On Leadership and The Attitudes for Success

Positive Attitude

Attitudes are the very essence of a person’s relative success or failure on a human relationship basis. In most cases, someone with a bad attitude will struggle much harder for success at almost every level than someone with a good attitude.

With this being the case, we must understand these 3 crucial elements of attitudes:

  • What an attitude is
  • How it manifests itself
  • How others may perceive it       

What is an Attitude?

One dictionary definition of an attitude is this:

A complex mental state involving beliefs, feelings, values and dispositions to act in certain ways.”  

Or put another way, an attitude is the way we exhibit our feelings and concerns about something in which we we strongly believe.

The issue is not so much the fact that we have strong feelings about certain things. The problem is that when we feel challenged, we might react in a way that is repugnant to others, causing them to react negatively to us.

On Attitude and Your Brand

Most of us have a bad attitude from time to time. However, when we maintain an attitude that others find socially or emotionally unacceptable, our attitude becomes our personal brand.

At that point, we become THAT person…” the one with the perennially bad attitude.”

When people begin to say things about us such as, “I don’t like his attitude” or “she is a good worker but she has a bad attitude,” the time has come for us to consider whether our attitude is working for us or if, perhaps we should consider changing it.

Holding On to the Past

Many of us hang on to bad attitudes as a defense mechanism.

Just as some people are known for a loud laugh or a quick temper, others are known for a bad attitude. Just as those people who laugh too loud when they find something funny or get angry immediately that they feel threatened, others exhibit a distant, dark, unfriendly or aloof attitude when a certain stimulus invades their mind.

When those unapproachable, standoffish or superior people are faced with a situation that makes them uncomfortable they immediately adopt their well-nurtured attitude in order to avoid the situation or to repel those who might make them even more uncomfortable.

Most people with bad attitudes are not truly bad human beings.

They are simply people who have trouble reacting in a universally palatable manner in some situations. When faced with an uncomfortable situation, the area of the brain that controls the neural pathways that form external responses in these people sets up an irresistible need to exhibit an outward presentation that will protect them from harm.

So deeply are these responses ingrained in the minds of these people that without even thinking, they will almost automatically exhibit a bad attitude whenever they sense or expect discomfort. They have little or no control at that point and the only way that they will ever be able to overcome their bad attitude response is through deliberate and consistent self-awareness and self-actualization.

They will need to retrain their brains to allow a better response; (a good attitude.)

Many bad attitudes are because of conditional self-talk.

The bad attitude response might be a result of past situations that the person found negative and emotionally hurtful. They might often find themselves thinking negative self-talk.

Some of that self-talk might include thoughts such as these:

  •  “I am not good enough”
  • “I can’t do this”
  • “They don’t like me”
  • “They don’t respect me”
  • “I don’t want to be here”

or any number of other things that people feel when put into situations where they might lack confidence.

When the bad attitude has been part of their behaviour make-up for a very long time, they will no longer need to experience the negative self talk in order to respond negatively.

The situation alone will be adequate to set off the negative behaviour response.

Negative attitudes can also be triggered by fear, hatred, envy, jealousy, distrust and a myriad of other stimuli.

Those attitudes however, are usually confined to a specific source of discomfort and only rear their heads when an individual encounters something that they immediately find truly distasteful, frightening or unacceptable.

Many people often exhibit a very good attitude most of the time and only show a bad attitude when confronted with an unusually unnerving situation.

Those people who have a generally bad attitude and want to do something about it must firstly accept that their attitude is impacting those around them and that it is harming their personal growth and development in one way or another.

Many people spend a good deal of time thinking and saying things like this:

  • “I don’t need anyone else”
  • “You don’t have to like me to work with me”
  • “As long as I do my job my attitude shouldn’t matter

and various other ideas that justify their negative attitudes. Before any improvement can begin, those people must accept that a huge part of every good work or personal relationship is a compatible, flexible and generally acceptable attitude.

The Attitudes for Success

When a person has finally come to the conclusion that they need to change their attitude, they must accept that it might take hard work and that it will not happen overnight. They should consult with those around them in order to find out what it is about them that others do not like.

They should ask co-workers, bosses, friends and family members how they truly are perceived and then listen to the responses without interruption. They need to keep an open mind and allow their ego’s to take a back seat as they hear some potentially very hurtful information about themselves.

Only people who genuinely want to change will make it past this step.

