“7 Things Leaders Have in Common ~ Got Them? 100 Rags to Riches Interviewed” by Mark J – Week 25


Written by Peter Han, a Harvard grad…..and the result of interviewing over 100 ‘Nobodies who became Somebodies…..is the resource, not an opinion.  It is a great piece of work for anyone who wants to know…..what does leadership mean?


What is very cool is folks who understand leadership attributes seem to be better leaders…..I know that may sound like I am stating the obvious but the truth is too much of the time people rely on ‘ability’ or ‘copy’ other leaders…..thinking it is a good thing…..and, honestly….it may be, but it’s unlikely to be a great thing.

That is the interesting question…..what are you….what am I doing to learn to lead.

While there are some good books out there, nothing, and I am sure you’d agree, is better than folks who went from rags to riches. Peter Han writes about those folks….everything from entertainers to politicians……just a fabulous mix of personalities…..and this is what they have in common…

Give yourself 0….5 …..or 10 for each one.

0 means you simply need to develop this

5 means you’ve begun to develop it but need improvement

10 means you are spot on it….

Give yourself 30 points for investing in reading about leadership and scoring yourself honestly…..

So….that would make a perfect score 100……

Let us know how you did and get this to your leaders and newbies alike.

1. Strong Self Awareness.

They made decisions about their careers — with significant self-knowledge, stemming from instinct or introspection. Their understanding of their own likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses were particularly insightful.

The 100 Somebodies broke free  from their initial about life and work, ideas that may have been instilled by parents or early childhood experiences.

Rather than relying automatically on advice and direction from others, they took that deep journey of self discovery…they seem to break free from the ‘normal’ idea of how life works.


2. Play Towards Strengths and Away from Weaknesses

Han’s key discovery here is that winners are honest about what they are not good at…..they don’t blame, fib or cover up in anyway.  They increase strength and leverage it into a huge advantage.

My 20 years has taught me one thing about most networkers…..that is the one thing that kills them…..ego.


3. Authenticity and Integrity

Authenticity is a character thing…..integrity is a ‘do what you said you were going to do.

While short cuts by bending these 2 things is tempting….to some people…..true leadership, nobody-to-somebody types……are never even tempted.

Despite what the ‘gurus’ tell you…..networking is NOT a sprint….it’s a marathon and you are the genuine article or you are not.

Do you do what you say you are going to do with your team?

Do you do what you say you are going to do with yourself?  AH…..that is the biggie.


4. Pragmatic Decision-Making Processes

Rags-to-riches types are decisive and those decisions, for the most part are not emotional ones.

Oh, they get emotionally involved AFTER…..but are detached while making decisions.

How about you?

Do you get off the phone with reps who just want to gab and get something going or do you stay on the phone….gab for a while then…..blame??

Do you ‘decide’ on a plan….or sort of let the day ‘flow’…..

People that decide tend to make things happen….


5. Pay the Rent First, Conquer the World Later

While visions of sugar plums dance in our heads…….with all the Internet hype, companies telling you it is ‘safe to dream again’ and seeing others like you make money, it is really easy to feel frustrated and believe ‘if I could go full time I know I could be a top earner’……next thing you know your ‘buying’ short cuts and secrets.

My Uncle and Godfather Mo taught me a long time ago…..’if it isn’t a good deal tomorrow, it ain’t a good deal today

It’s great advice.

Rule of thumb……make 150% of your income in networking before you walk.

Don’t get sucked in……pay the rent first, learn, grow and keep it fun.


6. Coping With Insecurities — and Using Them for Motivation

The 100 leaders did not sail through work and life without doubts…..and man did that make me feel better.

Many shared. Executive Summaries reports,  stories of early uncertainty; anxiety before big meetings.

Look, they knew what you know……the work is not hard, but it is hard getting it going, running a family and, really it’s lonely work.

It’s you and the phone.

What I’ve done is …. [and it seems these folks did it to in their own way] ……. decide that what I was ‘feeling’ was the point that others quit.

The 100 seemed to find a way to ‘motivate’ themselves with these feelings, not be overcome by them.

How do you know?


If you are not making calls to prospects, 40 to 50 3-5x a week….you’ve quit and just not told yourself.

Sorry.  It’s got to be said.


7. From Paying Rent to Conquering the World

Interestingly they did not, these 100, claim they were going to ‘blow the doors’ off whatever……they just mastered what they were doing, learning then replicating those skills and concepts into other success.

In reading some of these interviews it’s pretty easy to see they would have gone for a ’1 pin level’ at a time……and…..not limited themselves once they got to a new pin level.


So up to 70 on the questions and and then 30 for reading this and the courage to assess yourself.

Let us know how you did in the comments box……and how you deal with these 7 things….which ones are you great at?


mark januszewski

world’s laziest networker

Author: Kathy Zimmer

I'm a Success Coach and anti-hunger advocate for children. I love travel, photography and helping others succeed. Health and wellness, and the creation of wealth are favorite pastimes of mine.

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