No Really, I am a Lawyer – by Sean McGinnis


How my law degree pays for me (even thought I don’t practice law) – A guest post by Sean McGinnis For Newmanon

I’m a lawyer.


I said it.

In 1994, I graduated from University of San Diego School of Law. But I don’t practice law. Instead, I’ve spent most of the past 17 years building a career in business, working for one of the largest legal services companies in the world.

One of the questions I’m asked fairly often is “do you regret going to law school, especially since you’re not practicing law?” The short answer is “sort of”. The long answer is the subject of the balance of this blog post.

My only real regret is the money. If law school had been cost free, I would have had no regrets whatsoever. But leaving law school with over $70k in loans (in 1994 dollars) was a shock to the system. Because of that debt, I’ve been forced to make decisions that are different from the ones I might have preferred to make over the past 17 years.

That said, I can hear the question forming in your mind: “So other than a boatload of debt, Mr. McGinnis, exactly what did you get out of law school?”  I’m so very glad you asked. Here are the top three things I got from law school.

Improved writing skills

I’m not a great writer. Never was and never will be. But I used to be just awful. Law school definitely changed that. I learned more about how to structure a sentence and write persuasively during my law school education than during the previous 16 years of schooling.

I’m not so sure these aren’t things I couldn’t have learned on my own had I just applied myself. But law school FORCED me to learn them, due to the rigor of the study and the professionalism of the feedback.

Refined logical thinking

I’ve always fancied myself a logical thinker. My standardized test scores tend to back that up. But studying law is completely different. Studying the law forces one to learn to strategically unpack language in ways most humans are not naturally wired to do. Closely examining contracts and statutes can be extremely tedious, but forces a succinctness that my studies lacked. A misplaced comma can literally change the meaning of a will, trust or a contract.

Better attention to detail

I am not, and never have been a detail oriented person. I’m not a neat freak. I’m a MUCH better starter than I am a finisher. In fact, my fraternity brother often says “you’ve never finished anything in your life!”  Heh. Not true by the way.  I can easily rile up a crowd and move them toward action (maybe I should have been a political organizer or semi-professional rabble-rouser), but the end result of the effort will be far better if I then hand that off to an operation wizard who can build systems and processes around the effort to ensure consistency.

All that said, law school again FORCED a discipline in me that was lacking. When I need to, I can buckle down and pick nits over misplaced commas and the like. Before law school, I don’t think you could have forced me to do that.

There you have it.

In the end, I wouldn’t change a thing. Law school was an incredible experience and it helped shape me in ways I’m probably not even conscious of. Would I do it again? Only if I wasn’t weighed down by that debt. I’ve met a LOT of lawyers down through the years. Many of them were very dissatisfied with the practice of law, but very few of them disliked the process of attending and graduating from law school. I’d easily count myself in that company.

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The Founders Trap

The other day, I asked a friend why they buy all of their cars from the same dealership.  The response? “We know the Owner and he takes care of us.”

Interesting. Reflecting on their answer, I weighed what might be the reality of the situation; does he actually take good care of them or does “Knowing the Owner” offer that illusion. After all, we are talking about a car dealership, and the owner is nothing more than a “Celebrity” car salesman.

This way of thinking isn’t limited to car purchases.  Growing up, I remember eating at the same restaurants, shopping at the same electronics store, and consistently buying sporting goods from the same little shop.  The common denominator? It was a family relationship with the owner.

I recall how boring it was to eat at the same restaurant but my father loved the food. What pleased him even more was that the owner always came by and said hello and showed genuine concern that we had a great experience.

Upon further reflection, I began thinking about my business and the relationships our company has with its customers. Does our leadership team engage frequently with those responsible for our success? After all, we are a 62-year-old family company that started out as a small mom/pop service shop on Belmont in Chicago.

To be completely honest (and why wouldn’t I be?), the answer is No.  It wasn’t a conscious decision to ‘stop engaging’; rather, it was the apparent necessity for senior leaders to be more significantly involved in the internal operations and strategy.  This is, for many companies, the natural progression within a growing business.

The consequence is that direct customer interaction is released by leadership and left to others – those on the front lines.

Despite the reality that leadership ‘disappearing’ from customer view is common for growing companies doesn’t mean it’s not a drawback.  In fact, I’m convinced that it is an unfortunate business malaise and coined a name for it: “Founders Trap”

In short, the Founders Trap is the act of disengaging from your customers in order to grow your business.

