Observations and lessons learned from my Mentor, Aur, who has spent nearly 30 years as a private advisor to Forbes 100 members, International Business Leaders, members of Royal families and Heads of State.
There is no 10 step plan to success. Every person’s path is different. Adele wouldn’t have come this far in the world of technology, and Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t even reach a basketball hoop, let alone rival Michael Jordan’s career.
“We’re all given the same 24 hours. We each have our own unique value and skills. The only thing that makes us different are our minds and how we make use of our time.”
You can cultivate the personal qualities to become a person of greatness and an inspiring leader, whatever your field. Here are a few of the qualities that Aur, an advisor to many of the most influential individuals in the world, says truly great leaders share.
1. Great Leaders Put People First
The right priorities. A true leader knows the value of the people. If you ever talk to a truly rich person, they don’t want money. They want the right people. People are more valuable than money. Money is only a form of credit. If you have credit, you don’t need money. But the relationships you create with others provide you the greatest lifelong returns. Always protect and cultivate the valuable relationships you have with others.
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”
2. Great Leaders Know Your Team
How often is it that you have a boss or business partner who knows and understands who you are, your strengths, your weaknesses, your true value? Knowing your team has two benefits. One, when people feel cared about and valued, they become more loyal, productive and engaged in their work. Secondly, to be successful, you must know the value of the resources you have and how to use them. Think about a toolbox. There are wrenches, hammers, screwdrivers and other tools. You could use a wrench to get a nail through a piece of wood, but it’s not the best fit. The more you know about the tools you have, the more effective and efficient you can be.
As a leader, if you do not know the value and skills of each person on your team, you won’t know how to lead them to personal and organizational success. Know how to put the right person in the right job.
“My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people. Of course, I had to pull out some weeds, too.”
3. Great Leaders Know “My Way or No Way” is NOT the way
When someone wants everything done their way, they end up being the one who does all the work. To be a leader, you need to allow others to do their job, their way. Give them a level of autonomy and ownership over their actions. For you, step 1,2,3,4 may be the best way to do something. But, they may be able to get the same results from doing step 2,4,1. A great leader is open to improvement and suggestions from their team on how to improve the way things are done.
“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.”
4. Great Leaders Model Greatness
If one human being can do something, you can too. But, you have to see what’s different between you and the person who has achieved whatever it is. Look at why they can do it, but you have not (yet). Everyone has the same 24 hours. We have the same body given to us. Only the mind is different. Great leaders try to find out what kind of mind leads a person to success.
(almost) Everyone wants to rich or successful. But less than 10% of the population can really get there. Why? First, ask yourself; In the whole world, why do people have to come to you? There are others who do what you do What makes you unique? Next, money is credit. If you have credit, you don’t need money. Do you have enough credit (available value on demand) in this world to get where you want to be?
5. Great Leaders Think of Others Benefit
If you want people to join you in working towards your dreams, do you ever ask yourself what they get? Don’t tell me that your product or service (or charity) will change people’s lives and that’s why people will want to be a part of your endeavor. That’s bullshit. People need shelter, food, and medicine. You can’t eat air.
People don’t invest themselves into something, for nothing. Ask yourself first, “What’s in it for them?”, Before asking another to work with you. A Great leader will always think of another’s benefit first and make sure that whatever they want to achieve, is also in the other’s best interest too.
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”
Keep in mind that many startups and even charitable organizations begin with the thought of “we want to help everyone” and subsequently fall apart shortly after. Many times it’s because they try to leap into something they don’t yet have the experience or capabilities to do. Be humble. Start something. Learn from each small step up.
For example, starting a charity. If you want to help the world, help the people around you first. If there are still people around you who are suffering, how could you possibly help the entire world? It’s a much bigger project than your direct surroundings. Start small first.
If you’re going into business, think first. Before setting lofty profit goals or calculating possible market shares for your products, know what you’re getting into. Calculate what you will need just for you and your people to survive first. Know how you will achieve this first. Otherwise, you will fail whatever business you do.
Great Leaders are realistic. They don’t daydream. Everyone can dream up whatever they want, but it’s just a dream if you don’t take action and make it into a success.
“The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.”