize your vision.
3. Ask Questions. Introduce yourself and your followers to thought provoking questions that
will help everyone see the big picture. It is only when you ask carefully organized
questions; you are able to accurately discern whether people have faith in you and your
vision. Start asking good, pointed and precise questions. It is best to ask open ended
questions. For example, Do you think this plan will work? is a closed ended question
because it can be answered with a simple Yes or No. However, an open ended question
such as Why do you think this plan will work? forces people to go deeper and think
before answering. Ask open ended questions about your goals and vision and how they can
be continually improved. Understand that input gathered from asking the right questions
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can make a difference in your perception of your objectives and can refine your vision for
the better.
4. Identify Challenges and Lead from the Front. Most people would rather be ensconced
in their comfort zone. The average person, when he feels the winds of uncertainty swirling
outside, rushes back to familiar comfort and security. But, not the true leader. The true
leader has the courage to step away from the comfortable and face the unknown to fulfill
his vision. It is this ability to boldly face challenges that distinguishes you as a leader from
the average person. This is the example that you must set if you are to lead with your
vision. Discuss the challenges you face. Be aware that overcoming challenges will put
everyone on the pathway to accomplishing your vision. People are naturally inspired by
leaders who lead from the front. Your boldness in facing challenges head on will inspire
and motivate others to success. There are many ways to tackle a challenge do not limit
your thinking or imagination or be disheartened by unexpected results. They are only
opportunities in disguise. Move progressively and you motivate and enthuse others to work
with you to fulfill your vision.

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Willingness to Take Responsibility

With great power comes great responsibility
Who would forget the ever-famous line of
Peter Parkers grandfather, With great power
comes great responsibility. A key quality of
leadership is responsibility. This is perhaps the
hardest of all to develop. The acceptance of
responsibility means being true to yourself and
ethics. As Harry Truman once said, The buck
stops here.
Comparing real life leaders to Spiderman like fictional superheroes may seem a little
farfetched, but the concept is rooted in our expectation from leaders we look up to. To lead others,
you must first lead yourself. To be an example or a role model for others, you must first become a
responsible role model yourself.
Leaders accept complete responsibility for their actions, especially when things go wrong.
They refuse to blame others or make excuses. The strength of your character shines through when
you are under pressure. Be calm, controlled and constructive at all times. Yes, you may not have
super powers like Spiderman, but you have the authority to lead other people towards success. This
is so much stronger since it is a power that can be used by real people in this real world.
Start with being completely honest and realistic with yourself and every situation in your
life. Resolve to face the truth, whatever it is. Dont wish, hope, pray, ignore or play games with
yourself. Ambiguous and incongruent messages send the wrong signal.
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Making excuses and blaming something or someone else for failed endeavors is not a
quality of a good leader. What should be done instead is to accept the fact that something didnt
work as planned. It is normal to make mistakes. In fact, mistakes are opportunities for learning. As
a leader, one must ensure that everyone learns from these mistakes and that these errors will not be
repeated next time.
You may not have full control over other people and are not expected to have full control
over their actions, but you have full control of your own reactions. Knowing how to react over
unexpected and unpredictable situations is what responsibility is about.
Bringing Out the More Responsible You
Sometimes, we struggle to gain trust from people more authoritative than us because, according
to them, we are just not responsible enough. What is the measure of being responsible
enough? Below is a list of steps on how to draw responsibility out of our shell:
1. Develop Self-awareness. As a leader, you should know your own strengths and
weaknesses to be able to view your behavior objectively. Also, recognize your
shortcomings, open yourself to feedback, and make changes when necessary. When you
are aware of yourself and your personality as a whole, you will know about your strengths
and weaknesses. Dr. Gerald Bell, business consultant and professor at the University of
North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C, advises us on how to expand our self-knowledge, Study
yourself closely and practice self-assessment techniques to learn how you behave and the
effects you have on others. Ask others for their opinions or criticisms and what you can do
to become a better leader. A self aware person can objectively make assessment of his
own accountability to set an example for others to follow.
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2. Do Not Equate Responsibility with Worry. When we hear the word responsibility, we
often think to ourselves, another task, and another problem! However, responsibility is
more than worrying about things. Consider this short story:
One night at the end of the second shift, the Head of Operations was walking out of
the plant and passed the porter. Due to his stature and responsibility, he had started
his day at the beginning of the first shift. The porter said to him, "Mr. Smith, I sure
wish I had your pay, but I don't want your worry." The porter had equated
responsibility with worry. Is this a reasonable expectation? Especially, if you want
to be an effective leader?
Say, the vice-president of a prestigious company and the porter are paid the same amount
of money, who would you want to be? Carrying responsibility should not be intimidating,
because the joy of accomplishment the feeling of helping other people is what
leadership is all about.
