author-Jeffrey GitomerLeadership actions that are not an option for leaders.

“Where’s the action? Where’s the game?” is a line in the song “Oldest Established” from the immortal Broadway show (and my personal favorite) Guys and Dolls.

For the uninformed, the show is about a craps game and a leader named Nathan Detroit. The movie version stars Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando and won all kinds of awards.

The plot is about gambling, winning, attracting, and making it happen no matter what. It’s just a great show and movie with great music and a happy ending.

The theme is one of looking to the leader to make things happen. And it’s the same in your business - just without the craps game and the songs. BUT not without gambling. All business is a gamble and all businesses look to their leaders to “make it happen.”

Here are the actions I have observed about leadership that are mandatory for leadership success. They’re internal actions that build trust, earn respect, and create a team of inspired people – inspired to be productive and do their best…

• Great leaders are value providers, not order givers. At the TOP of every employee’s list of job wants (besides more money) is to be appreciated and valued. When appreciation for a job well done is conveyed, positive environment thrives.

• Great leaders tell the truth. Truth creates trust and confidence and a reliance on the consistency of message. All other leadership characteristics and outcomes fade if there is a lack of truth. (Same in life.)

• Great leaders are in control and earn respect. Quick to decide and not afraid to make or admit mistakes, great leaders are respected because they take action and respected because they are vulnerable.

• Great leaders focus on OUTCOME to ensure completed tasks. Don’t focus on task or project completion. Rather, think what will happen AFTER the project is completed. Outcome, not task. Outcome, not results.

• Great leaders are responsible by example and expect the same from their people. Everyone “looks” to and at leaders. Watches their every move. If the leader is slack, lacks work ethic, or is slow to decide, they have given tacit permission to theirteam to be and do the same. The best leaders are first in, last out, and work their ass off in the middle.

•  Great leaders value and display tolerance and temperance. First in themselves – then from others. I’m not a fan of leaders who rant. Lots of successful ones do rant, but there are rules to follow if you’re one of them.

RULE 1 – Praise in public.

RULE 2 – Reprimand in private.

RULE 2.5 – Record yourself doing both praise and reprimand. See how you sound to others by listening to yourself. You may not like it.

• Great leaders are excellent communicators that are listened to intently, and are clearly understood. The one characteristic that gets more productivity and generates more achievement and positive outcome is clear communication. Leaders have a responsibility and a challenge to be excellent at it.

• Great leaders train WITH their people, continuously. If training is to have a lastingvalue, it must have leadership support AND participation. Leaders must train to be better leaders. Start by rating yourself 1-10 on the qualities I have listed here. Anything less that a 7 (out of 10) requires immediate attention.

• Great leaders are wide open to new ideas and innovation. “That’s the way we’ve always done it” is a recipe for failure. Leaders are readers, constantly searching for new ways to be better.

• Great leaders are tech-savvy. Leaders need to be tweeters, and need to lead the way by communicating value and ideas through social media. A leader’s example can create an avalanche of great service, goodwill, loyal customers, increased sales, and better reputation – or not.

• Great leaders concentrate on and think BEST. It always takes extra effort to be or strive to be “best,” that’s why so many people fail. Failure occurs when people (leaders or not) fail to do their best and be their best – daily.

• Great leaders remain committed. The best leaders never waver. They’re loyal, steadfast examples of what and who others aspire to be and be like. They’re not just mission driven; they’re also “personal mission” driven. They are respected and followed because of their commitment.

• Great leaders encourage. They build pride with a “you can do it” philosophy and communication style. They encourage their people to succeed, and do so with a helpful, positive attitude. A coach and a teacher, not a manager or a boss. Big difference, both in results and morale.

Did I just define your leader? Did I just define how you are inspired to be and do your best every day? I hope so, but I doubt it.

The challenge for you, whether you’re a leader or a team member, is to study these qualities, and talk about them openly. One of thetragedies of leadership is that the (overrated) 360-degree feedback process, usually only goes 180 degrees.

Great leaders don’t just lead by example – they set the standard. What kind of standard are you setting?

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling. His forthcoming book, 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling, will be available September 3rd, and will feature a national public seminar tour.  Get the details at It will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at" target="_blank">

© 2013 All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think about reproducing this document

without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112

Add comment
  • No comments found
IMAGE A Poltergeist in the Office?
Oct 06, 2014
        Title: A Poltergeist in the Office? Subtitle: How negative energy can destroy an office environment and threaten a company’s culture. Written by Matthew J. Herman (Published Oct. 5, 2014) In spirit of the Halloween... Read More...