This paradoxical yet common behavior is often a consequence of too many irons in the fire, not enough trust in your employees, and, occasionally, a complete mental breakdown by the founder.  (See Delusional Business Person: An owner that believes others will serve their customer with the same passion as they did)

Very large organizations are susceptible to this, often due to the circumstance of having to build scale.  This effort to grow makes the company very tall, creating several layers of management between the brass and the people interfacing with the customer.  The goal is to build processes and procedures (based on the always entertaining premise of “Best Practices”) so the customer receives a consistent experience.

While processes are great, I think it is pretty safe to say that there isn’t a best practice that can be provisioned to clone your sales team to illicit the same passion as the brand visionaries.

It can happen in any growth organization and we have seen it happen in large enterprises, a recent example being Michael Dell.  He founded and built Dell into a leader in the PC industry.  He innovated and revolutionized the business model while continuously growing the company under his thumb.  Upon his departure from the CEO role, the company lost its vision, its prestige, and its profitability.  It was his return that enabled the company to get tracks after a number of turbulent years without him.

So if it can happen to a large global enterprise like Dell then it’s safe to say that it can happen to your company.

With all of this “doom and gloom”, what’s the solution to this dilemma?  After all, we want to grow our businesses and we have to entrust certain activities to more than just the founders and senior leaders.

  • The cure for “Founders  Trap” is subjective but I submit a few specific considerations:
  • Continued engagement by leadership with key customers
  • Regular direct correspondence to the customer base (Perhaps an Email via Constant Contact)
  • Hire the BEST possible sales force to engage your customers (who ARE you when in front of the client)

Leave operations to others…maybe (it’s easier to find finance and operations people than it is to find entrepreneurial employees that will give your customers the same attention as you did)

The Founders Trap isn’t an insurmountable roadblock for business growth but something to bear in mind during growth.  There are many success stories of companies that grow to great scale even without owner presence. After all, it’s your passion that got you there. It will be your persistence that keeps you there.


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The Leadership Minute #3

Welcome to week 3 of 4 for the leadership minute’s discussion on the 4 key intangibles of great leadership.

Over the first two weeks we covered Humility and Honesty.  Both critical to understanding and more importantly succeeding in leadership.

Profoundly (perhaps conveniently) in the statement above I use the word “Understanding,” a word that serves as the core component of the third intangible, EMPATHY.

By definition, empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.  To me, this is so important to leadership that failure is eminent without it.

Being understood is not only a need for people in their professional life, it is one of the basic needs for health and wellness. Numerous studies have been published, even in the New England Journal of Medicine, that show the act of empathy by health care practitioners actually improves patient outcomes.  Meaning patients show a greater rate of improvement and recovery when they feel their Doctor takes a genuine interest in their needs. (Bedside manner sounds a bit more important now?)

Let’s translate this back to business and leadership.  How does empathy effect the relationships we deal with in our daily grind…

As an employee – The happiest and most successful employees work for companies where beyond their direct compensation they feel they are understood, their work respected, and they have more than a job. All of which require empathy.

As a manager – When you are trying to motivate performance and drive tasks, influence is earned through your character and competence.  Your team responds to you because you have the know how, but more importantly they listen because they believe you care. A belief that is rooted in empathy.

As an executive – Driving the vision, mission, and long term execution for a company takes courage, intelligence, and perhaps most importantly organizational support. While your all of those aforementioned traits drive results, few executives will claim they can do it alone.  That required support will stabilize and grow when your team feels appreciated and understood by an empathetic leader.

As a customer – Think about your own buying experiences. Especially purchases that are not necessities.  When you have a choice, you almost always choose to buy from people you like.  What is it that you like about them? I would submit that often times it is you like that they appear to care about your needs.  That understanding – empathy at its finest.

All boiling down to…

As a human being – Whether employee, manager, executive, or customer, the bottom line is we as people want to be understood.  Not only in our careers, but in our lives.  Our careers being a section of our larger being, we take that section and apply it across everything we do.

Great leaders know that EMPATHY is a requirement of their success, and that is why it is the third of four intangibles great leaders must possess.





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You Can’t Teach Give a Sh*t


Amidst a firestorm, a friend and colleague of mine by the name of Erik Sover said to me, “You can’t teach give a shi*.

What a funny quip, I remember thinking to myself.  Then wondering if this bold statement could be true.  How could the world be so perverse that you can’t teach someone to care? In reality, the real question we should ask ourselves is can you teach someone to care about what you care about?  I would contend that the answer is no if their reason for caring is strictly for your benefit.

