Leadership (The Brian Tracy Success Library)

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Nobody comes into the world a natural leader. But what is it that transforms some people into the kind of magnetic individuals who inspire others to follow?

Success expert Brian Tracy has helped thousands of people become exceptional leaders and now, in this concise and powerful book, he reveals how you can:

• Inspire trust, confidence, and loyalty

• Instill a sense of meaning and purpose in your organization

• Tap into the motivation and enthusiasm that compels others to commit...

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Leadership (The Brian Tracy Success Library)

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Nobody comes into the world a natural leader. But what is it that transforms some people into the kind of magnetic individuals who inspire others to follow?

Success expert Brian Tracy has helped thousands of people become exceptional leaders and now, in this concise and powerful book, he reveals how you can:

• Inspire trust, confidence, and loyalty

• Instill a sense of meaning and purpose in your organization

• Tap into the motivation and enthusiasm that compels others to commit to your vision

• Think strategically—keeping the big picture in mind

• Continually focus on the future

• Turn adversity into opportunity

• Take the right kind of risks

• Clearly communicate goals and strategies and gain buy-in

• Build winning teams

• Elicit extraordinary performance from ordinary people

• Cultivate worthwhile relationships and leverage The Law of Reciprocity

• Become the person seen as most likely to lead the organization to victory

• And more

Great leadership isn’t a mystery. It is a skill that can be learned. Packed with practical, proven methods, this indispensable little guide will help you unlock your leadership potential.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Through embracing and diligently applying his practical proven methods, readers will gradually unlock their own leadership potential and then tap into the amazing potential of others.” --Smart Supervision

"...having trouble fulfilling your managerial responsibilities? If so, Leadership has many unique and easy-to-apply strategies to help you overcome your challenges." --San Francisco Book Review

“This is what I call a 'right-hand drawer book.' It's the kind of inspiration tool you refer to again and again as you develop into a true leader." --PCB007

“This indispensable little guide will help you unlock your leadership potential.” --New Equipment Digest

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814433416
  • Publisher: AMACOM Books
  • Publication date: 2/26/2014
  • Series: The Brian Tracy Success Library
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 262,274
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

BRIAN TRACY is the Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International and one of the top business speakers and authorities in the world today. He has consulted for more than 1,000 companies and addressed more than 5,000,000 people in 5,000 talks and seminars throughout the United States and more than 60 countries worldwide.

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Read an Excerpt




Copyright © 2014 Brian Tracy
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8144-3341-6


Leaders Are Made, Not Born

I'VE BEEN STUDYING leadership for many years. I started when I was a teenager, and the first leader that I studied at length was Hannibal of Carthage. I read book after book about the Punic Wars, the capabilities of Hannibal's elephants crossing the Alps, and the battles against the Romans. He was able to take a very small force, mold it into a powerful fighting force, take it thousands of miles, and almost defeat the greatest empire of his time.

After that, I studied Scipio, the general who defeated Hannibal. I studied the life of Napoleon and Wellington at great length as well, to understand the differences between the two men. I've also studied Washington and Lincoln and Generals George Patton, Dwight Eisenhower, and Omar Bradley, who were some of the great leaders of their time.

What I have found is that leaders are made, not born. Nobody comes into the world a natural leader. Even Alexander the Great studied (from the age of eight) to become a leader.

Study the Greats

The study of great leaders of the past and present is one of the fastest and surest ways to develop leadership qualities. The more you study what constitutes effective leadership, the more likely you will be to internalize the same values and behaviors. These values and behaviors will then be externalized in your actions and in your results.

Abraham Lincoln wrote, "That some have succeeded is proof that others can as well." Bertrand Russell, the great philosopher, agreed, writing: "The very best proof that something can be done is the fact that others have already done it."

Think about the men and women you know of who are leaders that you admire, and then begin to think about how you could emulate their behaviors. Think about how you could be more like them. And lo and behold, over a reasonable period of time, you actually begin to absorb their qualities and become a leader yourself.

