5 Things You Should Know About Leaders

5-2Since we all love a good list, let’s get right to it! Leaders are …


Funny thing about leaders and living accountably—they don’t talk about it, they do it. Just as the truly humble don’t boast about how self-effacing they are, leaders don’t run around proclaiming that they take total ownership for their actions, results, and life. They simply live life sans blame, whining, victim and entitlement thinking, being offended all the time, or making excuses. Now that is leadership!

Have you achieved accountable living?


An Australian mentor who taught me about selling also taught me to ask questions—lots of questions—of anyone I came across on a sales call. Picture a receptionist being queried, “When was this building built?” “How long has your firm been in business?” “Who founded it?” “What’s it like to work here?” “Who are your competitors?” Not only was it a good way to break the ice, it was great learning and knowledge-building. All driven by curiosity.

Are you asking enough questions?


There’s a chapter in Outstanding! about my dad, Jimmy Miller, the Cornell wrestling coach. He believed the key to teaching young boys the sport of grappling is to make very clear to them WHY they’re on the mat. “Your mission,” he’d coach them, “is to put the other man on his back.” I’ve yet to meet a leader who didn’t know his or her mission. Said differently, they know WHY they’re on the mat of life. 

Have you discovered your purpose?


As a child, I might’ve been borderline ADHD, labeled “hyper” by many. Once I found my purpose, that boundless energy carried me for many years. At 58 this week, it’s ebbed and that’s okay. But you won’t meet many leaders—people who get tons done—who are low-energy people. Leaders are probably, to quote Elvis, “born standing up and talking back.” Their vigor, verve, and vitality serve them well.

Do you possess sufficient energy to tackle life?


Being a leader and being “part of the pack” are mutually exclusive. Leaders understand that just like sawing a board or mowing a lawn, it’s best to cut against the grain. Leaders rarely “go with the flow.” They are better at changing the flow. Leaders are the salmon swimming upstream while all others head a different direction. They do outstanding things because they stand out from the crowd.

Are you a conformer or a contrarian?

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Which of these 5 leadership attributes do you possess and which do you need to acquire? Be a leader by sharing below right now!

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5 Responses

  1. Being a new Supervisor for the past year and going through just about every situation possible, this was a terrific article which boosted me to reach for the stars. Thank you very much.

  2. Interesting. As a coach, I recommend people live within their God-given boundaries. How does that work for energy level? Can we make ourselves more energetic (hyper!)? I would suggest probably not, but we can learn to work within and maximize our natural energy levels.

    Curious. Love to hear other thoughts and opinions.

    1. Hi, Kristin. Thanks for the note. There are exceptions to every rule, but as I said in the piece, most leaders are high-energy not low energy folks. That’s all. 🙂

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