The Key To Successful Leadership
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The Key To Successful Leadership
What every leader needs to know
Curated by Karin Sebelin
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7 Dangers of the Proud Leader

7 Dangers of the Proud Leader | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

If we are not careful, our attempt at good leadership will be derailed by the pride of our hearts.

Remember, “Pride goes before destruction”. (Proverbs 16:18)

Here are 7 dangers of the proud leader:

1. Refuses to listen to advice from others – Proud leaders “know it all”. 

2. Makes excuses for mistakes – Proud leaders refuse to admit their errors. They don’t learn from times of failure; they try to hide them.

3. Protects position at any cost – Proud leaders try to keep others from gaining power or influence. 

4. Takes complete credit for a team’s success – There is only one clear winner on a proud leader’s team…the proud leader. 

5. Fails to see personal shortcomings – The proud leader becomes immune to his or her own deficiencies. Pride keeps him or her from getting honest about their weaknesses with anyone, including themselves. Proud leaders are careful to present themselves as flawless, whether in personal appearance or job performance. 

6. Solicits grandstanding on their behalf – You’ll know about a proud leader’s accomplishment. They’ll be the first to start the cheers on their behalf. Proud leaders say things which promote the receiving of positive encouragement or feedback. 

7. Removes God out of the supreme position – The ultimate danger of a leader struggling with pride is to remove God from the seat of control. Proud leaders refuse to submit to the will of God, preferring to chart their own path.

Pride prevents us from gaining a clear view on our life. Pride hinders us to see reality as it really is. Only with humility we are able to assess things adequately. 

Humility means accepting reality with no attempt to outsmart it.
~ David Richo

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Nelson Mandela’s Legend: 7 Leadership Lessons

Nelson Mandela’s Legend: 7 Leadership Lessons | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

Article by +Steve Tappin - The CEO Guru 

We have heard that Nelson Mandela is critically ill in hospital and close to his passing. In a world where people frequently express their disillusionment with politicians and their inability to make a difference, he’s a shining star.

The article sees seven profound lessons that CEOs and leaders can learn from Nelson Mandela:

(1) Master your meaning and your emotions

I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul,” Mandela likes to quote from W. E. Henley. When his African National Congress (ANC) had been banned by the apartheid South African government in 1960, Mandela had advocated that the party abandon its policy of non-violence, leading to a sentence of life imprisonment. Keeping his emotions in check, relations with his captors improved as he sought to “communicate with them in a message that says I recognize your humanity”.

(2) Treat the losers with dignity and turn them into partners

Mandela understood that in a negotiation, both sides have to gain. There must be no winners and no losers. Learning the lessons from Germany at end of the First World War, he believed, “You mustn’t compromise your principles, but you mustn’t humiliate the opposition. No one is more dangerous than one who is humiliated.”

(3) Shift perspectives through symbolism and shared experiences

CEOs should learn to acknowledge the past and draw a line under it. Then, through shared experiences, they must forge a powerful new purpose that people can connect to and believe in.

(4) Embody the spirit of Ubuntu

In 2007, in partnership with entrepreneur +Richard Branson and singer Peter Gabriel, Mandela founded ‘The Elders’. Composed of former heads of state, revolutionaries, peacemakers and chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The Elders work as a small, dedicated group of individuals, using their collective experience and influence to help tackle some of the most pressing problems facing the world today.

In the launch address, Mandela talked about bringing “the spirit of Ubuntu: that profound African sense that we are human only through the humanity of other human beings.” In a thread that defines his whole life, he said, “I believe that in the end that it is kindness and accommodation that are the catalysts for real change.”

(5) Everybody feels bigger in your presence

Time and again people comment on Mandela’s strong personality, saying that he has a aura about him. Leaders and CEOs who have this x-factor succeed. 

(6) Build a sustainable fellowship around your cause

CEOs should develop a true fellowship structure that devolves responsibility and brings on promising talent.

7) Bottle the dream for future generations

Mandela showed us how one person with humility, a dream and a connecting cause could magnify himself and inspire us all. He should take great pride in the legacy that he leaves behind, as it continues to ripple across the world and through future generations. Nelson Mandela: a true legend.

