7 Leadership Traits That Will Increase Your Impact and Influence – for Everyday Power Blog

7 Leadership Traits That Will Increase Your Impact and Influence

You are responsible for your destiny. Either you can follow someone, or be followed by others. The one who inspires others through their actions and influences others to follow them is a leader. Why do people follow some but not others, and what leadership traits does it take to become one?

The Balance of Opportunity-Cost: Is the Risk Worth the Reward by Sri Gaddam

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”  Mark Zuckerberg

“In my experience, successful people have a very good intuition in identifying the right opportunities based on their experiences and competencies. This occurs at both an individual and organizational level. In fact, most people have great ideas or have come across many opportunities in life. But very few people will make it big. You have to leave your comfort zone to successfully accomplish your goals by taking calculated risks.

“The biggest difference between success and failure is that successful people are determined to succeed, no matter what they do. When they come across an opportunity, they take action in a timely manner while considering potential risks. Others keep chasing perfection before they act due to fear of failure. They eventually lose focus and move on to a new idea. Then it is too late to act on it. Once successful people decide to pursue their desired goal, they consciously think about it around the clock and build a strong network that is aligned with their vision. They reach out to it when needed. But not before they assess the risk versus the reward.

“For instance, we viewed the recession in 2009 as a great business opportunity. So, we increased our company’s sales and delivery force while several competitors were decreasing theirs. As a result of this intuitive decision, ERP Analysts aggressively marketed ‘Free Assessment and Technology Roadmap” strategies with its increased sales force to attract new customers during a time of great uncertainty in the market. This aggressive strategy not only helped the company gain market share, but it also earned a loyal lifetime number of customers who view the company as a true partner that stood by them during adversity.”

There is this great economist, Daniel Kurt[1], and he said:

‘The idea of scarcity lies at the heart of economics. It’s the concept that, in virtually every decision we make, we face constraints. In short, humans don’t have the money, skills, time — you name it — to get everything we possibly desire. Ergo, we have to make choices. Economists are keen to remind us that decisions don’t take place in a vacuum. Life isn’t only about the choices we make, but the ones we could make. This is where something called opportunity cost comes into play. It’s the term social scientists use to describe the value of the next best alternative to the option we’re considering. 

We actually evaluate opportunity costs on a daily basis. Perhaps when you woke up today, you decided on a big bowl of cereal for breakfast, foregoing the opportunity to enjoy eggs and toast. A little later, you opt to take the train to work, sacrificing the benefits of driving your own car. It’s still early morning, and you’ve already decided on a series of small tradeoffs. 

Calculating opportunity costs may seem like a no-brainer when the only objective is to increase the bottom line. No successful company is going to reinvest its earnings without considering the financial effects of different options. Because of the scarcity of resources, saying yes to one option necessarily means saying no to the alternatives. To make the best decision, one has to consider the value of those other options, too.

 To Summarize:

1. Determining the right balance between resources, risk and opportunities.

2. Determining your desire/ability to tolerate risk.

3. Assessing that risk through a well-conceived business plan.

4. Determining what “success” or your reward will look like.

5. Making a decision quickly and with great purpose.

6. Executing your game plan, maintaining focus, and persevering when times get tough.

“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.”  Peter Drucker

[1] web.utah.edu/basford/…/WhatIsOpportunityCostAndWhyDoesItMatter.docx

Think and Grow Rich: A Summary of the Law of Attraction By Sri Gaddam

Think and Grow Rich is one of the most celebrated, and often, recommended books on the topic of self-help and business development. Andrew Carnegie commissioned this book, and it includes interviews of 500 of the greatest men of the early 20th century, including Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Theodore Roosevelt, Wilbur Wright, and W. Howard Taft. First published in 1937, it has now sold more than 70 million copies, giving it the distinction of being the all-time bestseller in the personal success category.

