Archive for the ‘21 Laws’ Category

“The one thing you need to know about leadership, is that there is more than one thing you need to know about leadership!” That was the author’s response to a young, eager college student when the student asked him to quickly get to the bottom line about the 21 Laws,  “What is the one thing I need to know about leadership?” he asked.  Is there a fast approach and quick lesson in leadership?  Not at all. Leadership skills are a balance between your inner and outer core. There are some natural instincts that all of us are born with and some you have to develop.

            If ever you want a guide to set you on a path of success, gaining personal satisfaction, pursuing personal achievements, building self-esteem, stirring self-motivating and confidence building initiatives, and yes, become a leader or become a better leader, the author guides you through sound points that naturally forces you to evaluate your character.  In every law that Stephen Covey identifies, you will see a little bit of yourself yearning to break free and tell the world that the author just described who you are.  However, you still need to work on the rest of the ‘laws’.   It is certain that all of us possess leadership qualities, when used properly, these qualities have the power to transform us to be good leaders.  Even if you don’t want to be a leader, you are bound to become a better person with vision and purpose.  

            The 21 Irrefutable Laws start with a series of character identifying traits. Traits that one realizes he/she has or recognition that quite possibly your habits may be classified as leadership potential.

  1. The Law of the Lid: means taking it to the next level. Example: McDonald’s Ray Kroc[1].  He had the vision of a hamburger empire, and made it happen.
  2. The Law of Influence:  You must follow and develop deep, respectable relationships. Mother Teresa[2] influenced millions and not everyone agreed with her. Yet, she was respected.
  3. The Law of Process: Understand there is a process of self- discipline and perseverance. Anne Scheiber[3] was 101 years old when she died in 1995.  She lived on a small fixed income, yet she amassed $22 million dollars investing wisely and meticulously. She left this money to Yeshiva University in her will.
  4. The Law of Navigation: Have a vision for getting to your destination. Plan ahead. Do not minimize obstacles and be realistically objective.
  5.  The Law of Addition: Adding Value leads to adding profits and loyalty.  Value the people around you and they will value you.
  6. The Law of Solid Ground: Trust, you must have a trustworthy character. People must know they are on solid ground with you.  President Nixon[4] lost solid ground and was forced to resign as a president due to the Watergate scandal.
  7. The Law of Respect: If you don’t have respect from your peers, you’re in trouble.
  8. The Law of Intuition: You can’t teach this trait 100%. You must possess the ability to use the resources, part intuition, part fact.   President Lyndon Johnson[5] said that “when you walk into a room, you don’t belong in politics if you can’t tell who’s for you and who’s against you.”
  9. The Law of Magnetism:  Who you are is who you attract.  “Birds or a feather, flock together.” Our mothers were right.  Attract people with good values and good energy.
  10. The Law of Connection:  “You can’t move people to action unless you first move them with emotion.”  Frederick Douglas[6] is said that he can make them “see the humiliation of a black maiden ravished by a brutal slave owner.”  Work hard to connect with your people.
  11. The Law of the Inner Circle: Use the talents of your team.  Mother Teresa said, “You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do.  Together we can do great things.”
  12. The Law of Empowerment:  Leading is also about giving others the power to lead. By not empowering others, you create barriers.  ‘Great leaders gain authority by giving it away” as quoted by James B. Stockdale.[7]
  13. The Law of the Picture: Picture your vision and don’t lose track of it.
  14. The Law of the Buy-In: Will your followers “buy into you?”  Mahatma Gandhi[8] was able to change the course to freedom with non violent protests.  His followers believed in him and his belief in ‘non-violent civil disobedience’.
  15. The Law of Victory: When defeat is not the answer.  Figure out what has to be done to achieve your victory. 
  16. The Law of The Big Mo: Momentum is your friend.  It’s like being on a winning streak.  “Success is exaggerated by momentum”.  During this phase, one never worries about the small problems, and the big problems seem to get resolved.
  17. The Law of Priorities:  Be prepared to set priorities and know what’s next.
  18. The Law of Sacrifice:  Leadership always requires sacrifice.  You must be willing to give up in order to climb up.  Whether it’s sacrificing 4 years of your life for a degree, or training long hours to be the best football player, it takes sacrifice.
  19. The Law of Timing: One has to master the art of timing.  You have to be able to do the right thing at the right moment.
  20. The Law of Explosive Growth: Leaders or non leaders can influence others in being leaders.  Corporations can reduce costs, increase moral, see greater profit margins, just by creating an atmosphere of a can-do attitude and instill the leader in their employees.
  21. The Law of Legacy: We are all here for a period of time and we only have one chance at it.  Life.  Jackie Robinson[9] said, “A life isn’t significant except for it’s impact on other lives.” 

      We inspire other people with our actions and sometimes we are inspired by others who have chosen to share their vision with us.  In addition, we are also inspired by inactions. Those inactions and injustices witnessed by determined visionaries have changed our world for the better.   Mahatma Gandhi and Winston Churchill[10] are two great examples of visionary leaders who changed history because they responded to inaction.  Winston Churchill practiced the Law of Victory by continuously rallying the British with his eloquent inspirational speeches referring to the Nazi’s and all of Europe’s inaction “for without victory, there is no survival, victory at all costs.”  Gandhi’s subconsciously practiced the Law of the Buy-In. It wasn’t easy to relay his non-violent vision for gaining freedom, but he successfully accomplished this and sums it up with his speeches, “Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat for it is momentary, an eye for an eye, makes the whole world blind.” 

      Whether our purpose is to invent, lead, develop, teach or raise a family, we all use the laws of leadership every single day in our lives.  We all have a purpose in life and it’s not always meant to lead publicly. Possibly attaining an education because one wants to just ‘know more’ and expand their knowledge.  It may be the start of a more enriching life that you may want to attain with your children or family.  Whatever the case may be, being aware of the 21 Laws of Leadership and practicing these laws in our everyday lives is an excellent choice. We are all lifelong students and the learning and developing never stops.  


[1] http://www.biography.com/people/ray-kroc-9369349.  Businessman who purchased McDonald’s restaurant and food preparation standard in 1961.

[2] http://www.biography.com/people/mother-teresa-9504160  Catholic Nun and missionary, she dedicated her life to the poor and sick.

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Scheiber Lived in extreme frugality, but invested wisely.

[4] http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/richardnixon 37th President of the United States.

[5] http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/lyndonbjohnson 36th President of the United States.

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Douglass American social reformer and anti-slavery writing.

[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Stockdale One of the most highly decorated US naval officers.

[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Stockdale Indian leader who’s belief in justice inspired the world.

[9] http://baseballhall.org/hof/robinson-jackie The first African American to play Major League Baseball.

[10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill Prime Minister of England who rallied the British against the Nazi’s.


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