Problem Surfacing: If you are a leader or business owner this may be the genesis of a tremendous quagmire.  If your people don’t care about the same things you do, are they going to represent your company, brand, product, service, etc the way they need to be to drive maximum success?

The answer is NO!

This begs a question? Why should the employees care about what you do.  At the root of this question lies your answer.

First, managers are notorious for driving tasks and failing to relate.  “You need to do this because that is how I want it done” or “If you like your job you will do it this way.” Both hollow threats or catalysts for a revolving door.

Second, they shouldn’t. But, they do care about their success which in summation of all the supporting cast equals the organizations success. So how do we unleash their inner desire to care?

Leadership is the key to this riddle.  If I were a leader, how would I help my teams to genuinely care about the vision of the company? To deliver at the highest level every time? To make sure our customers are satisfied beyond their expectations?

I parallel it to your childhood, why did you do what you were told? Probably because you feared the consequences, not because you agreed with what you were told.  Did it motivate you in any way?

Quote Office Space “It only makes me do just enough not to get fired,” or grounded as a child.

In short, there are 2 major considerations here that both warrant lengthy discussions (most to be had at a later time)

1. Motivation – No matter how much you wish they would be, people aren’t motivated to make you successful.  They are sometimes motivated by money, power, prestige, or survival (and other ways too).  So if you think they are going to do you a favor to be nice, I would think again. (If you believe that, you probably are way over your head)

2. Power – It is critical that leaders understand that the most influential power does not come from your title, reward, or coerciveness.  It really comes from your know how, and your track record.  We will call that Knowledge and Referent Power.  In short, you cannot lead people consistently by crossing your arms, paying them more, or scaring them.  People will respond to you out of respect for your accomplishments, your passion, and your track record for success

So can you teach Give a Shi*?

The answer is yes, but you can’t teach it for the reason’s that you may give a (sh)it.

Leaders…Know that!



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The Total Customer Experience

This article is a jointly written by Myself and Tobey Deys. The article is in follow up to “I Can’t Stand I Can’t” by me and “Do You Give Good Customer” by @Tobeydeys.

Customer Service is not a vague concept that can be thrown through the door of a department and managed well. Leaving Customer Service in the hands of a department is a strategy that can sound a death knoll. Poor customer service CAN single-handedly shatter great ideas and raze growth.

Let’s consider a few questions around the Customer Service Experience:

How often has an entire experience been soured by a single bad interaction with an individual?

Have you ever decided to ‘cease and desist’ doing business with an organization due to one distressing experience?

Do you share your bad experiences with people – both those close to you and random strangers?

Do you rail or mutter on Twitter, Facebook or your Blog about a really bad customer experience?

It’s a pretty safe bet that you’ve had a bad customer service experience and vented. Probably a sure thing that a company disappointed you and you told someone about it.

Let’s consider a scenario…

Michelin 2-star restaurant. The meal is sublime. The maitre’d is courteous and authentic. The sommelier is spot on. The atmosphere is soothing and romantic. (really sets the mood!) But …

The waiter is dismissive, inattentive, and clumsy.

We‘ve all had this experience (although perhaps only the rock stars among us have had it in a Michelin starred diner). All of the elements verged on perfection yet one component was fatally flawed. The question – would you return? You may say that the food was phenomenal but what remains in contention is that rotten waiter. You may answer “Sure the food and everything was amazing but there are so many places, with great food, that don’t treat me so badly.” The entire experience is summed up and recorded based on the lowest denominator.

This is one simple example of the whole being less than the sum of the parts.

What’s the moral of this story?

Customer service is not a department and cannot be satisfactorily performed by a few designated people within an organization. Customer Service needs to be redefined as Total Customer Experience. This translates to creating a customer service philosophy that includes every single person within an organization, from reception to C-level.

Hiring managers need to recognize this necessity. Each person hired bears your company brand and is a potential liability if you don’t ensure they take Total Customer Service and Satisfaction seriously.

Customer Service is the epicenter of the organization. It impacts the entire customer outlook on your product or service. Auditing the level of customer service company-wide is a critical exercise that cannot be ignored. Your product might be sublime, your receptionist courteous and authentic, and fulfillment spot on but if one other element of the Total Customer Experience is inferior, those customers may not come back.


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Social Media Tips for Sr. Executives #2

In the first edition of this weekly guide, we touched on the importance of active listening and intelligent sharing as important keys for executives beginning to get involved in Social Media.