3. Take Risks. Nothing ventured, nothing gained goes the saying. Calculated risk taking
is a trait of great leaders, while the population at large is generally risk averse. Effective
leaders have the courage to act in situations where results and success are uncertain. They
are willing to risk failure. In doing this, you always have to be prepared. Analyze any
situation and your options. Analyze the pros and the cons for each option, be realistic but
be bold in thoughts and dont hesitate to take actions as well. This way you encourage
others to realize and appreciate that there is a price to pay for everything in life. There are
weaknesses to overcome and standards to meet. You accept complete responsibility for
results and risks will soon show up as rewards.
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4. Be Ready to Admit Your Mistakes. Do not expect perfection. No one is perfect and
everyone makes mistakes. In fact, leaders grow by making mistakes. Avoid making
excuses and blaming others for your mistakes. Refuse to make excuses or blame others or
hold grudges against people who have failed you. Practice forgiveness and remain true to
yourself. Admitting your mistakes and failures will actually make people respect you even
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Strength of Character

Be Defined by Your Strength of Character
According to John C. Maxwell,
author of Leadership 101 and Developing
the Leaders around You, the first thing to
look for in any kind of leader or potential
leader is strength of character. I have found
nothing more important than this quality,
he said. Leaders set high standards and
refuse to compromise them.
First, we need to define character. D. L. Moody said, "Character is what you are in the
dark." What Moody meant is that character is what you really are when no one is looking.
Character is what guides your actions. Character is your unique identity, your personality, the sum
total of your individual characteristics.
Obviously we simplify character with good or bad. Strength of character refers to a strong
and good character. A person strong in character is someone who stands for what is right, who has
the "backbone" to express and live out his convictions.
Clarify your values and beliefs in yourself. Decide exactly what it is that you stand for, and
what you will not stand for. Be definite about who you are and refuse to compromise.
What are the qualities that make up good character? These include honesty, integrity,
devotion, self-discipline, determination, dependability, perseverance, conscientiousness, patience,
a strong work ethic and such.
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A person with right character does what he says, and says what he does. His reputation is
solid. He respects himself, his family, and his nation. It is important to pattern your behavior after
the very best character traits of the people you admire. As there is no perfect person in the world,
all of us lack a few strong qualities mentioned above. However, serious character flaws will
eventually make a leader ineffective.
Hence, if you notice any of the following characteristics in yourself, you might be losing your
potential to be an effective leader:
- Unable to complete tasks assigned to you
- Unmet obligations and broken promises
- Refusing to take responsibility for your actions
- Failure to meet deadlines and making excuses
- Being oversensitive to criticisms and comments
Start taking control of your actions and develop the right strength of character. Although character
flaws cannot be changed overnight, they can be changed through right practice and attitude.
Bringing Out that Strong Character in You
Strong character is something people would admire and follow. Here are a few ways to develop
your leadership character traits.
1. Believe in Yourself. Before you expect anybody else to believe in you, you should be the
first person to believe in who you are and in what you can do. Look at and see yourself the
way you want others to see you. If you want others to respect you, learn to respect yourself.
If you want others to love you, love yourself first. Focus on the things you do well and
make incremental efforts at developing character traits that you lack.
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2. Make Learning a Life-long Habit. Practice makes perfect. Even if you think it is difficult
for you to possess a quality you never really have, by constantly engaging yourself in
situations necessary to observe and practice such quality, you will eventually gain mastery.
For instance, if you know you lack patience (but since patience is needed to strengthen
your character and you need to develop it), exercise it while standing in long lines, waiting
to be served in restaurants, etc.
3. Develop Mental Toughness. No one can lead without getting criticized or without facing
discouragement. A potential leader needs mental toughness for such threatening situations.
A tough-minded leader sees things as they are and knows how to adjust when needed.
Critique your own work constantly. Treat criticisms as constructive, and learn from
mistakes. Never be oversensitive.
4. Follow Right Examples. Even leaders need a role model. Get to know people with strong
qualities. Make friends and associate with them. When you see a person with admiring
qualities, try to emulate their behavior in your life.
5. Display Integrity. Leaders need to display integrity by being true to their words. They tell
the truth at all times. They live in truth with themselves, and they live in truth with others.
Leaders must possess qualities such as honesty, uprightness, and trustworthiness before
others will follow them. Warren Bennis says qualities that establish trust are competence,
constancy, caring, candor, and congruity, which he defines as authenticity, reliability, and
feeling comfortable with oneself.
To learn to assess your integrity, actively seek feedback from other people, whether they
are family, friends, co-workers, and even employees. Know whether your values and sense
of integrity coincide with your leadership expectations. Integrity and strength of character
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leads to the acceptance and acknowledgement of personal responsibility. It gives you a
sense of discipline and control that starts with you. Integrity is the self-controlled principle
of human behavior that can give you an edge in motivating people and leading then to peak

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Effective Communication Skills

Effective Communication is Essential
President Gerald Ford once said,
Nothing in life is more important than the
ability to communicate effectively. This is
because communication skills are the
foundation of your success. Your ability to
master effective communication will have a
direct impact to your success in every area of
your life.