IMAGE How do you define success?
Sep 24, 2013
Success is often defined by the eyes of the beholder; however, how an individual defines success is a telling indicator of a person’s inner motivation, character, maturity or lack thereof.  As a teenager and even into my early twenties, I... Read More...

IMAGE The John Elway Sweepstakes: Having the right C-Level relationship puts you ahead of the competition
Sep 16, 2013
        The John Elway Sweepstakes Having the right C-Level relationship puts you ahead of the competition By Matthew Herman You may be asking yourself, what does John Elway have to do with sales, entrepreneurship or business?... Read More...

IMAGE Unseen Power: 12 intangible sales skills that will bring your organization to the next level
Jun 2013
The world of sales can be brutally competitive. Companies simply can not survive unless they close a significant number of profitable sales – that’s a given. As a direct result, the demand for great sales professionals has grown to unprecedented... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE Twitter thoughts and Twitter thinking. Tweet and Re-Tweet.
Jun 2013
Most people reading this have never tweeted. (You included?) On the off chance that you have tweeted, my guess is you have less than 5,000 Twitter followers – maybe less than 500.Whatever your situation is there’s no denying that Twitter is a... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE Terrance Gilmore, Fitness Advice from a Former Fat Guy
Jun 2013
My Story: As I sat there, head in hands, tears running between my fingers, a single question repeated in my mind, like the light atop a lighthouse, it spun around and around in my mind. How did I let myself get here? At 27 years old, I should be... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE A misguided post about features and benefit selling
Jun 2013
Last week I was sitting down at the kitchen table responding to several inquiries regarding my book. After roughly 45 minutes, my focus started to drift off course. I began to read random posts from professionals that comprise my LinkedIn network.... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE When you walk in empty headed, you walk out empty handed.
Jun 2013
How much of your presentation is “standard”? Whether you sell a product or service, whether it’s simple or sophisticated, how much (what percentage) of your presentation is the way you usually present it? Void of personalization? Void of... Sign Up to Read More ...

SJ Latest Articles

IMAGE To ensure promptness. By Jeffrey Gitomer
Oct 2014
  To ensure promptness. An old and new tradition. By Jeffrey Gitomer Ever leave a tip? Sure you have. And most of the time, the amount of the tip is based on the perceived service or quality. Sometimes it’s a combination of qualities: food... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE Tough sales issues, and not so tough (but not so easy) answers.
May 2014
                Tough sales issues, and not so tough (but not so easy) answers.   By Jeffrey Gitomer   Thee 3.5 biggest issues facing salespeople today are: 1. Price integrity. 2. Customer loyalty.... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE How to Develop a Powerful B2B Value Proposition By Ian Dainty
May 2014
    How to Develop a Powerful B2B Value Proposition By Ian Dainty   Developing a powerful B2B Value Proposition will differentiate your company from your competition. If you are having trouble differentiating your business from... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE Question and Answer By Dave Kahle
May 2014
  Question and Answer           Clearly, spreading the business around between several vendors is the customer's philosophical approach to purchasing.  He/she probably has arrived at this... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE Can Sales Management Increase Results? Bob Urichuck
Apr 2014
       Can Sales Management Increase Results? By Bob Urichuck Organizations often promote the best salespeople into management whether they desire to be there or not—it is seen as a promotion or reward for the results they... Sign Up to Read More ...

For Entrepreneurs

Starting a Business
Aug 2013
As entrepreneurs, we believe our idea or new business venture is going to work. But then we let our fears come in and rob us of our success. Here are three insights that can help you stay on track... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE Forget diversification. Create new market segments.
Jun 2013
Let’s brainstorm for a moment and consider luxury automobiles. Think about brands such as Mercedes, BMW, AUDI, Cadillac, Lexus, Jaguar and Lincoln. Then you have your super luxury brands, like... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE Attention entrepreneurs who are seeking funding!
Jun 2013
Consider the following before you meet with Angel, Venture, or Private equity investors. I often daydream about the opportunities so many start-up businesses had during the tech boom of the late 90s.... Sign Up to Read More ...

On Leadership

IMAGE A Quote from John C. Maxwell
Jun 2013
"Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course."- JOHN C. MAXWELL, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Sign Up to Read More ...

Motivational Quote of the Week

IMAGE “Be all that you can be”
Jun 2013
Written Emelio Sebastian We have all heard the Army’s famous commercial slogan, “Be all that you can be…in the Army”. The implication here is that you have not yet become all that you can be,... Sign Up to Read More ...

Matthew-James-Media-Company FINALLOGO-white


©The Sales Journal/Matthew James Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Website Powered by VMC Art & Design, LLC