Three Surprising Skills of the World’s Top Leaders*

You cannot lead effectively until you can lead yourself.

“To be an effective leader you need to understand and manage yourself well.” Rasmus Hougaard (video)


The idea that top leaders are burning the candle at both ends is a myth according to research by Harvard Business Review. (Reported by Rasmus Hougarrd)

Top leaders take care of themselves.

  1. Adequate sleep.
  2. Exercise.
  3. Healthy diet.
  4. Hard work and self-care. Top leaders work hard in a kind way.

Self-leadership is the beginning of leadership.

3 surprising skills of the world’s top leaders:

#1. Mindfulness

47%* of the time our minds are wandering. To be successful you must focus your wandering mind.

  • Focus on the task at hand.
  • Practice self-awareness. You must see yourself in order to manage your leadership.

#2. Selflessness

Practice self-confident selflessness. Don’t be a doormat.

Two practices of selfless leaders:

  1. Humility: Realize you are one of many.
  2. Gratitude: A natural out-flowing of humility.

Gratitude practice:

At the end of the day write down the names of three people who contributed to your success. Give them a call or write them a note.

#3. Compassion

86% of top leaders believe compassion is extremely important to their success. (video)

Practice compassion:

  1. Show up to advantage others.
  2. Do hard things with kindness.

Choose to BE good and to DO good.

What do you see top leaders practicing?

*Research by Harvard Business Review. Reported in The Mind of the Leader.

This post is adapted from my conversation with Rasmus Hougaard on Facebook Live.

After material:

Books I’ve read in March:

Added and completed:

In process: