You may say: “Well, I have employees, and I’m a boss.” Sure, but unless your employees see you as having excellent leadership skills, you’ll likely run into some big and expensive problems. Maybe not now but soon.
Take a look at the recent Uber fiasco and Wells Fargo last year. Where did the majority of the problems stem from? The top. That’s because being a “leader” trumps being a boss. And if you’ve recently started hiring employees for your thriving business, or you were promoted to a management position, I’d highly recommend learning how to become one. Being a boss isn’t going to cut it.
Recently, I chatted with world renowned hypnotist and business leader, Marshall Sylver. Marshall has been appeared on shows with Howard Stern, David Letterman, and Montel Williams several times. He has also led training programs for IBM, Ford, KFC, and Pepsi. And, Sylver is no illusion. He went from performing magic tricks in order to survive extreme poverty as a kid to growing his business into a $200-million-dollar training company.
Here are seven of the core principles and tenets that he firmly believes led to both his success as a leader and in his career.
1. Responding Instead Of Reacting
As a leader, there are going to be many events and circumstances – both personal and professional--that will directly cause you to feel the overwhelming urge to immediately react from some of our automatic emotional responses.
According to Sylver, “A great leader has to at all times consider the best possible strategy and response to get to the desired outcome.” He said: “Great leaders understand we have to play the hand that was dealt us and deal with what emerges.”
2. Being The Change We Expect To See
Sylver proposes that it’s “not enough to learn, we must become the thing that would produce the result we want before we can produce the result.” He used an example to illustrate his point that simply having a ‘desire’ to be a millionaire is insufficient. We must first tell ourselves and declare that we are, in fact, a millionaire.
To paraphrase, Sylver suggests that our subconscious mind will begin to download this data, and then actively search for opportunities and circumstances to affirm the developing belief.
3. Gather Up All Available Data Needed To Achieve A Desired Outcome
Sylver emphatically clarified that the goal is to gather up available data, and not to set an unrealistic expectation of having all of it. “You will never have all the data. Perfectionism paralyzes. Fail forward fast. Put out crap and then put out crap 2.0,” he says.
4. Acting As If
According to Sylver, this tenant is the “cornerstone of all transformation.” He explains: “Millionaires hold a belief that money comes easily and readily to them. They believe there is an abundance of prosperity available to all. They are constantly thinking of ways to serve others. It is in our service to others that we are rewarded with prosperity.”
He argues that any human being has the capacity to overcome obstacles and achieve a desired outcome if he or she only follows a certain process.
Sylver even created a technology around his theory called PND or Psycho Neuro Duplication. PND is a three-step process which he has found to be a successful formula in achieving a desired outcome and manifesting our dreams into reality. Simplified, it would look like 1) Declaration, 2) Available data gathering, and 3) Acting as If.
5. No One Strategy Fits All
Being a father of three children has proved to be one of the greatest lessons for Sylver about what it takes to be an effective leader.
“All three of my kids are very different. One is sensitive, one is massively independent, my little girl needs to be charmed into doing things. The same is true of leadership. No one strategy fits all,” Sylver explains. “Know the person you are leading and know yourself. No one is perfect. If someone is producing results cut them some slack for their shortcomings.”
6. Solve The Challenge Of The Person Who You Seek To Lead
Throughout the interview, Sylver was clear that powerful leadership is not about attempting to control people and attain a level of power over others. Instead, truly caring for and wanting the best from those you serve are what set the foundation.
Powerful leadership comes through our service to others, such as figuring out the challenges they face, understanding what their strengths and weaknesses are, and communicating effectively.
7. Let Go Of Toxic Or Massively Ineffective People Quickly And Without Despair
“When you find your diamonds treat them well. Edify them and remind them how important they are to you and how grateful you are for them,” Sylver says. “Forgive yourself when you make a mistake and learn. Happy leading.”
These lessons from Sylver remind me of a famous image that has been shared a lot on social media. On the bottom is a man leading and directing his followers, in front and involved. On the top is a tyrant sitting above his workers, commanding but not leading or directly participating.
Which person would you want to be? Do you feel you have what it takes to become a great leader?