Committing to Success

If they make it past the ego-damaging last step, they must make a commitment to themselves to do something else. Essentially, when they feel their brain telling them to react in a negative fashion, they need to do the opposite. Instead of frowning, they need to smile.

Instead of whining they need to cheer. Instead of being aloof they need to show engagement.

These changes in presentation and thought seldom happen immediately, but when a person makes a decision to improve and works hard at it, success and happiness usually follow shortly thereafter.

Do you have a bad attitude? Do something about it now!

Do you know someone with a bad attitude?  Do something about it, by talking to them and letting them know that you are there to listen and help in any way you can.

Attitude Matters!


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Wayne Kehl

Wayne Kehl is President and CCO at Dynamic Leadership Inc
He is author and behavioral analyst who lectures on leadership and motivation
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Workplace Bullying…A Leadership Tragedy

Bully Boss

Many studies now show that workplace bullying is a very real, all-too-common and incredibly harmful practice in workplaces world-wide.

Shocking Statistics

Here are some shocking statistics:

  • Jacqueline Power of the University of Windsor’s Odette school of business indicates that 40 percent of Canadian workers experienced one or more acts of workplace bullying at least once a week for six months prior to the study.
  • In 1999, the International Labour Organization declared that workplace harassment and violence affects 75 percent of workers world-wide.
  • The Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) and Zogby International indicate that 35% of American workers experienced bullying first hand and that 62% of bullies were men. They go on to say that bullies can be found in all ranks of any organization but that managers, supervisors and executives form the majority of perpetrators.
  • WBI indicated that 40 percent of the targets of bullies never report the bullying to their employers and 62% of those who did report it indicate that their reports were ignored.
  • WBI reported that 81 percent of employers do nothing to address bullying or resist action when requested to do something.

Bullying leads to disengagement, poor performance and a resulting loss of revenue which reportedly runs into billions of dollars every year.

The Majority of Bullies Are Bosses

Interestingly, most of their targets are not the new, less confident or weak employees. Instead, bosses with “Type A” (forceful, aggressive, outgoing) personalities tend to focus their bullying on highly competent, experienced, cooperative and well-liked employees.

Bullies tend to see those natural leaders as threats to both their ego and status in the organization.

When bullying bosses come across employees that stand their ground and refuse to be intimidated or controlled, their bullying efforts often intensify. Bullying bosses need to win and they need to control everything in their purview, to the point of actually doing harm to their own organizations in order to establish their superiority.

Taking Its Toll

People who are bullied suffer everything from stress symptoms to depression and from increased sick-leave to serious, life-threatening illness.

These symptoms can lead to reduced performance and career-damaging indolence.

So Who Is Bullying?

Bullying takes many forms but often it includes public put-downs, temper tantrums, unreasonable work demands, insults, taking credit for another’s work, threats of job-loss and discounting of accomplishments.

Often, it will also include withholding of necessary information, exclusion from important meetings and general intimidation.

Each of these behaviours is bad enough on its own, but when done in tandem with others, can cause serious psychological harm to the victim.

Six Things A Bullied Employee Can Do

  1. When faced with a bullying boss, an employee can stand up for himself or herself in the hope that the bully will relent and back off. However, in the worst cases, if the bullying does not stop or actually increases, resignation might be the only cure.
  2. Under no circumstances should an employee actively work overtly or covertly against a bullying boss. Not only will that probably create an equal and opposite reaction which will only intensify the problem, but it will also provide the bully with a reason or an excuse for his or her bullying. It may also reflect negatively on any job-action or legal suits that the employee may wish to take in the future.
  3. As difficult as it may be, bullied employees should always take the high-road. They should respond politely, react passively, and ask questions in a professional manner. When feeling insulted or put-down, they should indicate that they did not understand what the bully meant by their comments and ask them to clarify. If the bully is shouting or attempting to intimidate the employee, they should ask the bully not to speak to them that way or indicate that the behaviour is inappropriate. The intent should always be to diffuse the bully rather than to retaliate in kind.
  4. The employee should ask to have a private meeting with the bully to discuss their differences. If the bully allows that meeting to occur, the employee should lay out his or her concerns openly, honestly and calmly. Keep in mind that when the situation gets to this point, the employee should be prepared for a negative reaction and might also consider being emotionally prepared to resign.
  5. All acts of bullying should be reported to the upper-echelons of the organization and legal action should be taken in the most serious of cases. Legal action should be the last resort but if the bullying is of serious significance it may be the best course of action for present and future employees.
  6. It must be recognized firstly that a bully is doing something wrong…Bullying is inappropriate and unacceptable. However, if you do not confront it or report it, it might never stop.