This article is dedicated to +Nadine Hack who knows Nelson Mandela personally.

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What Makes a Good Leader? --> Telling the hard truths. | HBS Working Knowledge

What Makes a Good Leader?  --> Telling the hard truths. | HBS Working Knowledge | The Key To Successful Leadership |

Leadership comes in many shapes and sizes, and often from entirely unexpected quarters. In this excerpt from the HBS Bulletin, five HBS professors weigh in with their views on leadership in action.

Karin Sebelin's insight:

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of, said that one of the key elements of being a good business leader is the capacity to tell the hard truths. "Leaders struggle with this problem all the time," says David Thomas. "From a leadership point of view, you always want to move toward telling the hard truths and helping people cope with the realities of change. But as a manager, you might be more inclined to minimize the complexity of a situation so things can run smoothly for as long as possible. It's often a judgment call."

Such judgment calls often create unreal and feigned situations where mediocre leaders try to bring some harmony in the "room" whereas everything cries for honesty and sincerity.

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Kimberly (Pope) Kindred's curator insight, July 10, 2013 10:44 PM

It takes skill and experience to tactfully tell the "hard truths". This is something I will work towards.

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What Great Entrepreneurs Do Best to Earn Their Fame

What Great Entrepreneurs Do Best to Earn Their Fame | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

Most people think that being the best requires more intelligence, more training, and more experience. In reality, in business or even in sports, the evidence is conclusive that it is as much about how you think, as what you do.

  1. The best know what they truly want. At some point in their lives, the best have a “Eureka!” moment when their vision becomes clear. Suddenly they realize what they really, truly want to achieve. They find their passion. When that happens they are ready to strive for greatness. 
  2. The best want it more. We all want to be great. The best don’t just think about their desire for greatness; they act on it. They have a high capacity for work. They do the things that others won’t do, and they spend more time doing it. When everyone else is sleeping, the best are practicing and thinking and improving.
  3. The best are always striving to get better.They are always looking for ways to learn, apply, improve, and grow. They stay humble and hungry. They are lifelong learners. They never think they have “arrived”—because they know that once they think that, they’ll start sliding back to the place from which they came.
  4. The best do ordinary things better than everyone else. For all their greatness, the best aren’t that much better than the others. They are simply a little better at a lot of things. Everyone thinks that success is complicated, but it’s really simple. In fact, the best don’t do anything different. They just do the ordinary things better.
  5. The best zoom focus.Success is all about the fundamentals, and the fundamentals are little and ordinary and often boring. It’s not just about practice, but focused practice. It’s not just about taking action, but taking zoom-focused action. It’s about practicing and perfecting the fundamentals.
  6. The best are mentally stronger. Today’s world is no longer a sprint or a marathon. You’re not just running; you are getting hit along the way. The best are able to respond to and overcome all of this with mental and emotional toughness. They are able to tune out the distractions and stay calm, focused, and energized when it counts.
  7. The best overcome their fear. Everyone has fears. The best of the best all have fear, but they overcome it. To beat your enemy, you must know your enemy. Average people shy away from their fears. They either ignore them or hide from them. However, the best seek them out and face them with the intent of conquering them.
  8. The best seize the moment. When the best are in the middle of their performance, they are not thinking “What if I win?” or “What if I lose?” They are not interested in what the moment produces but are concerned only with what they produce in the moment. As a result, the best define the moment rather than letting the moment define them.
  9. The best tap into a power greater than themselves. The best are conductors, not resistors. They don’t generate their own power, but act as conduits for the greatest power source in the world. You can’t talk about greatness without talking about a higher force. It would be like talking about breathing without mentioning the importance of air.
  10. The best leave a legacy. The best live and work with a bigger purpose. They leave a legacy by making their lives about more than them. This larger purpose is what inspires them to be the best and strive for greatness over the long term. It helps them move from success to significance.
  11. The best make everyone around them better. They do this through their own pursuit of excellence and in the excellence they inspire in others. One person in pursuit of excellence raises the standards of everyone around them. It’s in the striving where you find greatness, not in the outcome.