I certainly don’t agree with everything in this book, but it stands to reason that uncommon success must come from uncommon thoughts and actions. If some of this advice seems a little “out there,” or too intangible, vague and short-lived to be useful, remember who it’s coming from, and suspend judgment until you’ve tested it for yourself. But, I feel like there is a strong connection to many of the building blocks discussed in Hill’s book and the concept of attraction in general. After my review and detailed reading of the work, here are the top ten concepts that directly relate to The Law of Attraction:

1. Desire: The Starting Point of All Achievement

It may be stating the obvious, but growing rich starts with the desire to do so. The desire discussed here is not simply wishing, but is an intense, burning obsession, which must be coupled with both a plan and persistence in sticking to the plan. The author presents a six-part method to ensure that this is the type of desire you are starting with:

a. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire.

b. Determine exactly what you intend to give for this money.

c. Establish a definite date by which you intend to acquire this money.

d. Create a definite plan to acquire the money, and take the first step immediately.

e. Put the four items above into a clear, concise sentence describing each part.

f. Read the statement aloud twice daily, in the morning and at night.

The principle here is that desire has ways to “transmute” (transform) into its physical equivalent. This is the beginning of the key principle of the book: that the subconscious mind acts beneath the surface to accomplish what it is directed to accomplish. This is also the premise for an idea like the Law of Attraction. You have to visualize that which you want to achieve.

2. Faith: Visualization of, and Belief in Attainment of Desire

Of course, the subconscious mind must believe that something is possible in order to act on it. Faith is an interesting concept, but in this context the author defines it as “a state of mind which may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind. It is by this practice that you can convince your subconscious mind to “translate that impulse into its physical equivalent, by the most practical procedure available.”

The author attributes both good and ill fortune to this practice. In other words, someone who lets himself believe negative things has communicated to his subconscious to act upon those negative beliefs and translate them into reality. Someone who neglects this practice, and allows his subconscious to go where it will, risks being set up for failure by the operation of the subconscious that will continue regardless.

3. Autosuggestion: The Medium for Influencing the Subconscious Mind

The author asserts that exercising this control requires both conscious attention, and the mixing of emotion (a word the author uses interchangeably with “belief” or “faith”) with what you tell yourself. He presents repetitive visualization as the best method of accomplishing this mixture — actually picturing the appearance of a specific amount of money, consistently over time. Eventually, this will cue your subconscious to “hand over” specific plans to begin to make it happen. Simply put, autosuggestion is the practice of communicating to yourself using your conscious mind for the purpose of convincing your subconscious. As humans, we can exercise complete control over what reaches our subconscious mind (through our five senses), but most people don’t often exercise that control.

4. Specialized Knowledge: Personal Experiences or Observations

In this chapter, the author makes a down-to-earth assertion — that general knowledge itself is useless in accumulating wealth. You must have specific knowledge and skills (how to fix a leaky faucet, diagnose a disease, build a financial model, etc.) in order to add value and be paid for it. While this is a commonly misunderstood principle, it should be evident to anyone that general education does not correlate with wealth; instead, specific knowledge applied to specific tasks is what actually leads to money. That is, the Law of Attraction requires that you take active steps to position yourself for success.

5. Imagination: The Workshop of the Mind

Mr. Hill separates imagination into two conceptual types: synthetic imagination, which simply rearranges existing ideas into new concepts, and creative imagination, which creates something from nothing. Transforming desire into money requires specific plans, which come most often through synthetic imagination. The author scoffs at the idea that riches come from hard work; more often, he contends, riches of great quantity have come “in response to definite demands, based upon the application of definite principles…when a creator of ideas and a seller of ideas got together and worked in harmony.” The ideas that come from imagination are the forces that cause things to come into being. You must add imagination to specialized knowledge to grow rich.

6. Organized Planning: The Crystallization of Desire Into Action

This next step toward riches requires an alliance with a group of people for the purpose of carrying out your plans. To succeed, you must be sure to compensate these individuals in some manner, meet with them at least twice a week, and maintain harmony with each individual in the group. Faultless plans are essential for the growing of riches, and only the abilities and imaginations of multiple individuals will allow the creation of plans that are perfect, or as near so as possible. Process of planning must be continuous and persistent, since failure will often come before success despite your best efforts. You must select individuals who are likewise persistent. In addition, you must develop the qualities of a leader if you expect to lead such individuals in any endeavor. That said, this principle plays in perfect harmony with the Law of Attraction, as it requires you to begin the process of planning your ultimate goals in order to better reach them.

