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“Leadership is about progress. It is the ability to make things happen, maximize resources and inspire; it is the capacity to create an environment where people thrive and results are achieved; it is the extra ordinary quality that solves problems and gets things done”. – Anthony Robbins



21. Ask for, Inspire and Accept Assistance, and Give Credit Where It’s Due

Remember this – your friends and comrades are as important to you as your arms and legs. As and when you rise to a position where people look up to you, delegate to them, but personally speaking, treat them as equals. Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further a common cause you each share. Make sure that you never allow these people to feel unappreciated. They are so essential to your success that if they leave you it will be like losing a body part. You must understand this. Only then can you achieve greatly.


22. Do not be easily provoked. Cultivate Self-Discipline

If someone is attempting to provoke a reaction from you, you are the one in control. It is always better to meet any opposition on your terms and not theirs. Remember this. If someone is provoking you, they have chosen that battlefield. Do not meet them there. Meet them somewhere else, if at all. Always keep in mind though, that your personal excellence is massively more important than any personal victories you may enjoy over individuals.


23. Take Actions, Do Not Get Lost In Argument, Or Thought.

Opinions are ephemeral and have no reality. Action matters. Opinions and ideas are only of value when they inform action. They only have any worth at all when they are manifested in reality. When in doubt, take control of a situation by seizing the initiative. This is a crucial ingredient, which can be applied on a grand scale or a very small-scale – even in conversations. Develop the art of moving decisively, and well. Cultivate the ability of shooting from the hip with accuracy in your life. Hone your ability to choose wisely, fast, then to act upon it in a totally committed fashion.


24. Infection: Avoid the Self-Indulgent and the Sceptical.

Negative emotional states are extremely infectious. Don’t keep company with the lazy, the self-indulgent, those who have a victim mentality or those who are habitually sceptical of ideas. They are all each highly damaging in their own way, but perhaps the worst of them are those of a victim mentality, and those who criticise the ideas of others. Self-indulgence and scepticism are easy and cowardly. These people attack excellence in all it’s forms and plant seeds of doubt in the minds of others. Fight this in any way you can. Make a long-term commitment to freeing yourself of their influence in every possible way.


25. Learn to Inspire Independence in those who wish to join You.

Another person is always of more use to you as a powerful ally than as a sheep-like follower. Never accept blind adulation, and never allow others to rest their self-esteem on your goodwill. Always expect independence of those who seek to join with you. Reward emotional independence in your friends with respect. A bond of trust between brothers in arms is always stronger than a bond of validation and power between leader and follower.


26. Use Honesty and Generosity From a position of Strength to Disarm your Enemies

Do not allow yourself to be taken advantage of, but cultivate the ability to keep your ego out of the decisions that you make regarding those who you dislike, or who dislike you. Attempt, as far as possible, to distance yourself from negative feelings toward others. You have bigger fish to fry than getting involved in personal dramas. At the same time, remember that a man is always more use to you as an ally than as an enemy. Extending an olive branch to someone is simple, and if you are offering it from a position of strength, it will most likely be accepted, which will mean that you have one less enemy and one more ally.


27. When Forging Alliances, Do not plead like a bleating sheep.

Get yourself to a position where you have something to offer, then propose an alliance of mutual benefit with someone who’s skills complement your own. It is easy to forge win-win relationships with people if you have something to offer them. Both of you together can achieve more than either of you individually. Make certain that you do not compromise yourself, and do not be quick to remind others of your past acts of charity. Your charity is your own business. Generosity is its own reward. What matters in the moment is the pursuit of excellence, of real achievement. Remember this.


28. Do not Spend Time Obsessing Over Rivals

They are an irrelevance to you. You are not gauging your success by that of others, but only by the distance you have travelled on the road to personal excellence. If you are under threat, deal with the threat decisively and shrewdly – but only if you are under threat. Remember that your genuine cultivation of personal excellence makes attacking you at a deep level very difficult. Even if someone could successfully portray you as something else, such a deception, no matter how convincing, would be no more than a facade. Reality itself is on your side and people will get to know the genuine person you are over time.


29. Transcend your Enemy Totally


Do not pick fights. End them. Make certain that you are the most difficult-to-be-provoked person in the world. You are succeeding on your terms, not those offered to you by well-meaning friends or the terms offered to you by those who attack you. If you get sucked in to fighting personal battles, your excellence will always be something that exists relative to another. You have bigger fish to fry. As far as you can, beat your enemies by transcending the petty concerns they wish to squabble over with you. If you need to eliminate a threat, someone who is attacking you, always remember that if they provoked the fight they have done so because of a weakness in them, probably based on some form of self-deception and fear which they have not overcome. As such, the truth is on your side. Look for that truth. It is a weapon of incredible power.


30. You Are Defined Most By How You Handle Damage

When you are weak, when you feel low, when you have been struck in the most personal and heart-wrenching of ways – that is the time to fight harder than you’ve ever fought. It is in those moments of absolute truth where we decide our own worth. It is when all logic and reason are telling us to give up on what we know is right, on what our hearts desire more than anything in the world, that we must fight the hardest. Let the blows of your enemies and the cruel twists of fate be spurs to your efforts. Cultivate your defiance of them to an extremely high degree. Optimism is not an alternative to pessimism. It is the state of mind of those who refuse, in the face of logic and reason, ever to give up on themselves or on their heart’s desire – no matter what the situation in which they are placed.


