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Copyright © 2013 Brian Tracy. Copyright © 2013 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,ThinkStock and iStock. List on page 112

Printed and bound in the United States of America ISBN 978-1-60810-234-1 01 WOZ 13


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T ab l e o f C o nt e nt s Introduction

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

S e cr e t N u m b e r On e :

Leaders Know Who They Are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

S e cr e t N u m b e r T w o :

Leaders Know What They Want . . . . . . . . . . . 23

S e cr e t N u m b e r T h r e e :

Leaders Are Committed to Winning . . . . . . . . . 39

S e cr e t N u m b e r F o u r :

Leaders Are Courageous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

S e cr e t N u m b e r Fi v e :

Leaders Get Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

S e cr e t N u m b e r Si x :

Leaders Inspire Others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

S e cr e t N u m b e r S e v e n :

Leaders Are Role Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

Your Leadership Potential Is Unlimited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 3

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Introduction: 4

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our ability to take charge, to lead, to get the best out of yourself and others, is vital to your achieving your full potential in life. The good news is that leaders are made, usually self-made through work on themselves, not born. Leadership is action, not position. It is defined by what you do, not by your title on your business card. A leader is an executive. What is an executive? It is someone who executes, takes action, achieves goals and moves ahead. What this means is that you can be a leader without followers.


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The definition of leadership is: “The ability to get results.” When you think and act like a leader, you soon get the results that leaders get, and enjoy the results of leadership—respect, esteem, more opportunities, higher pay and a life of significance— making a real difference in your world. There is more good news. Leadership is not fixed. It is a set of learnable attitudes and skills.  This means that you can learn any leadership skill you need to achieve any leadership goal that you can set for yourself. How do top leaders think and act? In more than 3,300 studies of leaders over the centuries, “seven secrets of leadership” have been identified that you can learn and apply. But in reality, there are no real “secrets” of leadership. There are only timeless truths that have been discovered and rediscovered again and again over the centuries. Here they are: 6

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Know Who They Are Leaders have clarity.

They know who they are and who they are not, and what they want and what they do not want. Leaders know what they believe in, and what they do not believe in. They know what they stand for, and what they will not stand for. 9

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Each leader is a distinct individual, distinct and different from all others. Leaders are not “like someone else,” because each leader is in a category of one. I believe in the adage: “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” This is the attitude of the leader. Inscribed over the temple of The Delphic Oracle, 2,500 years ago, were the words, “Man, Know Thyself.” Modern psychologists say the same thing. Leaders are superior individuals, self-actualizing people who are honest and objective with themselves. They know themselves and accept who they are, without apologies or defensiveness.


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Leaders also have a clear idea of the people they would like to be in the future, their ideal image, toward which they continually strive in the process of self-improvement. Because leaders have taken the time to look into themselves, to know themselves as they really are inside, leaders are not wishy-washy about what they like or dislike, want or do not want. They are clear and distinct. Becoming an excellent leader, therefore, begins with you, with your developing complete clarity about yourself, and about what you think, feel and believe in.


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T he


of t he


e ade r

Imagine that your personality is composed of a series of five concentric circles, like a dart board, starting with the bull’s eye, the very heart and core of your personality. This axle around which your life turns, or central part of your character which determines the way you think and feel, is made up of your values—those virtues and aspects of life that are most important to you. Leaders are clear about their values; nonleaders are unsure and vague. Leaders never compromise their core values. Followers modify or abandon their values whenever offered a reward or benefit of some kind. 12

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What are your values? Your true values? Those values that you would never compromise, no matter what the temptation?

Your true values are only revealed under pressure, when you are forced to choose between one value or another. Your true values are only revealed in your actions, when there is a possibility of loss, especially financial loss, or of embarrassment, or experiencing the disapproval of one or more people. This is when you reveal your true values. Do you believe in the values of honesty, love, family, freedom, courage and responsibility? If you do, you will always practice these values, no matter what happens around you.


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W h at Do You


The second circle or layer of your personality is composed of your beliefs. What do you believe about yourself, about other people, about your potential, and about society? Your beliefs grow out of your values, especially your beliefs about yourself. They determine your worldview— positive or negative. Denis Waitley wrote, “If you believe you can, you probably can. If you believe you won’t, you most assuredly won’t. Belief is the ignition switch that gets you off the launching pad.”