What Should Leaders Do?

  • Always be on the lookout for bullies in your organization.
  • Take all reports of bullying seriously and investigate all reports when they occur.
  • Make bullying a “zero-tolerance” violation of corporate policy.
  • Let all employees at all levels know that you will not tolerate bullying and that it will result in discipline up to and including termination.
  • Finally, be prepared to follow through on your bullying policy in order to maintain credibility.

Are you aware of bullying going on in your organization? If so and you have not done anything about it, now it the time to put an end to it before bullying does some serious harm to your credibility and your team. 


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Wayne Kehl

Wayne Kehl is President and CCO at Dynamic Leadership Inc
He is author and behavioral analyst who lectures on leadership and motivation
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10 Steps to Create a Killer Succession Plan

Retirement Watch

As a matter of age and evolution, every 10 to 20 years or so almost every business is forced to find new leaders to carry it into the future. As older leaders retire, replacements must be brought in to carry on their work.

In some cases leaders quit, die, are promoted, or transfer elsewhere.

Staying in Business

In all of those cases, they must be replaced if the business is to survive. Despite that inescapable truth, many businesses and organizations I work with are not properly prepared to replace their outgoing talent.

Often there seems to be a “head-in-the-sand” mind-set wherein, decision makers choose to leave well enough alone and hope that their current personnel structure will last forever or that a new, exciting leader will fall out of the woodwork on cue, when necessary.

Unfortunately, woodwork is often populated by termites, ants and beetles…none of which offer any great organizational leadership potential.

In order to build a valuable and effective succession plan, decision makers must firstly, “always” be on the lookout for future leaders. They must be thinking at all times about perpetuation of their organization and what will happen when their current good or bad leaders move on.

Succession should not be an emergency decision.

It should be like a cougar on the hunt…ready, alert and waiting to pounce when the opportunity arises.

10 Steps to Create a Killer Succession Plan

Here are some things to think about when planning for the perpetuation of your organization:

1) Be a savvy shopper.

In order to identify your future leaders you must accept that it is not always a good idea to buy your talent at the head-hunter storeIn many cases, people who register with head-hunters have issues that have prevented them from finding work through other channels. You might want to consider them your last resort as they may be your potential undoing.

2)  Always try to promote from within.

This is a commonly accepted business principle that is often avoided or overlooked. It takes much less time to bring an existing employee up to speed than it does an outsider. Current staff members know your business, your culture and your brand…and you already know them.

3) Select from values-ready candidates.

Always promote or hire leaders who already possess your corporate values rather than trying to teach them your values after the employment contract is signed. Perform some professional skills and talent testing and use solid investigative interviewing techniques before you give them an office and an email address.

4) Never promote people out of obligation.

Organizations of all types tend to offer promotions to people who have hung-in-there the longest regardless of skills, talents or value. Tenure is NOT necessarily an indication of leadership ability and it should not be rewarded with a leadership position unless the person is actually a good leader.

5) Always be on the lookout for “keeners.” 

Keeners are people who love their jobs and quite naturally encourage others to excel in theirs. These people often offer advice and counsel to other even when not in a formal leadership role. There are many of them in many organizations and they often go unnoticed by the decision makers. They may or may not thrive in an elevated leadership position but if they are ignored or passed-over they will never realize their full capacity for leadership. Be a talent-scout within your own organization.

6) Once you have identified a potential leader, talk to them.

Let them know that you appreciate their work and that you see a bright future for them. Human beings of all personality types and skill levels love to be encouraged and they appreciate knowing that they have a future.

7) Put your future leaders on a “career path.”

Most people of the current younger generation want to know where they are going and how long it will take them to get there. Work with them to create milestones and expectations so that when the time comes, they can easily slip into a new leadership position.

Really good future leaders want advancement and if you don’t provide it, someone else will.

8) Provide leadership training to future leaders.

Although some people possess almost “natural” leadership skills, there is a lot to be learned about leading that cannot be gleaned through osmosis or exposure to ones immediate supervisor or manager. Formalize your leadership training and offer it to anyone who wants an opportunity to learn.