7. Decision: The Mastery of Procrastination

The lacking of an ability to actually make a decision often separates those that reach the pinnacle of success and those that do not. Hill claims that without exception, all successful people have the habit of making decisions promptly, and of changing them slowly. People who have no desire of their own are heavily influenced by the opinions of others, and are not likely to succeed. Great accomplishments come from courageous decisions. The ability to decide quickly comes from knowing what it is you want, and it is that ability that defines leaders. As the author states, “The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.” The Law of Attraction requires that you consider what you want…and then act on it. Thought without action keeps you at the starting gate.

8. Persistence: The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith

The addition of willpower to desire is the basis of persistence, which must be applied to the other principles in this book in order to grow rich. Persistence is a state of mind that can be cultivated by having definiteness of purpose, desire, self-reliance, definiteness of plans, accurate knowledge, cooperation, willpower, and habit. It is often easy to actually say what you want — it becomes much more difficult to then maintain that belief system and persistence when the going gets tough. To attract anything into your life, you have to continue to focus on it, hold a deeply felt faith, and preserve it even during times of great challenge.

9. Power of the Master Mind: The Driving Force

The Law of Attraction requires that you surround yourself with same-minded people. In this chapter, Mr. Hill delves further into the necessity and power of the master mind, discussing both the economic and “psychic” features of having such a group of individuals to support you. The economic is simple; as discussed earlier, the combination of experience and brainpower is a serious economic advantage. However, despite the pages devoted to discussing the psychic feature of the mastermind, that particular component is more difficult to pin down.

10. The Subconscious Mind: The Connecting Link

Specifically addressing the central subject of this book, the author reminds us that directing the subconscious mind via the other principles discussed throughout this book is something that can be done only through habit. To grow rich, you must continually draw upon the positive emotions, rather than allow your mind to dwell on the negative ones. Faith cannot coexist with fear. This is a fundamental principle that controls the Law of Attraction. You have to plant the seeds of positivity into your inner-being, so that you actually default to what you want in a subconscious manner.


“You create your own universe as you go along.” Winston Churchill

Roadmap to Successful Entrepreneurship By Sri Gaddam

In my view, successful entrepreneurship is envisioning snapshots of future building success scenarios, way ahead of others and building pragmatic strategies to convert the vision into reality. More importantly, organizational success is best achieved through identifying and harnessing others’ aspirations, providing them with an environment that facilitates their goals while inspiring them to reach their full potential and leads them toward mutually beneficial results that are aligned with the organizational goals.

In the contemporary business era, one needs to show what difference he or she made in the world and the innovation his or her business brings to the table.

The measure to success and sustainability in the business space is about growth, how many people they cover, and how extensive is their business. Growth of business is not necessarily how much wealth they have kept as reserves or surplus, but it includes their vision, market scale and scope, flexibility, innovation, self-awareness, adaptability, and recognizing challenges as potential opportunities.

In a nutshell, entrepreneurial leadership is learned behavior that happens unconsciously and refined over a period of time with a consistent behavioral approach.

I would like to share my six key ingredients for success with any upcoming entrepreneurs. They can translate an idea into reality:

  • Vision
  • Organizational Culture and Support Structure
  • Ability for Timely Evaluation of An Opportunity
  • Core Competency Development
  • Strategy Execution
  • Gaining Competitive Advantage

Every human activity is needs-based. The proverb, “Necessity is the mother of invention” (Plato), explains this phenomenon. Every business enterprise emerges out of an idea. An idea changes life, it also influences many more.

To begin with, an initial idea is hazy and imprecise. The architect of the idea chases it, spends considerable time on it, and finally beats it into a shape at the conscious level. Once it assumes a concrete and definite shape, the idea manifests itself as a vision for the author of the idea.

In the second phase, once the idea is firmly developed, the entrepreneur inspires people to reach their full potential while influencing them to align their goals in achieving organizational vision. At this stage, the entrepreneur’s strategy is to bring key personnel under his or her umbrella through a set of influences. The entrepreneur acts as a role model for everyone down the line. In this process, the entrepreneur emerges as a man or woman of values, vision, dynamism, and consistency, capable of influencing people in achieving common goals with the entrepreneur’s leadership style while maintaining the organizational culture.