Your positive, empowering beliefs about yourself, others and life are what make you a leader. Your negative, self-limiting beliefs about yourself, or others, are what hold you back. What are they? 14

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E x pe c t t he


The third circle of your personality is composed of your expectations. Your values and beliefs determine your expectations about your personal potential, the people around you, and the situation you are currently facing. Leaders have clear, solid values that they live by every day. They have positive uplifting beliefs about themselves and what is possible for them. As a result, they have positive expectations. Leaders confidently expect to be successful. If they fail temporarily, they confidently expect to learn something valuable that will help them in the future.


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A Posi t ive


The fourth layer of personality, determined by your values, beliefs and expectations, is your attitude. Earl Nightingale called attitude “the most important word

in the language.� Leaders have a positive mental attitude. They see opportunities where others see problems. They see stepping stones where others see stumbling blocks. They approach situations, people and life with the confident expectation that they will be successful, and that their companies, their products and services will be successful as well.


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is E ve r y t hing

The fifth layer of success, the natural extension of your values, beliefs, expectations and attitudes, are your actions—what you do each day. You can always tell what is going on inside of a person by looking at their actions; at what they do, not what they say. Emerson wrote,

“What you are shouts at me so loudly that I cannot hear a word you are saying.” The person you are inside as a leader is almost immediately obvious to all the people around you. It is almost impossible to hide.


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Yo u r s e lf

Here is an exercise for you. Complete these sentences: 1) My true values are… (What are your three to five most important values or concerns in life?); 2) What I believe about life and people is… (Based on your values, what do you believe about your world?); 3) Life is… (How would you describe life in general?); 4) What is most important to me is… (What are your most important goals in life, right now?).


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How would the people around you describe you to others, based on their experiences with you, and with what you say and do day-to-day? Most of all, if you could wave a magic wand and become your ideal of the perfect person, what qualities would you have? What would you do or say differently in your interactions with others if you were already an exceptional leader? Most of all, what are you going to be or do differently from now on in your commitment to be an exceptional leader, based on what you have learned in this chapter?


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“Values are critical guides for making decisions. When in doubt, they cut through the fog like a beacon in the night.” R o b e rt T o w n s e n d

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Know What They Want Leaders have definite, distinct personalities. They have qualities of strength, character and assurance about them that cause people to look up to them and respect them.


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In addition to personal clarity, knowing who they are, leaders are clear about their goals. They know

what they want, and are determined to get it.




Goal-orientation is the “master skill of success.� It is the most outwardly identifiable quality of a leader or top performer. Fortunately, the ability to set and achieve goals is a learnable skill.

Goals O





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Ac hieving


There are several key questions that you need to ask and answer for yourself. These questions help you develop greater clarity about what you really want to achieve.

What are your three most important goals in life, right now? When you write down your answer in 30 seconds or less, you get an immediate snapshot of what is most important to you at the moment. 1. 2. 3. What goals would you set for yourself, what would you want to do with your life, if you had 20 million dollars in the bank, but you only had ten years left to live?


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This is another way of asking what you would want to be,

have and do with your life if you had no financial limitations, if you were completely free to choose your future. How would you answer this question? 1. 2. 3.

What one great goal would you set for yourself if you knew you could not fail? Imagine that you could wave a magic wand and achieve any one goal in life, large or small, short-term or long-term. What goal would that be?


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Whatever your answer to this question, the very fact that you could think about it and write it down means that it is probably possible for you. The only question is,

“How badly do you want it?” And perhaps the most important question of all:

“What do you really want to do with your life?” You were put on this earth to do something wonderful with your life. What could it be?


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Once you are clear about your personal goals, you then ask,

“What are my three most important business goals, right now?� The primary responsibility of leaders is to set and achieve business goals. What are yours? 1. 2. 3.

In the 3,300 studies of leadership mentioned earlier, the most common quality they discovered was that of vision. Leaders have a clear, compelling, exciting vision of their goals; of what they want to accomplish in the future.


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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 7 Secrets of Exceptional Leadership