9) If you hire a new leader from outside of your own firm, never hire based on your “gut instincts.”

Your guts might help you in a fight–or-flight situation or when you are selecting an item on a restaurant menu, but they don’t work well for talent selection. Always utilize good talent assessment tools and have a panel of your peers and/or employees participate in the interview process so that your decision is not tainted by your guts.

Job applicants almost always adapt their behaviour to the interview process and what you saw is seldom what you get a month or two after they have settled into a new job.

10) Never hire in your own image or enforce your own leadership style.

Most of us tend to feel comfortable with people who are most like us. However, it takes many types of personalities to make a great team and one leadership style is not the “best” or the “only” way to lead. Take your personal feelings out of how a new leader should lead and allow them to deal with people in the way that works best for them.

Give them an array of leadership tools and then stand back and watch them fly.

A Brighter Future

In an increasingly competitive world you must have the best-of-the-best leaders if you want to have a commanding presence in the new millennium. If you have not started to build a leadership plan for the future, now is the time.

What have you done to ensure a successful succession process in your organization? If you have not yet started a succession plan, what’s stopping you? What would be an easy next-step in this direction to get you started? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Wayne Kehl

Wayne Kehl is President and CCO at Dynamic Leadership Inc
He is author and behavioral analyst who lectures on leadership and motivation
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Your Leadership Quotient


During my 40-year career as a senior manager in the general insurance industry in Canada, I was often confronted and confounded by the word, TEAMWORK.

Almost every leader I met talked about wanting better teamwork or bragging about how great the teamwork in their area of influence already was.

Ideal Teamwork

Regardless of the confidence, cynicism or optimism of the leaders, in most cases when I spoke with rank-and-file employees, I found that overall, corporate teamwork was either sadly lacking or non-existent.

In all cases, it was evident that no one at any level really knew what an ideal “Teamwork Environment” looked like.

The challenge with TEAMWORK appears to be one of perception. What exactly is teamwork? Leaders (managers, foremen, supervisors, et al) often have a different view of teamwork than that of their direct reports.

  • Workers often feel that teamwork is the responsibility of the leader…in other words they believe that a good leader creates and manages good teamwork among his or her employees.
  •  Leaders, on the other hand tend to feel that teamwork is the purview of the team members. In other words they believe that good employees should be good team players and if teamwork is lacking, it is a result of one or more of the team members not exhibiting the qualities of a team player.

Functional Systems 

The dynamic that prevents teamwork from occurring consistently, randomly and systematically in any organization is the lack of true symbiosis between leaders and employees.

Unfortunately, in most working groups, there is seldom a close working association and cooperative relationship between management and staff that can engender or nurture a strong atmosphere of pure TEAMWORK.

So how do we establish true symbiosis between leaders and employees?

Team Structure

TEAMWORK requires structure and hierarchy… Some experts would prefer to replace hierarchical structure with equality and a flat management style where everyone is a partner and everyone is entitled to share in the decision making process at all times, in all ways.

In that structure all of the team members should be held accountable for challenges and failures.

But unfortunately not all of them will be willing to take on that responsibility when the time comes. The result is generally a break in the chain and potential bedlam because only a few will feel the ideological desire to make final decisions and accept ultimate responsibility when things don’t work out.

On Servant Leadership

My intention is not to tamper with the popular concept of servant leadership. In fact, I believe that all leaders should be servants…to a point. Strong leaders must lead at all times, they must be accountable for everything in their sphere of answerability and they must accept responsibility for the actions of their employees.

They must put themselves on the line and work selflessly for a mutually beneficial end.

Servant leadership is only possible when leaders are selfless and it should not be diluted by a structure where hierarchy is replaced by a confused and potentially chaotic lack of hierarchical leadership.

Be Wise, Organize

Successful military campaigns are lead by great leaders just as “Super bowls” and “Stanley Cups” are won by teams with great coaches.

Running a successful organization is really no different than winning a war or a game.

In all cases, the players must be able to look to a leader for direction and they must have almost blind-trust and extreme confidence in their leader to make good decisions for them…But that is not the only factor that matters.

Good TEAMWORK is driven from the bottom up by great leaders.

Ground Up Leadership

A good business leader will not assume that his or her employees understand TEAMWORK. A good leader will talk to her or his employees about TEAMWORK, what it entails, and what is expected on an ongoing and consistent basis.

