Real Leaders Don’t Follow … or Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur
Steve Tobak, cofounder and managing partner of Invisor Consulting, a Silicon Valley-based management consulting firm that advises executives and business leaders on strategic matters is the author of the book “Real Leaders Don’t Follow: Being Extraordinary in the Age of the Entrepreneur”.
The back cover of the book reads:
Leaders Lead. Followers Follow. You Can’t Do Both.
Acknowledging the great irony that most of today’s inspiring entrepreneurs are following the crowd instead of doing what innovative leaders like Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk did to become successful, Silicon Valley management consultant Steve Tobak delivers some truth:
Nobody ever made it big by doing what everyone else is doing.
Drawing upon decades of personal experience with hundreds of accomplished entrepreneurs, CEOs, and venture capitalists, Tobak provides a unique perspective on today’s technology revolution, exposes popular myths that masquerade as common wisdom and shows you what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur and an exceptional business leaders in today’s highly competitive world.
NOW I WILL ASK YOU:
Do you follow steadily other people, for gaining influence and their trust?
1.) Are you doing what everyone else is doing?
STATEMENT 1 – Don’t Follow The Crowd
Great leaders discover what is universal and capitalize on it. Their job is to lead and rally people toward a better future.
If productive influence doesn’t arise from being liked (“I’m your friend!”) or from fear (“I’m the boss!”), where does it come from?
From people’s trust in you as a manager.
Trust is the only kind of influence that really matters … think about that!
2.) Do you try to be good at everything?
STATEMENT 2 – Don’t Try to Be Good at Everything
In order to achieve excellence, you need the courage to be bad.
We all know people who seem to be able to perform at a higher level than those around them.
But how do we achieve that kind of excellence on a consistent basis, day after day?
Harvard Business School Professor Frances Frei has explored that question for years, culminating in her 2012 book, Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business.
“I’m obsessed with this question of why well-intentioned, energetic people following their own instincts end up being part of the problem,” says Frei.
She finds the main obstacle most people face is trying to be good at everything, and therefore not being excellent at anything.
3.) Do you excuse the own weaknesses and flaws through the saying:
I was not born as a leader. Leaders are normally born.
STATEMENT 3 – Have an Ownership Mind-Set
Having an ownership mind-set (thinking and acting like an owner regardless of the job title) and maintaining an unwavering focus on adding value to others is crucial.
That ownership mentality includes being willing to take responsibility for good and bad outcomes, acting on the own beliefs, and creating a positive environment in which employees adopt an ownership mind-set themselves.
Ask yourself: “Who I am?” and then try to understand your strengths, weaknesses, passions and boundaries. Avoid seeking excuses in upcoming problems.
YOU ARE THE OWNER !
“Everybody has blind spots. People who work with you know what your blind spots are.” ~ Robert Steven Kaplan
Anyone, regardless of position, can be a leader. Leadership is a skill, not some genetic trait inherited by a lucky few.
“If you want to be a leader, you need to act like it today. If you don’t want to or you’re not game to, then stop dreaming about it because you can forget it,”
“It would be the same way if [I said] I’d like to be a world-class athlete, but I don’t want to train. Well, you’d laugh. That’s stupid. It’s exactly the same.”
4.) Do you avoid communicating in upcoming problems?
What happens when leaders must communicate facts that are hard to take?
STATEMENT 4 – Telling The Hard Truths
Leaders should face problems head-on.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, has said that one of the key elements of being a good business leader is the capacity to tell the hard truths.
“Great leadership does not mean running away from reality,” John Kotter argues. “Sometimes the hard truths might just demoralize the company, but at other times sharing difficulties can inspire people to take action that will make the situation better.”
“Communication is the real work of leadership,” says HBS professor Nitin Nohria, who documented the importance of persuasion in his 1992 book “Beyond the Hype: Rediscovering the Essence of Management.”
“You can reach people through logos or logic, by appealing to their sense of what is rational,” Nitin Nohria explains. “You can use pathos, appealing to their emotions, or you can make an argument based on their sense of values or ethos.” Great leaders, he notes, “spend the bulk of their time communicating, and they know how to employ all three of Aristotle’s rhetorical elements.”
“What you say is only the beginning,” says David Thomas. “Your behavior, your actions, and your decisions are also ways of communicating, and leaders have to learn how to create a consistent message through all of these. It’s been said many times, but leaders lead by example.”
Consistent communication, even in upcoming problems, leads to trust.
WHAT YOU SHOULD LEARN …
1.) Trust has two components: Belief in your competence as leader (you know what to do and how to do it) and belief in your character as leader (your motives are good and you want your people to do well).
Trust is the foundation of all forms of influence other than coercion. You need to foster it.
Management really does begin with who you are as a person.
2.) Trust means having the courage to say “No”. You cannot be good at everything.
3.) Think and act like an owner! Adopt an owner-mindset ! Accept your flaws and weaknesses! Anyone can be a leader!
4.) Learn to tell the truth, even in bad times!
( Source: https://hbr.org/2005/03/what-great-managers-do
(Picture Source: https://bookstore.entrepreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/9781599185750-frontcover-500×750.jpg)
( Karin Sebelin)
I am Karin Sebelin,
cross-cultural leadership and branding expert from Germany,
your personal coach for bringing your personality to success.
I am a professional writer, author of 2 German children’s books, and co-author in an anthology.
I am author of the book “Trust …. the only kind of influence that really matters”
Currently I am writing my next book about ethics.
How can I help you?
Let’s have a chat on Skype, write me an email or phone.
11/07/2015 / Karin Sebelin / 0
My Success as Brand
In 2011 and 2012 I was several weeks no.1 in the Ecademy score ( for blogging, engagement and engaging / among 600.000 network members ).
Read my brand story:
- What makes you a leader?
- Beware of “throwing pearls before swine”
- Track happiness! Avoid things that make you unhappy!
- Is it dangerous to have a firm attitude to life?
- Too much #EGO kills your talent!
- If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else
- What drives you crazy?
- How to make money with a new trust strategy
- Finding your ONE BIG THING
- Selflessness is no act of #trust !