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10 Things You Do Not Know About Leadership #6

Welcome to the sixth installment of the 10 Things You Do Not Know About Leadership. In this weekly, series I cover topics that tend to be overlooked, forgotten, or completely misunderstood. By sharing with you, it is my hope and belief that I help in eradicating many of misconceptions that come with leadership.


As previously mentioned, there are countless books on Leadership (mine included). Those books are a tool, a guide but NEVER a substitution for actually doing. Books should always be used as a guide, a starting point but never the end all, be all. Books are never used as instead of getting out there and doing it, making it happen. So do not for one second believe there is that one book that will be the only book you will ever need when it comes to leadership. Actually, that one book should be a jumping off point for more books, ideas and concepts.

All current or future leaders, must always be expanding their knowledge, gaining experience and thus increasing wisdom. Putting all your faith in just one book will never suffice. That one book should lead you towards expanding your horizons and thus reading more books, putting the lessons those books share into action.

Let’s look at this from a different perspective when it comes to turning reading about things into doing those things. Currently, there are countless books, articles, and videos on how to start a campfire. While the how to start a campfire catalogue is near infinite, nothing and I do mean nothing will ever compare to actually starting a campfire. However, there are so many ways to start a fire, each has its purpose and process. Discover the other ways of starting a campfire.

Well, the same applies to knitting, jogging, and of course, Leadership. You can read and listen and watch but all that is moot until you are actually out there taking those steps to leading. Until you are out there dealing with those you are responsible for, until you are doing your part to accomplish the mission then will you be putting the words into action.

In 1871 Helmuth von Moltke (Prussian Army Chief of Staff) wrote, “No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first encounter with the main enemy forces.” That same concept applies to reading about leadership versus actually trying to lead.

When reading about any leadership concept or idea, in any book, know that the concepts or ideas are set in a perfect environment, with everything in its proper place and the responses and reactions are anticipated, expected and there is a solution for everything. Of course, as in battle and just like in life, nothing is ever perfect, nothing is ever in its proper place. Plans have a knack for going awry.

Thus, it should serve as a warning that depending too much on the words written in any book without actually trying to put into practice what you have read. By practice, I mean, create situations of failure. As nothing is perfect and no matter if you read one book or thousands of book on the subject of leadership you will fail. However, by practicing to fail, the chances of actually failing, especially when it is time to put steel on target, will exponentially decrease. Remember, failing to prepare for that letdown will all but ensure no chance of success.

One other thing to consider when it comes to putting what you read into action. Know that what you read should be taken with a grain of salt and will NOT work if you act on what you read word for word. Take your time to understand what you read before employing any tactic or strategy.

What you read will work or fail only when you get out there and DO! Then you will know. However, never for one second believe that because the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People| worked for Dr. Stephen Covey or “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” worked for John C. Maxwell, it will most certainly work for you.

It worked for them because they made change happen in their lives. They took what was there before them and made it unique to them. They did the homework. They saw that things were not happening and asked themselves what next. They went to work on themselves by figuring out what needed to be done to effectively answer the question of what next?

That is what prompted me to write The Walking Leader. I read about Managing By Walking Around, MBWA if you will, but nowhere could I find how to do it. It was as if by magic or osmosis, people would just know how to get out there and do the MBWA thing. Not finding answers, I came up with the twenty rules or guide or principles to getting out from behind your desk and making things happen.

I put my unique spin on managing by walking around in The Walking Leader and you must put your own unique spin on what you have read, been taught, learned and then get to work. Get to work on NEVER exactly copying anyone’s leadership style. Again, what worked for Napoleon Hill, Tom Peters, Dale Carnegie, Patricia Thompson, and countless others will not work for you. I promise you that much.

What will work for you is making your own leadership style and fine tuning it to suit your unique perspectives and situation. Take what all those books are sharing, the authors imparting their knowledge onto you. Take that knowledge and wisdom flip it, spin it, toss it around and make it your own. Then get to work.


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Self-Leadership – How To Make The Time

In the previous blog entry, I talked about how it was important to find the time. How everyone has the same twenty-fours and such. Now, I want to share with you about how to make that time. How to extract the time you need to expand on what is important while minimizing downtime. The next set of questions is where to extract the time from? What to do with that time? Then how install the coming change that implementing the new found time will most bring.

Make The Time

Making time and how to make that time is not an easy task. It is by no means anywhere close to being easy. Well, I exaggerate (a little). It is easy to make time if all you do day in; day out is waste time. If all you have in your life is time to goof around, play on the PS4, or go party with your friends, then yes making the time is easy. However, it becomes a difficult task when we are already doing the important work. The kind of work we do when we are in school, putting in the hours from 9 to 5, and those awesome side hustles.
All that and then we feel like we are still spinning our wheels? Well, no need for the anxiety to set in. Taking a few common-sense approaches will help identify the time, adjusting the time, and implementing the time changes. Let’s get started:


Auditing your day may take some time to complete. As some days look the same as the previous day, I guarantee you every day is not the same but you know this. While you are auditing your day remember to note everything you from when you start working, what is the first thing you work on, when you take a break, what time you take lunch and so on.

