Jim Rohn: The qualities of skillful leadership

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(NOTE — Jim Rohn, one of the great personal development philosophers of our time and one of my favorite motivational authors, died today. Below is one of his many articles that influenced me. It is reprinted in his honor.)

[caption id="attachment_272" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Jim Rohn (via JimRohn.com)"]Jim Rohn (via JimRohn.com)[/caption]

If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality yourself. Leadership is the ability to attract someone to the gifts, skills and opportunities you offer as an owner, as a manager, as a parent. I call leadership the great challenge of life.

What’s important in leadership is refining your skills. All great leaders keep working on themselves until they become effective. Here are some specifics:

1) Learn to be strong but not rude. It is an extra step you must take to become a powerful, capable leader with a wide range of reach. Some people mistake rudeness for strength. It’s not even a good substitute.

2) Learn to be kind but not weak. We must not mistake kindness for weakness. Kindness isn’t weak. Kindness is a certain type of strength. We must be kind enough to tell somebody the truth. We must be kind enough and considerate enough to lay it on the line. We must be kind enough to tell it like it is and not deal in delusion.

3) Learn to be bold but not a bully. It takes boldness to win the day. To build your influence, you’ve got to walk in front of your group. You’ve got to be willing to take the first arrow, tackle the first problem, discover the first sign of trouble.

4) You’ve got to learn to be humble, but not timid. You can’t get to the high life by being timid. Some people mistake timidity for humility. Humility is almost a God-like word. A sense of awe. A sense of wonder. An awareness of the human soul and spirit. An understanding that there is something unique about the human drama versus the rest of life. Humility is a grasp of the distance between us and the stars, yet having the feeling that we’re part of the stars. So humility is a virtue; but timidity is a disease. Timidity is an affliction. It can be cured, but it is a problem.

5) Be proud but not arrogant. It takes pride to win the day. It takes pride to build your ambition. It takes pride in community. It takes pride in cause, in accomplishment. But the key to becoming a good leader is being proud without being arrogant. In fact I believe the worst kind of arrogance is arrogance from ignorance. It’s when you don’t know that you don’t know. Now that kind of arrogance is intolerable. If someone is smart and arrogant, we can tolerate that. But if someone is ignorant and arrogant, that’s just too much to take.

6) Develop humor without folly. That’s important for a leader. In leadership, we learn that it’s okay to be witty, but not silly. It’s okay to be fun, but not foolish.

Lastly, deal in realities. Deal in truth. Save yourself the agony. Just accept life like it is. Life is unique. Some people call it tragic, but I’d like to think it’s unique. The whole drama of life is unique. It’s fascinating. And I’ve found that the skills that work well for one leader may not work at all for another. But the fundamental skills of leadership can be adapted to work well for just about everyone: at work, in the community and at home.

To Your Success,

Jim Rohn

(Reproduced with permission from Jim Rohn’s Weekly E-zine. To subscribe, go to www.JimRohn.com All contents Copyright © JimRohn.com except where indicated otherwise. All rights reserved worldwide.)

A little gift that meant a lot

About a week ago I was looking for a book on a shelf when I saw something jammed between two of the larger books.

I pulled it out, and recognized it as booklet given to me by a good friend years ago. It has excerpts from “The Treasury of Quotes by Jim Rohn.” I opened it up and saw the note my friend wrote to me.

I immediately remembered thinking that it was a great gift when I had received it. Jim Rohn is one of the most influential personal development speakers in the world. The booklet meant a lot to me then and still means a lot to me.

I enjoyed perusing again the 134 quotes in the booklet. It has subject headings at the top of each page, making it easier to find an inspirational thought about the area in which you need help.

I get something every time I read one of the quotes in the booklet. Here are some of my favorites.

“If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs I education to turn him around.”

That quote in the knowledge/education area makes me realize that the best thing to do when I know I’ve made a mistake is stop and make a course correction. Knowing you’ve made a mistake doesn’t do any good if you don’t correct it.

“Unless you change how you are, you will always have what you’ve got.”

That quote in the personal development section helps me see the importance of working on getter better as a person. I’m beginning to see that the better I get, the more my situation improves.

“My mentor said, ‘Let’s go do it’ not ‘You go do it.’ How powerful when someone says, ‘Let’s!’”

That quote in leadership/management shows me the importance of helping other people. Another one in the same section reaffirms that thinking:

“Learn to help people with more than just their jobs; help them with their lives.”

All these quotes take on even greater meaning in network marketing, but the last two are especially important. We should strive to serve as mentors to those we sponsor. When we say, “Let’s go do it,” we’re showing them how to build a strong, successful business.

But even beyond that, we should become friends with those in our business. Friends help friends, not only with their businesses, but with their lives.

Steve DeVane

The bridge between thought and accomplishment

The teachings of Jim Rohn have popped into my life recently on two separate occasions.

One way is a little book I found squeezed between two bigger volumes on my bookshelf. It’s called “The Treasury of Quotes by Jim Rohn.” A friend gave it to me years ago. I’ll share some of the quotes in a future blog.

The other instance is this video sent to me by another friend. It’s based on Rohn’s new book, “Lessons on Life.”

The video makes several points on ways to live to a successful life. Here’s a few of them.

Learn to be happy. The video defines happiness as “activity with purpose.”

When I was younger, I thought happiness was over-rated. To me honest, people who were happy ticked me off, which of course made me even less happy.

I’m not sure where or how I learned it, but somewhere along the way, I got it in my head that I was somehow a better person if I was unhappy. I was almost snobbish about my unhappiness. I looked down on happy people like riff-raff who had not yet learned the high and holy ways of being unhappy.

As I’ve gotten older, I see how utterly ridiculous that is. Why not be happy? Being happy certainly beats being unhappy. And the great thing is, happiness is a choice. If you want to be happy, all you have to do is decide to be happy. Now some things will make you sad at times, but for the most part, happiness is only a decision away.

Discipline yourself. Discipline, according to the video is the bridge between thought and accomplishment. We all suffer from either the pain of discipline, which weighs ounces, or the pain of regret, which weighs tons, the video says.

We often think of discipline in a negative sense, as in punishment. But discipline, as in self-control, is a positive. We become better people when we learn to apply ourselves.

Embrace change. The video points out that we can change all things for the better when we change ourselves for the better.

Today, it seems change is happening everywhere. Someone said the only constant in the world these days is change.

So change is happening. We can’t stop it. Why not embrace it and make the most of it by changing ourselves for the better.

Live well. If we don’t design our own lives someone else will, according to the video.

Too often we get stuck in the day-to-day existence of life. We do the so much that busyness becomes our only business.

It seems difficult, but we are in control of our lives. We just have to realize it and do something about it.

Take some time and think about where your life is going. It’s a great time to start improving your life for the better.

Want to know what the best five years of your life are?

The next five years. Make the most of them.

Steve DeVane