How you communicate forms impressions in the minds of your followers. People
formulate their impressions of your leadership based on your non verbal and verbal
communication skills, the way you talk and interact with others. It is not just one single gesture or
your speech rather a combination of multitude of things that you do and say on a regular basis.
In many ways, effective communication begins with astute observation and active
listening. A major part of communication is non-verbal, meaning we convey more with your body
language and gestures than just by spoken words. A leaders body language and carefully chosen
words and their delivery sometimes have more impact than action. Establishing rapport and
instilling confidence in your people will make a remarkable difference in your leadership qualities.
Effective communication is not necessarily an easy skill to master, but it really begins with
seriously listening to what other people say. Your ability to listen attentively shows respect for
your audience. Make it a habit to listen actively during your conversations with others.
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Focus on the other person and you will learn things that can make a difference. When
speaking, use language that is clear, concise and understandable, and that imparts a sense of
purpose, and action. Understand that words have power and words have value. A great leader
chooses his power words carefully and delivers forcefully with a purpose. Mastery of verbal and
non verbal communication skills require time, effort, discipline and practice. But consistency will
pay off with tremendous result, and consistent performance is the key to excellence.
Bringing Out the Effective Communicator in You
Effective communication is not about what we want to say, but what we want the people around us
want to hear and understand about the things we say. In The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful
People by David Niven, Ph.D, the success secret of Newsman David Brinkley is revealed. He
credits a teachers simple advice for much of his success, He said to me, The faster you speak,
the less people will understand you. Take that to heart, And I did.
Besides speaking slowly, here are a few other ways to develop effective communication skills:
1. Be Aware of Your Communication Style. How do you communicate? Do you speak fast
or slow? Do you take care to emphasize on certain words and gestures to make a point? Is
your style and mode of communication in line with leadership expectations? Do you speak
with conviction and confidence? Do you even dress and present yourself appropriately as
the situation demands? It is more important than ever that we take a step back and
reexamine our communication style. Understand your how you carry and present yourself
and mold as necessary to project a confident you. Your ability to persuade will depend
heavily on your communication with speech, writing as well as your with your body
language. Even simple things such as making eye contact or having an open and reassuring
smile can work wonders with your communication style.
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2. Listen and Observe. Perhaps one of the most powerful of all leadership techniques is
effective listening. Learning to practice your listening skills until it becomes a habit will do
more to improve your leadership skills than perhaps any other single behavior. Effective
listening is essential to motivating others. If you think about it, we always listen to
someone who we value. We listen to someone we respect. The more important the other
person is in our eyes, the more we are influenced by what they say. One of the big mistakes
that leaders make, because they are in a position of power and, is that they sometimes
dominate conversations and dont use their listening skills. But every time you fail to
actively and attentively listen and withhold your attention from another person when they
are speaking, you make them feel unimportant. Successful communication models tell us
that effective listening is the key to understanding between two parties. To be a good
communicator, focus on the response of the people you are talking to. Read both their
verbal and non-verbal signs. Leaders are very aware of their own non verbal signals while
communicating as well as the body language of people around him.

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A Positive Attitude

Develop a Positive Attitude
In his book, Developing the Leaders
around You, John Maxwell says, A positive
attitude is one of the most valuables assets a
person can have in life.
The true measure of positive attitude is
how optimistic you are. If you have learned
to control your thinking pattern in very
specific ways you will always end up on the
sunny side of the valley.
Top leaders maintain a positive attitude and are long-term thinkers. They see opportunities
and possibilities in everything that happens, positive or negative. They look for the good in every
situation and in every person. They seek the valuable lessons with every experience. Setbacks are
not failures; rather these are learning experiences.
Most of the time, we become discouraged by the sheer difficulty of the problems we face.
However in reality it is not the problems that are difficult to deal with but our attitude towards
them. The hallmark of a leader is in the ability to remain objective and upbeat in the face of
adversity. The true leader is relaxed, aware and optimistic of events and thus exerts a far greater
sense of control and influence over his situation. Your goal should be to think like an optimist, at
all times. You may not be able to control external events but you can control the way you react to
them. A genuine positive attitude is sure to shine through no matter what.
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Learn to see the big picture. Look beyond the problem. A positive leader will not dwell on
a difficult situation and be discouraged by it, but will believe that he can and he ought to surpass it
in order to reach his goals. Believing that you can make things happen is a wonderful thing. Faith
and belief and a positive attitude will take your further when most will likely give up when faced
with a difficult situation.
When people see that their leader is an optimistic believer and strives hard for
accomplishing something, they are readily more willing follow. Imagine what great things can be
achieved if you are able to infuse people with a positive Can Do attitude.