People are not born with these traits, they must be learned by everyone. It is about staying mentally strong, and maintaining a big-picture vision while taking focused action.

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LEADERSHIP: Why CEOs Should Focus on Low-Probability Projects

LEADERSHIP: Why CEOs Should Focus on Low-Probability Projects | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

The projects least likely to succeed are the ones that benefit most from executive leadership.

In the project hierarchy at your company, there are home runs, big bets, small wins, and junk. Most CEOs focus on the first two — those high-profile ventures with the greatest potential payoff. 

Daniel Shapero, LinkedIn’s vice president of Talent Solutions, recommends:

“Rather than focusing on projects that are most important, leaders should focus on areas where their personal leadership skills can add the most value.” (See also his post: “How to Manage Projects: Double Down, Delegate, or Destroy” on LinkedIn:

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John Michel's curator insight, June 21, 2013 7:10 PM

Although home runs and small wins can be safely delegated to star players with proven track records, only executive leadership can make a significant difference in big-bet and junk projects.

David Hain's curator insight, June 22, 2013 3:57 AM

Nice matrix for executive decision making in a complex world.

Karin Sebelin's comment, June 22, 2013 11:25 AM
TY dear David .. best regards!
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LEADERSHIP - John Maxwell: How to be a Dealer in Hope

LEADERSHIP - John Maxwell: How to be a Dealer in Hope | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

+John Maxwell says:
I've learned a lot of lessons throughout my years teaching leadership.

I would like to share one of these with you:
How to be a dealer in hope.

What does hope do for mankind?

-  Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest.
-  Hope motivates when discouragement comes.
-  Hope energizes when the body is tired.
-  Hope sweetens when the bitterness bites.
-  Hope sings when all melodies are gone.
-  Hope believes when the evidence is eliminated.
-  Hope listens for answers when no one is talking.
-  Hope climbs over obstacles when no one is helping.
-  Hope endures hardship when no one is caring.
-  Hope smiles confidently when no one is laughing.
-  Hope reaches for answers when no one is asking.
-  Hope presses toward victory when no one is encouraging.
-  Hope dares to give when no one is sharing.

How do leaders offer hope to people?

No. 1: Help people change their way of thinking.
No. 2: Help them win some small victories.
No. 3: Express sincerely your belief in them and their future.


A leader is a dealer in hope. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

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Karin Sebelin's comment, June 18, 2013 5:44 AM
TY John :-)
Scott Span, MSOD's curator insight, June 18, 2013 11:11 AM

Are you a hope?

Kimberly (Pope) Kindred's curator insight, July 10, 2013 10:48 PM

"Hope brings the victory when no one is winning".

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Does Your Klout Score Determine Your Value? Doing Something for Mankind is What Matters ...

Does Your Klout Score Determine Your Value? Doing Something for Mankind is What Matters  ... | The Key To Successful Leadership |

@Mark Schaefer wrote the book "Return on Influence" to help you understand how you measure up on the social web and what that score means to your career or your business.

Read this article that will help you understand:

The conclusion from that is:
You Have Become a Number

Mark Schaefer wants to explain us that true and lasting influence is not the ever-changing badge of scores; rather, it’s about humanity, credibility, meaningful content and an engaged group of followers.

In my words:

We make a living by what we get,
but we make a life by what we give.

Doing something for #mankind is what matters.

#influence #life #humanity #contribution #reciprocity #engagement #Klout #mankind

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ARE YOU A GIVER, A TAKER OR A MATCHER? - Givers, Takers, and Matchers: The Surprising Science of Success

ARE YOU A GIVER, A TAKER OR A MATCHER? - Givers, Takers, and Matchers: The Surprising Science of Success | The Key To Successful Leadership |

Counterintuitive insight on what makes people thrive from the wunderkind of organizational psychology.

The principle of give and take; that is diplomacy - give one and take ten. 
~ Mark Twain famously smirked.