The Story of Alexander

The story of Alexander the Great is very instructive for anyone who aspires to a high leadership position. By the age of fifteen, Alexander was convinced that it was his destiny to conquer the known world. He had a vision of uniting all mankind in a common brotherhood. With Aristotle as his teacher, he studied and prepared himself for many years. He learned the military arts from his father and his father's best generals. He saw himself as a great king and had an unshakable belief in his ability to achieve any goal he ever set for himself.

Alexander was brilliant at both administration and execution. He showed great judgment in delegating and appointed the right officers in the right positions at the right time. He was able to plan, organize, think through, and execute brilliantly.

At the Battle of Arbela, he led his 50,000 men in a full frontal assault on the one-million-strong Persian army and routed them. He never entertained the possibility of defeat. He had complete trust in himself, in his men, and in their ability to overcome any difficulty, no matter how great the odds against them.

Alexander, like all great leaders, had the ability to organize his men and inspire them to exceed anything they had ever done before. He had the ability to concentrate on his strengths and to focus on the critical areas that were essential for victory. His life and history are an example of the blending together of all the great leadership qualities that have been identified in every study on the subject.

See Yourself as a Leader

In the introduction, I expressed the idea that there is a spectrum where, at the very bottom, we find people who haven't the slightest idea what's going on (and couldn't care less), while at the very top there are the one or two percent of people in our society who really are the spark plugs in the engines of change. Every one of us is on that spectrum somewhere, moving up or down, depending on the things that we are doing and saying on a daily basis.

If you want to be a leader or a better leader, remember that it's all up to you. It's in your hands, or, even more important, in your mind. You are what you think you are. Your selfimage determines your performance. You can become a much more effective leader by changing your self-concept—the way you think about yourself as a leader.

It all begins with the Law of Cause and Effect. It is the basic law of the universe; all other laws in the fields of mathematics or any of the sciences are subsets of this law, which says that for every effect there is cause. Nothing just happens. The implication of this law is powerful. It means that the success of every person has a cause or causes. So, if you want to be as successful as someone else, if you want to emulate successful people and how they acted and what they accomplished, then find out what they did and do the same! Do the same things successful people do, over and over again, and eventually you will get the same results.

A related law is the Law of Belief. It states that if you believe in something with conviction, what you believe in will become your reality. Or to put it another way, you are what you believe you are. Philosopher William James said, "Belief creates the actual fact."

The purpose of this book is to enable you to become a leader—and if you are already a leader, to enable you to become a more effective leader. I'll do that by describing to you some of the qualities, attributes, and behaviors of the most effective leaders in our society so that you can emulate those qualities and make them your reality.


A Sense of Mission

LEADERS HAVE a vision and a sense of mission that lifts up and inspires men and women to help achieve that mission. In fact, there is in every one of us a desire to commit to something bigger than ourselves; leaders have the ability to tap into that root of motivation, drive, and enthusiasm that allows us to commit ourselves to achieving that vision.

As a leader, then, you have to have a goal that excites and inspires. And the only goals that excite and inspire are goals that are qualitative. Nobody gets excited or inspired about raising the share price or making more money or getting a raise. But we do get inspired and excited about bringing a product or service to people who need it, and about being the best, and about winning great success in a competitive field.

Strive to Be the Best

As a leader, the most important vision you can have for yourself is to be the best. And that same vision must apply to your business or your organization. You will accept nothing less for yourself or your company than to be the best at what you do. In business, that means asking:

What quality about your product or service is most relevant or important to your customers?

Once you've identified that quality, focus all the energies and creativity of your employees and managers on achieving superior performance in that area.

We need to be the best. You won't feel great or as good as you could feel, or capable of extraordinary performance, unless you are aligned with the best people in your field and doing the very best job that people are capable of.

Instill Meaning and Purpose

Being dedicated to a mission gives work meaning and purpose. As human beings, we need meaning and purpose as much as we need food and water and air. We need a sense of significance. And leaders are those people who make us feel significant. They make us feel important and remind us that what we are doing has value far beyond just the day-to-day work. They make us feel that we are an integral part of the mission team.

