By Robin Sharma
#1 bestselling author of The Leader Who Had No Title
I’m up here in the mountains with my loved ones post-tour. Refueling. Reviewing 2014 year-to-date results. And doing some early Spring skiing. Been thinking so much about what my team and I need to take the Lead Without a Title movement that’s exploding around the world to the next level of virality.So more people show leadership. So many more unleash their brilliance on an unsuspecting marketplace. And so the world has more Picassos walking within it.
Which also got me thinking about the 7 things excellent leaders do.
Let’s run through them together…
#1. Excellent Leaders Focus on The Vital Few
Too many amongst us fill our lives with more complexity–missing out on the key fact that genius resides in the realm of simplicity.
Pick that one thing you can be BIW (Best in World) at and then have the discipline to say no to everything else. Picasso didn’t practice the piano. And Beckham didn’t study bookkeeping.
Seriously–for the next 90 days, clear the decks and focus on that one project or opportunity that will be the game changer. And do the same for your personal life. Simplify. Become pristinely focused on just the few, most important, things.
#2. Excellent Leaders are Masters of Their Crafts
Oh–what an awesome opportunity. Most businesses and most business people operate at average.
Walk into their restaurant and no one smiles, the room’s a mess, the food is mediocre, the details are undone and there’s zero element of utter surprise.
Hop onto most airplanes. Or observe most retailers. All average. No wow. Underwhelming passion. Bankrupt innovation. Just a bunch of companies copying everyone else and playing not to lose versus aiming to win.
This leaves a gorgeous chance for you and your business to stand for Mastery. To know more about what you do than anyone who has ever done what you do. To dazzle by acumen and skill. To leave us–as your customers–with tears in our eyes by the exceptionalism that you model.
Please remember: a job’s only a job when seen as a job. See your job as your craft. And your chance to leave your mark on the world.
#3. Excellent Leaders Cherish Time
Ordinary people watch time. Exceptional people leverage time…to create epic results, financial fortunes and global impact. When I think of the celebrity CEOS, famed billionaires and superstar entrepreneurs I’ve served as the private advisor to, I think of people who don’t waste time gossiping about people, who would never think of waiting in line for an hour to get into a restaurant and who have a ferocious respect for the value of every passing moment. These excellent leaders decide with speed, delegate everything but what they do best and have gigantic execution intelligence.
Please remember…time is such a special asset. Use it to fuel your dreams, realize your ideals and elevate society for the generations who follow.
#4. Excellent Leaders Forge Human Connections
The bigger the dream, the more key the team.
Swift and superb companies understand that a brilliant vision without an effective team is a delusion.
Make the time to develop your teammates. Invest in growing a high-performance team. And dedicate yourself to building a culture within your organization where people can bring their best selves into the office every morning.
#5. Excellent Leaders Have Optimization Mindsets
When Microsoft released their first version of MS-DOS, it was filled with over 300 bugs. But they just kept iterating it until the product got better and better. When Cirque du Soleil first launched, the big tent collapsed at a press conference. But they just kept making things better. Consistently. Daily.
Here’s my point: what makes a great company, career or personal life isn’t some great win. Nope. What makes outright greatness are those small steady supertiny wins when done each day with focus and resolve lead to world-class over time.
So make innovation, iteration and optimization your obsession. Over the long run, you’ll arrive at a place where your firm is the dominant player in your industry. And where your peers revere you as a legend.
#6. Excellent Leaders Don’t Surrender
The #1 factor that determines success isn’t intelligence or creativity. It’s “grit”–that ability to stay with your goal longer than the world thinks is
reasonable to stay with your goal.
It’s stunning–and sad–how quickly ordinary performers give up on an objective on the first sign of failure.
Excellent leaders are different. They get knocked down or laughed at or disappointed. And they stay in the game. They persist. They keep the
faith. They rise even higher.
And so, in the end, they win.
#7. Excellent Leaders Have Impressive Habits
Study anyone who is at the top of her game. And guess what you’ll see? An individual who has installed strikingly strong habits of success.
These often include:
–an early morning workout
–a meticulous daily plan
–an hour a day for learning
–attending a conference every 90 days
–consume smaller amounts of food
–a weekly period of renewal and reflection
–scheduled family dates and dinners
–associating with positive, A-performers
–little or no TV
So make Leadership your way of being. You know leadership has less to do with a title and more to do with your mindset, performance and dedication to making a difference.