In short, the premise behind tips one and two was to focus on building a reference group, and to gain understanding of the right content to share to establish yourself as a thought leader within the appropriate subsets of the massive social media community.

This week, I want to touch on what I believe is a (perhaps the) game changer for any Senior level professional wishing to generate successful outcomes using Social Media.

This experience enhancing activity is what I call “Engagement

The idea of Social Media Engagement is to generate an active dialogue that takes place between individuals, within communities, on blogs and other conversational activities that can take place on the Social Web.

Some examples of doing this could be commenting on a blog, responding to a post/question on Linked in or Twitter, or perhaps joining a Twitter Chat within your area of expertise. (I will further discuss chats in a later edition of this blog)

While engagement is something many attempt to do, only a small percentage of them (in my experience) do it well.

While doing it well isn’t always critical, it does improve outcomes (More ahead).  When engaging, you want to focus on jumping in where you add value and/or bring meaningful insight to the conversation.  Often people jump into conversations and dilute the quality or digress the subject which can sometimes appear as spam (Not good).

Proper engagement is often focused around the aforementioned value add.  (I’ve also found that in some forums like Twitter, sometimes just saying hello and making small talk is well received)

Think of it this way.  Join the conversation much like you would in real life.  If you were at a local networking event you wouldn’t walk into an active conversation and just start talking.  You would listen, make a proper introduction, and then chime in if and when it made sense. (If you approach Social Media this way you will be just fine!)

Proper engagement has huge upside.  It will drive loyalty, reciprocity, and serve as the impetus of relationship building that spans well beyond the realm of the digital universe.

In the six months that I have been active in the Social Media community, I have made contact with countless executives and driven relationships with a wide variety of Business Owners, C-Level Executives, and Influential Journalists and Media outlet that have helped drive our company brand.

Additionally, successful interaction has led to positive press for our organization (i.e Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Industry Trade Magazines) that has translated into excellent visibility for some of the initiatives of our company.

The take away here should be to focus on selectively engaging with others in your communities.  It is a great way to meet others as well as expand your horizons.  If you engage genuinely, and don’t come across as someone trying to immediately solicit for new business, people within the social media community are incredibly willing to help ( That is definitely my experience).

So, now that you have paid attention a bit and familiarized yourself with what is happening in the stream, look for opportunities and jump in.  With a little elbow grease and good use of those networking skills, (You know, the one’s that got you into the big office!) the upside is virtually limitless.

Happy Tweeting!




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The Leadership Minute #2

Hi everyone and welcome back to the second installment of the leadership minute.  A quick and hopefully thought provoking weekly share on the topic of leadership.  The first four weeks we are hitting on what I call the 4 intangibles of Great Leaders. In follow up to intangible number one, humility, I am going to move on to the second key intangible     -> HONESTY

I heard a maxim once before. “You think you see through others so well, what makes you think they can’t see through you?”

To this I suggest… Half truths, are also half lies, and worse yet, being disingenuous is lying to yourself.

As a proponent and student of leadership, I have found that people want to engage with others that they see as honest. Further coming to find that honesty may be more critical than any of the other four intangibles. (Humility, Honesty, Integrity, Empathy)

In business we naturally gravitate toward meaningful partnerships and relationships with those that we can trust.  As we all know, trust can take a long time to build and it can be destroyed in moments.

At times in leadership positions, we may become aware of difficult situations in our businesses and it is instinctive to be dishonest.  Sometimes it may seem like the right thing to do.  The downside to that decision is if/when the truth is unveiled, regardless of the reason for your dishonesty, you still lied!

My approach to these situations is to be perfectly honest and brief.  It isn’t a lie or a half truth to say…

  • I’d prefer not to discuss this right now
  • I will provide you with the details that I can when I know more
  • Unfortunately, this is a personal matter

This seems logical right? It does to me too, maybe even simple, yet so many choose to lie and deceive anyway.  Why do that?

Bottom line: Don’t (I don’t see further explanation required, email me if you need more here)

In the foundation and continuation of your professional (and personal for that matter) relationships.  Make it a focus to be honest with those around you.  As Stephen M.R. Covey says in his book Speed of Trust, (Excellent Read) “building meaningful trust is based on two things, character and competence.”

If you are dishonest, or even if people see you that way, (being disingenuous) it will be almost impossible to gain that ever so important trust.

Simply put, without trust, you can never successfully lead.  Honesty will put you on the road to trust, and the expressway to great leadership.