Bringing Out the Positive Person in You
A positive attitude and looking at your world in an optimistic way will allow you to become a more
confident person. Here are a few ways to cast off your self-imposed limits and begin moving
toward the realization of your full leadership potential. Remember that the glass is really always
half full!
1. Keep Your Mind Focused on the Important Things. Set goals and priorities for what
you think you can do. Visualize practicing your actions and the results you expect from
them. Develop an effective strategy for dealing with problems. Focus on things that need
attention, but at the same time keep your mind open for possibilities.
2. Be Detached from the Outcome. The great Hindu Holy book The Bhagavad Gita
teaches us to focus on our work and actions and not to worry about the results. That is not to
say you should not have a desirable outcome in mind. Do not be discouraged if you do not
always achieve what you desire. Life is often compared to a Ferris wheel; sometimes we
are on the top, and sometimes at the bottom. This only means that there will be times in our
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lives when things would not turn out just as we would want them to be. Do not become too
attached to the probable results, keep an open mind and just do your best.
4. Failure is an Event. We live in a paradigm of opposites happiness and sadness, pleasure
and pain, tears and laughter, love and hate. This is the cycle of life. Measured moderation is
the primary key to keep your desires in balance. Understand that failure is only an event
under certain circumstances. Learn from it and move on.
5. Be Realistic. Be a dreamer but also remain a practical pragmatist. Aspiring for something
that is not likely to materialize in real life will only bring you disappointment. Success is a
result of belief and faith and hard work. But make sure you channel them for realistic goals.
6. Associate with Positive People. Look for optimistic, positive people in every walk of life.
Associate, meet with them, and even ask them for mentoring help. Good role models and
mentors can help you build self-confidence and self-esteem.
7. Count Your Blessings. Focus on what you have rather than what you dont have. Positive
outcomes emerge when we know we are abundant of this lifes blessings. So be thankful
and appreciative of all the blessings that life has to offer. As every new day unfolds, new
hope arises. Keep believing.
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Ability to Influence

Leadership requires the Ability to Influence Others
"Because to influence a person is
to give him one's own soul" - so said
Oscar Wilde. The job of a true leader is
to inspire people towards successful
goals. The ability to influence and
persuade people to ones point of view
is one of the most compelling hallmarks
of true leadership and success.
Learning how to persuade people will earn you the respect of your followers. The ability to
influence others will lead people down your chosen path and lead them to success. Your job is to
become an expert at influencing and motivating people in supporting the achievement of your
goals. All truly effective leaders have mastered the art of persuading others in the accomplishment
of common objectives. The ability to persuade and influence people is one of the most important
leadership skills you can develop. You can and should do everything to master the skill set to
achieve personal power and learn the art of influencing others.
Just about all of us get the opportunity to influence someone else in our everyday lives. It
starts early; even children have the ability to influence parents naturally at a very early age. Society
is revolving around influences of some kind or the other at all times. All successful leaders are
extremely accomplished persuasion experts. They give a lot of thought to how they can get other
people to help them. They think about what they will have to do in return to get the other people to
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help them. Come to think of it, any and all of our decisions and actions can be attributed to some
degree of influence exercised on us by someone else.
It is obvious that the higher up the leadership chain you go the higher is the level of
influence you need to wield in order to be successful,
Most people have two major motivations for doing anything: the desire for gain, and the
fear of loss. The desire for gain motivates people to seek more rewards in life. However, if these
people were under a leader who has effective influence over them, they would do things because
they want tothe reward becomes secondary at this point. People will follow an influential
leaders instructions gladly, even without any material incentive.
The development of your persuasion skills will enable you to become a powerful and
influential leader. By learning the art how to persuade and influence people, you will be able to
open up doors in every area of your life.
Bringing Out Mr. Influence in You
If you want to become a more influential leader, consider the following techniques:
1. Assess Individual Capabilities. Learn to know and understand people well in order to
recognize the level of influence needed to persuade over them. See their potential. Find out
their strengths and weaknesses. Develop their strengths and equip them with things they
lack. Factors to look at include skills and abilities, educational background, knowledge,
dreams and desires, likes and dislikes. By being knowledgeable about their personality and
experiences, you will clearly understand how to influence each one of them.
2. Have Courage. A leader must be courageous. Be prepared to go where others will not dare
to venture. Sometimes difficult decisions will face opposition and ridicule. Having the
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courage to take difficult decisions will instill faith in your followers. Be decisive.
Indecisiveness will result in people losing faith in the leader. Decisive, bold action wins
over aimless drifting. A lot of people are quite incapable of making courageous decisions
in the face of adversity. Develop the habit of making solid courageous decisions and
following through with decisive action.
4. Develop Respect. Respect involves character and personality appreciation between
individuals. Maxey Jarmen used to say, "It isn't important that people like you. It's
important that they respect you. They may like you but not follow you. If they respect you,
they'll follow you, even if perhaps they don't like you." Cultivate and practice character
traits that naturally foster respectful following.