Karin Sebelin's insight:

Organizational psychology wunderkind Adam Grant wrote a book
"Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success".

Grant said:
"According to conventional wisdom, highly successful people have threethings in common: motivation, ability, and opportunity. If we want to succeed, we need a combination of hard work, talent, and luck." 

"[But there is] a fourth ingredient .... success depends heavily on how we approach our interactions with other people. Every time we interact with another person at work, we have a choice to make: do we try to claim as much value as we can, or contribute value without worrying about what we receive in return?"

"Takers have a distinctive signature: they like to get more than they give. They tilt reciprocity in their own favor, putting their own interests ahead of others’ needs. Takers believe that the world is a competitive place."

"Givers are a relatively rare breed. They tilt reciprocity in the other direction, preferring to give more than they get.

In the workplace, however, few of us are purely givers or takers - rather, what dominates is a third style:

"We become matchers, striving to preserve an equal balance of giving and getting. Matchers operate on the principle of fairness: when they help others, they protect themselves by seeking reciprocity. If you’re a matcher, you believe in tit for tat, and your relationships are governed by even exchanges of favors."

"The worst performers and the best performers are givers; takers and matchers are more likely to land in the middle."

"Givers dominate the bottom and the top of the success ladder. Across occupations, if you examine the link between reciprocity styles and success, the givers are more likely to become champs — not only chumps....

And here something to ponder:

"Successful givers are every bit as ambitious as takers and matchers.
They simply have a different way of pursuing their goals... there’s something distinctive that happens when givers succeed: it spreads and cascades. When takers win, there’s usually someone else who loses....people tend to envy successful takers and look for ways to knock them down a notch. In contrast, when [givers] win, people are rooting for them and supporting them, rather than gunning for them." 

"Givers succeed in a way that creates a ripple effect, enhancing the success of people around them."

That is what good leadership is about:


Read the article:

(Picture and source:

Kimberly (Pope) Kindred's curator insight, July 10, 2013 10:54 PM

Givers dominate the very top and bottom of the leadership world...which are you? Giver, taker, or matcher? Have you found the balance?

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TIPS FOR SUCCESS FROM SUPERACHIEVERS - You can't influence people unless they genuinely like you

TIPS FOR SUCCESS FROM SUPERACHIEVERS - You can't influence people unless they genuinely like you | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

+Guy Kawasaki, Entrepreneur, Apple Fellow and bestselling author said:

"Think about this: have you ever been enchanted by a person you didn't like? You cannot influence people unless they actually find you likeable. When I first met Richard Branson, he asked me if I flew on Virgin. When I told him that I didn't, he got on his knees and started to polish my shoes with his jacket. That's likability. And now whenever I can, I fly Virgin Airways."


What we may learn of this:

Humility and awe is a sign that we appreciate the other person as human being, that we respect their humanity.

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CHARACTER BEATS EVERYTHING | The Key To Successful Leadership |

Being able to convince people with the own attitude and talents is good, being liked and followed by many is wonderful and being successful is great, but what really counts above all is character. Character is the key for a life of integrity and ethical excellence.

1.) Action is the measure of character - saying and doing the right thing are two different things – only action is the true measure of character.
2.) Talent is a gift – character is a choice - only in combining both you have outermost success
3.) Character generates trust - trust is essential when working with people and character leads to trust
4.) Character is the only way to sustain success - you may be successful without a great character, but with character your success will be lasting

Now you will say:
My reputation and my great influence are testimonial enough.

-> For you maybe and for a short-term success, but not for long-term.

Influence is a matter of transitoriness and your reputation is only a shadow of your character.


“Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think it is and the tree is the real thing.” ~ Abraham Lincoln



Hunting after your ability to influence people and forgetting your character?

Or concentrating primarily on your character?

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What we should learn of Peter Drucker: No decision without disagreement | Wisdom for Future Leaders

What we should learn of Peter Drucker: No decision without disagreement | Wisdom for Future Leaders | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

It is so easy to agree to a statement by other people and it is so easy to follow too willingly the thoughts of others. We are creatures that rather agree to other opinions before reflecting if everything makes sense. Preventing conflicts or emotions makes us to weak-willed and passive human beings.

