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Want to be Good Leader ?

Want to be Good Leader ?
Just Do It !

Here is a simple question to get you started. There are three monkeys sitting on a tree branch stretching out over a pond. One of the monkeys decides to jump into the pond. How many monkeys are left on the tree ?

Did I hear you say, ‘two’ ?

Wrong. The right answer is three. You see, the monkey only made the  decision to jump into the pond. He did not actually jump! What’s true for those monkeys is probably true for all of us. We take decisions and make resolutions. But for some reason, we don’t follow through with action. And intent without action is really quite useless. Getting started – taking  that first step – is often the  master key to success. As someone once said, you don’t have to be great to get started. But you sure have to get started to become great.  

Great leaders  have a strong bias for action– a let’s-get moving attitude that pushes the entire team to a heightened sense of activity. Do you find yourself struggling to take action on your plans and intentions ? Well here is a five point programme to help you move from intent to action. From good to great.

1.   Make a beginning – right away. Whatever be your goal, take the first step, however small. Until you take the first step, your mind does not believe you. You need to signal to yourself that you mean business. Commit to taking action, immediately. Today. Now.

2.   Break up the grand plan into smaller tasks. As the Johnnie Walker advertisement keeps reminding us, a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step. Sometimes the task ahead looks so enormous that we feel overwhelmed and don’t do anything about it. Brea that up into smaller sub-tasks, and suddenly, you will find something that is doable. Remember that old adage, ‘something is better than nothing’. It still rings true.

3.   Visualize your success. Think of the pleasure, not the pain. If you want to acquire an MBA at a premier school and plan to devote three hours a day to studying, don’t think about missing the football and cricket game on television, or not being able to go out for that Saturday night bash. Think instead of the job that you could get after your MBA, the rewards that it would bring, the dreams that would get realized.

4.   Create a support group. Surround yourself with people who share your objective and are co-passengers on your journey to success. The excitement of being in it together  will help you fight the inertia and get you going, egged on by the rest of the gang.

5.   Pay up – in advance. For most of us, monetary commitments are a strong impetus for action. The fear of losing money  or wasting it can spur you into action. We follow up on our commitments, if only to ensure that our money is well spent. Plan to lose weight ? pay up for that three-month weight loss programme. Don’t wait – make that commitment, financial or otherwise.

Best selling management guru Tom Peters narrates the tale of a man who approached the legendary American financier and banker, J.P. Morgan, with an envelope and said, Sir, in my hand I hold a guaranteed formula for success, which  I will gladly sell you for 25,000 dollars.’

‘Sir’, J. P. Morgan replied,  ‘I do not know what is in the envelope. However, if you show me,  and I like it, I give you my word as a gentleman that I will pay you what you ask.’. The man handed over the envelope. J.P. Morgan opened it and pulled out a single piece of paper. He gave it one look- a mere glance- then handed it back to the gentleman. And paid him the agreed-upon sum of 25,000 dollars!

On the sheet of paper , were written two things :

1.   Every morning write down a list of the things that need to be done that day.

2.   Do them. 

J.P. Morgan benefited from this advice, and you can too. Knowing what to do is often easy. We all have our to-do lists, plans and resolutions. Doing it- that’s the tough bit, that is what distinguishes the truly successful from the also-rans. The nike guys are right. Want to be a Winner ? Just do it ! 

Here’s a guaranteed formula for success:

1.   Every morning, write down a list of the things that need to be done that day.

2.   Just Do Them.
From : ‘The Secret of Leadership’ by Prakash Iyer


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