5. Empower Others. People want to be motivated and it begins with positive energy and
commitment. An effective leader not only sets clear objectives, but also trusts others for
implementation of those objectives to the discretion and judgment of individual members
of the team. As General George S. Patton put it, Don't tell people how to do things. Tell
them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. Dont forget to follow up
with sincere appreciation and constructive feedbacks.
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Self Discipline

Mastering Self-Discipline is True Power
Discipline is all about consistent positive habits
in our lives. To be consistent about a positive
trait we have to take actions necessary to make
it permanent. Whether it is productivity at work,
powerful communication skills or practical time
management, they all require continuous,
conscious follow through on your best
intentions no matter what.
When you discipline yourself to do what is difficult, your leadership skills are that much
stronger to motivate others. Disciplined action is the key to consistency. Discipline at times is
more of a nebulous concept. People have an idea of what it means but is not well understood by
most. It is more associated with rules and regulations such as in school or the military than in our
personal lives. Discipline is about specific actions that one can take to form a habit.
Your personal motivation and intentions will play a big part in building your
self-discipline. It is not easy, but it is definitely worth it. The good part of forming a strong
discipline is that its doable with a little bit of hard work and self control. Once it is ingrained as an
actual habit you can expand and build on it from there.
Being disciplined is more than just controlling your behavior or doing things on time. Its
more about being a whole lot better youphysically, mentally, emotionally socially,
professionally, and spiritually.
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Bringing Out the Disciplined You
Here are a few tips to develop self discipline:
1. Acceptance and Control of Your Thoughts & Emotions. Affirmative thoughts lead to
controlled positive emotions. Accept your thoughts and emotions but be self aware so that
they are grounded in reality. Acknowledge them, but work to accurately perceive and
accept their context.
2. Be Patient. Impatience is a sign of immaturity. Dont dig up seeds you have just planted
just to see whether plants are growing. Cultivate ideas and desires, execute them, and
patiently await the fruits of your labor.
3. Work-out a Plan. Take one task at a time and complete it. You can only move effectively
in one direction at one time. Avoid multitasking and running in different directions.
Discipline yourself to the accomplishment of one task before moving on to the next.
4. Expect to Pay the Price. If you set a high goal, except to pay a high price. You will have to
work hard, take chances, make sacrifices and endure setbacks. Banish laziness and
frequent distraction from your life. Easy to say, hard to do but worth the effort.
5. Be Persistent. Persistence is the ability to continue regardless of setbacks even when you
feel like quitting. If you simply keep taking action, youll eventually produce results. Be
ready to losetemporarily. The greatest leaders in the world became who they are because
every time they fell and stumbled along their journey, they kept standing up and continued
moving forward. They kept picking themselves up, returning to the fight long after most
men would have given up. Understand that success is a game of attrition. Those who perist
eventually perceiver.
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6. Stop Making Excuses! Banish self defeating thoughts and excuses such as The timing is
just wrong, or Im not really qualified, or If only I had more money (or education)
The alibis and excuses will continue on; if you are really not committed 100% into
something, the list will simply not end. To become a more disciplined person, you have to
destroy self-limiting thoughts. As George Bernard Shaw once said, I dont believe in
circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who look for the
circumstances they want, and if they cant find them, they make them. Consciously
acknowledge that where you stand right now in terms of your level of self-discipline, its
highly unlikely that youre going to improve with making excuses. Your leadership should
shine through despite circumstances.
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Trust based Relationships are Stronger
Trust is one of the most basic factors in
any kind of relationship. Warren Bennis and
Burt Nanus define trust as the glue that binds
followers and leaders together. The mutual
bond of trust and respect goes both ways. This
acts as the catalyst for successful leaders. Not
only must you trust others, but even more
important, you must demonstrate to others of
being worthy of their trust.
"The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them." said Ernest
Hemingway. The road to trustworthy relationships is paved over some critical questions, such as:
Are you telling the truth? (Honesty & Authenticity), Are you competent enough? (Credibility),
Are you accountable? (Responsibility), Are you leading people with a proper sense of direction?
(Vision & Goals). These are the questions and reassurance factors that promote trust. In the most
basic of terms, this is simply What you see is what you get there is no concealment or playing
the part. There is the solid believability between both sides.
Proof that you are committed to the goals and fully vested in your actions improves
credibility, lowers resistance, and increases trust. One of the most powerful of all the factors that
influence buying decisions in our society is proof. We are all influenced by what others have
done or are doing. We are much more open to following a leader when we know that other people
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like us have already trusted that person and are happy with their decisions. Unambiguous and
congruent messages send a strong signal of trustworthiness.
On the other hand, you must learn to trust others as well. The mutual bond of trust and
respect acts as the catalyst that is the hallmark of successful leadership. Trust is indeed a two way
How to Become the Trustworthy Leader
1. Actions Speak Louder than Words. Be yourself and be authentic at all times. What you
say and do will reflect your values and create a high trust environment. When you expect
others to say and do should follow the same values, you build your personal credibility and
it is much easier for others to accept your point of view.