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I Can’t stand “I Can’t”

Just yesterday, while waiting to catch a flight to beautiful Austin, Texas, I walk into an airport store to pick up a bottle of water.  The store offered two sizes of water bottle, expensive, and really expensive.  Ok, seriously, it was a small bottle for $2.69 and large one for $3.39.

I pick up a smaller bottle and I walk up to the clerk, and he says “That will be $3.02.” Holding 4 singles in my hand, and not really interested in a pocketful of change, I ask him “How much for the larger bottle with tax?”  He replies with some number less than four bucks and I respond “You know what, cancel the small,  I’ll take the large!”

Having already rung up the small water the clerk looked at me and he said “I Can’t.” After a long stare, I ask him if that is really the case (What do you mean you can’t!!!), and he pointed to the register as the culprit stopping him from allowing me to spend MORE money.  He then explains to me that it is requires a manager to cancel the transaction.  Finally, he flags down a manager who voids the transaction, and I leave with the large bottle of water and without the pocketful of change. (Win-Win…almost)

As I walked away from the store, I was trying to figure out why the purchase of a bottle of water ended up being such a poor experience for me.  Then it dawned on me, the words “I Can’t” need to be removed from the language of anyone who ever deals with customers (probably should just be removed period).

Looking in hindsight at the situation, I think about how the clerk could have handled the situation.

“Oh Mr. Customer, you want the larger water, no problem, I have to go grab my manager to void the transaction since I can’t do that.

The rest is history.  When you look at the situation, that is what ended up happening, but instead of taking the “I can” approach, he told me why “He Can’t.” In the process he ruined the experience for me, and it was completely needless.

Ok, I’m sure that some people are thinking… C’mon, the clerk at an airport general store? Well the fact is, in this case, it was a general store, it was a low wage employee, and I’m pretty much a captive customer.

What about in the professional world, in your business, for your company, in your life.  Is there ever a situation where “I can’t” is the right answer to give a customer?

I’d like to offer that the answer is almost in every case NO! In almost any customer request, there is an opportunity to take that request, and whether the answer is yes or no, provide the customer a positive experience by handling it the right day.

  • Note: I do believe there is a time to “Fire” a client, and if there is a point where can’t is because you don’t want to, or the relationship isn’t profitable, or the customer is just plain unreasonable, then that is what you should do.

I have another great example of this phenomenon in a professional setting.  This past year our organization made a massive investment in time, money, and resources to upgrade our enterprise and customer resource systems (ERP/CRM). (Massive meaning 7 figure lifetime investment)

After much deliberation and under the duress of being told late in one quarter that we had to sign the agreement or prices were going to go up, we chose a company called Netsuite as our provider. Netsuite is a SAAS that has a really solid platform, and although we didn’t appreciate the high pressure sales tactics,  our company was really excited about it because we really were long over due to upgrade our systems, and this product seemed to be the best fit.

During the sales process, we developed what Netsuite called a Statement of Work.  This is where in a document we outlined what each company would offer.  When we signed the contract, we also had to sign the statement of work.  At that time, we were told not to worry about exact details, we would work through that during implementation.

Funny thing, is during the implementation process, I counted at least 50 times where I was told by our senior level IT project consultants that “I can’t” help you because your request isn’t in the statement of work. (I guess that is what they meant when they said work it out)

There it is again, that darn word “Can’t!”

Whether our requests were reasonable or not, I look at situations like this and I think.  Using the word can’t does nothing but drive a dagger between the supplier and our organization.  There is a chance that the answer is no, but the word can’t still never needs to be used as a way to brush off a request.

Suggestion for a way to have handled any of the 50 aforementioned requests…

  • Mr. Customer, first let me see if I understand what you are asking for (gain understanding).  Ok, now I see what you are looking for and I can understand why you feel that is important (empathy).  Here is what we are able to do (or let me find out…) to help you with the situation. (consultative approach)

Notice that in the above scenario, the supplier at no time ever commits to my request.  However, through better understanding and validating the need, the supplier has provided me a much higher level of satisfaction.

The secret to this is that anyone dealing with a client, partner, customer, etc, needs to know that we as buyers want 2 things from our suppliers.  We want to be understood and we want our needs to be validated.  This is more than anything a psychological need, but in doing so, our buying experience is a better one.