There are four ways to make people feel important, and they each start with the letter A. First is appreciation. Take every opportunity to thank people for the quality of their work and their role in making the company a success. Every time you thank individuals, they are going to feel more valuable and will be more motivated to justify your faith in them.

The second way to make people feel more important and valuable is by showing approval. Praise people at every opportunity, for any accomplishment, large or small. Praise them also for their suggestions and insight—for their thinking. People will take praise emotionally. Their self-esteem and self-worth rises. But it's important to praise immediately and specifically, so that people know that it is genuine.

The third way you can build a sense of importance and value in a person is through admiration. Continually compliment people, whether it's on their traits, such as persistence, on their possessions, such as clothes, or on their accomplishments.

Perhaps the most important way for people to feel important and valued is through attention. People aren't going to be dedicated to the goals of the organization if they are continuously ignored. They are not going to feel like key players in the mission if they just receive commands without having any opportunity for input or feedback. Attention means listening to people, without interrupting. You don't necessarily have to take their suggestions or agree to what they are saying. But give them a chance to say it.

A Common Cause

A good goal or a good mission gives a clear sense of direction not only to the organization, but to every person in the organization.

A good goal unifies everyone in a common cause. For example, IBM is one of the great industrial leaders of business history. One of its goals is to give the very best customer service of any company in the entire world. One of its missions is to be known as the company that cares for its customers. This mission, which involves a qualitative not a quantitative goal, excites and inspires people throughout the company because they think about it and talk about it all the time. They believe they're the best and that nobody takes care of customers like they do at IBM. Everyone in the company knows that his job, one way or another, is related to taking care of customers, and this knowledge unifies everybody in a common cause.

The mission of a company will often be encapsulated in a mission statement. A mission statement is a clear statement of why the company exists in the first place and what its overarching goal or purpose is. Mission statements usually involve the customer in some way—for example, how your product or service is going to help make the customer's life better. YouTube founder Chad Hurley wanted people to be able to send homemade videos over the Internet. Charles Schwab's mission was to be the "most useful and ethical financial services company." Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wanted to make navigating the Internet easier.

Why does your company exist? What is its cause?

The Core Purpose of Every Business

For a business leader, there is one core purpose above all, and that is to acquire and serve a customer. Leaders make the customer of the organization the central focus. Take the example of Nordstrom, whose leaders think incessantly and continuously about their customers. IBM thinks and talks about only its customers. More and more companies are becoming obsessed with the customer. You see, once everybody agrees on who the customer is and agrees that the purpose of the company is to satisfy that customer the very best way possible, then it's easy to get everybody pulling together.

As a matter of fact, I believe that you can tell how well led an organization is by applying a very simple test. When you're in that organization, look at and listen to how people refer to the customer. In a good organization, the customers are always referred to with respect. They are always referred to with pride, as though they are really important. When a customer calls, it is an important occasion. And when a customer has a problem and is helped, it is a cause for celebration. When a customer calls and is happy or satisfied with a product or service, everybody takes on a tremendous feeling of pride and accomplishment.

In your organization, how do people talk about the customer?

Let's say you run a department that services another department within the organization. That other department is your customer. Whoever has to use what you produce in your area of responsibility is your customer. And leaders have to be very much focused on satisfying that customer.

If you are going to be a business leader or a leader of a department or any organization, you have to sit down and think through what the mission or the overarching purpose or goal is going to be for that business or department. It is the determination of a mission to be the best, that does something to help others, that is the starting point of your ascension and rise to the top of leadership.


Action Orientation

When you look at the life of Napoleon or Alexander the Great, or Florence Nightingale or Mother Teresa, you'll find that they were incredibly active men and women all the time. They were not contemplative and waiting for things to happen. They were people who had an idea, a concept, and a mission and then launched.

Leaders are innovative and entrepreneurial. Entrepreneurial comes from a French word meaning "to undertake or to do." Innovative means trying new things and getting on with them. Leaders don't analyze things to death.

This is the motto of the business leader of today: Do it. Fix it. Try it. It comes from the Tom Peters book In Search of Excellence, where he says that top companies are those that make more tries, drill more holes, and get on with things. They don't hesitate and spend months and years on analysis; they get out and do something. As they say, "Don't just do something; move forward."