2. Engage in Positive Reinforcements. Reward good work when you see it. In addition to
boosting confidence, recognizing achievement creates an atmosphere of trust where
everybody knows that you are truly paying attention to trusting others with their judgment.
Dont go overboard when things go wrong, the unexpected happens more often than not.
Expect others to learn from mistakes too. Encourage accountability: positive interactions
and honest feedback will go a long way in fostering trust.
3. Admit Your Faults. No one is perfect. Do not dwell on mistakes, learn from them and
move on. Do not make excuses, do not blame others. People are much more willing to
forgive you for occasional mistakes, especially if they see that you are still learning and
growing as a leader. Mistakes and failures are the root causes of negative thinking. Forgive
yourself and others and see mistakes as learning opportunities. Knowing what your
mistakes are and admitting them whole-heartedly is a way of showing courage and
building trust.
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3. Listen & Ask Questions. Good leaders know the art of listening. Listen to what people
sayand what they dont say. Be sensitive. Anticipate the feelings and needs of people
and act on them. Again, asking does not mean we lack wisdom. Isnt it a blessing to have
other people share their insights with us? Asking the right questions at the right time shows
that we trust others with their ideas, advice and opinions.
5. Be Open. Be open to knowledge, ideas, people, and challenges whatever emerges that
that may help us become a better person. You dont know what opportunities will arise,
until you have an open paradigm to accept them. You can plan but your plan doesnt
include an opportunity that you didnt see coming, you might miss it entirely. Openness
builds trust; dont close yourself off to the world out there.
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Willingness to Make Changes

Flexibility and Change go Together
"The measure of intelligence is the
ability to change" said Albert Einstein. We all
understand that the only thing permanent in this
world is change. Change is about growth and
learning. As a leader, you not only have to
embrace change but also be flexible to
incorporate change in every area of leadership.
Change also means being fluid enough to roll
with demands of time or situation.
From a leadership perspective change begins with Setting of Example. Gandhi had said
Be the change that you want to see in others. And it is absolutely true for genuine leadership.
While not everyone may be on board with your ideas for change, setting good examples is a
powerful motivator. Being a good model for change is probably the best way to lead and enable
change. Thats what you can do to inspire people to consider changing something.
Often times, people are threatened when they are forced to make changes or they dont like
the disruption of their routine. If they are resentful, it is a difficult proposition. You will have to
make an effort to show that this is something that is necessary and in the best interest of all.
When you make changes without the support of others, it is obviously more difficult. You
need to find other encouragement for support. Learn to ask for feedback and provide space for
others to digest as sudden changes can sometimes become a traumatic experience.
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From a personal point of view, be open and flexible to accept changes. Be accountable and
follow through on your commitments that can encourage others.
If others wont get on board with your changes, ask for a minimum amount of support: ask
that they give you the opportunity to consider the changes and evaluate on results. Blindly
expecting others to change isnt a very persuasive strategy.
Some people as well as many leaders do not want make changes because they try to
conform to what is normal. They are afraid to step out of the comfort zone. But comfort zone may
get stagnant and uncomfortable pretty quickly. A great leader has the wisdom to anticipate and
prepare for change as well as lead others to change for the better.
Bringing Out the Change-Maker in You
Here are some techniques on how to handle change:
1. Start Small. Big changes take a lot of effort. Small changes aggregated can become a big
change. Start small. Incremental small changes are easy to understand, follow and
implement. Be creative, let the mind work and produce imaginative new ways to handle
and accept change.
2. Be Accountable. Make a commitment. Understand the consequences of not making a
change and set up your accountability system so that everyone understands the pros and
cons. The consequences can also be positive, for implementing a change that benefits
2. Take Calculated Risks. In every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, take
calculated risks. After all, nothing is perfect. Not all changes are good and neither are they
all well intentioned. Leaders grow by learning from the mistakes they made.
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3. Continue to Learn. Leaders are learners so goes the saying. A leader does not stop
learning. Research shows that leaders engage in deliberate continuous practice. They never
stop learning and growing in their fields. You should continue seeking more knowledge
throughout your life and career. Wisdom and knowledge allows you to anticipate and
prepare for change much more easily.
4. Enjoy Change. John Maxwell describes leaders as never content with things as they are.
Embrace change by moving away from the status quo. If you dont roll with the changes in
time you might as well find yourself in a situation where more changes are actually
necessary. Find a way to enjoy and savor change. Say no to the status quo.
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Ability To Prioritize

Prioritize and Win!
Management guru Stephen R. Covey says
"The key is not to prioritize what's on your
schedule, but to schedule your priorities."