A good leader will spend time learning the jobs of his or her employees and clarifying what is expected of each member of the team in each position.

TEAMWORK, (not unlike accounting and sales techniques) must be taught and learned. Symbiosis is not automatic and a generalized lack of engagement cannot be blamed on one or two “bad” employees.

When an organization lacks TEAMWORK, it lacks leadership and it is doomed to turmoil and potential failure.

Teamwork Quotient

Great organizations monitor their TQ (teamwork quotient) regularly and take steps to assure that everyone is onboard at all times. They know that without TEAMWORK they cannot advance as quickly as they would like and that every small step forward feels like a giant, muscle-pulling leap!

In order to reduce employee stress and increase profitability, great leaders make certain at all times that every employee is pulling his or her weight so that the business train can keep chugging relentlessly up the mountain of twenty-first century business challenges.

What is the TQ like in your organization? Have you monitored your TEAMWORK QUOTIENT to make sure that your organization has symbiosis at all levels? It is never too late to put your Teamwork Train back on the track!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Wayne Kehl

Wayne Kehl is President and CCO at Dynamic Leadership Inc
He is author and behavioral analyst who lectures on leadership and motivation
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Blog | Book | DISC

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Leaders: Do Not Allow Anger To Lead Your Life

Walking on Egg Shells

Do you ever find yourself justifying your anger or actually believing that angry outbursts serve a useful purpose? Do you ever believe that anger is what makes you special?

If you have ever thought that being angry is good thing…think again!

Leading Your Life

Anger should not be allowed to lead you through life.

Once while conducting a performance review, I had the opportunity to have a discussion with an employee about the attitude she displayed with other employee in her workplace.

The general observations from others about this person were that she was miserable, unpleasant and downright mean. She was quite aware of her reputation and was completely unrepentant about it. She actually seemed to take comfort in the fact that she was able to make her mark in life by repelling other people.

Just as some people take comfort in their own despair, some wallow in their own repugnance to others.

This lady did not smile, did not frown, did not laugh; did not cry…she seemed in fact to be completely devoid of any and all emotion. Most of her responses to my questions were comprised of one-word answers, shoulder shrugs and grunts.

The more I spoke to her, the more unresponsive she became.

Finally, I felt compelled to tell her that I was concerned about her attitude toward me. At that point, she bragged that most people don’t like her attitude and that she had recently enrolled in an anger-management course because of “other issues.”

I asked if anger was a big part of her life and she responded in the affirmative.

At that point I noticed, for the first time, a small curl of a smile at the corners of her lips. That prompted me to ask her if she enjoyed being angry. She quickly responded, with a full-toothed smile, “Yup, I sure do!”

Through further discussion, I learned that this person had lived a very difficult life which included abusive parents, a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and a nasty divorce. It became clear to me that the events of her childhood had left her with a very negative view of the world and a need to escape it through potentially harmful behaviour.

Her past also led her to uncontrollable bouts of rage and anti-social behaviour. Because she was unable to overcome her personal issues, her life was a mess and her future was extremely bleak. Despite the fact that she was clearly spiraling into oblivion, she refused to accept that she needed to change. I have lost touch with her over the years, but I fear the worst.

This lady’s story is much more extreme than most, but many people suffer from the inability to control their emotions.

Some of those people carry around a well-concealed virtual hand grenade filled with explosive rage. For much of the time the grenade is hidden, but often it is just waiting for the pin to be pulled so that it can explode and splatter hot, angry, emotional shrapnel all over anyone unfortunate enough to be in its path of destruction.

Anger is not only wasted energy…it is a powerful, harmful force that has the capacity to destroy lives and end careers.

Psychological science has identified a condition known as “Borderline Personality Disorder” which is known to bring on the symptoms of uncontrollable rage that I have describe here. Theorists and psychologists agree that this disorder is often a result of disturbing traumatic events from an individual’s childhood.

Sometimes the person is not even aware of, or cannot remember the event or events that may be causing their distress. Instead, they will often inflict their rage on others, all-the-while justifying it as something positive and a personality trait that other people should simply accept or become accustomed to.

What they seem not to understand is that their behaviour is unacceptable in a civilized society and that they are systematically driving people away.

Even people who are not the direct object of their rage will avoid any sort of meaningful relationship with them out of fear and revulsion.

