Bob Burg on Life and Leadership

Yesterday Bob Burg took my call and we chatted for nearly an hour. I don’t waste much time on calls so after he shared a bit of his story, I asked him if he thought of himself as a leader. I loved his answer. It set us on a conversation spanning leadership, encouragement, defining success, and his new book, “It’s Not About You.” (Two free chapters)

Yes I’m a Leader:

I love hearing people say, “Yes, I’m a leader,” that’s what Bob said. Owning your leadership isn’t about perfection; it’s about direction. It’s like asking a woman if she’s a mom; saying yes is more about identity than performance.

The Shift:

Bob said he started studying leadership about ten years ago. He started feeling like a leader about five years ago. All leaders have always made the shift from follower to leader so I asked him to describe his shift.

Bob explained, “I shifted from being a producer to being a leader.” Leaders still produce but they move from individual contributors to influencing others. “Not all influencers are leaders but all leaders are influencers.” During his sales career Bob was an influencer but not necessarily a leader. Why?

The heart of Leadership:

Leadership isn’t about you – it’s about others. It isn’t defined as individual success as a sales person who reaches for his own potential. It’s about helping others see and reach for their potential.


Then Bob surprised me, “I’ve always been a nice person but I haven’t always been empathetic, patient.” Surprises interest me. Bob explained that leaders, “Meet people where they are.”  I knew what he was getting at.

You see in people what they don’t see in themselves. It can be frustrating when they don’t see it too.

Part two of my conversation with Bob: “Finding Freedom While Developing Leaders.”

Part three of my conversation with Bob: “Bob Burg on Becoming a Person of Value

What has the leadership-shift looked like for you?