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Success Advice

8 (More) Things Real Leaders Do Last

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Leadership leaders eat last simon sinek

Leadership expert Simon Sinek’s most recent work, Leaders Eat Last, had it’s title inspired by the powerful culture and ethos of the Marines whose leaders literally eat last. A simple act, but profound effects; it carries with it a powerful message that trickles from the top–down, and ultimately becomes the DNA of the whole organisation.

It’s a paradoxical flip when compared with the typical image of an ambitious person crushing everything in their path—first in, best dressed, right? But it wasn’t what the Officers did first, it was what they did last.

Leadership is contagious. What is modelled by leaders is mimicked by others. As you build strong leadership habits, rather than thinking what could you do first, consider the effects of what you do last.

In honour of Simon Sinek’s great work, here are 8 (more) things that real leaders do last:

 

1. Leaders Battle Last

“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.” – Sun Tzu

Leaders navigate through conflicts and trials as though no such thing ever took place. They have developed a keen foresight—seeing problems on the horizon and handling them well before they hit the shore and do any damage. They prefer the prevention rather than the cure.

If you see sparks setting off in your life, put them out before they turn into an inferno. It’s easy to let a crack turn into a canyon. Don’t just focus on where things are currently at, but where things may be heading. You may need to change your trajectory.

 

2. Leaders Speak Last

They allow others the freedom to express their opinion. They understand that happy employees are those given a voice, and feel part of the company. But leaders don’t just take everything on board, they assess and weigh up all contributions. Then, they speak last and tie everything together with their expertise.

Leaders know they can learn from anyone, but they excel in making the right decisions and choosing the best options. It is neither a dictatorship, nor is it a democracy. Good leadership is striking that perfect balance in between.

 

3. Leaders Celebrate Last

Because it’s not over till the fat lady sings. Leaders don’t take the pedal off the metal until they’ve well and truly crossed the finish line. The job is not done once it’s signed, sealed, and delivered; it’s done once it’s received, unpacked, and performed. Leaders see things through a panoramic lens.

Getting the product out there is one thing, making sure it performs with great satisfaction is another. You may make some sales in the short run, but you’ll never sustain a healthy career.

A sub-10 second sprint is pointless if you are trying to run a marathon.

 

4. Leaders Hire Last

The popular business mantra is to hire slow and fire fast. Leaders know that anyone can look like a superstar on paper. It’s easy to dazzle in a dress but not on the dance-floor. The leader says to the potential person:

“Don’t tell me, show me.”

Because quality will beat qualifications every single time.

It’s so easy to get excited during the previews. But you can’t get a refund once you’ve watched the whole thing—enough damage has already been done. Leaders let initial excitements die down before signing the dotted line. A great honeymoon doesn’t guarantee a great marriage.

 

Leadership Picture Quote

 

5. Leaders Sweat Last

You’ve heard it said:

“Work smart, not hard.”

Leaders do both. But they work smart, before they work hard.

They push for productivity, and efficiency. They’re by no means shy about hard work, but they look for potent strategies before applying the elbow grease. They understand the 80/20 rule and create habits that kill ten birds with one stone. Leaders know how to maximise their strengths and outsource their weaknesses.

Are you spending more time labouring over your weaknesses rather than building on your strengths? Know when to be smart and delegate and when to be efficient and get your hands dirty.

 

6. Leaders Sleep Last

Before they nod off, leaders ask themselves:

“What did I do well today? And what do I need to improve upon?”

They know that mistakes are only failures when you don’t learn from them. And much learning comes from reflecting on the events of each day—to build on the positives and cut out the negatives.

As Earl Nightingale said:

“Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy goal or ideal.”

Remember that the progressive realisation comes from the progressive practice of your successful habits. Hindsight is always 20/20 and crucial for building the foresight and future for successful leadership. Reflect before you sleep.

 

7. Leaders Ask “How” Last

They ask the more important “Why” question first. Friedrich Nietzsche said:

“He who has a why can endure any how.”

Before a leader engages in building anything, they know that a successful endeavour will depend upon building a foundation of a deeper meaning and deeper “Why.” They know that difficulties and obstacles will certainly arise. At that point, though they possess all the how knowledge to finish a project, it is the why knowledge that brings it to completion.

We have enough information available to learn how to do just about anything. The reason anything gets accomplished is because there’s a powerful enough reason and purpose behind it. Consequently, the reason why you may not be getting anything accomplished is because you haven’t thought enough about why you would like to accomplish your goal.

What’s your why?

 

8. Leaders Get Off The Ship Last

It is an unspoken, but unbreakable rule—the captain is the last to leave a ship. A former P&O captain said:

“At sea, you have a great sense of responsibility for the people who are beneath you—you need to stay as long as anyone else remains.”