Time is of essence and knowing how and
what to prioritize will reap enormous dividends in
your life. Understanding and learning the value of
prioritization will make your life as a leader much
simpler and easier. Prioritizing is a matter of a
productive organization of your time.
We all have only a finite amount of time. Understand that as a leader your time is at a
premium. There will be tremendous demands on your time from a personal, professional as well as
a leadership perspective. The important thing to understand is you cannot have everything at once.
You have to prioritize and schedule your time and tasks to the best of your judgment.
Effective leadership and management are about knowing how to say NO while
concentrating on whats important. Restricting yourself from doing unimportant tasks gives you
more leverage in focusing on the important ones.
The more effort you invest in planning and setting your priorities, the more you get to
achieve. It is that simple. The more important a certain initiative is to you, the more you need to
organize and plan for it. This will require your ability to think and as a leader your ability to
convince people of whats important.
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Another concept every leader should focus on is the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 Rule.
This simply states that typically 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. In other
words, the 80% of unfocused effort generates only 20% of results. It is hence vital, that as a leader
you should be able to identify the things that need focus. An organized and systematic leader will
come across as a person with plans and preparations. He knows exactly what needs to be done
when and is aware of the impacts and consequences.
Developing the Organized You
In his book Leadership 101, John Maxwell reminds all leaders, Remember: Its not how hard you
work; its how smart you work. The ability to juggle three or four high priority projects
successfully is a must for every leader. So how can you become a more organized leader?
1. Make Assessments. Ask, Is this the best use of my time right now? With multiple things
always on the agenda, you ought to make every moment useful. Analyze every task and
organize them in terms of priorities. What are tasks that need immediate attention? Which
ones will have the most impact and what is the consequence of not getting something done?
2. Organize your Priorities. Most successful people create a list of priorities and use some
type of sorting mechanism to help them organize. A good method is to list tasks in terms of
importance or impact and tackle the tasks from the most important task to the least
important. Analyze and appreciate the differences between Must Do, Should Do and
Nice to Do tasks and plan accordingly.
3. Learn to Say NO. Every now and then, you would have to encounter situations that would
require you to say NO to things that are low on the priority list. Do not feel like you have to
accommodate each and every demand on your time. The power of a positive NO reinforces
your leadership and adjusts peoples expectations with trivial tasks.
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4. Overcome Procrastination. You must discipline yourself to start immediately on your
prioritized list and then stay on it until it is complete. It requires willpower to get started
and stay focused on your priorities. Overcome any procrastination. Getting rid of
procrastination is a just matter of programming the mind. Help yourself by thinking
through, proper planning and by putting in the hard work. Do not forget to give yourself a
little reward as an incentive.
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Planning Skills

"A goal without a plan is just a wish"
Plans are nothing; planning is
everything said former US President Dwight
Planning is about putting ideas, thoughts
and knowledge into an actionable strategy.
Knowing what to do next is a process of act, fail,
learn, adjust, and then act again. Proper
planning is expected of anyone in a critical
leadership role.
Number 76 of David Nivens The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People is Always
think about whats next. Proper planning is one of the basic yet one of the most important of
Leadership qualities. Why? Because it gives purpose to your goals. Instead of just trying to
complete tasks youre identifying the ones that are really important to accomplish the ones
where you can look back on and feel proud of.
Leaders plan and strategize before they act. It starts with defining your goals clearly. Your
ability to see the big picture will guide you to be a better planner.
Planning is not merely about a To Do list that most would have you believe. A great
leader should be able to see the big picture. Planning is about formulating strategy and tactics to
achieve your goals. Planning is also about fluidity, flexibility and simplicity. We have tendency to
over plan and make things overly complex that they are. Know how to pick your priorities fluidly,
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in the moment. What is the most important thing you can do? What can you do that will bring
about the maximum positive change? This is a skill that you learn by practice.
The ultimate skill isnt just about the planning, but learning to judge and adapt as situations
change. It is about going with the flow and changing what you do depending on how the flow
Bringing Out Planning Zen in You
The following aspects are crucial in planning.
1. Clarity creates Simplicity. When youre clear on your goals, you can be open to the
proper paths to realize the goals. Youll be focused on what matters most. Visualize what
the final accomplishment of your plans will be like. Let your imaginations work.
Anticipate and enjoy the journey. Set some quiet time for yourself to be able to just think
and plan. Sometimes the best ideas come when you are alone and relaxed. Record any of
your thoughts and ideas, then organize them later.
2. Learn by Doing. Dont just learn about planning by reading, or by observing. Start doing.
In doing, you learn what gaps you have that are stopping you, you learn how there are steps
you dont know or havent figured out. Then you take action to fill in those gaps, figure out
the steps, and keep moving. If the plan you formulated is not acceptable, say, This is fine
for this time, but next time Id like it done better - this way. Again, set standards for
yourself and your followers. Better planning comes with practice. The more you practice
planning the better you get with time.
