The 7 Pursuits of Successful Leaders
Neglect self-development; sacrifice potential.
Prioritize the acquisition of practical know-how in order to maximize impact.
Wisdom is practical know-how, not theory.
The 7 pursuits of successful leaders:
- Practical know-how.
- Meaningful contribution.
- Deep relationships.
- Maximized talent.
- Productive teams.
- Expansive alliances.
- Remarkable results.
Don’t focus on gaining money, position, or prestige. Focus on developing useful skills.
The 12 sources of practical know-how:
- Finish things. Any knucklehead can start. It takes practical know-how to finish.
- Embrace the successes of others. Jealousy closes minds.
- Get up, after falling down. Practical know-how is found in getting up. Don’t beat yourself up – pick yourself up.
- Act on your highest point of confidence. If you aren’t sure what to do, do something that won’t make things worse.
- Press through adversity.
- Teach. Teachers always learn more than students.
- Figure out what works. Let others point out wrongs, you point out rights. It takes insight to identify behaviors that sustain and enhance success.
- Lean into confusion and create clarity.
- Learn from the mistakes of others. Accelerate your journey by avoiding what doesn’t work.
- Follow positive energy.
- Close your mouth.
- Act as if someone is watching, even when they aren’t.
Leaders with practical know-how:
- Make life better for others.
- Develop leaders.
- Inspire loyalty.
- Hold strong opinions with an open mind.
- Have tender hearts.
- Possess integrity, honesty, moral fortitude, and tender hearts.
- Make decisions based on principle, not the personalities involved. Leaders who bow down to power end up abusing those without power.
What are the sources of practical know-how?
What prevents leaders from developing practical know-how?
Leaders have to be forward-thinking, yes they do. But it’s also important to keep a realistic eye on how long tasks and projects actually take to complete – you know outside of our forward-thinking minds…
Thanks Christoph. Good point. Optimism goes too far when it over-simplifies and under-estimates how much it takes to get the job done.
Whoa, it took 7 minutes to digest the phrase”
> Neglect self-development at the cost of potential. Prioritize the acquisition of practical know-how in order to maximize impact.”
> I read your posts every day. This one hit home with precision; straight to my heart.
From Cynthia Sent from my iPhone
Thanks Cynthia. Your candor is inspirational. Best for the journey. It’s surprising that self-development isn’t selfish, as long as we’re committed to serving others.
Great post. “Any knucklehead can start” really jumped out at me. Guess my procrastinator side is showing. But really, really liked the line about teachers learning more than students, so true in my not so humble opinion. Marianne
Thanks Marianne. I hope I didn’t give too much affirmation to your inner procrastinator. 🙂
Have a great week.
the higher you go, the more indirectly you accomplish things
Thanks Bill. Yes, When leaders don’t learn this they become exhausted, limit their potential, and eventually burn out.
And in the words of Stephen Cover, “Sharpen the saw”
Thanks huwmorris. Good one. The woodsman enhances his potential by using a sharp saw.
Love the idea of practicality. Too often leaders are great on theory but tend to fall short when giving practical advice. It’s the practical that people can take and run with.
Thanks Joan. I think we talk in theory because theory is easier than being practical. As you say, practical is useful. We can run with it.
This one struck home today for me: Finish things. Any knucklehead can start. It takes practical know-how to finish.
At work we’ve been big into ideas lately — with idea and innovation labs springing up all over. My response — ideas are a dime a dozen. The ability to implement an idea — now that’s a skill/action we need!
There are millions of starters but very few finishers!
Are dreamers impractical? I knew a man who couldn’t build anything, in fact today even though he claims to restore old planes he’s not good at using tools to fix anything. Yet, he designed the Bird Respirator for persons who could not breath on their own. No, he didn’t build it, but he showed others how exactly it must be built in order for it to function properly. Forrest Bird is nothing more than a dreamer. Yet, successful people are big dreamers in reality. In fact, some say only dreamers are realists because they “see and believe things into reality.” So, are these persons practical? And, how do they get off the ground—which is a massive question for all of us?
How about the space shuttle? Who dreamed that into reality? And how does it get off the ground? We all know it uses more fuel during the first few minutes of its flight than it does the rest of the entire trip. Why? Because it has to break free from the pull of gravity. Once it does, it can glide in orbit. The hard part? Getting off the ground.
Our old ways and our old conditioning are just like the inertia of an old merry-go-round or the pull of gravity. Everyone and everything just wants to stay at rest. We need a lot of energy to break our inertia and get ourselves or our enterprise under way. But once we get momentum, we will be hard to stop—virtually unbeatable—even though we’re putting out considerably less effort while receiving greater results. We just need to get going.
Be practical, you ask. Or dream big. Either way, we still need to get excited and get started.
The truly gifted dreamers are the ones able to enroll others in their ideas, to assemble the teams of designers, engineers, and builders to work together to make their ideas reality. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. The best ones recognize and maximize their own strengths, while surrounding themselves with other leaders with complementary strengths. Make a team like that and stand back–they will accomplish great things!
If dreams were practical, we wouldn’t be connecting the way we are right now! Spot on post about successful leaders!
I am stapling this to my wall. Excellent, clear, advice. I particularly like “Don’t beat yourself up, pick yourself up.”….. A new mantra.