"It is impossible for ideas to
compete in the marketplace if no forum for
their presentation is provided or available."
Thomas Mann, 1896
The Business Forum
People Possess: A Leader's Path to Excellence
Leaders achieve goals in cooperation with
and through the actions of the people in their organization. Effective managers
encourage their employees' personal success because they understand that
personal success translates into organizational success. They know that
successful people build successful organizations.
Three characteristics of successful
They know where they stand, where they want
to go and have a plan to get there.
As self starters, they wind their own
Successful people look for ways to complete
tasks. They focus on strengths and break self-imposed limitations created by
low self esteem.
These traits are interrelated. Strengthen
one and you strengthen them all. Success breeds more success through increasing
A much quoted study found that the three
percent of the population who created a specific written plan became not only
financially independent but out produced those with only general goals by 10 to
Goal directed action leads to success,
which arrives when you make that first step towards a goal, not when you reach
your goal. Every action step you take towards your goal is a success that brings
you closer to the end result you want.
You can learn the skill of goal direction.
Effective managers provide goal training and instill goal direction through the
planning process. They ensure expected results when they hold themselves and
their organization accountable.
When employees meet their personal goals
while helping the company meet its goals, they make great achievements
possible. Effective leaders build an environment where personal and
organizational goals complement each other.
Motivation, the sum of two words, motive
and action, is the reason a person takes an action. Motivation, movement
towards a goal, is goal directed action.
In the business world, motivation often
arises from fear or incentives, both of which are generated by another person
and temporary in nature.
For instance, an employee might be scared
by the threat of losing a bonus. Over time people build immunity to fear in that
they work just hard enough to get the job done then stop taking action. They
don't grow and develop to their full potential.
Incentives are often part of an employee's
compensation plan. For example, a sales incentive plan can effectively increase
sales in the short run. However, today's incentive plan often becomes
tomorrow's expectation. As the reward becomes expected, the incentive must
Self motivation, however, is internal,
permanent and unique to each individual. We motivate ourselves. When we work
and live through self-motivation, we take more control over our lives than we
could ever imagine having, much like a thoroughbred horse that runs for the
thrill of running. The joy and excitement of doing something we love brings
great achievement and meaning to our lives.
Positive Mental Attitude
Which would you rather have as an employee
or co-worker, a person with a positive attitude and average skills or a person
with high skills and a negative attitude?
Effective leaders understand that attitude
is everything. We heighten success when we look for ways to accomplish our goals
rather than make excuses.
Winners and losers dress alike, eat in the
same restaurants, shop in the same stores and work in the same offices.
Attitude, behavior and the results they achieve make the difference.
Winners confidently expect that they can
turn any situation to positive advantage. Using positive behaviors; they listen
and learn. Their attitude and behavior lead to peak performance.
The difference between the average and very
successful person is quite small. Successful people don't work three times as
hard. Effective managers know how to develop the slight edge attitude in people
that creates a major increase in performance. They instill an attitude of
abundance and positive expectance in their people.
How to Build Success Traits
Strong leaders use these four action steps
to build success traits in their management team:
People respond to their environment. Build
an environment where people want to be and want to do their best.
Most people want to progress and grow.
Effective leaders make a point of learning what motivates their employees and
then give personal and organizational encouragement.
Help people hold themselves accountable for
their personal goals. Hold them accountable for organizational goals.
An effective leader understands that
sharing power is the most effective way to build personal motivation. When
participants take intellectual and emotional ownership of the initiative, they
become part of the solution and develop personal commitment to the outcome.
How to Build Self Esteem
Effective leaders understand that attitude
is crucial and that self esteem, the sum of our conditioning from an early age,
affects it in many ways. Leaders raise the self esteem of their employees by
When we compare ourselves to others we set
ourselves up for disappointment. Someone always has better experience or is a
more polished speaker. The only relevant measure of personal improvement is to
compare our capabilities from yesterday to our capabilities today
Do not let the person in the mirror become
a block. Understand your starting point and set a goal to change. Once you
start to actively work towards a goal, you create success not at the end point
but during the game. Every day you work towards the culmination of your long
Working to fulfill your goals gives you
an incentive to do more and do it better each day. When you consistently take
the right actions, you feel better about yourself and regularly reach a higher
Recognize that each step you complete
towards your goals is a positive accomplishment that takes you closer to your
final objective. You raise your effectiveness every day.
The difference between being average and
successful is small. A successful person doesn't work harder, he or she works
with a distinct goal in mind. For this reason effective leaders strive to
strengthen success traits in themselves and their employees. And this effort has
personal benefit for the leader. The adage of leadership; the more success your
employees have the more success you will have.
Personal and organizational successes go
together. When employees meet their personal goals as they help the organization
meet its goals, they make great achievements possible. Effective leaders build
an environment where personal and organizational goals complement each other.
They build a positive work environment
where people stretch toward excellence. They share power with their management
team to bring the full effect of personal motivation to organizational
Effective leaders build an organization
of committed people who together accomplish great feats. They believe in the
"Self motivation is the power that raises
you to any level you seek"
Thomas R. Northup is a Fellow of The Business
Forum Institute and is a nationally recognized management expert,
consultant, speaker and coach. He is the author of the book, The Five
Hidden Mistakes CEOs Make. How to Unlock the Secrets and Drive Growth
and Profitability. Marshall Goldsmith, author of the New York
Times best-seller, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, said about Five Mistakes “Gleaned from years of success as a CEO in his
own right, Tom Northup masterfully provides practical wisdom and tools
to move senior leaders beyond the status quo to help them see what
they need to see, not just what they want to see.” Tom is the
former CEO and principal of three successful businesses, and he
understands the business complexities faced by today’s busy executives.
He is experienced in high growth situations, new product start-ups,
strategic planning, market analysis, team operations, and
turn-around/reorganization. Today, through coaching, consulting,
mentoring, and training, Tom provides practical experience and
thoughtful leadership. Tom works side-by-side with clients to develop
plans and implement strategies to …. build capabilities that increase
revenue and profitability year after year, make companies more proactive
in the marketplace, build effective management teams, foster greater
corporate wide accountability and generate sustained results. He is a
goal-oriented executive experienced in developing strong management
teams all with a focus on driving continuous results and success.
Tom graduated with a BS in Mathematics from Bucknell University and has
an MBA from Syracuse University. He is an active with the Forum for
Corporate Directors, the Institute of Management Consultants and runs a
CEO roundtable at the Irvine Chamber of Commerce. In addition to his
book he has written many articles on management published throughout the
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