But decisions of the kind an executive has to make are not made well by acclamation. They are made well only if based on the clash of conflicting views, the dialogue between different points of view and the choice between different judgments. The first rule in decision-making is that one does not make a decision unless there is disagreement.

There are three reasons for the insistence on disagreement:

1.) Speaking against an opinion prevents us from becoming a prisoner, a special pleader, who wants something

2.) Disagreement alone can provide alternatives to a decision

3.) Disagreement is needed to stimulate the imagination

The effective person always asks, always questions and always tries to understand. Only then does he even think about what is right and what is wrong. Disagreement converts the plausible into the right and the right into the good decision. For an effective decision-maker not the result is decisive, not the need to be right or wrong. For him only the process of possibilities or chances is important. He finds pleasure in thinking through a matter thoroughly, in developing ideas and proposals.

For a decision-maker a decision is not really necessary in order to solve a problem or handle a case. Not even a consensus has to be found for him.


What we may learn of this:

1.) Forget to see decisions or a consensus as necessary

2.) Challenge disagreement

3.) Disagreement is something positive / it is useful

(Source: The Essential Drucker by Peter Drucker)

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Leadership Success and the Perils of Being Aloof | Wisdom for Future Leaders

Leadership Success and the Perils of Being Aloof | Wisdom for Future Leaders | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

With success in leadership comes power and with power comes responsibility for the job and for people. And there are leaders who have the urgent need then to express the own power through distance to the followers and the crowd and creating a feeling of aloofness and an emotional wall around them.


What is aloofness?

Aloofness is a general state of disinterest, or a state of being “above” or something better. It is often perceived as arrogance or pride. Aloofness is an emotion of creating an aura of being a saint or a god.


Aloof people are content with their existing circle of friends, rarely reaching out for new contacts. They feel good when they are around their best friends, and they show that to the outer world.

Aloofness may kill any chance of creating a real community. It creates barriers between people and divides people into groups.


Stay aloof and you will create an atmosphere of frustrated desire among people.


We should learn:

Great leadership is about showing nearness and involving people, not about frustrating people. Let people come into your heart and you will make friends for life!


We should learn from great leaders like Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton (to name just a few). They were masters at building relationships that furthered their aims. These presidents were known for their ability to schmooze.


Real leaders unite people and build consensus around issues.


This quote about President Obama should give to think:

“This is one of the biggest failures of his presidency, the inability …

to work with his adversaries, to work with the press, to pay people the respect they’re due or that they think they’re due. Sometimes, the smallest gestures go a long way. There is an impatience for playing the game that shines through with President Obama.” (John Baick, professor of history at Western New England University in Springfield, Mass)


Now think about your own leadership:

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. ~ Jane Goodall



Alan Bowman's comment, May 25, 2013 6:23 AM
Hi Karin Many thanks for this great scoop and have also scooped it to my site Cheers Alan
Karin Sebelin's comment, May 25, 2013 6:57 AM
Glad you find it interesting, Alan :-) Thank you! Cheers!
Carolyn Williams's curator insight, June 7, 2013 8:40 AM

Be the change you want to see in the world. Be a farmer for life! 

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10 Common Entrepreneurial Traits

10 Common Entrepreneurial Traits | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

Read about the traits and learn from inspiring people.

Here the link to the graphic:

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Leadership and the Law of Cognizance

Leadership and the Law of Cognizance | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

Leadership is a process. Success in leadership is very much coined through self-discipline, perseverance and commitment. Successful leaders are learners, lifelong learners. They daily work on their success, with daily routine.

And leaders who learn effective are able to assess situations realistic – they see what makes sense and what does not. Good leadership means getting an awareness about facts that hinder any progress and growth of the company. Seeing facts realistically, learning from that and drawing the necessary consequences is important for a good leader. Too much optimism and confidence are fatal for a company. Illusions may deceive and can make us believe that things work well.