In the third phase, the entrepreneur evaluates an opportunity and acts in a timely manner considering core competencies of his or her organization while considering the cost. Most successful entrepreneurs make decisions based on their intuition and previous experience. When they come across an opportunity, they make quick decisions without wasting their time while considering the risks, even though they are not 100 percent certain about the outcome. Once entrepreneurs firmly believe in an opportunity, they influence and align people in achieving the common goal and they develop a positive momentum. They figure out a solution as part of their journey, whereas others (non-entrepreneurs) do not act on the opportunity due to “fear of failure” or seeking a perfect solution or they move on to the next idea before acting on the previous one or act when it’s too late.

In the fourth phase of core competency development, entrepreneurs initiate and redefine a strategy considering acquired experience and domain expertise within the trusted network as to how his plans can be executed. In this phase, entrepreneurs aim at building or acquiring key resources who believe in their vision and who have complete trust in their leadership. A high level of self-awareness helps leaders in understanding strengths and weaknesses. If they drift from their center of focus, leaders with strong self-awareness can get back on track easily without being lost in the world of temptations.

Core competency reminds me of a famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi:

Live as if you were to die tomorrow and learn as if you were to live forever. —Mahatma Gandhi

I strongly recommend continuous education for every entrepreneur or leader to remain competent and updated constantly in order to make the right business decisions at the appropriate time. At the same time, leaders can advise their key team members on improving their core competencies for mutual benefit.

In the fifth phase, strategic execution starts with the culture of accountability, prioritization, and timely decision-making on key strategic and operational initiatives.

This reminds me of a famous quote:

Vision without execution is hallucination. —Thomas Edison

Successful execution comes with clearly defined roles and decision-making rights that are aligned with a proper compensation structure to motivate people to act in the best interest of the organization, rather in their own individual interest, and well-defined communication channels that feed required information in a timely manner.

The final phase of gaining competitive advantage: Upon acquiring required core competencies, entrepreneurs believe in their core values and purpose and they aim at creating a sustainable culture of accountability to gain competitive advantages such as operational efficiencies, value creation, ease of use, superior product or service quality, speed to market, and so on. Thus, a system becomes operational with its own business orientation, alignment, and culture.

What begins as an idea or vision in the mind of an individual becomes an obsession for the entire organization. They pursue it with passion and determination to gain a competitive advantage. As a result, a rich, organizational culture emerges that cannot be easily imitated. Finally, the author of the vision emerges as an invincible entrepreneur with the ability to realize all of his or her set goals.

5 Principles of a Successful Leader By Sri Gaddam

#1 Passion and Purpose

Successful people will have clear purpose in mind. Right purpose will unleash one’s passion and help them to achieve their ultimate goal with a burning desire.

Passion is really just a derivative of goal-setting. Meaning, if you set exciting goals, you’ll want to achieve them at all costs. You will feel driven, dedicated, even determined to get to your target, through thick and thin. I have always felt that with passion, no obstacle is too big to stop you in your tracks. But without passion, any obstacle can stop you in your tracks. It really just becomes a mindset. But the mind is easily persuaded, and if you aren’t excited about the goal, the mind will let you down. It won’t move you to action, it will actually limit you from action. You have to choose your own goals, but if you don’t wake up thinking about them and if they don’t keep you up at night, they aren’t big enough, and they aren’t exciting enough. It should feel like a healthy obsession — like you are lusting after it. The more I talk it out, the more I realize that passion is just an ancillary effect of picking goals that really stimulate and enthuse you. If you do that, passion is easy.”

#2 Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is identifying one’s values, desires, strengths, and weaknesses. Self-awareness is essential for managers or leaders who make intuitive decisions in times of adversity or uncertainty. Increasing self-awareness is an ongoing exercise and can be done using various methods:

  • Core competency development or continuous education
  • Coaching or mentoring
  • Honest feedback from your friends, colleagues, and family members
  • Self-assessment feedback surveys such as the 360-Degree Assessment

First identify your strengths and weaknesses using a self-assessment feedback survey. Then identify the gaps that you need to work on to reach your full potential.

Most people get feedback from others. But due to lack of self-awareness, they tend to believe them completely and take actions accordingly. Some people never take action on the feedback because they believe they understand the situation better than anyone else, based on their experiences and beliefs from the past that may not apply to their current situation.

