The Lifelong Learner :: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are -Roosevelt ::

7 Key Leadership Ingredients

While reading The Takeaway by Pat and Karyn Williams, I came across a really good summary of what leadership is all about. I think these 7 ingredients are essential in an effective leader.

  1. Vision: Leadership is always about the future.
  2. Communication: Leaders have to spread their vision. The do that by communicating optimism, hope, inspiration, and motivation.
  3. People skills: Outstanding leaders care about others.
  4. Character: Honesty, integrity, respect, humility.
  5. Competence: Leaders are good at what they do, always working on improving their skills
  6. Boldness: Leaders have to make decisions. More harm is done by no decision, than a wrong decision.
  7. A Serving Heart: “It’s not about you.”

Be happy with what you have

Don’t complain. Just do it. Be happy with what you have. We all have our own talents. Let’s use them to the fullest potential. My advice: find your talents, and utilize them to the fullest potential.

Each one of us is unique. We all have our own talents. You might be second guessing yourself. Don’t. You might be bad in some things, but great with others. I know that’s how I am. And I don’t really care.

Sure, my wife would like me to be somebody else. I would love to be like somebody else sometimes. But I am not. I am who I am. I accept that and I’m happy with it. I spend time on things I like to do.

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Kiplinger’s Magazine – 11/2009 Issue

Expect progress, not perfection

I love this quote. Too many times we focus on the end result. Too many times we think we are a failure because we’re not like somebody else. Too many times we stop because we have not achieved our goal. Instead, if we focus on progress and perseverance, I think we’d move ahead further.

Am I making progress? Am I better today than I was 6 months ago? If yes, then you are on a right track! Keep going!

One great example for this is Toastmasters. I attend meetings because I want to improve my communication skills. It’s a long term process. Sure, I would love to have the skills of somebody else that I admire. But that’s not the point. I have my own talents and skills, and the most important question for me is, am I making progress. It’s really a great feeling to see progress. Yes, I’d love to have excellent eye contact, vocal variety, body movement and other skills. But I am happy to see improvement in these areas. I am happy to see results from the changes that I try. And that’s what keeps me going. I don’t get discouraged.

Focus on making progress and you’ll reach excellence.

Speak and Lead Toastmasters — the club I belong to (currently serving as President)

Michel de Montaigne on Being Yourself

The bottom line: be yourself. A lot of times we don’t do something because we are afraid of what somebody else will think. It happens to me a lot. Stop, I don’t do something because of what somebody else “might think?!” Time to put a stop to that! There is something seriously wrong with that. I read a great quote that has been on my mind: “It’s none of your business of what somebody else thinks of you.” It’s much more important to do something that you think is right for you, without concerning yourself about others’ thoughts.

Bernadette Peters on Being Original

Comparing Schools

When looking for a house, one of the most important things for me is how good the schools are. It’s not the easiest task trying to find that data. I did come across a very good website that just a very good job. It gives you a quick view on how the school district is performing.

Best Places to Live 2009

In the August issue of the Money magazine, they list 100 Best Places to Live. This year, the focus is on small towns with population of 8,500 to 50,000.

  1. Louisville, CO (Population 18,800; Typical single-family house $325K; Property taxes: $1,590; Unemployment: 6%)
  2. Chanhassen, MN
  3. Papillion, NE
  4. Middleton, WI
  5. Milton, MA

On a related note, here’s a list from July’s Kiplinger’s.

  1. Hunstville, AL (Population: 395K; Unemployment: 6.8%; Median household income: $50K)
  2. Albuquerque, NM (Population: 845K; Unemployment: 6.3%; Median household income: $45K)
  3. Washington, DC (Population: 5.3M; Unemployment: 5.9%; Median household income: $83K)
  4. Charlottesville, VA (Population: 194K; Unemployment: 5.7%; Median household income: $53K)
  5. Athens, GA (Population: 189K; Unemployment: 6.8%; Median household income: $41K)
  6. Olympia, WA
  7. Austin, TX (Population: 1.7M; Unemployment: 6.2%; Median household income: $57K)
  8. Madison, WI (Population: 561K; Unemployment: 6.4%; Median household income: $60K)
  9. Flagstaff, AZ
  10. Raleigh, NC

Best of Zen Habits

Leo Babauta is the master behind Zen Habits, a movement (blog, books, and more) towards becoming a more productive person. He offers great advice. I recently read a very good book from him, The Power of Less, and have been a subscriber of his blog. Today, he has a blog entry that has links to 20 Classic Zen Habits Posts. Some very good articles.

ReferenceThe Power of Less, my recommended book20 Classic Zen Habits Posts – blog posts at Zen Habits

Summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People

I just StumbledUpon a very good self-improvement site: Dale Carnegie’s summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People book. It’s a great refresher of the classic rules for becoming a better person. (If you have not read the book, I highly recommend it. And hundreds other people.)

Here’s just a glimpse:

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.


Summary of How to Win Friends and Influence People


Summaries of Dale Carnegie’s other books

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