7 Traits of A Leader Worth Following

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their ingenuity.”

General George Patton


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7 Traits of A Leader Worth Following

7 Traits of A Leader Worth Following


Key Ideas

Be precise in communication

The best leaders know how to take complex ideas and arguments and distill them down into simple language.

One way to practice this is by reducing a full-page memo to half a page and then getting the message down to the size of a notecard. 

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their ingenuity.”

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their ingenuity.”

Own up to your mistakes

A leader worth following accepts the blame, apologizes, buries the worry, and then puts all of the energy into the next objective.

Ruthlessly seek out blind spots

Leadership is a constant work in progress: Leaders open themselves up to criticism and surround themselves with others who challenge their way of thinking.

Reprimand in private

...  and praise in public. 

They understand that shaming someone in public can do more damage than the initial misstep.

Great leaders do not seek the spotlight and cast the light onto team members who could use the boost.

Contain your fears

Leaders are not immune to fears. They work towards controlling and learning from them.

Instead of succumbing to their environment, great leaders proactively create the change they seek to make.

Reserve time for self-reflection

Great leaders reflect on what went well, what didn't, what they learned and how they can improve. 

They put their thoughts down on paper to ensure their mistakes today are not repeated tomorrow.



Fewer decision-making errors

Curiosity leads us to generate alternatives.

When our curiosity is triggered, we are less likely to fall prey to confirmation bias (looking for information that supports our bel...

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Encouraging people to be curious generates workplace improvements

When we are curious, we view tough situations more creatively. Studies have found that curiosity is associated with less defensive reactions to stress and less aggressive reactions to provocation. 

Reduced group conflict

Curiosity encourages members of a group to put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in one another’s ideas rather than focus only on their own perspective. Thus, conflicts are less heated, and groups achieve better results.

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"Rich Dad, Poor Dad" is Fiction

John T. Reed, a real estate investor, looked into the accuracy of Kiyosaki's best-selling book and found it inaccurate:

  • The Rich Dad is most likely an invention. ...
"Rich Dad, Poor Dad" contains dangerous advice

According to John T. Reed the famous book is filled with bad advice:

Dangerous advice

  • "If you're gonna go broke, go broke big"
  • Convinces people that college is for suckers

Law-breaking advice

  • Advocates committing a felony: have rich friends for trading stock based on non-public inside information, he says "That's what friends are for."
  • Recommends tax fraud by deducting vacations and health club dues
  • Brags about using a partner weasel clause in which his cat is his partner
Kiyosaki is making money from a personality cult

Many critics pointed out that Kiyosaki is selling a cult, not financial advice.

He is accused of tapping into the fantasies of the masses & being short on specifics, both attributes of religious cults.

The power of taking on extra jobs
The power of taking on extra jobs

Many managers and leaders focus obsessively on their current jobs. They don't believe they can be successful without that single focus.

However, most realize that to advance your career...

The value of strategic side gigs

A survey of 122 senior executives from a variety of industries agreed that outside engagements were critical to leadership success now and in the future.

Meaningful engagement should be in activities that expose you to different people, information, and cultures, but is synergistic with your personal interests and your current or future primary work. Think of yourself as having a portfolio where your job is in the middle, the outside activities surround and complement it, and you use what you've learned to advance each sphere.

Finding the time for a side gig

Although executives face a high demand on their time, private and public sector leaders believe that you can find the time if you make it a priority. (Although you may have to give up some nights or weekends.) Make sure you deliver in your job and for your family, then take on additional responsibilities.

Try to spend 10% to 20% on these "extracurricular" activities. The amount needn't be consistent every week or month.

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