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Copyright © 2011 Leadership Works, LLC/ Glenn Furuya. Copyright © 2012 by Simple Truths, LLC. Simple Truth is a registered trademark. Published by Simple Truths, LLC, 1952 McDowell Road, Suite 300, Naperville, Illinois 60563 800-900-3427 All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means—except for brief quotations in printed reviews—without the prior written permission of the publisher. Photos: ShutterStock COVER: light bulb Beboy (61051324) p. 1 The Little Book of 50 Big Ideas on Leadership: Beboy (61051324) p. 3 Dedication: Jezper (69553444) p. 6 Introduction: Joseph S. L. Tan Matt (58716211) p.8 The True Essence of Leadership: Thomas Nord (2569856) p.10 The Meaning of Leadership: Galushko Sergey (73507684) p.12 Two Practical Outcomes of Leadership: Molodec (50508823) p.14 A Defining Choice of Leadership: Lukiyanova Natalia/frenta (53260447) p.16 The Lasting Mark of Leadership: Mashe (19030501) p.18 The Distinctive Sound of Leadership: Aspen Rock (56669887) p.20 The Starting Point of Leadership: EcoPrint (56046271) p.22 An Innate Attribute of Leadership: Taniguttyon (62313145) p.24 An Admirable Quality of Leadership: Alex Staroseltsev (60485266) p.26 Where Leaders Go to Think: Martin Lehmann (63352603) p.28 The Sparkplug for Motivation: Michael G. Mill (4346419) p.30 An Intriguing Paradox of Leadership: 18percentgrey (52975834) p.32 The Four Voices of Leadership: Brian A Jackson (124835473) p.34 The Toughest Challenge of Leadership: Mikhail Bakunovich (63831856) p.36 A “Fountain of Youth” for Leaders: Alena Ozerova (53655775) p.38 The Bonding Glue of Leadership: Alexandr Makarov (64170850) p.40 Three Ways to Build Trust: iriksavrasik (59957347) p.42 The Primary Reason Leaders Fail: luxorphoto (66580021) p.44 Two Vital Leadership Systems: Eric Isselee (3095435) p.46 A Proven Path to Sustainable Results: Tundephoto (75213631) p.48 An Unlikely Leadership Mascot: Elisei Shafer (9087328) p.50 The Three Most Important Words of Leadership: Voronin76 (71092255) p.52 The Official Drink of Leadership: Subbotina Anna (51367807) p.54 A Pivot Point for Improvement: cosma (70706149)

p.56 A Smart Leadership Investment: saiko3p (47170504) p.58 A Healthy Leadership Ritual: Fotofermer (55222363) p.60 A Basic Leadership Skill: wacpan (43156648) p.62 Two Essential Shapes of Leadership: Olga Lyubkina (11627371) p.64 How Leaders Get Going: Pshenichka (14345596) p.66 A Leadership Lesson from Aesop: Miao Liao & Feng Yu (55359406 & 3323583) p.68 Two Core Elements of Teamwork: Tatiana Popova (19449931) p.70 A Unifying Cheer: AnatolyM (67910515) p.72 Two Key Qualities of a Peak Performer: Hunor Focze (65326261) p.74 You Can’t Lead Without It!: Tina Rencelj (148864) p.76 Why Leaders Need Courage: Tatiana Popova (17038576) p.78 How Leaders Keep People in the Bowl: KristinaShu (44082013) p.80 How Leaders Shape Behavior: Thirteen (71753341) p.82 Three Things Leaders Get from Their People: Maxx-Studio (66856588) p.84 How Leaders Stay Connected: PaintDoor (70715713) p.86 How Leaders View the World: Ann Baldwin (52712368) p.88 A Leader’s Main Concern: Rufous (52390441) p.90 How Leaders Get Things Done: claudiofichera (60280543) p.92 How Leaders Get to Excellence: cozyta (72264919) p.94 A Critical Leadership Obligation: Daria Filimonova (52056391) p.96 How Leaders Boost Productivity: Vladyslav Danilin (21868951) p.98 How to Create Enduring Harmony: Madlen (31031110) p.100 How Leaders Gain Customer Trust and Loyalty: Stephen Mcsweeny (24655108) p.102 A Painful Trap to Avoid: Piotr Malczyk (49128757) p.104 The Curse of Poor Leadership: Miledy (19875730) p.106 The MAD Mission of Leadership: Triff (66092941) p.108 Conclusion: GoodMood Photo (111455498)

Printed and bound in the United States of America ISBN 978-1-60810-224-2 2

01 WOZ 13

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Dedication To the Source of all wisdom, the many leaders who seek and apply this wisdom, and the positive difference they all make.