The most tragic ship wrecks are the ones where the captain is the first to abandon the crew.

A leader does not step into a role without accepting the significant responsibilities. They know that every decision they make affects a multitude of lives. If they steer the ship south, everyone on board is going south. If the ship sinks, they were the one behind the wheel.

Being the last to leave means honouring your responsibilities. Being a leader entails having followers. Peter Parker was told:

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

If you’re a leader that’s ignorant of your responsibilities, your ship is headed toward an iceberg.

 

If you haven’t already make sure you watch Simon Sinek’s speech about “Why Leaders Eat Last”

A refugee from Vietnam, raised in Australia, with a BA from Texas, Thai writes for many publications including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Addicted2Success. A professional chef, international kickboxer, and spiritual teacher, Thai is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. Signup for his free weekly Infographics at TheUtopianLife.com | Connect @ThaiWins | On Facebook 

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. SJ

    Jun 26, 2015 at 6:48 am

    When you see all this quality in your self and other side you dont have ultimate power of decision making at the place you are working …. either leave or find place to prove your self else where, no other solution …

  2. manzo maigari

    Jun 28, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    This is cool, a great phylosopy

  3. Thai Nguyen (@ThaiWins)

    Jun 28, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Naomi,

    Power can certainly be a tough thing to deal with, I really think how one handles power is what differentiates good leadership from bad leadership (“unhealthy power”)

    Thanks for your comment!

    Thai.

  4. Naomi Dinsmore

    Jun 26, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Hi Thai,

    Great post about true leadership – I think many get true leadership confused and muddled up the desire to control and gain unhealthy power.

    Your post could set a few of them straight!

    Naomi

  5. Dan Western

    Jun 20, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Great post Thai, I wouldn’t even think about disagreeing with one point on here. They’re all spot on!

  6. Koko

    Jun 19, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Great one Thai. And it caught my eye at #5 “Leaders Sweat Last” you mentioned 80/20 rule. Is that from Brian Tracy’s book: No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline?

    • Thai Nguyen (@ThaiWins)

      Jun 19, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Hi Koko, glad you enjoyed it. The 80/20 is the same as the “Pareto Principle” named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who came up with it way back in 1906, and I’m sure there were variations of the idea even before him. A lot of people have been huge advocates in recent times, including Brian Tracey.

  7. Jeremy

    Jun 19, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Awesome awesome! A quarter through Leaders Eat Last. 🙂 I’ve watched that 99U talk. It seems like the first few chapters are covered in it.

  8. UberOnTime (@UberOnTime)

    Jun 19, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Leaders are always willing to learn and grow!

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Success Advice

It’s Not How Smart You Are That Defines Your Career — It’s This

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Look around the office you work in. Some people are managers. Some people make six-figure salaries. Some people are senior executives. Some people work in customer service on the frontline.

It’s a big mistake to think that where you are in your career has something to do with how smart you are.

I’ve met many smart people who crash and burn in their careers because they have to be always right or they overthink, or they know a lot about the wrong things or they have very low emotional intelligence causing them to upset many people at the same time.

If being smart made us successful then we’d all go and consume endless information and become millionaires shortly after.

Being smart is not enough.

So what does define your career and the success you have?


1. How badly you want it

The woman/man that became CEO wanted it more.

The person with the 7-figure business wanted it more.

The woman that won an Olympic Gold Medal wanted it more.

You have to want your goals really, really, really bad.

Wanting something so badly that you’re prepared to do anything to get there (ethically) is how you get the energy to overcome the rejection and failure it’s going to take to get reach that point.

I wanted to share my story and inspire people with it very badly. I thought of creating a WordPress website, but I had no idea how to and had zero technical skill. My knowledge of how to market that website was also zero.
I tried creating a Facebook Page and to date, it still has less than 3000 followers which means I fall short by a lot in terms of my target to inspire millions of people.

I tried using Twitter and reaching people that way. I was never able to get any real engagement. I’d tweet Elon Musk. I’d message Tony Robbins. I’d write the best tweet humanly possible. It all led nowhere.

I tried using a blogging platform called Medium. I was able to build a small following, but most people in my area of the world don’t use it. I still came up short of my goal.

Then, I tried writing on a blog that already had lots of viewers called Addicted2Success and began posting on LinkedIn daily.

Everything changed. I wanted to inspire people so badly that I kept trying until I found a platform that worked for what I had to say. Wanting it badly enough was what helped me keep going from 2014 until now. It didn’t stop there, though.