I have known a few angry bosses over the years, but until recently I simply chalked it up to an old-fashioned command and control style of leadership. I now believe that some of the rage I witnessed in those leaders was a result of an undiagnosed psychological or emotional condition.

Those leaders were able to hide their conditions behind their positions because unpleasant, angry bosses like Ebenezer Scrooge and Lou Grant were the stuff of popular culture and entertainment. During that era, we all knew that to be a leader, you had to be tough; and to be tough, you had to express anger.

Modern society now agrees that anger towards others is neither normal nor acceptable regardless of one’s position in life.

Psychologists have found that professional “talk-therapy” or coaching can provide extremely good results and a lessening, or complete elimination of inexplicable, long-term, rage events.

Of course, that will only work if the individual inflicted with the problem is able to admit to himself or herself that his or her behaviour is unacceptable.

They must also be willing to look in the mirror and tell the person looking back that a change is absolutely essential.

Acknowledgement of the problem is often much more difficult to endure than the eventual therapy.

If you have feelings of anger that cause fear or discomfort in others, do something about it. Admit that you have a problem and take steps to deal with it. You owe it to yourself to allow tranquility and contentment to overrule the exasperation, rage and despair in your life.


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Wayne Kehl

Wayne Kehl is President and CCO at Dynamic Leadership Inc
He is author and behavioral analyst who lectures on leadership and motivation
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Blog | Book | DISC

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A New Year’s Wish For Leaders

Benjamin Franklin

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every New Year find you a better man or woman.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Oh, if we could all just follow Benjamin Franklin’s advice, what a wonderful world it would be!

Questions for 2013

  • Why must we all find fault with each other while carrying anger and hatred into the world?
  • Why do so many of us want to see others fail so that we can succeed and why do we defend our lies as if they are truths?
  • Why are human beings so flawed, and why is each one of us so tragically human?

During the Christmas season the world is full of love and goodwill toward all mankind. Almost immediately after that, the New Year comes along and millions of folks make resolutions that most will never comply with.

>>> For those two days of the year we practice universal love and make conscious decisions to be better men and women.

>>> For the rest of the year, most of us simply go back to being the people we are and have always been with the inevitable consequences:

  • Wars rage on
  • Crime rates escalate
  • Court room waiting lists get longer
  • People die in alcohol related accidents
  • Ordinary people die from substance abuse
  • Others die from lung cancer, strokes, heart disease and violence
  • Obesity levels grow and we all continue our race to self-induced oblivion

It seems that most of us cannot sustain a conscious effort to be better men and women for more than a couple of days each year.

Answers for 2013

This year, why not become a leader to everyone in your life?

  • Why not set the example by overcoming your vices, putting aside your anger, adopting an attitude of pure positive thoughts and actions and by making a concerted effort to be a better person?
  • Can you do it?
  • Can you be the one person who will make a difference?

You probably cannot change the world single-handedly, but you can make a difference in your environment and you can make improvements in your own life that others will notice.

Forget about societal, cultural, employment-related, success driven, peer pressure-induced urges and just do what you know is right.

Resist the vices that you know are not helping you succeed, always put on a smile for everyone you meet, reach for positive thoughts in every situation and always do your best. Most importantly, make a deliberate effort to be a better person.

If you do that, you will never suffer from guilt of any kind and you will be a model for everyone you meet. In some way, large or small, you will be a leader of mankind.

Benjamin Franklin lived from 1706 to 1790 and yet he observed the same human behaviour that we all live with in 2012. Take a page out of his book and be someone who leads others to a better world.

It is never too late and it will always be noticed and appreciated.


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Wayne Kehl

Wayne Kehl is President and CCO at Dynamic Leadership Inc
He is author and behavioral analyst who lectures on leadership and motivation
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Blog | Book | DISC

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Running in Donald Trump’s Shoes

Donald TrumpFamed businessman and entertainment mogul, Donald Trump is loved, hated, praised, and reviled concurrently on any given day.

  • He can command respect while attracting derision with almost anything he says or does.
  • He is generally known to be incredibly successful but he has seen his share of financial decline and uncertainty.
  • He is an enigma who changes his presentation, mood, and disposition with disconcerting irregularity.

In short, Donald Trump simultaneously represents everything people in the western world want and much of what we find repugnant. So, how does he do it and why do we care?

What drives “The Donald” and why does he work so hard?

