About the Book
Principles of successful leadershipCharacteristics, Principles, Types, and Issues Regarding LeadershipOne of mine is when people describe themselves as a "just a ..." When people say, "I'm just an administrative assistant ... contract specialist ... housewife ... sales rep ... supervisor ... or ... an hourly employee," I get a little irritated and a little sad. I'm sad because they have no idea that they are leaders of some sort. They influence outcomes at work and at home.And that's what leadership is all about ... influence. Leadership has almost nothing to do with title and has almost everything to do with behavior.That being the case, it would serve you well to be a good, effective leader ... on and off the job. And you will be a much more effective leader if you do nothing more than these four things. Dick and Rick Hoyt taught me that when Rick Reilly told their story in "Sports Illustrated."Fifty years ago, Rick was born in Winchester, Massachusetts. Unfortunately, Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs."He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life," the doctors told Dick and his wife Judy. They advised the parents to put their son in an institution.But the Hoyts weren't willing to accept that recommendation. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room.When Rick was eleven, they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything they could to do to help the boy communicate. The professors said, "No way. There's nothing going on in the boy's brain."Dick countered, "Tell him a joke." They did and Rick laughed. Turns out there was a lot was going on in his brain.So the professors rigged the boy up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. And what were his first words? "Go Bruins!"After a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident, the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out on his computer, "Dad, I want to do that."Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker" who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to PUSH his son five miles? Still, he tried. "Then it was me who was handicapped," Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks."But that was the day that Dick gave his son a vision. Or was it the other way around?It doesn't really matter. A leader is someone who inspires people to pursue a greater purpose and a bigger vision.Remember, the majority of employees in this nation dislike their jobs. And since they are doing something they dislike about 40 hours every week or 160 hours every month, of course they're going to get burned out, lose sight of the goals, and forget the vision. To be a leader you must be a source of inspiration for your colleagues, teammates, or employees. If you sense their morale is low, then you've got to do something that revitalizes them.As Mahatma Gandhi so well said, "Be the change you wish to see in others." If you want upbeat, take-charge employees, it starts with your own upbeat, take-charge approach.Quite simply, if you are not passionate and energetic about the work of your team and your organization, why should they be? Being a leader means living your vision everyday ... with energy ... and reminding your employees that they are not just performing routine tasks; they are working for some greater purpose.It's why people volunteer for nonprofit organizations like Habitat for Humanity or Big Brothers Big Sisters. They receive an invisible compensation called "making a difference." If you give your people a sense of vision, they will take on extra work without asking for extra pay because they understand their purpose.As I tell people in my program on "The Leadership Payoff: How The Best Leaders Bring Out The Best In Others ... And So Can You," people will work for a paycheck. We all k..