When my career took a turn down a black hole, my motivation died. Suddenly, writing on Addicted2Success and LinkedIn became hard. I didn’t want it as bad because the pain caused by my work life was too much. I let things slip temporarily for about 3 weeks. Engagement went to an all-time low.

It didn’t last long, though. Why? My thinking changed when I reminded myself how upset I would be if I didn’t achieve my goal. It meant far too much and in the back of my mind, I still wanted it badly.

I went back over all the emails from people I’d helped and that spark came back. Deep down, I still wanted it badly. I still wanted to inspire millions of people.

Wanting it bad was what helped me to revive my blogging career and continue helping millions of people.

Wanting it badly will define your career.


2. What you think is possible

I met a guy earlier in the year that came from a farm in the middle of Outback Australia.

He’d sold his digital marketing business for a lot of money and banked a huge amount of coin as a result. He had no tech background. He had no business knowledge. He didn’t have seven-figure friends that drove Bentley’s.

What he had was an uncanny ability to think anything was possible. He saw himself rising above his circumstances even though he had no evidence to prove that he could do so. He worked long hours and built up a team of cult followers. They learned together how to get businesses exposure through social media and search engines.

For many of the people on his team, it was their first job. He didn’t pay them well because he couldn’t. All he thought was that one day, together, they’d do something incredible — and they did.

A lot of what happens in your career is based on how you think. If you think you can never be a manager, entrepreneur or executive, then you won’t be.

If you think you can be good at public speaking, you might.
If you think you can hit your sales target, you might.
If you think you can start a successful business, you might.
If you’re not successful right now, you will be.

It’s only a matter of time until one of the bets in your career pays off

It’s a combination of being ready, being humble, thinking right and having the skills to execute. Not thinking you can achieve big will rob you of whatever it is that you want in your career.

I shouldn’t be a successful blogger because I can’t write that well, I have bad spelling/grammar skills, I don’t own a blog and I’m not filthy rich. Despite all that I’ve achieved my blogging goal.

I saw my goal become possible before anybody else did.

I told myself that every major challenge was necessary for me to eventually get what I wanted. I thought my goal was possible even though all the facts suggested it wasn’t. Instead of relying on data I relied on my own mind to lead me down the right path.

I chose to believe when no one else did.

This very way of thinking is not unique to me. Many of the leaders around the world that shape the human race think in the same way.

What you think is possible in your career will define what goals you can achieve.

Your thinking defines your career.
Being smart isn’t enough.

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Success Advice

How to Create Your Own Version of Success

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Success is in the eye of the beholder. And because every human being sees life and all the things that come with it through their lens of experience, everyone’s individual idea of life, growth and success is defined by what they see, hear, think, feel and taste. This means that you have the power to determine what success means to you.

Many of the greatest thought-leaders, business people and influencers throughout history have provided their thoughts and opinions about success –  how to achieve it, how to manage it and how to be it. They’ve written books that are supposed to share with the world how success is merely a feeling and a wish. While many of the most successful people have warned that success is what you make of it, society has coined “success” as being wealthy, influential, famous, and lavish.

You may be thinking, “I’m not rich, but I’m well off,” or “I’m not a social media influencer, so I don’t have much clout.” But here is the truth: You, just the way you are, are already a success. Here’s why. Think of all the things that have happened in your life – the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Up until this very moment, you have made a series of choices that have shaped your reality.

Therefore, you have created the life you have, and you have set the terms of how you decide to live your life. Not to suggest that your life is perfect because no ones life is exactly as they want it, but the fact that you have created your reality shows that you are a creator. It also shows that you are in charge of creating the success you desire.

“Success is not in what you have, but who you are.” – Bo Bennett

Even if you feel like you should be so much further along than you are today, you still made it to today and that’s a good thing. If you are reading this feeling like you need to shift things around in your life so that you can feel like a success, try these three things below.

  1. Jot down all the words that you think of when you read the word “success,” and mark the words that align with who you are. Ask yourself what you believe you need to feel like a success. Only write down what resonates with you, not what you think people expect of you. Remember, that you are defining your journey, so you get to make up all the rules.
  2. Now, write down all the words you think about when you read the word “unsuccessful,” and mark all the words that may describe some aspect of you that you want to eliminate. Don’t just consider the big stuff, small stuff matters too! Procrastinating to get out of bed in the morning, drinking too much soda, or even spending too much time watching television are all examples of habits that could in some way affect your personal growth.
  3. Lastly, create an SAP (Success Attack Plan) to align yourself with more of the descriptive words that you associate with success and start to eliminate the characteristics you may possess that depict you as less than who you desire to be.

