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Practical Tips For Effective Leadership


What matters most in business are important things to know if you want your business to move ahead in a powerful, effective, and effecient manner. What matters most for a successful life, means knowing the needs, wants and dislikes of your customers, your team, your community and your self.

A friend recently gave me the book “It’s Not About You” after hearing me train on that exact topic to our leadership team, and knowing that we enthusiastically promote similar principles from the The Go-Giver duo, also by Burg and Mann.

Those two books – The Go Giver and Go-Givers Sell More – use a simple parable format and as I love ways to illustrate simple leadership principles this new book, written in a similar vein, couldn’t have been more appropriate. It’s Not About You is for anyone who wants to be successful and respected.

On a purely short story level “It’s Not About You” is thoroughly enjoyable and from that perspective alone it’s worth the few hours at most it takes to read to find out what happens. 

However as a a business parable it’s outstanding. While it’s a fairly quick and easy read, the intention is to illustrate powerful lessons about leadership in business, and in particular about the power of positive influence and effective persuasion.

The book provokes you to think about the lessons as they’re illustrated by what one reviewer called the Yoda-like Aunt Elle. It’s combination of real-world, business background, and in-person examples that work because they give you context. Along with the lessons arising via business coaching as the story progresses, as well as in the lesson summary, the ideas incorporated into the story are also given in a congruent manner at the end of each chapter.

The key concepts are also repeated at the end of the book, for ease of review and to draw the readers attention to the books purpose: understanding what matters most in business. Burg and Mann both have decades of experience in sales and business leadership with experience as authors in a variety of previous books, including other successful collaborations.

Is It’s Not About You useful for everybody?

The short answer is yes, and without spoiling your reading pleasure, the title makes it fairly obvious that the lessons are about leadership, building relationships and businesses and most importantly how you can inspire, lead and interact with the other people in your company. I can certainly think of a few people who would find It’s Not About You easier to read than other business books, and they’d definitely get some valuable lessons from reading it.

The value of any leadership book is whether it transfers the lessons about leadership to you in a way which actually inspires you to change what you do or the way you think, or act. Burg and Mann do this with humour, style and a distinctive flair that draws the reader into the story. Essentially It’s Not About You definitely made me consider the way I go about my daily business, as well as the way I think or act, so in that respect it’s well worth picking up a copy to find out how it can help you.

Lessons You Need To Keep Learning

It’s Not About You is a great sharing of some solid life lessons. It’s a book to be read, passed around, and discussed. Unfortunately though, “it’s not about you,” is not the kind of life lesson that once learned, is always remembered. This is an issue that we face over and over again, but hopefully in ever diminishing frequency and intensity as our leadership skill matures. Remember, even the great Solomon, said to be the wisest of all men, who reigned over Israel’s golden age, had to relearn some of these lessons of leadership.

This book is a great reminder to us all of the power of the right kind of leadership; leadership that comes from an inner strength of understanding, of a commitment o ongoing service and outgoing concern for others. To help you while you wait for your book to arrive, here are the Lessons …

Five Keys to Legendary Leadership

Lesson #1: Hold the Vision. The hard part isn’t coming up with the vision, it’s holding on to the vision that takes commitment, courage and focus. “As a leader, your job is to hold fast to the big picture, to keep seeing it in your mind’s eye, with crystal clarity, where it is you are going—that place that right at this moment exists only in your mind’s eye. And to keep seeing that, even when nobody else does.” Wallace D Wattles in The Science of Getting Rich says this is the hardest of all tasks any leader undertakes.

Lesson #2: Build Your People. “People have all sorts of amazing qualities and natural abilities trapped inside them. With the wood, it’s knowing how to apply the heat. With people, it’s applying your belief.” If you give people something great to live up to, they usually will. “How influential you are, comes down to your intention. What are you focused on? Your benefit, or theirs?” Understanding that as Aunt Ellie says ‘the more you yield, the more power you have’, and more importantly how to apply that in your life will change your relationships, change your results and change your life.

Lesson #3: Do the Work. Be humble and stay grounded. Aunt Elle said, “People who achieve great things that the world will never forget, start out by accomplishing small things the world will never see.” The principle of Right Action (James Allen – As A Man Thinketh) and Efficient Action and Acting In A Certain Way (Wallace Wattles – Science of Getting Rich) are keys to the principle highlighted here. One step at a time is how even the greatest task is accomplished, and this steps are taken, unseen, often for many years, before the ‘overnight success’ appears.

Lesson #4: Stand for Something. Lead from who you are. People will figure it out anyway. People need to trust your competence, but they need to trust your character more. “Competence is simply the baseline, the thing that puts you in the game. It matters, but honestly, it’s a dime a dozen.” The authors remind us that you can only lead as far as you grow. Aunt Elle says, “What you have to give, you offer least of all through what you say; in greater part through what you do; but in greatest part through who you are.” Again this is highlighting the basic principles of leadership taught in all the Savvy Team self development programs. Make sure you ask about the next one coming up.

Lesson #5: Share the Mantle. It’s not about you. “You are not their dreams, you are only the steward of those dreams. And leaders often get it backwards and start thinking they not only hold the best of others but they are the best….The moment you start thinking it’s all about you, that you’re the deal, is the moment you begin losing your capacity to positively influence others’ lives.” That’s why this is such a great title and such a powerful message. Learning to lead also requires you to make the most of other people, and it goes without saying that this requires you to make the most of yourself at the same time.

Mann says, “In a sense, It’s Not About You is an exploration of the Law of Influence (Law #3 in our first book). Its lessons touch on business and family, leadership and parenting, vision and humility, character and competence, life and death.” In this book you will learn the critical principle so many people in positions of power fail to grasp: it’s not about me, it’s about you.

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