The Seven Choices of Exceptional Leaders

Pointing the way

#1. Choose to be known for what’s in your heart.

Intelligence and skill matter most when they express your heart. Leaders who bypass their heart end up cold.

#2. Choose small now.

Don’t wait for dramatic. Don’t despise small steps that produce small results. Do something small rather than nothing at all.

Small beginnings that express your heart
take you further than no beginnings.

#3. Choose to develop people.

Your future is others. Without people the greatest program, project, or initiative dies.

Who precedes what.

Begin with their current state.

Identify a strength.

Put it to use.

Fix weaknesses that limit strengths.

Wishing people were different is a self-protective excuse for keeping things the same.

Spend time with “dumb” people who are willing to learn; forget smart people who won’t. Those who refuse to grow must go!

#4. Choose to help others do most of the things you do.

Work yourself out of jobs. Develop people who develop people, create programs, and solve problems. The reason you’re buried is you haven’t lifted others.

#5. Choose imperfect now over perfect later.

Launch – Fix – Re-launch – Repeat. Apologies to all the gasping perfectionists.

Dreams of perfection are nightmares to progress. The inability to identify “launch and grow” opportunities is one reason you’re stuck. For the record, I’m not suggesting a “let’s try this” approach with patients having heart surgery.

#6. Choose to fuel fires.

Lousy leaders spend their time putting out fires – solving problems and fixing things. See #4.

Walk around with a gas tank on your back. Pour gas on every flicker of passion you see. It won’t be long before the passions you fuel will consume the problems you fear.

#7. Choose to narrow your focus.

The greatest courage is the courage to say, “No,” to things that matter less.

Which choice is most important? Why?

What other choices do exceptional leaders make?

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