Your Success Attack Plan doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can start with an actionable idea as simple as, “Read one book this month about personal development,” or “Connect with someone who can mentor me.” Sometimes, you have to look to those who have been where you are to help you get where you desire to be. Just remember, your journey won’t look like theirs so pay attention to your inner being at all times and do what feels natural and right to your situation.

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting.” – Buddha

When you create your lists, be as imaginative as possible. Consider those people, places and things around you. Think about what you like and don’t like. Ponder on energy you want to attract that you do not already have and things you want to repel.

Don’t worry about setting a timeline for this. Creating a vision for your life starts with setting an intention at this moment and allowing that intention to lead you in the days to come. To see yourself five years from now, you have to do the things today that will help you get to the future.

Don’t allow others to tell you what you should aspire to be when it comes to success. You are in command, and you are in charge of your present and your future. Own it, own your success and own you.

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Success Advice

What It Really Means to Be a High Achiever in a Culture of Lazy

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Keeping employees interested in their work has been an increasingly difficult challenge for today’s employers. Whether it’s due to a generational shift of Millennials fully entering the workforce or an increasingly distracted society across the board, the vast majority of American workers are not passionate about their work.

This dispassionate workforce is causing large-scale problems, for both workers and the companies that employ them. When young people become immersed in cultural laziness, it can be hard to become a high achiever, but there is a path for those willing to do what it takes to be a top performer, and it’s simpler than you might think.

Laziness by the Numbers

According to a recent Gallup poll, nearly two-thirds of American workers are either unengaged or actively disengaged in their job. This leaves only a third of Americans who are actively engaged and passionate about their work. This lack of interest has enormous financial ramifications for companies due to all of this lost productivity.

Research from McLean & Company, estimates that a disengaged employee costs a company $3,400 out of every $10,000 in annual salary, or 34% of their wages. That means a disengaged employee who earns $75,000 costs their organization $25,500 per year due to a lack of productivity. If roughly two-thirds of workers are disengaged, this adds up to billions of dollars lost across the economy.

“To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.” – Khalil Gibran

Motivation: Whose Job is it Anyway?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to employee motivation: Either managers need to actively motivate their employees, or employees need to step their game up and figure out what they actually like doing. Stefan Aarnio, a highly successful real estate investor, author, coach, and speaker, falls squarely into the second camp. He attributes his company’s success to the culture of high accountability and high performance he cultivated over the years.

It all began with Aarnio honing his own intrinsic motivation over the years by discovering, and then doing, exactly what he loves to do. In Aarnio’s own words, “you don’t need the resistance of waking up every day and doing things that you hate doing, life is too short for that”, and he expects those he hires to follow the same logic. When you love what you do, you don’t need a manager to constantly poke and prod you to gin up some motivation, however fleeting it might be.

It may seem like common advice that only works for the wealthy, but doing what you love really is the simple solution to the scores of dispassionate workers plaguing the workforce of today. People are trained to believe that they should get the highest paying job they can get regardless of how it makes them feel.

“You don’t build a business, you build people, and then people build the business.” – Zig Ziglar

Aarnio believes this is shortsighted and will ultimately lead to a sad and dispassionate life. By being attuned to what makes him passionate, and expecting the same from his employees, Aarnio has been able to flip the script and develop a culture of passion and high achievement.

How do you motivate your team to want to show up every single day? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

How To Improve Yourself In The Next 6 Months With Very Little Effort.

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Sounds like a huge claim doesn’t it? That Tim Denning Self-Help idiot is at it again isn’t he?

Wrong. Improving yourself in 6 months so that you can achieve all your big goals is easier than you think. A word of warning though, the advice is brutal but effective at the same time.

I’ve recently gone through this process myself and it’s changed everything in my life. My top four fears before the 6 month challenge were the following:

  1. Career change
  2. Getting married/kids
  3. Becoming a people leader
  4. Health issues

I overcame these fears by working on myself for the last six months.

Here are the steps I took:


Confront your fears head-on.

I’ve just told you my top four fears and you probably have your own list.

Unless you are honest with yourself and acknowledge your fears in writing, you’ll never conquer these invincible demons.

Harden up. Acknowledge your fears.

My top four fears were something I avoided for years. I was embarrassed to share them and even talk about them. I thought they’d magically take care of themselves.

I thought the fairies would come through my window at night and whisper in my ear the answer to my biggest fears. I was wrong”

Writing down my top fears and then writing down how each of them was ridiculous and full of false evidence is how I freed myself from them.

I conquered each one head on. You can do the same and you must if you want to improve in the next six months.


Stop giving a damn.

This next one is tightly linked to the first point. You can’t confront your fears or make progress unless you stop giving a damn.

