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Anyone can make an impact. All you need is influence—the most potent professional asset on the planet. The problem is that influence is also the most underused asset on the planet. And the primary reason is that the enemy of influence is a universal human trait: self-preservation. You guard your ideas, your status, and your reputation. Within your self-constructed walls you must cast safer visions, take smaller risks, and accept shallower relationships to ensure the security of all you are protecting. This is the...
Anyone can make an impact. All you need is influence—the most potent professional asset on the planet. The problem is that influence is also the most underused asset on the planet. And the primary reason is that the enemy of influence is a universal human trait: self-preservation. You guard your ideas, your status, and your reputation. Within your self-constructed walls you must cast safer visions, take smaller risks, and accept shallower relationships to ensure the security of all you are protecting. This is the downside of self-preservation: While your walls protect you and yours from demise, they also restrict your influence. You must break down your walls of self-preservation and sacrifice your security for the sake of others. Only then does the escalating paradox of personal generosity come into play: The more you give, the more you receive. This book shows that the key to effective leadership is learning how to influence in a way that engenders greater trust, stronger partnerships, and more impactful endeavors.
“Jeremie Kubicek clearly shares what so many influential leaders have come to know: there's a huge difference between authority and responsibility and between influence and power.”
“In a world where everyone wants to be a leader, Jeremie understands that it’s the influencers that change the world. This book offers you a way to move people to action, and make your mark on the world. It’s fast paced, easy to act on and most importantly from the heart.”
"Jeremie Kubicek delivers a unique voice on the topic of leadership and that is not easy to do. More than that, his voice climbs off the pages as if he was standing in front of you imploring you to use your influence to help the world. Not because he is preaching, but because he has a very real desire to help you understand that leadership is more than just being in charge . . ."
“Are you ‘for me, against me or for yourself’? That's only one of the thought-provoking questions Kubicek asks in this must-read book on true influence. This book should come with a warning: ‘May make you uncomfortable and re-examine your motives as you strive to be a person with trust, character and credibility.’”
"Where are the great leaders of our time? The world needs a new paradigm for leadership—Jeremie Kubicek has defined it. If you needed to dig a ditch, would you use a teaspoon or a bulldozer? Until now, leaders have been using a teaspoon. Every leader should read this book!"
“Get inspired. Live with intention. Make a difference. Jeremie shares ‘how-to’ insights to manifest breakthrough leadership moments.”
"Jeremie has given a clear path to follow that will serve as a guide and a measuring stick for any leader who wants to have real and lasting influence. Take it to heart. If you want to have life-giving impact, start here."
"Leadership has changed, and we need a new generation of influencers, great leaders, poised to influence well and ultimately change the world for good. And this book will help us get there! It’s challenging, inspiring, and applicable, all in one. Get ready!"
Making Your Leadership Come Alive
The first death to transform my life took place in my early twenties, when I was a pioneering entrepreneur in the Wild West–like city of Moscow, Russia. Car bombs and Russian Mafia hits terrorized the streets. The daily newspaper headlines made you numb to gunfights and ritual bombings.
As a young American in this setting, I felt like a cross between James Bond and John Wayne. In my mind, I was both invincible and brave. But while the business opportunity was intoxicating and the landscape thrilling, I must admit that I was a bit nervous.
My business partners and I arrived on the cold tarmac of Sheremetyevo International Airport outside of Moscow with a grand vision and eager attitudes. We were there to start a marketing consulting business and participate in the founding of an economic school. There were hundreds of leaders like us, taking risks as we hoped to establish “new” ways of doing business in a land that was very old and corrupt. Over time, we realized that there were hundreds before us who had tried to establish footholds for capitalism well before the walls of Communism had crumbled.
Paul Tatum was one of those leaders. When I moved to Moscow in 1993, two years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, he had already built the premier commercial center for international business in the city. He was a mover and a shaker with a flashy and cocky manner. The Russians didn’t know what to do with Paul. For many of the local businessmen, he was one of the first American capitalists they’d ever met.
Paul had a lot going for him: steel nerves, a string of successes, and an unmatched network of powerful political and business leaders. He had one major problem: few trusted him.
Paul had a lot going for him: steel nerves, a string of successes, and an unmatched network of powerful political and business leaders. He had one major problem: few trusted him, including many of his one hundred–plus employees. His business partners were drawn to him for his connections and financial prowess, but it seemed to me that he had few real friends because of his eccentric style.
