Sunday, December 16, 2018

Leaders will write their own story, despite others’ influence on them – Reason 71

There is a tale of two brothers, who both suffered abuse from their father.  While one became a very successful businessman, the other one turned to drugs and theft.  But, irrespective of their lives’ different courses, both gave the same reason when asked about it: I became like this because of my father.

Ok, maybe the story is not veridical[1], but its background is, since people influence each other continuously; that is part of life.  However, whatever someone does, it comes from that person, not from others.

Leaders do not blame others for what happened to them because they are able to rewrite their own life, by accepting others’ influences and by being able to deal with them.

They will change other things people have taught them and adapt that into their lives, but they will refuse other aspects that are incompatible with the beautiful story they are writing.

[1] You can read here a true story, related to this tale and the aspect of influence from people over people.

(Excerpt from the book 82 Reasons to be a Leader)

Sunday, December 9, 2018

A brick for a new world – Reason 70

A leader keeps on improving in terms of her or his action; nothing is wasted and even the smallest step turns into something useful.  However, contrary to general belief, it is not usual that a leader tries to break walls and to smash obstacles into pieces.  Most of the times, leaders just provide an extra brick to that wall…

Let’s take the example of Maricela Gallegos[1], an idealist woman who became a Human Resources manager of an important company.  Her ideals inspired her to work on diversity and she came up against opposition...

While a normal person would try for a limited time and then give up or move on, the same did not apply to Maricela.  She created a very interesting tactic by educating the staff about physical disabilities, which showed them through their own experience that a disabled person can be as productive as anyone else.

Maricela created a new world step by step, brick by brick, that is what a leader often does.

[1] Maricela Gallegos, originally from Mexico City, Mexico, worked for 30 years with Hewlett-Packard as their Human Resources Manager.  Her example was taken in a book called Tempered Radicals: How people use difference to inspire change at work, by Debra Meyerson published by Harvard Business School Press.  An article was published about it at Fast Company - 

(Excerpt from the book 82 Reasons to be a Leader)

Sunday, December 2, 2018

A leader can easily remove clouds from another person’s mind – Reason 69

What do you do when someone comes to you with sadness, confusion or weakness in their mind?

Probably you will try to give assistance, helping them to face these difficult period, which is very good and it shows an important feature of our human society: solidarity.

Along with doing that, leaders will give others an opportunity to see beyond the clouds in their mind and to perceive the sun that shines over and above the situations.

Leaders inspire, and inspiration works to enable people to understand there is hope.  More than hope; leaders will also show others their real potential, helping them to start a new path in life.

A path to which clouds are not going to hang over them…

(Excerpt from the book 82 Reasons to be a Leader)

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Silence creates a subtle bond – Reason 68

Anyone’s life is surrounded by so many others whether in work, family, a circle of friends or any interaction with other people.  Most people just deal with that superficially: I like this person, I don’t like that one, it is better to avoid my uncle, I can’t talk with my partner anymore…

A leader uses different tactics to create and to strengthen the relationship with others.  One of these is the use of silence.

Although silence is often used for most people to quieten someone else or to avoid a sensitive subject, that is not the case for leaders.  When leaders don’t use words, their attitude creates vibrations that reach other people, and generates a subtle bond of understanding.

The power that comes from silence replaces the need to request another person to behave better, to lower the sound of music being played, to say I love you, or to motivate them to give a bit more for a particular task.

(Excerpt from the book 82 Reasons to be a Leader)

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Leaders can see values, even though they are invisible – Reason 67

In a leadership parable, a prince goes to the forest to listen to all sounds he could.  After one year, he related his experience to his master who then sent him back again; the master was not satisfied with his disciple’s achievements.  After a while hearing the same sounds, at some point the prince started to hear the unheard: the sound of flowers opening, the sound of the sun warming the earth, and the sound of the grass drinking the morning dew[1] 

Leaders are exceptional as they are often able to perceive that is imperceptible…  They may sense something is not alright by the way they behave or speak, and most important, they can see values in the form of an invisible treasure every person has.

It is not that difficult to create a plan for the future or to analyse the present situation, but its success depends on the values by which people live their lives for it is those values that will impact their actions, will influence their thoughts and will colour their motives.

By making effort to see the invisible, and the goodness in each person leaders create an important bond, which will give any task a different and good energy.

[1] Parables of Leadership appeared as an article by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, in a 1992 issue of Harvard Business Review.

(Excerpt from the book 82 Reasons to be a Leader)

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Leadership gives a different meaning to possessions – Reason 66

Most of the time, possessions come from a simple formula:  Do I want this or need this?  Can I afford it?  If I can, then I GET IT!  If not, well, I keep it on the wish-list.

For a leader, his or her possessions are acquired by a different approach.  First of all, leaders manage their needs with a big picture in their minds as they include the needs of the people who are relying on them.

In fact, leaders will often put others’ needs before their own in a natural and graceful way.  Magically, a leader will feel satisfied by seeing others fulfilling their own needs.

What about the want part of the formula?  It is normally rooted in desire and to supress a desire is not an easy thing to do, but leaders first of all will check if it is really a good thing to want that and then, they will transform the want into this is necessary for me to be a better instrument.

Next time you, leader, look into the list of the things you have, check how instrumental they have been to give others the chance to see the best of you.

(Excerpt from the book 82 Reasons to be a Leader)

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Every day you look at the sun as if it is the first time – Reason 65

As a coach and endurance athlete, Christopher Bergland has said, ‘…everybody needs some thrills in life to feel exuberant and fully alive[1].  On the basis of this, the world could be split in two.

One part of the world is looking for happiness, joy, a sense of being alive through newness and excitement, despite the potential dangers Bergland mentions in his article.  This creates a very interesting dynamic and makes things tasty and spicy, but they don’t really change life per se, and eventually the ‘supernovelwonderfulfantastic’ thing is just boring…

The other part of the world likes their own house, their own lives and they are OK, thank you very much!  They may look like a bunch of conservative people trying to prevent progress, and yet they are looking for the same final result as everyone else: happiness, joy, a sense of being alive.

Then, there are leaders, who generate their own happiness, joy and a sense of being alive.  Novelty comes in the realm of the mind and awareness, most of the time, not from the physical environment.

As a leader, every time the sun rises, it is always like the first time, with all the excitement and energy that comes from novelty seeking by other means.

[1] The Perils of Novelty Seeking is an article written by athlete and coach Christopher Bergland, for Psychology Today.  You can find the article at this address:

(Excerpt from the book 82 Reasons to be a Leader)