Holding on to your BS stories and ways of doing things in the past is screwing everything up for you.

As of tomorrow, stop giving a damn.

Don’t waste any of your energy caring about useless things like what could happen if you make changes in your life, or sell your car, or make a bold move.

Before making a few changes in the last six months, I gave a damn about too many little things. Things that just don’t matter like what my family thought of my girlfriend or where I lived. It just didn’t matter.

When I gave in to my stupidly, insane, stubborn ways of the past and did what I knew I had to do, things got easier. I could go about my day without caring about so many small things that had previously distracted me from my dream of inspiring the world through personal development and entrepreneurship.

You can have the same beautiful realization as me if you stop giving a damn about all the small things.


Reduce everything.

The major improvements in your life will come from taking stuff away not adding more into your life.

Reduce Netflix time.
Reduce your belongings down by at least 25%.
Reduce your expenses by cutting off things you don’t need or that don’t serve your primary goals.

All of us have too much of everything and it’s sucking up the time we need to improve ourselves.

You can’t truly turn your life around unless you commit to focusing big chunks of time on just a few commitments.


Select one thing you’re going to achieve.

Not ten goals. Not twenty-five. One.

For the last six months my one goal has been to double down on my blogging. No more podcasts, speaking opportunities or coffee catchups I feel I must do. I took one goal, and I did it every single day — including my recent holiday to Europe where I posted something daily that could inspire people.

Even if I was on the train going between Rome and Florence, my daily habit was achieved no matter what. It was easy to remember because I’ve only committed to achieving one thing.

The power of doing one thing that matters the most to you will give you the fastest transformation and sense of fulfillment.

The challenge is to discover what that one thing is going to be for yourself.


Commit to discipline.

Fat? Stop eating sugar and exercise.

Smoke too much? Quit.

Bored of your job? Get a new career.

Friends dragging you down? Divorce them.

Nothing in your life will change in the next six months unless you commit to discipline and follow through with action. Everything you need to improve in the next six months is pretty straight-forward.

To make progress requires discipline. Not discipline for five out of seven days a week but every day. Not “I’ll eat clean during the week and then binge on the weekend.”

Discipline is taking the action which you know is good for you and not being tempted to shy away from that. After being disciplined for 6 months, you’ll find it hard to go back. The hard part is creating the habit.


Read a lot.

Many of the answers you need to improve yourself will come from reading books not watching what the Kardashians had for dinner last night.

Aim to read a few books a month on problems you want to solve.

If you’re trying to build a company, then read The Lean Startup.

If you need brilliant mentor advice, then read Tribe Of Mentors.

If you need a radical transformation, then read Unlimited Power or Think And Grow Rich.

Each person has their own challenges and the answers can be learned through someone else’s experience. Someone else has gone through what you’re going through — read about the solution, then radically implement it.


Get your phone, turn off all notifications except SMS and incoming calls.

This was a big one for me. My phone had taken over my life and I had no blank space to think.

“I deleted Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, WeChat and Slack”

Damn, it felt good.

Life is effortless when you’re in control and that will come from being insanely focused on the tasks you need to execute on.


Come up with a why for your entire life.

Now to be fully transparent I had this one in the bag over a year ago, but during the last six months, it was the pillar of everything else I did.

Unless you know why you need to change and why you exist, it’s hard to achieve anything. Whenever I look at my to-do list, I sort it by the tasks that are linked to my why above everything else.

This makes managing my calendar simple. I ask myself this question: “Does the request of my time support my why?”

You can ask yourself the same question once you know the why for your entire life. This why will evolve over time, so my recommendation would be to start somewhere. Don’t overthink your why in the beginning.


Have one life-changing moment.

Radical change (especially in the next 6 months) usually needs a defining moment. These moments can come from life naturally, but the trouble is it could take years. I chose to manufacture my one life-changing moment.

I attended an immersive event that was about lifestyle design. During that process, there was so much emotion linked to what I uncovered that I had several breakthroughs.

Putting aside time to work out what you’re going to do and to reflect on the past is how you find your one defining moment.

If you want a few suggestions of events that might trigger a life-changing moment for you than send me a note and I’m happy to tell you a few I’ve attended.


Invest some money in your future.

Most of us (including me) typically only save for the present or the near present financial goals we have.

Investing for the future is how you set yourself up to win. I chose three buckets to put my money in:

  1. A long-term index fund (5+ years until any withdrawal)
  2. Personal development courses and events
  3. Books from Amazon

By having a plan for the future, I’m setting myself up to win. Even if you don’t have a lot of money, you can still set up a few similar buckets and start filling them up right now.

Within 6 months, you’ll have more invested in your future than you thought was possible.