Once you collect your data, next comes determining what works, what does not work, and what you want to start working on, among other things specific to you. Additionally, the audit data collected will also show you things you may not want to see or believe. Good or Bad, it is all a learning experience. A learning experience in that taking a step back will show us who we really are because in a day-to-day setting we are knee deep in the muck that we don’t see all that we really do because it is just the norm.


After collecting, sorting and dissecting the data there is a bit more work to do. Now the raw data is going to reveal the truth. The whole, good and bad, truth. The honest truth of what you have and have not been doing will be revealed. It is now the time to get to work.

Now is the time to identify what can be change. To do this, you will have to (honestly) determine what are you spending too much time on and not getting return on that time investment. Next, extract from the collected data what are you spending not enough time on but need to give more time to increase the return on the expanded time investment.

The final step in the identification process is to identify and create the CHANGE you feel (from your gut) you need to make. Having determined the time to be moved, shuffled, re-organized, re-prioritized, and re-distributed you are ready. Next, comes implementation and putting to work the impending change(s).


When it comes to implementing change in your life there are three trains of thought when it comes to implementing and working on the change(s): all at once, one thing at a time, or clustering the changes. The latter two are more apt to take root in that anything that does not appear right or appropriate can be worked on, modified, adjusted. Unfortunately, this is a luxury that does not accompany the “all at once” option.

Take that knowledge for what it is worth, acting on the change “one thing at a time” is my preferred method to deliver and act on change. It will certainly increase the level of buy-in and acceptance. Sometimes, the want to change is not enough. Whereas, through slow and deliberate actions in the way the plan is implemented and worked will increase success.

Once the first change is implemented then another can safely be brought in and implemented. By taking those slow, deliberate steps you are on the path to integrating the next change. The plan is to make the change an easy implementation of the changes to you, your life, your mission, and goals.

Throughout the entire process or working the plan you have another set of tasks to do. Those tasks are being constant and consistent when working on the fit that working the plan will make. Be careful for once you stop being constantly consistent is when you revert back to your old ways. You will be negating everything you have done up to this point.

The goal was to make the time to work on those things that will make a return on the time investment you make. The goal is also to minimize the continued action of those things that are not generating the kind of return you seek. Thus, it falls on you to stay the course, always. Staying the course of progress and change will most certainly ensure you are making the time. Isn’t that what success is all about?

Thank you,
David Guerra, MBA

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Self-Leadership – Finding The Time

Being a leader involves a different type of commitment and dedication. The difference comes from being a a committed and dedicated leader 24/7/365. That’s non-negotiable.

Being a leader is your other full time job. It is going to take up that much time. That is one reason most people feel they are ready to do what it takes to be a leader until it is time to step up and be the leader.

image of clock face

It is nothing against who they are as individuals, nor is it a strike against their knowledge, skills, wisdom and character. Far from it. Those that recognize that at this moment they are not ready to lead are great leaders in the making.

Once underway, there are people that know they cannot hack the toll leadership takes on the individual. Yet, there are those that decide to fake it and never make it are not even worthy of qualifying as a bad manager. The individuals that would rather continue faking it soon become “micro-managers” thus fail to give respect to those they are supposed to be leading. They will soon find themselves without true and genuine followers. Then what good are they?

What does finding the time have to do with knowing when to play your hand or when to fold’em?
Everything. If the individual is not prepared to find the time to work on her skillset or his soft-skills will amount nothing more than a hill of beans.

But there are only 24 hours in a day and eight of them are already spent sleeping!

True, but what about the other 16 hours? Eight of those sixteen are for working and working with the people you leading. That leaves eight hours for personal matters. Matters such as spending time with the family, hobbies, and personal development. All that and dinner, too?

You have to. You have no choice.

One thing to remember you and I and all us one thing in common. We all have the same 24 hours. Believe it or not every Doctor, Lawyer, Computer Engineer, Graphic Designer, Photographer, Janitor, Teacher, Bus Driver, and Student, all have those same 24 hours.

What does all that mean?

It means that while we are all unique individuals were are all, also the same. We have that same amount of time. Yet, there are plenty of people finding the time within those 24 hours to work on the commitment, dedication needed to become a better leader.

As you can see, it will be difficult but you have to find the time to be better. You have to use that time to grow both personally and professionally. In upcoming blog posts I will take a deeper dive into how to properly use your new found time.

As always if you have any comments, questions, remarks or concerns please email me at [email protected]

Thank you,
David Guerra

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