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Laurie Beth Jones

  • People who succeed speak well of themselves to themselves.

  • As a leader, it is vitally important that you keep in touch with your boss on a regular, sacrosanct basis. Chances are your boss can provide an aerial view that will make your path more clear.

  • Belief in oneself is a crucial quality of leadership, because 'a house divided against itself cannot stand.' A leader who fluctuates back and forth sends a very wavery signal. Like the soprano who can shatter glass by finding that high note and holding it, a leader who can hold that high note, without wavering, can shatter walls.

  • Perhaps the true mark of a leader is that she or he is willing to stand alone.

  • A good leader has a plan that consists of changing simple pictures. Just because a group of people has a bunch of boards, hammers, and nails does not mean that they are building a house or even anything recognizable. Sometimes leaders think they are doing their job just because there is a lot of hammering going on. As a society we like the sound of hammering, but we are uncomfortable with the sound of thinking, which is silence.

  • Leaders identify, articulate, and summarize concepts that motivate others. Most important, they boil concepts down to an understandable idea.

  • If you believe you have a just cause, an important message, or a key contribution to make, you will be just as innovative as a college freshman desperate to see his girlfriend six hundred miles away. You will get there any way you can.

  • Accountability is a key factor in management because it is the cornerstone of empowerment and personal growth. If no one is accountable for a project, no one gets to grow through the experience of it. Accountability has nothing to do with blame. It has everything to do with individual and corporate growth. Accomplished tasks breed self-confidence. Self-confidence breeds success. And success breeds more success. ... Holding people accountable allows them the opportunity to sign their name on a portrait of success, no matter how small that portrait might be. It gives them their next growth challenge in a defined and measurable form. To treat them as equals is to hold them accountable. When groups show via corporate culture — which is decided at the top — that accountability is to be worn like a medal, rather than an albatross, people will be more eager to wear it around their necks.

  • A common saying in business is: The customer is always right. In the case of management, it should be: Your staff is always right ... at least as far as the public is concerned. ... you will have to sweat sometimes in order to have staff members worth any salt, and part of that sweat will result from defending them from others ... sometimes others with power.

  • If someone was to tally the number of human hours wasted in business by people trying to accomplish objectives without being given the authority to do so, we would all be appalled.

  • Delegation of authority requires a tremendous amount of trust. Perhaps that is why there are so many confused employees, because there are so many fearful people at the top. If leaders operate out of fear, they cannot delegate. A leader who does not delegate will end up with a group of yes people who will ultimately lead to his or her demise. Leaders must share information and the subsequent authority that goes with it. This way they can empower others to do the right thing in ways that will offer fulfillment, not only on an individual level, but on a global basis as well. To grant authority is to leverage one's gifts.

  • Nobody wins until we all do.

  • Know more about the situation you're facing than a reporter who is writing a major article would.

Laurie Beth Jones, U.S. writer, speaker