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Table of Contents Introduction 6

The Little Book of 50 Big Ideas on Leadership 1. The True Essence of Leadership 2. The Meaning of Leadership 3. Two Practical Outcomes of Leadership 4. A Defining Choice of Leadership 5. The Lasting Mark of Leadership 6. The Distinctive Sound of Leadership 7. The Starting Point of Leadership 8. An Innate Attribute of Leadership 9. An Admirable Quality of Leadership 10. Where Leaders Go to Think 11. The Sparkplug for Motivation 12. An Intriguing Paradox of Leadership 13. The Four Voices of Leadership 14. The Toughest Challenge of Leadership 15. A “Fountain of Youth” for Leaders 16. The Bonding Glue of Leadership 17. Three Ways to Build Trust 18. The Primary Reason Leaders Fail 19. Two Vital Leadership Systems 20. A Proven Path to Sustainable Results 21. An Unlikely Leadership Mascot 22. The Three Most Important Words of Leadership 23. The Official Drink of Leadership 24. A Pivot Point for Improvement 25. A Smart Leadership Investment 26. A Healthy Leadership Ritual

8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58


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27. A Basic Leadership Skill 28. Two Essential Shapes of Leadership 29. How Leaders Get Going 30. A Leadership Lesson from Aesop 31. Two Core Elements of Teamwork 32. A Unifying Cheer 33. Two Key Qualities of a Peak Performer 34. You Can’t Lead Without It! 35. Why Leaders Need Courage 36. How Leaders Keep People in the Bowl 37. How Leaders Shape Behavior 38. Three Things Leaders Get from Their People 39. How Leaders Stay Connected 40. How Leaders View the World 41. A Leader’s Main Concern 42. How Leaders Get Things Done 43. How Leaders Get to Excellence 44. A Critical Leadership Obligation 45. How Leaders Boost Productivity 46. How to Create Enduring Harmony 47. How Leaders Gain Customer Trust and Loyalty 48. A Painful Trap to Avoid 49. The Curse of Poor Leadership 50. The MAD Mission of Leadership 51. Conclusion

60 62 64 66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 86 88 90 92 94 96 98 100 102 104 106 109

About the Author



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“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.” Galileo Galilei

Picture a huge pile of rocks and gravel, and think of it as all the world’s accumulated knowledge on leadership. Now imagine scooping up the material with a shovel and sifting it all through a screen. Each scoop represents a book read, a workshop attended or wise counsel received from a practicing leader. The largest rocks that are recovered—the most valuable nuggets—embody the 50 most powerful leadership ideas I’ve uncovered in 30 years of “digging” and “sifting.” I hope you will find the ideas in this book useful, memorable and stimulating. And, because leaders are busy people, I hope you will find this book a quick and easy read and one that you can often refer back to in your leadership journey. With warm regards, Glenn Furuya President & CEO Leadership Works 7

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The True Essence of Leadership


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Ka Makani In Hawaiian, “Ka Makani” means “the wind.” Like a cool mountain breeze, real leaders uplift, invigorate and energize. Others create effects more like devastating “hurricanes,” depressing “doldrums,” all-talk-no-action “hot air” and negative “break winds.” What kind of wind are you? 9

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The Meaning of Leadership


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The Big Why The Big Why gives leadership meaning. It’s a compelling cause or a purposeful mission. The Big Why focuses on serving the greater good and making a positive difference. The Big Why engenders patience, tolerance, and persistence. As Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Given a big enough why, people can bear almost any how.” What’s your “Big Why”? 11

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Practic o a Tw


comes t u o lO


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Remember the famous movie about the extraterrestrial, ET? Interestingly, these letters serve as a trigger for two practical and oppositional outcomes of leadership:

Efficacy and Transformation. Efficacy concentrates on short-term results, such as achieving revenue goals, managing costs, boosting morale, ensuring compliance, and satisfying the customer. It focuses on what happens today. Paradoxically, transformation centers on building long-term success through organizational growth, product or service diversification and innovation and succession planning. Transformation focuses on what happens tomorrow. Real leaders can achieve both. Operationally, they can deliver high levels of quality, productivity and service, while simultaneously, they can strategically diversify operations, invest in new technologies, and develop new products and services to better meet their customers’ needs.