3. Do it Right. Choose planning tools that help you organize your meetings, appointments,
tasks, projects, etc. in a consolidated manner. Be organized in your mind and in your
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workspace. Disorganization and clutter will only make things complicated and difficult. If
youre using something that doesnt help you feel organized, replace it with something that
4. Fail Forward and Adjust. We are all afraid of failing; however, failure is an indication of
something we can learn from. Failure is a necessary step in planning if you fail,
re-iterate the planning process in a new way. The process is act, fail, learn, adjust and then
act again. Once youve failed at proper planning, figure out how you can adjust, then try
again. Be flexible and learn to adjust your plans according to changing circumstances. No
map is exactly right. You have to take action and adjust as you go. This is the key skill that
will make you the Zen of Planning.
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Mentoring Skills

Mentor and Develop other Leaders
There is no success without a successor
said John Maxwell. Your success and
achievements can only continue to be carried
forward when your followers and protgs are
growing with you as well. By growing, I mean
stepping into the next level of leadership that
can help you carry the loadto make your
success even more achievable.
A good leader is an adviser, a mentor, a listener, and a friend all rolled into one. In the
military, stress is placed on something called experiential development. These are ways for us to
develop as leaders through experience: roles and positions in which to engage that are meaningful
and productive. Once you get involved with mentoring, youll be surprised at how aware you will
become of who's a thoughtful leader who gets things done, and who's not. Whom you want to train
and develop, and whom you dont. Leadership development will become more meaningful in light
of your personal experience with mentoring.
Noted leadership and management guru Peter Drucker once said: No executive has ever
suffered because his people were strong and effective. Be a role model. Learn to help people in
defining themselves as leaders and supplying the practical skills and knowledge that support them
in their journey to leadership. If youre seeking innovative, critical thinkers develop them. The
best future leaders are probably already around you.
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There is no better way to make sure to stay competitive and ahead of the game than by
challenging, nurturing and enabling your most talented people and thereby earning the loyalty
that is the reward for smart, practical, considered and judicious investment in leadership
development. Consider yourself an effective leader and a winner, should you be able to impart
your wisdom, share your skills and abilities, and mold people to be as effective and successful as
you are, if not more.
Bringing Out the Leader-Developer in You
Create an appropriate environment, nurture your people, and train them with the best knowledge
and skills. Here are some great ways to help you develop the next line of leaders
1. Empowerment. Leaders empower others and go out of their way to help others achieve
their full potential. Mentor individuals you feel are able to assume leadership roles. Share
with them your knowledge and skills especially during problem solving and
decision-making. Another way to develop future leaders is to involve them in the decision
- making process. This teaches them the stated vision, values, and goals and how they
contribute to the overall success. Each time you hear out their ideas and give them credit,
they will feel valued and will begin to develop greater judgment and understanding. This
sets out a clear vision on how they contribute to the overall success.
2. Encouragement. Help others Succeed. Challenge them! Assigning responsibility for
challenging initiatives and motivating people to do their best brings out the best. When
you trust others with challenging tasks they feel flattered and valued. Learn how to
motivate people. Explore the different needs that motivate people and recognize that the
same rewards dont motivate everyone. However, do not confuse motivation with
manipulation. Encouragement occurs when you persuade others to take an action in their
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own best interests, while manipulation is persuading others to take an action that is
primarily for your benefit. Leaders and motivators are winners.
3. Genuine Concern. A great leader must be genuinely concerned with the well-being of
others. Most of us are caught up in our own little world thinking only about ourselves and
never about those around us. We need to have empathy for one another and at times be
ready to put others interests before our own. The world in which we live is bigger than we
are and revolves on things bigger than we are. Once we acknowledge that we can learn to
show genuine concerns about other peoples lives, dreams, aspirations, goals and desires.
4. Recognition. Did you know that a majority of workers value recognition and gratitude for
a job well done more than financial rewards? Sure monetary compensation is good but
proper recognition is a reward that is so often overlooked. Things such as a letter or a thank
you note may seem small, but they can be powerful motivators. A reward should be
specific and prompt. Cite the specific actions that made someone stand out. Each time you
hear out ideas and give credit for a job well done, people feel valued, and they will be
encouraged. Proper recognition and reward are extremely inspiring for others to excel
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Thank you for downloading and reading this book. We hope the qualities
of leadership we visited in this book will be instrumental in your growth
as a leader.
Action Exercise:
The true mark of a leader is that he sets high standards for himself, continually strives to meet
those standards himself and refuses to compromise those standards for any reason. Now it is time
to take a moment, stop and think: How to become the very best leader that you possibly can be?
- Ask yourself, What kind of world would this be if everyone leader was just like me?
When you ask and answer this question honestly, you will admit that if everyone in the world was
just like you, this would probably not be the best of all possible worlds. Look into yourself and
think about some of the things that you could change or do differently to become a better leader.
Feel free to share this book with your friends and family. Better still, direct them to for them to download their own copy.