The Donald

As a behavioural analyst, it is clear to me that Mr. Trump is a highly dominant individual. He has an overwhelming desire to win and he becomes very angry when faced with potential failure or disrespect.

Dominance also provides him with a thick skin and an unusually large dollop of courage.

It is clear that he is highly individualistic which means that he has an overwhelming desire to take control of essentially every facet of every situation, person, place, or thing he comes into contact with.

In order to win, he knows that he must work harder than anyone else and he must never drop his guard. I doubt that many people reading this have worked harder or run faster toward success than Donald Trump.

The Dominance Trait

The traits of dominance and individualism in combination provide him with an intimidating demeanour which he seems to savour. He often softens his overt criticisms with a smile or a joke in order to let his subjects know that he is not done with them yet.

If he smiles at them, after tearing their egos to shreds, there is a good chance they will live on to win or fail another day. That indicates that despite his dominant nature he is quite empathetic and deep inside of him beats a kindly heart.

He appears to have a love of the arts and beautiful people. That trait is generally accompanied by a need for overall harmony in his life and business. When harmony is not present he will be compelled to take charge by reacting with dominance…usually in the form of anger or impatience.

If he cannot regain control, he might feel the need to perform a decisive, extreme act…something along the lines of, “You’re fired!”

Why Do We Care About Donald Trump?

“The Donald” lives a lavish lifestyle and has the ability to do virtually anything he wants to. While the average person is driving a typical automobile, he is riding in the back of a stretch limo.

While the average person enjoys a walk in the park, he enjoys building incredible golf courses. While most of us struggle a lifetime to pay off a small mortgage, he trades in billions of dollars of real estate daily.

He has all of the things most of us want and he is unabashed about letting the world know about it.

Donald Trump’s “style” is one of strong mindedness, boldness, and self confidence.

Sense of Self

He could easily be accused of arrogance, but because he has a superior sense-of-self he probably sees himself not as arrogant, but rather cool, in-control and unassailable.

In his mind, he is not arrogant…he is instead…poised and confident.

He expects respect and when he doesn’t get it, he is quick to correct the situation one way or another.

  • Who among us would not like to live a life a wealth, free from worries about money or possessions?
  • Which one of us would not like to be able to have what we wanted when we wanted it while surrounded by adoring fans, employees and family members?
  • Who can honestly say they would not want what Donald Trump has?

We might not want to be him, but we would like to have what he worked so hard to get.

Secret to Success

He has found the secret to success and turned it into a multi-billion dollar empire. He has taken the elements of his personality and turned them into a larger-than-life iconic character. He is “The Donald” and centuries from now, he will be remembered for his many accomplishments and his powerful personality.

Do we really care about him in a meaningful, personal way?

Probably not, but we find him fascinating because he is so complex and so darned interesting.

Is Donald Trump a Leader?

Anyone who has watched the television show, “The Apprentice” or the “The Celebrity Apprentice” can easily see that “The Donald’s” contestants, employees, and family members revere and adore him.

Some of the most famous and beloved singers, actors, and comedians in the world insist on calling him “Mr. Trump” while fawning over him to gain his favour in the most obsequious ways.

He only has to walk into a room and sit down in order to bring everyone to attention.

His demeanour is that of a supreme-court judge…the only things missing are the long black robe and a gavel. Is that leadership or is it simple intimidation?

It appears to be a little of both, but some of the people who compete on his show have no need to be there other than for exposure and for the opportunity to get to know “The Donald” on a more personal basis.

They could leave any time, but they stay despite any scorn he might direct at them.

Facing the Music

The non-celebrities who compete go through an even more rigorous trial than the famous folks. The ones who are successful are the ones who are most like Mr. Trump.

They are the ones who are smart enough to understand what he wants, what he expects and what it will take to work with him. They are great followers who might, one day become great leaders.

Great leaders lead by example and anyone who can successfully model themselves after Donald Trump stands a good chance of accomplishing some of his achievements.

He might not be a classic “nice guy.” but he sets an example for success that is all but unequalled in business history.

If you want success, run a mile in Donald Trump’s shoes!

Open, honest disclosure: I must state that I have never met Donald Trump and my comments are opinions based only on my own observations and research I have done of publicly available information.


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Wayne Kehl

Wayne Kehl is President and CCO at Dynamic Leadership Inc
He is author and behavioral analyst who lectures on leadership and motivation
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Image Sources: i.i.com.com


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