Are you a high-efficacy, high-transformational leader? 13

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A Defining Choice of Leadership

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Wilt or Grow “There is no such thing as status quo. You either wilt or grow.” Unknown

Poor leadership results in failure and decline. Real leadership produces success and growth. Choose to GROW!


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The Lasting Mark of Leadership 16

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Colors and Textures “The true worth of a man is not to be found in man himself, but in the colors and textures that come alive in others.” Albert Schweitzer

What “colors and textures” does your leadership bring out in others? Inspired employees? Harmonious team players? Efficient systems? Happy customers? A growing organization? What are the “colors and textures” of your leadership? 17

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The Distinctive Sound of Leadership


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Resonance Strike a chime and hear it resonate. Beautiful sounds radiate from it, filling the air. Real leaders radiate too. They radiate a positive spirit, which makes people feel good. Sadly, like the thump of a fist hitting a wall, others radiate dissonance—anger, apathy, abuse. To resonate harmoniously, simply approach everyone as if they were volunteers. Imagine they have come to help you free of charge, out of the goodness of their hearts. How do you treat a volunteer? With respect, clarity, consideration and appreciation! When you treat people like volunteers, they work harder, make that extra effort, deliver outstanding service, and show you long-term loyalty.

How do you resonate as a leader? 19

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The Starting Point of Leadership


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Mindfulness “Consciousness is the source of your ability. Learn to be increasingly conscious.� L a o Tz u

Open your eyes. Open your ears. It will open your mind. Are you alert, attentive and present?


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An Innate Attribute of Leadership 22

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Humility It has been said that the quality of a field of rice can be determined by how low the stalks bend to the ground. The lower they bend, the better the quality (plumper grains weigh the stalks down more). Similarly, real leaders “bend low.� Appreciating people, they proceed with sincerity and humility. Recognizing their own shortcomings, they listen attentively and continuously seek to improve. Are you a humble leader? 23

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An Admirable Quality of Leadership


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Centeredness Buddha once said, “The great rock is not disturbed by the wind. Neither is the mind of a wise man (or woman) disturbed by either honor or abuse.” When confronted by difficult people or thorny situations, real leaders stay centered. Rather than “fight or flee,” they…

Stop Think Decide Do To start the STDD process, stay centered and call “time out.” Are you like the “great rock”? 25

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Where Leaders Go to Think


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The Zone Between stimulus and response lies a place called the “zone.” Instead of giving in to typical “fight or flight” impulses, real leaders enter this space to deliberately choose their responses. Their actions then come across as composed, reasonable and honorable. Decisions are based on criteria. The walls of the “zone” serve as the guidelines for your choices: • Which choice best comports with my life’s purpose? • Which choice best aligns with my life’s principles? • Which choice makes the most sense in light of my

education and experience?

Do you sometimes let your instincts rule, or do you take full advantage of the “zone”? 27

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Weho pet ha ty o ue nj o y e d r e a di ngt hi sf r e eo nl i nepr e v i e w. Y o uc a npur c ha s et he c o mpl e t eb o o ka ta nyt i me b yv i s i t i ngusa t : www. s i mpl e t r ut hs . c o m

Simple Truths: The Little Book with 50 Big Ideas On Leadership  

In this little book with 50 big ideas, Glenn Furuya proves that good things (and big ideas) really do come in small packages. Packaged in a...

Simple Truths: The Little Book with 50 Big Ideas On Leadership  

In this little book with 50 big ideas, Glenn Furuya proves that good things (and big ideas) really do come in small packages. Packaged in a...