Our company did contract work with Paul’s company for a couple of years on various projects, and it was clear that self-preservation was a priority in every aspect of his life. While he didn’t have many true friends, he did have some serious enemies. Eventually Paul had to add a fourth layer to his three-piece suits: a bulletproof vest. The two bodyguards who accompanied him everywhere were another clue that the man had some “people issues.” Few wanted to do business with him anymore, not even his former Russian partners.
I came to see that Paul had no true influence. When I’d met him, he had wealth that had bought him power in the gangsterlike city of Moscow after the Iron Curtain fell. Paul used his cash and his brash manner to manipulate and coerce his way into a power position in Moscow, but his success was short lived.
I fell in line with others who were at first intrigued and charmed by him, but then were appalled by his bold self-centeredness. I remained a friend to him longer than most, however. I was twenty-one years old when I met him. I thought Paul was drawn to the fact that my partners and I had the guts to start a business in such a challenging environment. Maybe he felt he could trust me because I was trustworthy, but if I was ever tempted to trust him, the feeling usually passed very quickly.
Paul and I met regularly for breakfast in the restaurant of a safe hotel. His bodyguards stood by the door. I listened without complaint to his self-centered banter, and I encouraged him in his business dealings. Once he felt confident in my friendship, he began to tone down the bravado and talk about his family background and his struggles in business. Paul, who’d always considered himself a maverick, was at war with his former Russian partners, and their battles were heating up. Their fight was about to turn public, and the terrible aftermath would receive international media attention.
One day, I walked down a hall from our temporary office to come upon a bloody scene: one of his bodyguards had been stabbed. By now, Paul was under twenty-four-hour protection and working odd hours because he feared being ambushed.
I did my best to remain a friend and a positive influence on him during this period. I drew him out with questions, and we’d talk for an hour or so. Paul had isolated himself to the point that he was either working or at home. He was a virtual prisoner of his security guards, but even their vigilant efforts were not enough.
Paul was murdered on November 3, 1996, in a busy Moscow metro station near his office. His death was reported worldwide as a symbol of Russia’s struggles with both its new freedoms and its lawlessness. He was believed to be the first American killed by Russian mobsters.
Paul was shot eleven times in the head and neck. He died unmarried and without many close companions. He was buried in Russia, a country he’d come to love. It was a sad story, but all too familiar in many ways.
Sadly, Paul’s fierce devotion to self-preservation and winning the game left him walled off from anyone who could have helped him.
Paul had Domination tendencies—someone who could manipulate others and give no thought to any agenda but his own—fighting against an army of the same types of leaders. His murder would have been avoidable had he understood how to use his influence properly. Sadly, his fierce devotion to self-preservation and winning the game left him walled off from anyone who could have helped him.
I had the privilege of seeing some of the goodness in him. He unburdened himself to me and my partners, and doing so seemed to lighten his soul. At one point, he told us that ours was the only stable relationship in his life. The truth is that I really liked him, though I was not sure I trusted him. On my last meeting with Paul, he thanked me for being a good listener and asked me to pray for him. He then told me and another partner to stay clear of him from that point onward. As he said it, he motioned to the bulletproof vest under his business suit.
After his violent death, I wished that I’d found a way to help Paul overcome his self-destructive ways. He had so much potential. He could have been a leader of great and positive influence. His death is one of the primary factors that led me to a career of working with leaders to free them of their fears and to help them reach their highest levels of positive influence. I don’t think I failed Paul. If anything, I provided him a lifeline as his life was spiraling out of control. Unfortunately, he did not grasp it, nor did he understand that there were other ways—much better ways—to be a leader in business and in life.
In hindsight, I was very underprepared to serve, or save, someone of his complex nature, but I had been willing to serve as a light to someone in a very dark situation. When you are young, you meet role models for good, and role models for bad. You aspire to be like the good ones and you vow never to be like the bad ones. I learned from Paul Tatum the kind of leadership that I never wanted to practice. I saw how he died violently and alone. That was not the ending I envisioned for my life.
I had seen selfish, erratic behavior from other high-profile leaders during my international business foray. Manipulation and power maneuvers were their everyday approach. Rarely in my Russia experience did I see the type of leadership that I wanted to emulate. I watched too many leaders say one thing and then do another, and I lost respect for not just them but also for the position “leader” itself.
After decades of greed by corporate tycoons, financial moguls, and political egos, this generation is searching for authentic, selfless leadership that holds a mission higher than and outside of themselves.
This is a paramount issue for the next generation of leaders. After decades of greed by corporate tycoons, financial moguls, and political egos, this generation is searching for authentic, selfless leadership that holds a mission higher than and outside of themselves.
Paul’s death was surreal. I could not process the abrupt loss of someone I’d been close to or the potential that was squandered. I reflected for many months on where this dynamic and brilliant man had gone wrong.
