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5 Bite-Sized Lessons From 5 Big Leaders

BiteSized Leadership

If you are striving to be a better manager, leadership coaching will be one of the best investments you could make. Understanding how to be a true leader will enable you to build better employee engagement.

We know that leaders are made, not born, and these five leaders have the success to prove it. Here’s some bite-sized leadership lessons to get you thinking about your own leadership.

1. Treat Everyone with Respect: Nelson Mandela

One of the greatest world leaders of our time knew the importance of treating people like human beings regardless of their outward appearance. In today’s workplace, it is easy for people to feel unappreciated or looked down upon because of any one of countless personal characteristics. Lead with this concept in mind, great people, like great ideas, come from everywhere. Be open and you’ll notice them – then it’s simply a matter of evaluating the best course of action to follow to achieve the results you’re after.

Nelson Mandela said, “A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial and uninformed.”

2. Consider the Necessary Changes to Be Made: Howard Schultz

There’s a famous anecdote about Howard Schultz, the CEO of the coffee empire, Starbucks. After returning from a long hiatus, he saw how company growth was being stunted due to the lack of customer-focused strategies in service.

Deciding to change matters, he listened to the advice of his staff and froze operations in over 7,000 US chains. This was for the sole purpose of retraining his baristas. The radical move paid off, with Starbucks becoming known for the cozy experience of enjoying the perfect brew, attentive staff at hand.

3. Know Your Value as a Leader: Eleanor Roosevelt

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” said the former First Lady. She was a world leader at a time when social politics demanded that women take the lesser role in leadership and in the household. But she didn’t let this stop her, as she went on to become a great leader and change-maker.

In your office, try to emulate her positivity by showing that reaching company goals is a team effort. You don’t let others make you feel inferior, and you don’t treat them as lesser than you as well.

4. Build Something You Believe In: Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh’s success story is world renowned. After co-founding a company called LinkExchange and then selling it to Microsoft for $265 million, he moved on to become an investor in and CEO of Zappos.com. Even with all his wealth, however, he cautioned others to stay true to their values.

“Lots of men get into entrepreneurship for the money,” he said. “They do it because they want freedom and financial success, not because they are doing something they really believe in. This is a huge mistake.”

Remember: true leaders keep their focus on the greater goals at hand–not just their own bank accounts.

5. Welcome Criticism: Elon Musk

“When my friends get a product, I ask them to please not tell me what they like. Rather, tell me what you don’t like,” says the famous SpaceX entrepreneur. As a manager and leader, you have to be open to criticism. It is the only way you will grow, and the only way to get helpful input from others who may be seeing a different side to the problem.


Leaders who can take positive criticism and make progress even if it means changing their own personal style or preferences will reap the benefits of loyal, trustworthy people and successful endeavors, year after year.

Have another Bite-Sized Leadership Suggestion? Add them in the comments below.


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