Make a stand and forget what people think of you.

Maybe people don’t like the way you dress. Screw them.
Maybe people think your dream career is stupid. Screw them.
Maybe people will think your poor based on your current financial situation.

Take their opinion and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

It’s time to make a stand and stop letting what everyone thinks of you and your goals hold you back. People that have time to judge you probably suck at their own goals. Remember that.

The fastest way to go nowhere in the next six months is to sit there daydreaming about what every person you know might think of you. You don’t need permission”

In fact, you don’t need endless advice either.

Most advice is biased and most people are not you, don’t understand you and have no idea how you feel. So with that freeing thought right there, go out and make the next six months the period of your life that defines you.

Take my last six months and use them as inspiration for your next six months.
You can improve yourself and do so with very little effort.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Lacking Self-Discipline? Do This One Thing Everyday to Change Your Life

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What’s holding you back? This is the question that I asked myself after repeatedly falling short of my goals. In my mind, I had these crazy hopes and aspirations, but in reality, there was a gap between my intentions and my actions. Having read dozens of personal development and business books, I already had the knowledge. I already knew what I needed to do. The problem? A lack of follow through. (more…)

Mo Saleem is an independent men’s health researcher and publisher of TripleYourT.com. Having overcome the symptoms of depression, chronic fatigue, and a lack of drive, his mission is to empower men with the strategies and tactics to live with more energy, purpose, and power. Use the FREE T-Analysis Tool to figure out if your testosterone level is where it should be.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. SJ

    Jun 26, 2015 at 6:48 am

    When you see all this quality in your self and other side you dont have ultimate power of decision making at the place you are working …. either leave or find place to prove your self else where, no other solution …

  2. manzo maigari

    Jun 28, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    This is cool, a great phylosopy

  3. Thai Nguyen (@ThaiWins)

    Jun 28, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Naomi,

    Power can certainly be a tough thing to deal with, I really think how one handles power is what differentiates good leadership from bad leadership (“unhealthy power”)

    Thanks for your comment!

    Thai.

  4. Naomi Dinsmore

    Jun 26, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Hi Thai,

    Great post about true leadership – I think many get true leadership confused and muddled up the desire to control and gain unhealthy power.

    Your post could set a few of them straight!

    Naomi

  5. Dan Western

    Jun 20, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Great post Thai, I wouldn’t even think about disagreeing with one point on here. They’re all spot on!

  6. Koko

    Jun 19, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Great one Thai. And it caught my eye at #5 “Leaders Sweat Last” you mentioned 80/20 rule. Is that from Brian Tracy’s book: No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline?

    • Thai Nguyen (@ThaiWins)

      Jun 19, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Hi Koko, glad you enjoyed it. The 80/20 is the same as the “Pareto Principle” named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who came up with it way back in 1906, and I’m sure there were variations of the idea even before him. A lot of people have been huge advocates in recent times, including Brian Tracey.

  7. Jeremy

    Jun 19, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Awesome awesome! A quarter through Leaders Eat Last. 🙂 I’ve watched that 99U talk. It seems like the first few chapters are covered in it.

  8. UberOnTime (@UberOnTime)

    Jun 19, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Leaders are always willing to learn and grow!

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Success Advice

It’s Not How Smart You Are That Defines Your Career — It’s This

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Look around the office you work in. Some people are managers. Some people make six-figure salaries. Some people are senior executives. Some people work in customer service on the frontline.

It’s a big mistake to think that where you are in your career has something to do with how smart you are.

I’ve met many smart people who crash and burn in their careers because they have to be always right or they overthink, or they know a lot about the wrong things or they have very low emotional intelligence causing them to upset many people at the same time.

If being smart made us successful then we’d all go and consume endless information and become millionaires shortly after.

Being smart is not enough.

So what does define your career and the success you have?


1. How badly you want it

The woman/man that became CEO wanted it more.

The person with the 7-figure business wanted it more.

The woman that won an Olympic Gold Medal wanted it more.

You have to want your goals really, really, really bad.

Wanting something so badly that you’re prepared to do anything to get there (ethically) is how you get the energy to overcome the rejection and failure it’s going to take to get reach that point.

I wanted to share my story and inspire people with it very badly. I thought of creating a WordPress website, but I had no idea how to and had zero technical skill. My knowledge of how to market that website was also zero.
I tried creating a Facebook Page and to date, it still has less than 3000 followers which means I fall short by a lot in terms of my target to inspire millions of people.

I tried using Twitter and reaching people that way. I was never able to get any real engagement. I’d tweet Elon Musk. I’d message Tony Robbins. I’d write the best tweet humanly possible. It all led nowhere.

