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“Bob Burg opens the floodgates to Fort Knox.”

~ Dottie Walters, Author, Speak & Grow Rich

Advice for Future Leaders?

April 11th, 2016 by Bob Burg

Advice-for-future-leaders-Bob-BurgRecently, for a magazine article on leadership, I was asked for my top three pieces of advice to future leaders:

The first was to understand that Dale Carnegie totally had it right 80 years ago when he wrote in his classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People, that “Ultimately, people do things for their reasons, not our reasons.”

So, if you are casting a vision to which you want others to commit, you must first commit to them; not as cogs on the way to you accomplishing your goals, but to helping them to accomplish their goals. Align your vision with their wants, needs, desires, and values. Create an environment for them to grow. Practice giving leadership.

Secondly, to realize that earning trust will always be your most valuable personal asset. And, you do that by the way you commit to others genuinely and authentically. One way to accomplish this is by keeping your word, building others at every opportunity, standing for what is right, and always acting congruently with those values.

As Simon Sinek says in his fantastic book, Leaders Eat Last, “Trust evolves once we have enough evidence to satisfy our brain that a person or an organization is, indeed, an honest {entity}.”

Last, but certainly not least, it’s embracing the fact that leadership is never about the technology — it’s alway about the people.

As Geoff Colvin discussed in his terrific book, Humans Are Underrated, the more advanced technology gets and the more that machines can do that humans cannot, the more important elements such as empathy, team-building, collaboration, and interpersonal relationships (you know, those “human things”) will become.

On this same basic topic, my awesome Go-Giver Series coauthor, John David Mann, shared a passage from Rachel’s Diary: http://bit.ly/1MpghdB

Those are our thoughts.

Now, what are YOUR big three (or two, or even just one)? What advice would you give to future leaders in order to help ease their path?

Feel free to share. Looking forward to an enlightening discussion.


Have you checked out John David Mann’s and my newest book, The Go-Giver Leader Yet? To read an excerpt, a sample chapter, or to purchase it right now, click here.

And, for some entertaining, value-based, business-building wisdom, listen in on the newest episodes of The Go-Giver Podcast.

14 Responses to “Advice for Future Leaders?”
  1. Christopher Kerr said at 10:49 am on

    Great Article Bob.

    In addition to the three points you suggested, to which I agree wholeheartedly, I would recommend that any person blessed with the opportunity to lead should treat everyone in the organisation (and outside) with immense respect and encouragement. I know which people are actually leaders and which just have a title by the way they treat the secretary, janitors and other key people. Leadership is ultimately influence. Fear is a short term thing but love and encouragement will influence people to use there gifts for your vision. So treat all employees like they are the CEO!

    Looking forward to reading other peoples tips!


  2. Bob Burg said at 10:52 am on

    Awesome, Chris. Thank you so much! Love everything you wrote!

  3. Charles Will said at 10:51 am on

    I would humbly suggest….
    Be active in giving back to your community.
    Seek out a mentor.
    Be a friend.
    Read as many books as possible (The Go-Giver)
    Seek out an accountability partner.
    Be a mentor.
    Practice Gratitude.
    Build your Character.
    Be empathetic.
    Dont forget where you came from.

  4. Bob Burg said at 11:04 am on

    Charles: Thank you for your excellent advice. Appreciate you sharing with us!

  5. Charlene said at 10:57 am on

    Bob, you have brought up this concept many times as far as leadership goes…………being BOLD! I am defining bold as staying the course with your passionate mission.

    B being confident to speak up for what you believe in!

    O owning the ability to create ACTIONS to make things happen!

    L letting others be a part of your team

    D delivering healthy, positive RESULTS

    The above is basically a summary from you, Bob!

    ENJOY your AWESOME Day!

  6. Bob Burg said at 11:06 am on

    Hi Charlene, while I don’t remember using the term “Bold” (you are very kind and may be giving me credit for something that’s not mine) 😉 I love YOUR way of describing it. Terrific advice! Thank you!

  7. Tami Segura DuBose said at 12:26 pm on

    Bob, an oldie but goodie & on my weekly to do list:
    Hand Written Notes
    I like the added concept from Joe Stumpf – don’t make it about business or a ‘Thank you”, make it about them – a Personal Acknowledgement Note. Acknowledge specific qualities you see in them, why you admire them, their work ethic, their spiritual or family traits – give an example.
    People love that, the way I love receiving a personal 3×8 note card enclosed in a book with a simple “Smoooch!” to be used for years as a bookmark.

  8. Bob Burg said at 12:38 pm on

    Thank you, Tami. Great leaders do tend to be constant writers of personal acknowledgement, don’t they? Lee Cockerell (former VP of Operations for Disney) also talks about that in his book, “Creating Magic” and shared some amazing stories in that regard. What a huge difference-maker. And, great advice from Joe! Now, about this personal 3×8 “Smoooch!” note you are referring to…who would have sent you something like that?! 😉

  9. Mark Oakes said at 2:28 pm on

    All GREAT points!

    I counsel budding leaders to ‘create a game worth playing’. That includes helping everyone understand how what they do creates value for the team and clearly communicating the lead measures that drives their scoreboard.


  10. Dave Evans said at 3:24 pm on

    Hi Bob

    Love the article – it is refreshing to read about placing other peoples goals ahead of your own agenda – its the only way that works.

    You have posed a great question.

    For me there are a couple of important principles that I would encourage future leaders with.

    1- Be who you say you are and do what you say you will.

    It does not matter what country you are from, we ALL the world over, look for leaders to match their words with action.

    We all get lost with intelligence, study, qualifications, competency, all important areas – yet when it comes down to it, people want leaders of today, along with leaders of tomorrow, to be people who lead by example.

    It starts with being who you say you are and living true to it.

    We all get lost also on tip number 2.

    2- Do you job well, with all your heart and all your mind and give all that you have to serve your people.

  11. Bob Burg said at 3:36 pm on

    Dave, Many thanks for your kind feedback on the article! Greatly appreciate you sharing your wise advice with us. Excellent points, indeed!

  12. Bob Burg said at 3:24 pm on

    Mark, thank you for that advice. Love that saying, “Create a game worth playing.” Right on…how VERY important!

  13. Fred Schrader said at 5:56 am on

    What an inspiring article, Bob. I especially like how you describe that being a good leader is about earning trust and being responsible. Thank you for your advice!
    Fred Schrader

  14. Bob Burg said at 6:13 am on

    Thank you, Fred. Greatly appreciate your very kind feedback!

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