Always chase humility

Humility makes it easier for people to give you feedback. Humility makes it easier to learn stuff. Humility makes you approach the world with a mindset of “I know nothing”, rather than “I know everything.” Arrogance is the opposite of humility. Arrogance rejects honesty. Arrogance rejects learning. Arrogance engenders enemies. Arrogance comes from insecurity. From…

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Know thyself

Knowing yourself is probably the hardest lesson of life. This is not a new revelation. The Delphic Oracle at the Temple of Apollo was built in 400BC (2400 years ago). The oracle had the answers to all your questions. At the entrance to the temple was inscribed, “Know thyself.” In other words, if you wanted the answer…

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Without loyalty you can’t be a leader

Loyalty is having your people’s backs, through thick and thin.Loyalty is not blaming your employee when he/she makes a mistake.Loyalty is fighting for your partners/colleagues/friends, even when you know you’re going to lose.Loyalty is looking after a team member when she gets sick, even if the sickness prevents her from doing her job.Loyalty engenders loyalty….

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What is the “right thing”?

Most of business comprises hard decisions. Choosing between several options without a clear idea of which direction to take. Deciding what is the “right thing” to do. That’s why you need a moral compass. Your moral compass points you in the direction that aligns with your ethical code and your values. Your moral compass points…

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Balance left and right brainers

One of the greatest leadership challenges in business is creating an environment for creative & innovative people (right brainers) to create magic, whilst ensuring you have accountants and engineers (left brainers) to turn the magic into reality. It’s easy to pander to right-brainers and come up with amazing ideas every day, but then you will…

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3 tips for being a better leader

Avoid people that flatter you. If someone doesn’t give you an honest reflection of yourself, that person is hurting you. You need to maximise your self-awareness. To do that you need strong, honest people around you to hold up a mirror. Steer clear of gat-kruipers. Don’t expect someone else to save you. Only you can save…

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Leaders have courage

The courage to reject investment from a shady character. The courage to fire an under-performing friend. The courage to sue a non-paying customer. The courage to make hard decisions. The courage to give away short term financial upside. The courage to let go the reins. The courage to fight for what you believe in.

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Doing the right thing is usually also doing the hard thing

During a recession a leader must cut costs or risk going out of business. That usually means retrenchments. Retrenchments are not fun. Much easier is to avoid the hard decision and coast along relying on prayer. That’s the path that ultimately leads to bankruptcy and everyone losing their job. The right thing is to cut…

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Sometimes you must be the goalie

If you ever play a friendly game of soccer, you know that no one wants to be the goalkeeper. The goalie stands at the back, only seeing action when the opposition is about to score, and usually getting dissed for letting in soft goals. It’s not fun. But when it’s your turn, you need to…

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Get your hands dirty

It’s easy to sit in the ivory tower and preach from afar. But that’s not the way to understand your business and your people. The best way to know what’s going on is to roll up your sleeves, and get your hands into the detail. Look at the detail of your financial records. Accompany your…

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Use the right tool for the job

If you want to drill a hole in a tree, make sure you use a wood drill-bit. The steel and masonry drill-bits look exactly the same, but if you use one of them you will find yourself pushing hard and making no progress. Try it sometime. You’ll burn energy, electricity and wood, but the hole…

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If you plant a rose bush in the shade, it will whither

Roses need sun. Lots of it. Sun, sun, sun, all day. Give sun, and you’ll have beautiful flowers and flourishing bushes. On the other hand, if you plant a rose bush in the shade, it will fail. No matter how good the soil and how much water to you feed it, the roses will fail…

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