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Follow the Rules to Rule the Followers

April 26, 2011

Okay, “ruling the followers” may be a bit strong, but the point is there are rules to becoming a good leader:

1. Gain knowledge.  There’s no way around it; to be a good leader, you need to know stuff.  It doesn’t all have to be learned in school. Read newspapers, read books, ask questions to learn answers you don’t know.  Foster curiosity. Listen to people (a Marylander I recently met told me that they cannot have wine or other alcohol shipped to them – no wine clubs for them!). Ever notice those information signs or historical markers at parks or museums? Read those.

2. Establish credibility. There are two qualities that make up credibility: trust and empathy.  To be trusted, you need to do what you say you are going to do.  Don’t lie, don’t cheat. Be honest in words and deeds. To be empathetic, you need to care and show you care about the issues and the people impacted by the issues.

3. Think big. We are all on this planet for a finite amount of time; we are born, we live, we die.  But good leaders transcend time by living on in the changes they create and the people they impact. To do this, they have to engage in issues that are beyond their personal sphere of life and living – they concern themselves with ideas that will outlive them like climate change, curing disease, world peace, new schools, parks, art.

4. Don’t waste time. The smartest, most inspiring, most productive people that ever walked our planet still had only 24 hours in a day.  They became who they are because they didn’t waste time on useless activities. They read, they learned, they created…if they watched TV it was because they could learn something from it.

5. Take care of people. In the end, that is what a leader is all about anyway – educating, influencing, and inspiring others to become better humans. Treat others with respect, humility, and kindness. Be generous in sharing what you have with others, whether it be knowledge, money, time, advice, or a smile. Those acts, which to you may seem inconsequential, can tremendously impact another.

Five simple rules…did I miss any?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. donna permalink
    April 26, 2011 8:36 am

    I like it!
    # 4 “don’t waste time” hmmmmm, I think to be well rounded you do need to partake in tasks that might not be considered “meaningful” or “productive” – meaning, have some fun now and then…………………………don’t take yourself too seriously I guess……………….

    • rungster permalink*
      April 26, 2011 9:53 am

      Good point, but partaking in leisure activity is productive if it nurtures you, allows you to relax and recharge.

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