Now you will say:

Confronting us with an unfavorable reality and confessing facts needs indeed courage and humility.

Yes, but minimizing obstacles or sweeping facts under the table do not solve problems. Not admitting obstacles makes us blind. Blind for reality and for acting appropriately. 

Courage is the enforcing virtue, the one that makes possible all the other virtues common to exceptional leaders: honesty, integrity, confidence, compassion and humility. 
~ John McCain 

We have to learn:




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Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset: How Your Beliefs Change Your Behavior

Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset: How Your Beliefs Change Your Behavior | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

So many people are their own obstacle for success and personal happiness. They have a fixed mindset instead of a growth mindset. 

Carol Dweck, a researcher at Stanford University, well–known for her work on “the fixed mindset vs. the growth mindset.” describes the difference between these two mindsets and how they impact our performance:

"In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it." 
— Carol Dweck, researcher at Stanford University

People who have a growth mindset are more likely to maximize their potential. They tend to learn from criticism rather than ignoring it, to overcome challenges rather than avoiding them, and to find inspiration in the success of others rather than feeling threatened.

If you believe things about yourself like …

- I am not a natural athlete
- I am not a math person
- I am not creative
- It's hard for me to lose weight

you have a fixed mindset and don't trust yourself. 
You are afraid to fail.
And in the long run your fixed mindset hinders your ability to learn, grow and develop new skills. 

How may we change our mindset?

So easy - through the right thinking. Never let results define you - your talent, your scores, your weight, your job, your performance, your appearance - you only become the victim of a fixed mindset. When you dedicate yourself to showing up each day and focusing on the habits that perform a better identity, that's when you learn and develop. It's your daily actions that will change what you believe about yourself. It's about setting a schedule and sticking to it. Not results matter, building the right identity matters.


... train, write and be active on a consistent basis and develop the right thinking and identity behind!

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(Graphic by James Clear)

Melissa St Hill's curator insight, June 25, 2013 11:32 AM

"We are our own worst enemies" ... Limiting beliefs will limit your actions. Take note of the layers of behaviour change - something that is definitely worth having a look at.

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Lessons in Leadership: How Lincoln Became America's Greatest Leader

Lessons in Leadership: How Lincoln Became America's Greatest Leader | The Key To Successful Leadership |

It wasn't Abraham Lincoln's strengths but the self-discipline with which he used those strengths for the right purpose.

Karin Sebelin's insight:

There is much we can learn by studying Abraham Lincoln's journey from being just another politician to becoming America's greatest president. A key to this transformation was how Lincoln developed the self-discipline to take one of his signature strengths - his mastery of language - and used it to serve the interests of the American people rather than his own.  

One of the best communicators of all time

Lincoln was undoubtedly one of the greatest communicators among all American presidents.  His words - as a public speaker, writer, debater, humorist, and conversationalist - continue to entertain, educate, and inspire us to this day. With only one year of formal schooling, Lincoln consciously cultivated this mastery of language and expression. As he began forging his political ambitions, Lincoln recognized the power of words to weaken and even destroy his opponents, and so he started to attack them with powerful volleys of criticism and mockery. 

How Lincoln began to use words for a higher purpose

But the Lincoln we know as president was not this brash, impulsive politician who launched personal attacks on his opponents. What made him change? Right after the "skinning of Thomas" in 1840, one of his friends reported that "…the recollection of his own conduct that evening filled [Lincoln] with the deepest chagrin.  He felt he had gone too far and to rid his good nature of a load, hunted up Thomas and made ample apology." (according to an excerpt in Benjamin Thomas, Lincoln's Humor:  An Analysis).

How Lincoln masterfully handled criticism

Lincoln was also a master in handling criticism.

On one occasion, he was informed that the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, had refused to execute a presidential order - and further, had called the president a "damn fool."  "He called me a damn fool?" Lincoln asked.  "Yes!  Not once, sir, but twice!" replied the excited congressman, who had brought him this news.  "Well, Stanton speaks what is on his mind, and he is usually right about what he speaks, so if he called me a damn fool, I must be a damn fool.  I will go to him now and find out why," according to a 2005 Time magazine article The Master of the Game.