I have spent years analyzing leadership and influence within the role of leader. I have met and spent hours upon hours with many famous leaders—some good, some bad. In each and every meeting, I have sought to understand who they were and review their motives under the lens of desired impact and use of leadership. It is vitally important to me that leadership is no longer squandered or abused. This dedicated effort has taken almost a decade.
Before I knew it, I would suddenly be forced to reflect on my own leadership through a dramatic event. Almost ten years after Paul’s tragedy, everything would change.
Foreword Patrick Lencioni xi
1 Death of a Leader 1
2 My Death 9
3 Why Leadership Is Dead 21
4 The Wall of Self-Preservation 47
5 For Me, Against Me, or for Yourself? 73
Action No. 1 Give Trust to Become Trustworthy 82
Action No. 2 Become Credible, Not Just Smart 87
Action No. 3 Be Intentional in Your Influence 89
6 The Breakthrough 95
Action No. 4 Break Through Your Walls of Self-Preservation 98
7 Influence Is Power 109
8 It's All About Relationships 137
Action No. 5 Pursue Relationship Before Opportunity 141
Action No. 6 Give Yourself Away 152
9 No Risk, No Reward 163
Action No. 7 Become Significant in Your Impact 168
10 Why You Probably Won't Do This 181
Appendix 1 Interview with David Salyers of Chick-fil-A 201
Appendix 2 Find the Real GiANT 207
Appendix 3 About GiANT 213
Posted May 13, 2011
Leadership has become a term that leaves a sour taste in most people's mouths, and a wake of cynicism and distrust. Yet, even for those whose experience has differed, the term, and practice, has become too convoluted. Ask ten people on the street what 'leadership' means to them and you're likely to get ten different responses. The heart of Leadership Is Dead is an acknowledgement of these facts and a call to change the way we view leading. Through the author's own experiences, struggles & journey, a new standard is raised that calls all to get outside of themselves, to stop the rat race to the top of the ladder, and to handle with care the responsibility (and joy) of leading others. It is a call to use the power entrusted to you for the benefit of those around you, and to hold influence, not leadership, as the goal. This book is both inspirational, and practical... weaving between stories and conversations, to things you and I can do immediately to change the course. By applying the principles contained within Leadership Is Dead, the ripple effect of true influence can change the lives of those you serve, and impact the trajectory of others' lives for the good.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 1, 2011
Do yourself a favor -- make time to read this book in your busy schedule! The first two chapters will grip you, inspire you, and propel you through a life changing paradigm of how influence changes everything. Jeremie gets it...and it shares it with us all! Be sure that you treat yourself to the best leadership book out there!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 14, 2011
In "Leadership Is Dead: How Influence Is Reviving It," Jeremie Kubicek, CEO of the leader development company GiANT Impact, makes a clear and compelling case that "dominators" who lead by coercion are on the decline and are being replaced by "liberators" who lead through influence.
Kubicek observes that leadership has moved from a noun to a verb. It has become a means or vehicle for appropriate change rather than a goal or end in itself (i.e. to become the leader who exerts power over others). Peggy Noonan, President Ronald Reagan's speechwriter, once stated it this way: "Poor leaders want to be great. Great leaders want to do something great." Kubicek points out that for leaders to successfully make this shift, competence is required to get the job done well and character is required to build strong relationships based on mutual trust. People are much more likely to give their best efforts when following a liberator than a dominator because this type of leader helps the people he or she leads and, in doing so, develops a bond of connection.
I highly recommend this book. In addition to making a valuable contribution to leadership thinking, the stories and examples make it a page-turner. You'll experience the thrill of reading about Kubicek's narrow escape from intimidating Russian mobsters while working as a young entrepreneur in Moscow, and his harrowing and heartwarming account of coming back to life following a car accident in Cancun that left him momentarily lifeless. Also, be sure not to miss the material in the appendix that includes a fascinating description of Chick-fil-A's "Live. Love. Lead." program, an inspiring endeavor to be a positive influence in the lives of its customers.
Kubicek's company, GiANT Impact, has as its mission "to impact the leadership culture of America." "Leadership Is Dead" certainly contributes to that end and more. The timing of this book could not be better as today's news headlines recount more people around the world rising up to challenge dominating leaders and illegitimate governments in hopes of replacing them with the type of leader Kubicek describes.
Michael Lee Stallard
FCC Notice: I receive many pre-publication requests from authors, public relations firms and publishers to review books that they provide to me at no cost. I am under no obligation to write about any of the books I receive. I accept an offer only when I believe the book contributes new ideas or insights and I write reviews on approximately one-quarter of the books I read.
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