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‘‘You will eithe r step forward into growth, or you will
step backward into safety.’’
The better you know and understand yourself, the better deci-
sions you will make and the better results you will get.
What is the most important and valuable work that you do?
The answer is thinking. The quality of your thinking determines
the quality of your choices and decisions. The quality of your
decisions, in turn, determines the quality of your actions. The
quality of your actions determines the quality of your results, and
the quality of your results determines almost everything that
happens to you, especially in business.
One of the most important words in thinking and action is
consequences. An action is important if it has serious potential
consequences. An action is unimportant if it has few or no poten-
Your thinking, and the actions you take based on that think-
ing, can have enormous consequences. Your decision to intro-
HOW THE BEST LEADERS LEAD
duce a new product or service, hire or ﬁre a key person, or make
an investment in a particular area can all have signiﬁcant conse-
Perhaps the most powerful stimulant of good thinking is
pointed questions that force you to analyze and decide exactly
what you want and what you are going to do to achieve it. The
questions that follow will not only help you focus on your goals
and aspirations; they will help you to develop greater clarity
about who you really are inside and what is truly important to
These questions are both personal and professional. The suc-
cessful leader is ﬁrst and foremost a successful person. The best
leaders establish priorities and goals not only for their profes-
sional lives but for their personal lives as well. They know in both
their professional and personal lives what they want, who they
are, who and what is important, where they are going and why,
and what strengths and weaknesses will help or hinder them as
they move forward. The best leaders are complete, balanced,
self-aware, healthy individuals who live their professional and
personal lives by the same rules.
Pay special attention to all of these questions. If your answers
to any of these questions are wrong—if you have the wrong prior-
ities, for example, or lack the self-awareness to know your true
strengths and weaknesses, or pick the wrong skills to develop—
this alone can cause you to make the wrong choices and deci-
sions and sabotage your ability to get the results that are
expected of you.
Answer the following questions:
1. What is your current position?
LEADERS KNOW THEMSELVES
2. What are the three most important things you do
in your work?
3. How do you measure results, success, and
accomplishment in your work?
4. What are your special abilities and talents?
5. What tasks do you perform especially well?
6. What are your three most important goals in your