I tried using a blogging platform called Medium. I was able to build a small following, but most people in my area of the world don’t use it. I still came up short of my goal.

Then, I tried writing on a blog that already had lots of viewers called Addicted2Success and began posting on LinkedIn daily.

Everything changed. I wanted to inspire people so badly that I kept trying until I found a platform that worked for what I had to say. Wanting it badly enough was what helped me keep going from 2014 until now. It didn’t stop there, though.

When my career took a turn down a black hole, my motivation died. Suddenly, writing on Addicted2Success and LinkedIn became hard. I didn’t want it as bad because the pain caused by my work life was too much. I let things slip temporarily for about 3 weeks. Engagement went to an all-time low.

It didn’t last long, though. Why? My thinking changed when I reminded myself how upset I would be if I didn’t achieve my goal. It meant far too much and in the back of my mind, I still wanted it badly.

I went back over all the emails from people I’d helped and that spark came back. Deep down, I still wanted it badly. I still wanted to inspire millions of people.

Wanting it bad was what helped me to revive my blogging career and continue helping millions of people.

Wanting it badly will define your career.


2. What you think is possible

I met a guy earlier in the year that came from a farm in the middle of Outback Australia.

He’d sold his digital marketing business for a lot of money and banked a huge amount of coin as a result. He had no tech background. He had no business knowledge. He didn’t have seven-figure friends that drove Bentley’s.

What he had was an uncanny ability to think anything was possible. He saw himself rising above his circumstances even though he had no evidence to prove that he could do so. He worked long hours and built up a team of cult followers. They learned together how to get businesses exposure through social media and search engines.

For many of the people on his team, it was their first job. He didn’t pay them well because he couldn’t. All he thought was that one day, together, they’d do something incredible — and they did.

A lot of what happens in your career is based on how you think. If you think you can never be a manager, entrepreneur or executive, then you won’t be.

If you think you can be good at public speaking, you might.
If you think you can hit your sales target, you might.
If you think you can start a successful business, you might.
If you’re not successful right now, you will be.

It’s only a matter of time until one of the bets in your career pays off

It’s a combination of being ready, being humble, thinking right and having the skills to execute. Not thinking you can achieve big will rob you of whatever it is that you want in your career.

I shouldn’t be a successful blogger because I can’t write that well, I have bad spelling/grammar skills, I don’t own a blog and I’m not filthy rich. Despite all that I’ve achieved my blogging goal.

I saw my goal become possible before anybody else did.

I told myself that every major challenge was necessary for me to eventually get what I wanted. I thought my goal was possible even though all the facts suggested it wasn’t. Instead of relying on data I relied on my own mind to lead me down the right path.

I chose to believe when no one else did.

This very way of thinking is not unique to me. Many of the leaders around the world that shape the human race think in the same way.

What you think is possible in your career will define what goals you can achieve.

Your thinking defines your career.
Being smart isn’t enough.

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Success Advice

How to Create Your Own Version of Success

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Success is in the eye of the beholder. And because every human being sees life and all the things that come with it through their lens of experience, everyone’s individual idea of life, growth and success is defined by what they see, hear, think, feel and taste. This means that you have the power to determine what success means to you.

Many of the greatest thought-leaders, business people and influencers throughout history have provided their thoughts and opinions about success –  how to achieve it, how to manage it and how to be it. They’ve written books that are supposed to share with the world how success is merely a feeling and a wish. While many of the most successful people have warned that success is what you make of it, society has coined “success” as being wealthy, influential, famous, and lavish.

You may be thinking, “I’m not rich, but I’m well off,” or “I’m not a social media influencer, so I don’t have much clout.” But here is the truth: You, just the way you are, are already a success. Here’s why. Think of all the things that have happened in your life – the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Up until this very moment, you have made a series of choices that have shaped your reality.

Therefore, you have created the life you have, and you have set the terms of how you decide to live your life. Not to suggest that your life is perfect because no ones life is exactly as they want it, but the fact that you have created your reality shows that you are a creator. It also shows that you are in charge of creating the success you desire.

“Success is not in what you have, but who you are.” – Bo Bennett

Even if you feel like you should be so much further along than you are today, you still made it to today and that’s a good thing. If you are reading this feeling like you need to shift things around in your life so that you can feel like a success, try these three things below.