31. Keep On Your Toes: Cultivate an Air of Dynamism

Humans are creatures of habit, and fall into patterns. You are not immune, and neither are those around you. Cultivate in yourself the faculty of creativity and imagination, so that your actions are neither predictable nor ineffective. Demand constant and persistent action in pursuit of your heart’s desire, and do not get bogged down in worrying about the correct method. If in doubt, act. You will make mistakes, but you will also score victories and the more action you take, the better you will become at taking action. Effective action is like a muscle. Work it.


32. The World Is A Mirror, So Drop Your Guard

The world is like a mirror. If you walk about the place with your defences high, the world will raise its defences to you, and you will be alone. If you walk around the world looking for weaknesses and openings to exploit, people will not connect with you and you will be alone. If you walk around the world with your guard lowered, wearing your heart on your sleeve, you will be attacked and it will hurt. But if you are willing to take any pain associated with lowering your guard as a lifestyle, you will make strong, effective and useful connections with other people of worth and value. You will also condition your heart to be strong, as well as open. This strength will serve as one of the key ingredients for leadership excellence.


33. Be Mindful Of Creating Enemies.

You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, and there’s no need to tiptoe around people’s egos when you have to do what is right. At the same time, if you can do what is right without offending others, do it that way. This is not something to obsess over, but make certain that if you are making an enemy, you are aware of what you are doing and you’ve thought through the consequences. There are millions of ways to achieve each and every goal you set yourself. It’s better for you not to put yourself in a position where you might come under attack in the future.


34. Commit to your conscience, Commit to yourself.

Your moral sense is the core of your being, whether you like it or not. Never be ashamed to act upon what you believe to be right. At the same time, and as much as is possible, retain your integrity, and hold control of your anger. Always control your indignation – do not allow it to control you. At the same time, your morality is critical. It drives you to do what is highest and best, and it will show you the path that your life should be taking, if you let it. Listen to it, and commit to its call. It is the heart of you. If you walk in tune with your morality, you will be at peace with yourself, even if the road you tread is a difficult one.


35. Never Be Ashamed Of Your Gifts, And Do Not Hide Them

If you are intelligent, be openly intelligent. If you are eloquent, be openly eloquent. If you are skilled at your job, be openly skilled at your job. If you have a skill, do not hide it for the benefit of others. The only part of them you are benefiting is the lowest and least worthy – their ego. Develop your excellence in the light of day. Those who feel intimidated by this and who shy away from you or snipe at you, even if large in quantity, will be totally outclassed by the quality of the people your pursuit of excellence will draw to you, even if these people are few.


36. Use the Surrender Tactic: Give the Baby His Bottle

If you are being sucked into a conflict, it’s often better to surrender graciously very early on. The key is knowing whether or not the conflict is something worth fighting. Most of the time it isn’t. It is hard to see this sometimes because when you are provoked, many people will stand their ground over a point of principle when the actual reality of the conflict is basically irrelevant to them. This is anathema to excellence. Cultivate within yourself the ability to step back from conflicts and examine them dispassionately. If it is apparent that someone is throwing a tantrum over an issue that has no higher meaning, give the baby his bottle. You will often find that it is insecurity and fear which motivated them in the first place, and once they do not see you as a threat, they may indeed become a useful ally.


37. Concentrate Your Efforts

Achieve things by focusing your efforts totally on the achievement of one task at a time. This is critical. Focus yourself on completing that task to a degree of excellence and effectiveness, and then move swiftly on to the next task. Focus completely on that. This is the principle of the application of maximum force. Focus all your energies at one challenge at a time, overcome that challenge, then focus all your energies on the next one. You are invincible in this as long as you do not let up, or lose focus, and you continue to assault the problem for as long as it takes for that problem to be overcome. No task is beyond your power to accomplish.


38. Never Play the Courtier

It is far better to offend someone than it is to make a habit of lying. The excellence of your genuine self is what you seek to develop. Deception and trickery are a gamble and a trap. If you allow yourself to use these tools out of fear or greed then they can and will obscure your true self from others, and from you. This is catastrophic. Instead, work on the development of your skills of self-expression, and make the genuine self you express a powerhouse of excellence. There will be no limit to how far you can rise in the world.


39. Re-Create Yourself In Line With Your Deepest And Most Noble Desire

Look into yourself. Take a long time with this one. Really plunge deeply. Work through all the layers of propriety and social programming, all the things you’ve been told are important and all the things you just want for reasons of ego. Punch down through those layers and really find your heart’s desire. What do you want to be? Ask yourself that, and keep asking until you find a clear and distinct answer. That answer is the meaning of your life. It will give you a clarity of purpose, a goal which you can focus on to rise above the irrelevant dramas of the present and something to move toward. No matter how wild or amazing it seems, hold to it. It is what you want the most. It is your path to your own leadership excellence. Picture it clearly and often. Never, ever let it go.


40. Get Your Hands Dirty

Get involved on every level. Never be above the grunt work. Make the amount that you are willing to actually do in the pursuit of excellence exactly this: as much as it takes. Do whatever it takes. Make things happen. Build your castle stone by stone with your own bare hands if you must. No task is ignominious that is part of the pursuit of leadership excellence.


Lere Baale is a Director of Business School Netherlands www.bsn.eu and a Certified Strategy Consultant at Howes Consulting Group www.howesgroup.com