Posts Tagged ‘Reagan’

10 Tips for Becoming an Authentic Leader

March 9, 2010 13 comments
desert leader

Photo by Hamed Saber

Yesterday, Michael Hyatt published The Five Marks of Authentic Leadership on his blog. In a blog full of powerful content, this is one of his most incisive posts. Please, go read it. Then check out these ten tips for kneading the five qualities into your leadership.


1. Listen First. Develop the discipline of listening. Listen to people, listen to situations, listen “between the lines.” Listen before you act, speak, or decide. Listen for opportunities. Listen for reasons to be thankful. Listen to serve others.

2. Live & Learn. Live life; don’t be afraid to fail – no matter how old you are. The moment you stop learning you stop growing, and when you stop growing you start dying. Stay humble enough to learn and grow and give.


3. Ask Questions. What needs to be done right now? How can we do this better? Where is the opportunity today? How can I (or we) help? Have the courage to ask the tough questions – then take the answers personally. If you ask the question, take responsibility for the answer.

4. Act Now. If your insight shows you what must be done, you have a responsibility to do it or see that it gets done. Don’t wait to understand – choose action and understanding will follow (see #2). As Ronald Reagan said, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”


5. Focus on Others. Your natural instinct is to focus on and take care of yourself. Resist that urge. Put others first and they will respond to you. Genuinely care for them.  All your insight and initiative is lost if you aren’t pouring it generously into other people.

6. Stoke your Passion. The best way to inspire someone to action, is to be inspired yourself. So find your personal positive passion and surrender to it. The more you give in to your passion, the more others will catch it.


7. Develop People. To achieve positive, long-lasting change, it’s not enough to change systems or brands or directions – you’ve got to change people. Focus on changing hearts and minds, moving them upward and onward – both professionally and personally.

8. Measure Results. Insight, initiative and influence are all good, but they’re all for naught unless you’re making a real difference. Create objective metrics that will give you an honest view of how successful you are as a leader.


9. Ground Yourself. Make sure your impact is worthwhile by putting first things first. When you do this, everything else falls into right perspective. Build your life – and therefore your leadership – on indestructible values.

10. Be Honest. I’m not just talking about telling the truth. Be honest about who you are. When your life is fully integrated you are free to be the same person no matter where you are, who you’re with or what you’re doing. That’s true freedom.

Which of these tips was the most useful for you? What’s missing from this list?

New Rules = New Worlds

November 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Berlin Wall falls
Twenty years ago today the world was changed forever.

I remember watching the news and thinking – even as a teenager – that I’d wake up the next morning and the world I’d known all my life would be different. We’d heard rumblings of reform from Hungary and Poland, but the Berlin Wall? It seemed too good to be true. How did it happen?

Today Mikhail Gorbachev is widely recognized for setting the conditions that brought the wall down. He definitely deserves credit for the courage it took to lead such drastic change in the Soviet Union. However, perhaps greater credit is due the man who brought the Soviet Union to the economic breaking point that forced Moscow to choose between its satellite state collection and national survival.

Ronald Reagan began to erode the foundations of the Berlin Wall in 1983 when he announced his intent to build the Strategic Defense Initiative. The biggest bluff in the history of political science (SDI was just a pipe dream back then) put the USSR back on their heels. Until that point mutual assured destruction kept the nuclear super powers balanced, but if the US could develop an effective shield, then the USSR would have to develop their own shield or else their enormous nuclear arsenal would be strategically useless. Moscow bankrupted their own economy frantically trying to match what Washington never really had.

Reagan at the WallBy June of 1987 Reagan knew his bluff had worked as he stood in West Berlin and shouted, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

For decades Soviet Premiers and American Presidents had raced to build bigger, smarter nukes than the other guy. Who ever said that was the only way to play the game? With the introduction of SDI Reagan changed the rules of a game neither side could win. And by changing the rules, he changed the world.

What rules do you need to change in order to change your world?