How the Best Leaders Lead: Proven Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Yourself and Others

How the Best Leaders Lead: Proven Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Yourself and Others

by Brian Tracy


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814414347
Publisher: AMACOM
Publication date: 02/03/2010
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

BRIAN TRACY is the Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations. 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. He has written 55 books and produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on management, motivation, and personal success.

Read an Excerpt


The Race Is On

‘‘Great hopes make everything possible.’’


We are living in the most challenging times for business and economics that we have experienced in our lifetimes. Only the fit will survive. The race is on, and you are in it. If you are not committed to winning, to conquering against all odds, you will be brushed aside and passed over by people and companies more determined to win than you are.

Some time ago, Harvard University made three predictions that apply to the current economic situation. First, they said a there will be more change in your business in the year ahead than ever before. Second, there will be more competition in your business than ever before. And third, there will be more opportunities in your business than ever before.

But these opportunities will be different from the business that you are accustomed to in the present, and you must move quickly to take advantage of them if you are going to survive and thrive against your competitors.

As it happens, these predictions were made in 1952. A fourth prediction was added later: Those individuals and organizations that do not quickly adapt to the inevitable and unavoidable changes of today will be in different fields or out of business within one or two years.

Charles Darwin said, ‘‘Survival goes not necessarily to the strongest but to the species that is most adaptable to changing circumstances.’’

Damon Runyon once wrote, ‘‘The race is not necessarily to the swift, nor the contest to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.’’

You have heard the old saying that the Chinese character for crisis is the same character used for opportunity. This is because within almost every crisis there is an opportunity of some kind a if you can find it.

Brilliant on the Basics

When Vince Lombardi took over the Green Bay Packers, he was asked if he was going to change the players, the plays, the training a or other key aspects of the team. He replied, ‘‘I’m not going to change anything; we are simply going to become brilliant on the basics.’’

The Green Bay Packers had been doing poorly for some years.

In his first meeting with the team, he famously picked up a football and said, ‘‘Gentleman, this is a football.’’

From then on, Lombardi concentrated on the basics, running drills aimed at making his team faster and more effective at executing plays than any other team. He took the Green Bay Packers to two Super Bowl Championships and made football coaching history.

Consistent with the Lombardi method, the key to leading and succeeding in times of crisis and rapid change is to become ‘‘brilliant on the basics.’’

In this book, based on my work with more than a thousand companies in fifty-two countries, I will share some of the best thinking and action skills used by top executives and company owners to achieve outstanding results in difficult markets against determined competition.

When you practice these ideas and put them into action, you will get results out of all proportion to your efforts. Sometimes a single change in direction, inspired by an insight or an idea in this book, can change your business, and your life, quickly and dramatically.

The Seven Responsibilities of Leadership

There are seven basics that never change, the key responsibilities of leadership in any organization. On a scale of 1 to 10, your ability in each of these seven areas determines your value to yourself and your contribution to your organization. Here they are:

Your First Responsibility: Set and Achieve

Business Goals

The number-one reason for business and executive failure is the inability to achieve the sales, growth, and profitability goals for which the leader is responsible.

Setting and achieving business goals embraces every part of strategic and market planning, including products, services, people a productivity, promotion, finances, and competitive responses.

We will touch on these critical factors in the pages ahead.

The Second Responsibility of Leadership: Innovate and Market

As Peter Drucker said, the purpose of a business is to ‘‘create and keep a customer.’’

Only through continuous innovation of products, services a processes, and promotional methods can companies create and keep customers. As Bruce Henderson of the Boston Consulting

Group wrote, ‘‘All strategic planning is market planning.’’

The Third Responsibility of Leadership: Solve

Problems and Make Decisions

This is so important that I will dedicate an entire chapter to the problem solving and decision making skills that you absolutely must master to be an effective leader. Remember, a goal unachieved is merely a problem unsolved. A sales target unachieved is a problem unsolved. The only obstacles that stand between you and the business success you desire are problems, difficulties a hindrances, and barriers. Your ability to go over, under, or around these problems is central to your success.

The Fourth Responsibility of Leadership: Set

Priorities and Focus on Key Tasks

One of the most important jobs you do is to deploy limited resources a especially of people and money, into those areas where they can make the greatest contribution to the success of the enterprise.

The law of the excluded alternative says, ‘‘Doing one thing means not doing something else.’’

Time is your scarcest resource. It is limited, perishable, irretrievable a and irreplaceable. The way you allocate your time can be the critical determinant of everything you achieve—or fail to achieve.

The Fifth Responsibility of Leadership: Be a Role

Model to Others

Albert Schweitzer once wrote, ‘‘You must teach men at the school of example, for they will learn at no other.’’

Throughout the ages, the example that you establish in your character, attitude, personality, and work habits, and especially the way you treat other people, sets the tone for your department or organization.

You do not raise morale in an organization; it always filters down from the top. There are no bad soldiers under a good general.

One of the great questions for you to continually ask yourself is, ‘‘What kind of a company would my company be if everyone in it was just like me?’’

Marshall Goldsmith, top executive coach for senior executives in the Fortune 1000, has demonstrated over the years that a single change in a behavioral characteristic of a key executive can cause a positive multiplier effect that impacts the behavior of an enormous number of people.

Leaders conduct themselves as though everyone is watching a even when no one is watching.