What may we learn?

The true measure of a leader lies not in how much we cultivate and exploit our strengths, but in how we work on tapping, in Lincoln's words, the "better angels of our nature" to use our strengths in the service of a cause much higher than our own personal gain.

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DON'T AIM AT SUCCESS ... | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:
When we dream and begin our work, we picture a form of success that looks like acclaim and recognition.                                                          
- Reaching the pinnacle of our chosen field.
- Attaining best seller status.
- Becoming wealthy through an IPO.
- Winning a grammy.
- Running fast enough for a gold medal.                                                    
Perhaps this is one potential definition, but if you choose this one for yourself, you are doomed to fail.

Victor E. Frankl warns in his book "Man's Search for Meaning" not to pursue success:

"Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it."                                                                                          
Success is found when you do a work you love. When you show up every day to do that very work, overcoming the resistance inside of you.


It is found in creating, in making something new. Something interesting.


It is having a vision for something great and then taking daily small steps in that direction.


It is believing the impossible.


It is learning from mistakes and becoming better at your craft for having “failed.”



Read the article:


John Michel's curator insight, June 24, 2013 8:09 AM

A better definition of success? Dedication to your work. Surrender to another person through love. Surrender to a cause that is greater than yourself.

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Entrepreneurs! Learn to ride your inner dragon!

Entrepreneurs! Learn to ride your inner dragon! | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

Our internal patterns are like dragons. They are habits and tendencies we've picked up in this life. Our energetic patterns have incredible power and contain our individual strengths and our weaknesses. 

There’s an old Chinese proverb about dragons that applies to energetic patterns:

Ignore the dragon and it will eat you. 
Confront the dragon and it will defeat you.
Learn to ride the dragon and you will take advantage of its might and power.

The key is to recognize and learn to utilize the strengths that are hidden in our energetic patterns, not to be consumed and mastered by them.


(Source: Zen Entrepreneurship by Rizwan Virk)

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Persuasive sentence starters

Persuasive sentence starters | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

These sentence starters are not only for children (as written here), but also for adults to use as a practice in persuasive arguments. 

These expressions will help you to convince in discussions and conversations.

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Karin Sebelin's insight:

+Mike Myatt aks:
"Have you ever wondered why some people have more influence than others? It’s because they invest more “in” others. Those with influence have built into others through some form of consistent direct or indirect contribution."

His golden rule of building relationships reads:
"Give, give, give some more, ... and then when you have nothing left to give, you guessed it … give even more.”

If you want to create a powerful sphere of influence follow these steps Mike states:

1.) Create a Vision - Be sure that your vision is based first and foremost on adding value to the lives and careers of others.
2.) Take an Inventory - Take a personal inventory of your contacts and relationships. See who it is that you know, but also pay attention to who they know. Make a personal relationship plan.
3.) Participate in the Dialogue - Develop a strong core competency, then give freely of your time and knowledge. Be visible and accessible. 
4.) Value Your Network - Develop a keen understanding of the following point: Your network is your business.
5.) Focus on the Positive - Don’t waste time with people who only see problems and flaws, but cannot ever seem to create solutions. The world is full of bitter people, small thinkers, naysayers and those who just get their kicks out of sniping from a safe distance. Remove these people from your network.  
6.) Quantity and Quality Both Matter - Successful networking requires an understanding there needs to be a balance between quantity and quality. 
7.) Influence is built upon a foundation of trust - If a person is not trusted there is a firm limit on their ability to create and use influence. Trust is important!
8.) Influence is built upon making others successful - This is often times referred to as the law of reciprocity. If you invest yourself in making someone else successful, then they in turn will likely be predisposed to helping you become successful.
9.) Influence is most often possessed by those with Authority - It is important to realize that there is a reason for the statement “the highest authority is that which is given, and rarely that which is taken.” Authority is most often given to those who display honesty, competency, empathy, expertise and wisdom. 
10.) Value and Scarcity drive Influence - Understanding the value of your position, brand, authority, resources, access to people or knowledge and any number of other items as it relates to fulfilling the needs and desires of others creates influence. 

