Early in my sales and marketing career
I was fortunate to be surrounded by
great mentors. All were successful
businessmen in their own right, but the reason
they excelled beyond others was because they
understood and demonstrated the laws of great
One of those early mentors told me to
always be a student of the business. His
meaning was to truly understand your
customer’s business — their needs — and
to become highly skilled with the best
business practices and leadership abilities.
This led to a career-long commitment to
learning and putting into practice the best
and most successful business principles I
could find. I did this by reading at least one
business- and one psychology-related book a
year while learning from successful business
owners and team managers.
During this time, I worked for many
bosses, but few understood the laws and
rewards of leadership where people followed
and contributed because they wanted to —
not because they had to in order to avoid
negative attention or just blindly complied
“because the boss said so.”
When I worked for someone who
understood the laws and power of leadership,
everyone felt part of a team where their
contributions were important to the success
of the team and its vision. This leadership/
team culture ignites the human psychological
need for contributing to something
bigger than oneself by bringing value to
others. It feeds the need for appreciation
and recognition of one’s contributions, and
the team and personal rewards of success.
When a visionary leader empowers a team
culture, the difference in styles and the level
of successes is striking.
Elements of Great LeadershipHere are a few of the elements of great
leadership that I’ve picked up over the years:
Vision — Share your vision and action
steps for achievement with your team. This
simple action clearly points the way and
allows your team to focus on and contribute
to the common goals of achievement. This is
The Law of Navigation. Anyone can steer the
ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course.
Values — Share your personal values with
your team. This is The Law of Magnetism.
Who you are is who you will attract and how
they will represent your vision.
Empower — Only secure leaders give
power to others and understand that enlarging others makes you larger. This is The Law of
Sacrifice. A leader must give up to go up.
Encourage — Encourage your team to
share ideas, and provide them with a safe
environment for success — and, yes, sometimes
failure. Provide them with the tools
required for success. Encourage them to
share their own ideas to achieve the vision.
Those closest to the task usually have great
ideas on how to make it better.
Recognition — Great leaders are quick
to give credit for success. This is The Law
of High Morale. When you’re winning,
Three of my most cherished business books
are John C. Maxwell’s “The 21 Irrefutable
Laws of Leadership,” “The 360 Degree
Leader” and “The 17 Indisputable Laws of
Teamwork.” If you are looking to take your
business to the next level, these books are well
worth the investment — and the dedication to
putting these laws into practice.
In “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of
Leadership,” John points out that “whatever
you will accomplish is restricted by your
ability to lead others. The higher you want to
climb, the more you need leadership. And,
the greater the impact you want to make, the
greater your influence needs to be.”
In my opinion, there is no better road
map to leadership and the teamwork that
will build your business than what John
outlines in these three easy-to-read books.
Wishing you the best of success.