Leaders Are Made, Not Born

This is a guest post by Mark Thompson & Brian Tracy, co-authors of Now, Build a Great Business!: 7 Ways to Maximize Your Profits in Any Market.

Peter Drucker wrote, “There may be natural born leaders, but there are so few of them that they make no difference in the greater scheme of things.”

Leaders are self-developed, by working on themselves continually. In his book, Talent is Overrated, Fortune editor Geoff Colvin shows how business leaders starting from the beginning of their careers, develop themselves through hours and hours of “deliberate practice.” Like parts of a mosaic, you must work on essential skills for a decade — or at least 10,000 hours — to master them.

For our book, Now, Build a Great Business!, we conducted a World Success Survey in 110 nations to determine the key traits of leaders whose impact has lasted more than 20 years. We found seven key steps to maximize the impact of your organization.

Just as Peter Drucker’s famous “five questions” are deceptively simple — but extraordinarily poignant and challenging to answer — so too are our seven principles. These questions are necessary for every leader to address in order to create a great organization.

1. Become a Great Leader: How will you develop yourself and hold yourself accountable as a leader?

2. Plan: What will it take to create a useful business plan?

3. Surround Yourself With Great People: How will you attract and honor your team?

4. Offer a Great Service: How will your products make a real difference?

5. Design Great Marketing: Why should this organization matter to others?

6. Perfect a Great Sales Process: How will you engage and educate customers to buy-in to your mission?

7. Create a Great Customer Experience:
How will you engage them in a extraordinary client experience?

Official bio: Mark Thompson, author of Now, Build a Great Business!: 7 Ways to Maximize Your Profits in Any Market, and coauthor of the bestseller Success Built to Last, is a serial entrepreneur who sold his last company for $100 million and today coaches executives on how to lead growth companies. Brian Tracy, author of Now, Build a Great Business!: 7 Ways to Maximize Your Profits in Any Market, is one of America’s leading authorities on the development of human potential and personal effectiveness.

Written by Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.