-> Developing influence is about having a sincere interest in the success of others.


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Kimberly (Pope) Kindred's curator insight, July 10, 2013 10:51 PM

Give freely of your time and knowledge.

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Online influencers can motivate you to do something, real influencers motivate you to become something.

Online influencers can motivate you to do something, real influencers motivate you to become something. | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

Influence cannot be defined by delivering the widest reach or influencing people with the own popularity but by the fact that people will be inspired that they change their behaviour. Influence is more about how much we are able to really influence decisions and people's attitude than by gaining many people for our shared ideas. If we are able to influence people's mindset and thinking that they feel the need to change the own behaviour, we will show us more influential than those who reach a wide audience who only shares our ideas afterwards.  

+Klout defines influence like that:
"At Klout, we believe influence is the ability to drive action." ~
+Joe Fernandez, CEO of Klout 

I like this definition of +Ray Hiltz:
Online influencers can motivate you to do something, real influencers motivate you to become something.  

Or like +Daniel Hebert states it:
Influence is the art of creating action, or changing behaviour….

Leadership is not about "pushing" people, it is not about using the own position and influence to get things done - leadership is about feeling responsible for people to make them to leaders and to help them in their personal development. 

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How to prepare future leaders for your business | Cox BLUE

How to prepare future leaders for your business | Cox BLUE | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

Article by +Martin Jones 

The article speaks only of adaptable leaders.

I think we should be careful and should understand these two different types of leaders:

1.) Adaptable leaders 

The article says:
"Find employees who can adapt .."
"MSN Careers notes that you should look for adaptable employees early on because they are prime candidates to become future leaders." 

-> "Adaptable" means adaptable to our business needs.
We define leadership in terms of our needs. But is providing direction not more important than seeing only the needs of our business? 

2.) Extreme leaders  

The article says:
"Watch how well staff members handle unforeseen circumstances to see who should be put on the path to leadership." 
"The best leaders are the ones who thrive when presented with new challenges and won’t allow obstacles to hamstring future plans."

-> "Common" leaders are not able to handle unusual conflicts. Only extreme leaders that don't adapt will be able to manage such challenges.

The best leaders will always be unfiltered extremes.

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Are you a creative person?

Are you a creative person? | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:


Point 1 seems false for me  ... creative people know how to occupy themselves ...

Karin Sebelin's comment, June 10, 2013 7:43 AM
Indeed? Wonderful Al.. thank you .. best regards!
John Michel's curator insight, June 10, 2013 10:40 PM

I agree with a solid 10 of the 

Robin Martin's curator insight, June 18, 2013 9:10 PM

Ah yes. How true! I can say I fit all of these except for #12! Being an introvert, I actually enjoy being alone! Not always, but as a norm.

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Richard Branson: His philosophy on success

Richard Branson: His philosophy on success | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

- Have faith in yourself!
- Think YES, not no!
- Live life to the full!
- Never give up!

devalla ramakrishna's comment, June 13, 2013 6:13 AM
simple recipe for leadership
Karin Sebelin's comment, June 13, 2013 6:35 AM
Thank you :-)
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The Best Way To Get More Online Followers

The Best Way To Get More Online Followers | The Key To Successful Leadership |
Karin Sebelin's insight:

+Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO at HubSpot and Blogger at, explains:

There's a simple way to get more followers — both online and offline. And, it also happens to be the best way.

To get more followers, be a great leader. That's it.

What gets lost in all the techniques and maneuvers designed to gain more followers is that leadership isn't a numbers game.

Leaders don’t lead numbers. Leaders lead people. That's true both online and offline.

Here are some ideas on being a leader people want to follow:

1.) Be true to yourself

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. ~Mahatma Gandhi

2.) Take a position

3.) Take a behavioral stand

4.) Be surprisingly accessible

5.) Be human, be vulnerable

6.) Care

No one cares about how much you know, until they first know how much you care about them. ~ Teddy Roosevelt

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