My 15 Stickiest Leadership Lessons

bigstock-Sticky-Note-363420I’ve seen and heard (and written) about a lot of great leadership lessons, but there’s a short list of them that have really “stuck” with me.  They’ve since become an essential part of my leadership practice, and my life.

I’m pleased to share these 15  Stickiest Leadership Lessons with you, and hope that you to will find them as sticky as I have.


  • Eliminate “can’t” from your vocabulary. It started with a simple poster, that said “it can’t be done, it can’t be done, it can’t be done……’s done.   It was the beginning of a long celebration of the art of the possible.
  • “It’s amazing how someone’s IQ seems to double as soon as you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them” – Tim Ferriss. It’s all about enabling our teammates to succeed, by simply trusting them.
  •  Work needs to be fun, or it isn’t worth doing.  I learned this “secret of work”  the hard way, but once I did, guess what happened?   Fun, AND success.
  •  The 7 Most Important Words – “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.    All leaders must be able to hear it, and SAY it, to dispel any notions that total knowledge is necessary for success.
  • What’s love got to do with leadership?  Plenty.  Just ask John Wooden.  It truly is “the most powerful thing there is”.
  • The most important question a leader can EVER answer is Why?”   Context is everything in a workplace.  Without it, you’ll have less happy, less motivated, and less productive teammates.
  • For leaders, this is a very dangerous question:  What do you think?  If you are going to ask for opinions, you better want to hear the answer, or you’ll risk confusing and  alienating your teammates.
  • “Show The Way”.  It’s right in the dictionary, when you look up “lead”.   Such a simple and profound way to think of leadership, isn’t it?


  1. says

    Terry, a great list! Thank you for sharing them. I particularly like Ferriss’ comment about giving responsibility & trust, to bring out the best in team members.



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