People’s self-awareness is based on what they have experienced and seen in their life. Improving self-awareness goes beyond their own personal experiences and beliefs and changes them, based on the feedback from new experiences in life, professional help, or continuous education. Great leaders and managers possess excellent self-awareness. As a result, they identify and delegate activities to people who are better than they are in motivating and inspiring them toward achieving common goals.

Once you understand yourself with a clear vision in mind, then it’s easy for you to understand others’ strengths and weaknesses, and help them to improve their self-awareness and become better leaders.

#3 Team Building

A leader is a person with high integrity, strong values, consistency, and reliability. The leader makes a positive impact on others by doing the right things and doing them well, thereby inspiring them to reach their full potential.

Building a successful team does not happen overnight or during a short period of time. It begins with identifying a team of “A” players from your trusted network who are aligned with your values and believe in your vision. As stated in the book, Good to Great, by Jim Collins:

Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.—Jim Collins, Good to Great

Once the right people are in the right seats, then develop trust and influence people through consistent and transparent behavior while motivating them to reach their full potential with right compensation methods in place.

A competent leader with self-awareness can inspire and influence others for change. At the same time, a person without self-awareness can never change.

Changing your beliefs is the most challenging task. Have patience and give ample opportunities for others to understand you and your values with your consistent and predictable behavior, and never ignore people you care about most. Once you change others’ beliefs with your influence and positive experiences, they will be aligned with your values and adopt your culture.

Good or bad is a perception. It all depends upon one’s experiences and beliefs based on the environment he or she is in. If you believe in something that’s totally your perception, it doesn’t mean you are right.

If you want others to believe in what you believe, they must experience a few triggering events by observing your behavior and positive reactions in a given situation. A good leader first adopts the existing culture before trying to change it.

Successful leaders must also be very good at developing trusted networks of people who follow them, not because of their position or power, but the leader’s inherent skills and power. Always help people within your network and build their trust before reaching out to them. Sometimes you don’t have to ask—they care enough. It just happens.

Mahatma Gandhi is the greatest leader in the modern era. I always wonder how a single person can motivate and align millions of people toward one common goal. Gandhi created a hope in the lives of millions of people and changed their limited beliefs into convictions that they can be independent and no longer be slaves. 

#4 Continuous Learning

In the initial stages, the domain experience or the previous education gained by an entrepreneur is more than sufficient to get started and to make intuitive decisions.

Once the entrepreneurs’ businesses enter the growth phase, continuing education helps them look at their business from ten thousand feet high, with improved self-awareness and confidence. They also get unbiased feedback through the network of fellow students on the concepts you always believed in. Eventually it helps him to change old habits or beliefs; it also helps him take better decisions.

Regardless of formal or informal education, successful people are always curious to seek solutions to their problems. They continually feed their appetite for knowledge in their focused areas. Their drive is to make intuitive business decisions in identifying and acting on opportunities they come across. Continuing education improved my awareness and created confidence in my making better decisions. All these were helpful in developing and reaching out to my trusted network for advice based on various personal or business situations in life.

A successful person learns from others’ experiences while taking advantage of continuing education to formulate frameworks for business strategies, learning from others’ mistakes and successes in the past, and training the subconscious brain to make intuitive decisions in any given situation.

#5 Flawless Execution

Successful strategy execution is more about saying no to many things and focus on very few things that matters most, while creating a sense of urgency and a culture of accountability.

Successful strategy execution comes from:

  1. Defining clear goals across the organization that are aligned with the organization’s strategy using strategic tools such as One Page Strategic Plan (OPSP) for every key person in the organization.
  2. Hire slow and fire fast to ensure right people for the right jobs and developing a culture of accountability, Identifying and removing potential barriers that may cause disruptions in achieving key organizational goals.
  3. Always setting aside time for strategic planning and execution while not getting carried away with tactical day-to-day operational issues.
  4. Defining, reviewing, monitoring, and providing feedback on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on a regular basis, and ensuring that everyone’s KPIs are aligned with the organization’s goals.
  5. Defining a compensation structure to reward behaviors that drive desired results.
  6. Communicate and link the message to various levels in the organization to facilitate making timely decisions.