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Review: True North

By Bigg Success Staff

Bigg Book Review

Good people are hard to find. They’re even harder to keep. People follow leaders who demonstrate passion and purpose. These authentic leaders will have a leg up on other executives in the coming years.

So says Bill George and Peter Sims in their book, True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership. For George, a professor at Harvard Business School and former CEO of Medtronic, this is a follow-up to Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value. Sims established a class on leadership at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and co-founded an investment firm, Summit Partners.

The authors interviewed 125 executives for this book. These interviews are why we think this book is so interesting. The interviewees talk openly about their challenges, failures, tragedies, and regrets. We think you’ll find these stories fascinating.

The authors help us understand that authentic leaders lead with their heads and their hearts. This helps keep them on course, in spite of pressures and temptations before them.

Leaders are made, not born according to the authors. Made from life experiences where they discover their passion. That provides the motivation they need to effectively lead their organizations. When you combine your passion with your strengths, you find that sweet spot that makes you much more likely to succeed.

The authors also present a 5-step leadership plan:

  • Know yourself.
  • This is the starting point. Discover your strengths and weaknesses. Seek objective feedback from others. Find your passion and your purpose.

  • Practice your values and principles.
  • You have to lead by example. Do what I say, not what I do, doesn’t work anymore. Did it ever? People want to follow authentic people. Leaders who are real. Leaders who live the values and principles that they preach. Every day.

  • Discover what motivates you.
  • The executives they interviewed wanted to make a difference. They enjoyed pushing themselves to their limits. They wanted an occupation congruent with their passion. Getting rich was a by-product of their success, not the driver of it.

  • Build a support team.
  • The world is too complex to go it alone. You have to develop a team. People who complement your strengths, but who share your passion and core values.

  • Create a balanced life.
  • Balance is important, even for busy executives. You must schedule time with family and friends. Make time for yourself – for exercise, a hobby, or whatever catches your fancy. Give back to your community. Balance gives you fresh perspectives that you can bring into your workplace to solve problems.

This book will inspire you and provide insight to help you develop into an authentic leader – the leadership style of this century!

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W.Clement Stone’s Success System

By Bigg Success Staff
December 06, 2007

Timeless Principles

W. Clement Stone was a student of success. This paper boy eventually became the head of a billion dollar insurance company. Along the way, he overcame extreme poverty, a tough neighborhood, the loss of his father at the age of three, and many other obstacles.

In his great book, The Success System That Never Fails, he describes the three things he learned as a frightened six-year old boy selling newspapers. These three things propelled him to success.

3-Step Success Formula

  • Inspiration to action
  • What motivates you? Not because you have to do something, but because you want to do it. Are you unhappy with your current situation? Then change it by changing yourself. Do you want more out of your life? Find your passion and pursue it relentlessly.Stone opens the book by writing about his days as a paperboy. He was motivated to do well because he needed the money. He had invested all of his savings in newspapers. Newspapers that would be worthless at the end of the day. He had to sell them. So he kept pushing.

  • Know-how
  • Know-how is knowledge applied successfully. You learn your craft by trying again and again. Every time you try, you either succeed or fail. Either way, you learn. When you succeed, you know what to do the next time. When you fail, you learn what not to do next time.Stone learned that patrons of a corner diner would buy papers to read while they ate their dinners. However, the owner of the restaurant didn’t like this child peddling papers in his place. He kept kicking Stone out. Stone would sneak back in and sell papers. He learned to be persistent.

  • Activity knowledge
  • It’s important to learn from your own successes and failures. It’s even better if you can learn from the successes and failures of others. Get to know your product. Learn the methods that have and haven’t worked for others.Stone knew what to say, because he watched other successful paper boys shouting out the day’s headlines to get their customers’ attentions.

Stone promises a lot, even in the title to this book. He also promises that his system will work if you work his system. What’s your inspiration to action right now?

(Image of sprinter by Gio JL )


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