4 Steps to Become an Effective Leader

Leadership is not about power or control over others; that’s a misconception and a sign of weakness.  The idea of control is sourced from a faulty, fear based belief system.  True leadership comes from leading your own life; and that means taking personal responsibility for your results.  Only then can you start to be the example and a true leader for others.

Here are 4 steps to become an effective leader:

1. Make Unreasonable Requests

You are only as big as your requests.  Big people make big requests.  The more you ask them, the easier it gets.  Like anything it takes practice, but there is a science to it.

I’m going to pick on my dad (for just a minute).  He doesn’t think he’s getting paid enough in his job, but he also doesn’t ask for a raise.  And I’m going to tell you, if you don’t ask, you will never receive.

People cannot read your mind so this means actually saying something to someone – you have to be willing to express yourself and make a request.

Two years ago (when I was working as an engineer) I asked my employer for a $10,000 raise.  That was an unreasonable request.  I was extremely nervous but I asked them anyways (by the way, if you get extremely nervous then you’re on the right track)

Well, I didn’t get the raise in that first meeting.  You might be thinking it was failure right?  Not exactly.  One year after I made this request I received a $8,000 raise.  OK, so it wasn’t $10,000 but it was pretty close.

Exercise #1:  Unreasonable Requests

Have you been making unreasonable requests?  I’m guessing that if you don’t feel that surge that comes living an adventurous lifestyle, then you aren’t.  Get in the habit of making unreasonable requests.  Make at least five a day.  Start by asking this question:

What are 5 unreasonable requests I can make today?

Write them out and act on them.  Get on the phone, go visit people and make requests – you’ll be so glad you did; by the way, email does not count for making unreasonable requests.

2. Acknowledge Others

All great leaders understand that in order to be successful they have to be surrounded by great people.  And if you want great people to surround you, you’ve got to like yourself.

If you don’t like being in your own presence then why would you expect anyone else to?  You see, the more you enjoy your own company, the more others will enjoy your company.  You can start to enjoy yourself by acknowledging others.

Exercise #2: Acknowledge Others

Think of 5 people in your life that you would like to thank.  Write their names down on a piece of paper and spend the rest of the day thanking each one of these people.  You could thank them for pretty much anything.  Just be grateful these people are in your life. It doesn’t matter what it is – just thank them and be appreciative for their presence.  If you do this, you will like yourself so much more and others will too.

3. Follow Intuitive “hunches”

Learn to trust your intuitive forces and act on those feelings.

The article I wrote for Confidence Bound Magazine that was later published came from an intuitive “hunch.”  It just felt like the right thing to do.

If you have that inner nudge, or that inspiration, then act.  And I’m not talking about those chocolates in the kitchen, that’s not intuitive inspiration – that’s hunger.

Just remember that new breakthroughs in Quantum Physics have proven that 95% of matter is invisible.  These invisible forces are always working for you.  The Universe is conspiring all the time to give you what you want.

All you have to do is act on your inspiration.  Don’t delay, don’t second-guess and don’t get in your head.  Just act.

Exercise #3: Tap Into Intuition

You can start by writing out a specific question:  “How can I earn more income in my career?”

Write out this specific question 30 times on a blank piece of paper.  This sets the direction for your intention.  Then recycle the paper and forget about this whole exercise.  As the next few days unfold pay attention to those intuitive “hunches” that come up.  It might be an idea, a person or even a condition to help you earn more income.

4. Believe in a New Set of Ideas

Belief is all-powerful and required to become a great leader. You have to be willing to give up your old ways of thinking in order to really live your life in Leadership.  You can’t be a leader if you think:

  • “I’m not good enough.”
  • “I’m not smart enough.”
  • “I’m too old.”
  • “I’m too young.”

Expressing leadership requires a change in thinking.  You can’t change your dominant thought patterns unless you replace them with new ones.  You just need to put some new ideas in your head.

Exercise #4: Modeling Beliefs

Honestly take a look at where you are.  Look at your performance and results.  Then find someone that is totally kicking butt at what you do.  Someone who is a real winner and ask yourself:

“What ideas would I need to believe in, in order to become just as or even more successful than this person?”

Write out the answers.  Then commit to acting on those answers every day.  Writing without action is pointless.  Make a commitment to really ingrain these new ideas in your head by acting on them.

“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.” ~ Buddha


  • Srinivas Rao

    Reply Reply March 29, 2009

    Really like this post. I’m taking a class in my MBA program called creating and leading teams, and alot of concepts overlap. My recent web site

    htpp://www.100reasonsyoushouldhireme.com was based on a hunch. Although I got slammed for it the first day, I took the feedback from people incorporated it, and acknowledged them. Great blog in general.

  • Steve

    Reply Reply March 31, 2009

    Srinivas – awesome; and thank-you.

    Acknowledgement alone is such a powerful form of communication.

    Anytime you want to reinforce a positive (or negative) behavior, use acknowledgement…. I’m curious – what was the response to the people you acknowledged??

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