The Sixth Responsibility of Leadership: Persuade,

Inspire, and Motivate Others to Follow You

Tom Peters said that the best leaders don’t create followers, they create leaders. It’s true that you want your people to have initiative and the liberty to act on that initiative. But all initiatives must be in the support and service of what you are trying to achieve as a leader.

If people aren’t following you, you are not a leader. If no one is listening to you, believes you, or cares what you say, you are not going to succeed. If people are only going through the motions to earn a paycheck, the greatest business strategy in the world will fail.

You must motivate others to follow your vision, to support and achieve the goals and objectives that you have set, to buy into the mission of the organization as you see it. Today, getting others to follow you takes more than command and control. You have to earn their trust, respect, and confidence. That is the key to sustainable success as a leader.

The Seventh Responsibility of Leadership: Perform and Get Results

In the final analysis, your ability to get the results that are expected of you is the critical factor that determines your success.

In the pages ahead, I will show you a series of simple, proven a practical methods and techniques used by top executives and business owners everywhere to get better, faster, and more predictable results in any business or organization or in any economic situation.

Each Crisis Contains an Opportunity

‘‘Professional soldiers pray for peace, but hope for war.’’

What does this saying mean? It means that soldiers pray for peace because war is so terrible: Every sensible person wants to live out their life in peace and for as long as possible, including soldiers.

But only during warfare, during critical moments on the battlefield a is it possible to achieve distinction and be rapidly promoted.

Professional soldiers hope for war, in the back of their minds, so they can demonstrate their fitness and capability for higher command.

Viktor Frankl, a survivor of Auschwitz during World War II

and the founder of Logotherapy, famously wrote, ‘‘The last great freedom is the freedom to choose your own mental attitude under any set of conditions.’’

A senior executive friend of mine, whose company had suffered sales declines of 40 percent in less than a year and was reeling from the reversals in the economy, told me how he maintained a positive attitude every day.

He said, ‘‘Each morning, when I get up, I have a decision to make. I can be happy, or I can be very happy. I therefore decide that today, I will be very happy, and I allow that attitude to guide me throughout the day, no matter what happens.’’

You too can choose your own attitude under any given set of circumstances. You can decide to be positive, constructive, and forward-looking. You can look upon each ‘‘crisis’’ as an ‘‘opportunity,’’

even if it is only an opportunity for you to grow, mature a become stronger, and perhaps even achieve the kind of ‘‘battlefield promotions’’ that will stay with you for the rest of your career.

Welcome to the twenty-first century!

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Race Is On 1

Chapter 1 The Heart of a Leader 11

Chapter 2 Leaders Know Themselves 33

Chapter 3 Counterattack! Business Lessons from Military Strategy 51

Chapter 4 Masterful Management! 83

Chapter 5 Hire and Keep the Best People 113

Chapter 6 Building Winning Teams 141

Chapter 7 Problem Solving and Decision Making 157

Chapter 8 Communicate with Power 177

Chapter 9 The Leader's Questionnaire 193

Chapter 10 Simplify Your Life 223

Index 239

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How the Best Leaders Lead: Proven Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Yourself and Others 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Brian Tracy offers sound advice to help leaders succeed. He doesn't suggest anything terribly new, but his advice is entirely solid: Set goals, be innovative, be decisive, motivate your people and focus on results. You don't need a book to teach you, "to fulfill your potential, you must become excellent at what you do," but you may welcome the pep talk and the reminder. Such popular advice has made Tracy a best-selling author with 45 books to his credit and, apparently, has given him permission to quote himself at will. You may have to find your own balance as you weigh his counsel to exercise and spend more time with your family against his advice to go to work early, stay late and be available on weekends, but that's a true reflection of the dilemma of modern leadership. Overall, getAbstract finds that Tracy's concepts, tips and suggestions offer a steady foundation of the basics of leadership amid today's challenges.
Lynn_Tech_Mgr More than 1 year ago
This book provides a framework on how to develop the skills and techniques required to lead an organization. It provides a clear path to leadership. There is also information on what makes a good manager.
Mark-LaMoure More than 1 year ago
Mark LaMoure, Boise, ID "How The Best Leaders Lead" By Brian Tracy is a precious book by a specialist in the field of leadership excellence. Mr. Tracy targets proven secrets to getting the most out of yourself and others so you can become a top leader and deliver the best results. Brian discusses the best leadership habits he practiced on a daily basis for decades, which catapulted him to being one of the world's finest authors and businessmen in self-help and personal development. Copyright 2010. How the best leaders lead people is the book's core topic. Tracy talks about real world leadership and delivers nuclear-powered ideas for being the best leader you can be. The world sorely needs better leaders. Brian's book fills that need well, guiding you with "seven basic responsibilities of leadership" to be your best. Tracy discusses some of the greatest business leaders in history. He imparts experiential knowledge, drawn from proven success and fields of battle in business. Insiders secrets are shared on: 1. How you can prepare for leadership. 2. What to do, what to avoid and how to win the leadership game. 3. He identifies strategies and practices to make you a great leader. Reading the book may empower you to become a top leader in your business. Its overflowing with suggestions you can use to climb to your industry's peak of success. Excellently written, easy to understand and full of leadership gold nuggets the book is destined to be one of the world's finest. But isn't that what you expect from Brian Tracy? I've been reading his books, listening to his tapes, CD's and watching his videos for over 25 years. The man only gets better, better and BETTER. This is one of Brian's best, top shelf books. Buy the book. You will be glad you did. I rate the book 5 Gold Stars.