How Action Saved $2 Million

Leaders are personally action-oriented. They are constantly moving their companies forward, but they are also themselves always active. Don't do something tomorrow that could be done today.

Procrastination is the opposite of action. Leaders don't procrastinate, otherwise they wouldn't be leaders. This is a lesson I learned early in my career. When I was working for a large company, my boss asked me to fly to Reno to begin development work on a $2 million property that the company was purchasing. He said I could go within the next couple of weeks. I wasn't a leader in the company at that time, but since I have never procrastinated, I decided to go the next morning. As soon as I arrived in Nevada and started meeting with people, including the engineer in charge of the development work on the property, I sensed that there was something wrong with the property. By the end of the day, just a few hours before the deal was supposed to close, I realized what was wrong: The property had no water source and was undevelopable. By moving to action immediately, I saved my company from spending $2 million on a worthless piece of land. Needless to say, my boss was happy—and within a year, I was running three divisions and had a staff of forty-two people.

Be Forward Thinking

Leaders are forward thinking. Most leaders live in the future. They are continually focusing their thoughts on the future—what will be and how to create it. Most nonleaders focus on the present and the past. To be forward thinking means establishing a set of goals and focusing every day on moving toward those goals.

Leaders follow these seven steps for achieving goals:

1. Identify your major goals. Decide exactly what you want to achieve, whether it's for your business or your life. Clarity is essential.

2. Write it down. Be specific and detailed. Make it measurable. As an example, your goal might be to double your sales in the next two years. So, write it down. If your goal is not in writing, it's nothing more than a vague fantasy.

3. Set a deadline for the achievement of the goal. If it's a big goal, then break it down into pieces and set deadlines for each of those pieces. We are energized by time-specific goals. Give yourself deadlines.

4. Make a list of everything that you have to do to achieve each major goal. Be comprehensive. As you think of more things, add them to the list until it is complete.

5. Create an action plan. This is where you take the list and turn it into specific steps. There are two things to think about: priority and sequence. What items on the list are most important? What must be done first? When setting priorities, remember the 80/20 rule: 20 percent of the things you do will account for 80 percent of your results. You don't want to spend your time on unimportant things. You don't want your people spending time on unimportant things. Identify what's really going to help you and your organization to achieve your goals. As for sequence, you have to identify exactly what needs to be done before something else can be done. Any plan is going to have activities that are dependent on certain other activities being done. Also, identify the limitations, constraints, or obstacles that stand in your way. Priority is again important. What are the most important obstacles? What are the things you will absolutely need to overcome before you can achieve your goal?


Excerpted from LEADERSHIP by BRIAN TRACY. Copyright © 2014 Brian Tracy. Excerpted by permission of AMACOM.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Introduction, 1,
1 Leaders Are Made, Not Born, 4,
2 A Sense of Mission, 9,
3 Action Orientation, 15,
4 The Quality of Courage, 19,
5 The Leader as Strategist, 23,
6 The Ability to Inspire and Motivate, 28,
7 Commit to Winning, 34,
8 The Leader as Communicator, 38,
9 Learn from Adversity, 43,
10 Build a Championship Team, 47,
11 Focus on Results, 51,
12 The Desire to Lead, 55,
13 The Role of Self-Esteem in Leadership, 60,
14 Lead by Example, 65,
15 Self-Motivation for Leaders, 69,
16 Develop Leadership Qualities, 72,
17 Power Through Cooperation, 77,
18 Lead by Consensus, 83,
19 Leaders Are Listeners, 88,
20 Live Like a Leader, 91,
21 Integrity: The Essential Quality of Leadership, 95,

Index, 101,

About the Author, 106,

Free Sample Chapter from The Leader's Pocket Guide, 108,

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  • Posted August 12, 2014

    must read

    Mr. Tracy has boiled down some of his best thoughts on leadership. A gifted writer/communicator who makes his subject interesting, thought provoking and yet easy to understand and assimilate. A great portable source for review or guidance or brushing up on your own leadership journey. Bought the hardcover version as well to pass on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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