Redefining Successful Business Leadership

Life is short so I’ll just get to the point.

When it comes to judging people in the business world, too often we’re focused on the wrong things. We give credit for misbehavior (so long as it doesn’t affect us) and undervalue the things that create great businesses.

We need to collectively redefine our idea of what makes a successful businessperson. Namely:

To blatantly dodge taxes is not ‘smart’. It’s not ‘savvy’. It does not demonstrate success.

Refusing to pay bills for work others have completed for you — does not show success.

Paying your workers below a livable wage — not success.

Breaking laws for your own financial gain — umm, no, that doesn’t make you successful.

Leading through fear, intimidation, threats (physical, financial, legal or otherwise) — ain’t success.

Failing to admit mistakes — not a sign of success (note, the word fail is in there).

Purposely spreading lies and misinformation or manipulating others for your benefit — not something a successful person does.

Telling everyone around you how much better/smarter/more handsome you are than them — that doesn’t make you successful either.

Claiming your own success because of the purported number of dollars in your bank account — that’s tacky, not savvy.


What does success business leadership look like?

Pay your workers fairly. Foster their growth as they allow for the growth of your business.

Pay your bills – to the government or otherwise. Stay true to your word.

Operate within the confines of the law. (That one’s obvious.)

Lead with compassion and empathy. Develop self-awareness so you can meet people at their level.

Recognize your personal failures, take responsibility for them and grow. Understand that mistakes are human. Show humility.

Acknowledge the greatness of others. Help them see the gifts they bring to this world and help them unleash them even more.

Tell the truth. Always.

Understand that success is not measured in dollars. It’s not measured in stock price, market share or any other number on a spreadsheet.

It’s measured in the impact we make on others.

What is success?

It’s giving. It’s gratitude. It’s patience and honesty and integrity and compassion. And love.