Bottom line, in the customer experience and even more so in life,  “I can’t” is eminently lazy.  It is nothing more than a way to blow off the request and/or show lack of character and competence.  As a leader of people, I would strongly recommend the words are taken out of your and your team’s vocabulary and immediately replaced with an approach that embraces those that put food on our plates.  And remember…

“The customer is not always right, but the customer is always the customer.”

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Social Media Tips for Sr. Executives #1

A few weeks ago I shared a blog about Social Media for the C-Suite.  Based upon the great response to the blog and some of the direct feedback I received, I have decided to start sharing tips designed for senior level executives; specifically those that may have been cynical like I was about the value of Social Media.  I aspire to provide one or two tidbits of knowledge each week that can be applied to make the experience on Twitter and other Social Media sites more valuable for high level leaders.

Many of these tips will be driven from personal experience. Hopefully this shortens the learning curve for senior level managers looking to maximize the Social Media Experience.

Tip #1: Listen – This is a fundamental that probably helped you reach the level you are at in business today.  Many C – Level executives are used to being listened to and immediately respected.  Places like Twitter are have hundreds of millions of users, many of whom have figured out how to use the medium very successfully.  By listening, especially to those who have become most successful in the Social Media space, you can quickly learn how to use it as a conduit for networking and brand development.

A specific recommendation I have for listening is to search for counterparts, competitors, and supply chain partners and watch/listen to how they are using Social Media.

Tip #2: Share – Please note that Sharing is not “Broadcasting.”  I strongly discourage broadcasting in Social Media unless you have a tremendous audience of highly engaged followers whom are hanging on your every word.  When I suggest sharing, I am talking about industry best practices, relevant articles, blogs you have written, or other content that helps others interested in your business type/industry.  If people find the content that you provide to be meaningful and interesting, you will quickly grow your following.

One way to share to your target audience is to create content.  My recommendation is writing a blog or creating video blogs that establish you as a thought leader in your respective industry.

More tips to follow next week.  In the meantime, good luck increasing the value of your Social Media Experience.



Posted in Leadership, Social Media, Social Media Tips for Executives, Technology | 7 Comments

The Leadership Minute #1

Starting this week, I am going to be posting a weekly short called “The Leadership Minute.” Each week I will briefly provide what I hope to be thought provoking content and commentary that spans the subject of leadership.

Each week the subject matter will change, and these minutes will cover the content on a very high level. Perhaps serving as an intro/idea to a future blog. Over the first four weeks, we are going to cover what I refer to as the 4 intangibles of successful leadership.

In the first edition of “The Leadership Minute,” we will dive into the first intangible…HUMILITY

First, let’s take a quick look at a simple yet effective definition of humility -> Humility is the quality or condition of being humble; a modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.

Why is it so important in leadership?

In the real world, the evaluation of leadership is often measured entirely by the outcome. Those who net successful results are deemed as great leaders, and those that are less successful fall somewhere else in the spectrum.

What is often left unsaid, is the process by which the successful leader achieved greatness? How many times did that person strike out, fail, fall short, or run into major road blocks in their individual road to great leadership? The continued effort to perform by that leader is reflective of their perseverance, which is often found in successful leaders. However, most great leaders have endured some horrific failures, and they were humbled by those failures. It was this helped them to become stronger leaders and to better appreciate their ultimate success.

There is no question that some people of great arrogance and/or inflated self image are able to achieve individual success (By their own measure of success of course). This is often seen in pro sports (Terrell Owens, Jay Cutler), hollywood (Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen), business (Top Sales, Engineers, Inventors), and social communities (Think about the nosey neighbor that knows everything about everyone). When you consider the above examples, these personality types destroy franchises, shows, sales teams, businesses, families, and communities with their self serving antics.

As a leader of others, arrogance needs to be replaced with humility. Being humble does not mean that you cannot have self confidence or be acutely aware of your strengths. People who are humble often are very cognizant of their contribution and value, but they don’t feel the need to put themselves ahead of the goal of the team. That very belief is why humility is one key to great leadership.

Are you a Humble Leader?  Thoughts, Tips, and Tricks:

  • Do you constantly feel the need to take credit for your contribution? Try to avoid this behavior, credit given always supersedes credit taken
  • Are you willing to take ownership of your mistakes and learn from them? Great leaders tend to embrace their mistakes as to not repeat them and to improve future performance.
  • Do you recognize whether you are perceived as arrogant? Sometimes, a lack of self awareness can be the difference with an intangible such as humility.  You may believe you are humble and others think you are arrogant.  Perhaps speak with someone you trust and ask their feedback on this.
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