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Leading Requires Influence


The term “leader” is often associated with leaders of organizations—businesses, nonprofits, and religious organizations—but there are really many different types of leaders. You don’t have to be a CEO or manager in order to be a leader. Leaders emerge in many different kinds of situations and many different styles of leadership can be effective, depending on the environment.

For example, I used to work with a company on the border in Mexico, and there was a point where there was a lot of drug and gang activity going on in the area. One night, I had to go through a section of town where it was pretty dark, and I remember being very scared. At one point, I walked through a particular area where a gang was loitering and I was stopped by them. I noticed that there was one guy who held a certain command. He wasn’t  bigger or stronger than anybody else, pretty average actually, but everyone was just waiting for him to give a sign. He stopped me in the middle of the road and didn’t allow me to get through. We engaged in a conversation and I was able to manage it in a way that he finally allowed me to cross without taking anything from me. Read More

Why You Can’t Teach Leadership


Leadership is a complex term. There are many different types of leaders. For example, you can be a thought leader, you can be a leader by authority, you can be a leader in business by creating valuable products, or you can be a leader of people.

Leading people is one of the most difficult types of leadership, but can be crucial for success in business. Being a leader is the ability to influence the direction of people towards the achievement of a common goal. It’s not something that you learn, and it’s not something that you acquire. Being a leader is the result of a binary relationship between the followers and the individual that emerges as a leader. There is an implicit contract that takes place. Something about that individual, the leader, triggers a response in the individuals that follow him or her that allows the relationship to occur.

Let me give you a personal example. Read More