  1. Jot down all the words that you think of when you read the word “success,” and mark the words that align with who you are. Ask yourself what you believe you need to feel like a success. Only write down what resonates with you, not what you think people expect of you. Remember, that you are defining your journey, so you get to make up all the rules.
  2. Now, write down all the words you think about when you read the word “unsuccessful,” and mark all the words that may describe some aspect of you that you want to eliminate. Don’t just consider the big stuff, small stuff matters too! Procrastinating to get out of bed in the morning, drinking too much soda, or even spending too much time watching television are all examples of habits that could in some way affect your personal growth.
  3. Lastly, create an SAP (Success Attack Plan) to align yourself with more of the descriptive words that you associate with success and start to eliminate the characteristics you may possess that depict you as less than who you desire to be.

Your Success Attack Plan doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can start with an actionable idea as simple as, “Read one book this month about personal development,” or “Connect with someone who can mentor me.” Sometimes, you have to look to those who have been where you are to help you get where you desire to be. Just remember, your journey won’t look like theirs so pay attention to your inner being at all times and do what feels natural and right to your situation.

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting.” – Buddha

When you create your lists, be as imaginative as possible. Consider those people, places and things around you. Think about what you like and don’t like. Ponder on energy you want to attract that you do not already have and things you want to repel.

Don’t worry about setting a timeline for this. Creating a vision for your life starts with setting an intention at this moment and allowing that intention to lead you in the days to come. To see yourself five years from now, you have to do the things today that will help you get to the future.

Don’t allow others to tell you what you should aspire to be when it comes to success. You are in command, and you are in charge of your present and your future. Own it, own your success and own you.

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Success Advice

What It Really Means to Be a High Achiever in a Culture of Lazy

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Keeping employees interested in their work has been an increasingly difficult challenge for today’s employers. Whether it’s due to a generational shift of Millennials fully entering the workforce or an increasingly distracted society across the board, the vast majority of American workers are not passionate about their work.

This dispassionate workforce is causing large-scale problems, for both workers and the companies that employ them. When young people become immersed in cultural laziness, it can be hard to become a high achiever, but there is a path for those willing to do what it takes to be a top performer, and it’s simpler than you might think.

Laziness by the Numbers

According to a recent Gallup poll, nearly two-thirds of American workers are either unengaged or actively disengaged in their job. This leaves only a third of Americans who are actively engaged and passionate about their work. This lack of interest has enormous financial ramifications for companies due to all of this lost productivity.

Research from McLean & Company, estimates that a disengaged employee costs a company $3,400 out of every $10,000 in annual salary, or 34% of their wages. That means a disengaged employee who earns $75,000 costs their organization $25,500 per year due to a lack of productivity. If roughly two-thirds of workers are disengaged, this adds up to billions of dollars lost across the economy.

“To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.” – Khalil Gibran

Motivation: Whose Job is it Anyway?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to employee motivation: Either managers need to actively motivate their employees, or employees need to step their game up and figure out what they actually like doing. Stefan Aarnio, a highly successful real estate investor, author, coach, and speaker, falls squarely into the second camp. He attributes his company’s success to the culture of high accountability and high performance he cultivated over the years.

It all began with Aarnio honing his own intrinsic motivation over the years by discovering, and then doing, exactly what he loves to do. In Aarnio’s own words, “you don’t need the resistance of waking up every day and doing things that you hate doing, life is too short for that”, and he expects those he hires to follow the same logic. When you love what you do, you don’t need a manager to constantly poke and prod you to gin up some motivation, however fleeting it might be.

It may seem like common advice that only works for the wealthy, but doing what you love really is the simple solution to the scores of dispassionate workers plaguing the workforce of today. People are trained to believe that they should get the highest paying job they can get regardless of how it makes them feel.

“You don’t build a business, you build people, and then people build the business.” – Zig Ziglar

Aarnio believes this is shortsighted and will ultimately lead to a sad and dispassionate life. By being attuned to what makes him passionate, and expecting the same from his employees, Aarnio has been able to flip the script and develop a culture of passion and high achievement.

How do you motivate your team to want to show up every single day? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

How To Improve Yourself In The Next 6 Months With Very Little Effort.

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Sounds like a huge claim doesn’t it? That Tim Denning Self-Help idiot is at it again isn’t he?

Wrong. Improving yourself in 6 months so that you can achieve all your big goals is easier than you think. A word of warning though, the advice is brutal but effective at the same time.

I’ve recently gone through this process myself and it’s changed everything in my life. My top four fears before the 6 month challenge were the following:

  1. Career change
  2. Getting married/kids
  3. Becoming a people leader
  4. Health issues

I overcame these fears by working on myself for the last six months.

Here are the steps I took:


Confront your fears head-on.

I’ve just told you my top four fears and you probably have your own list.

Unless you are honest with yourself and acknowledge your fears in writing, you’ll never conquer these invincible demons.

Harden up. Acknowledge your fears.

My top four fears were something I avoided for years. I was embarrassed to share them and even talk about them. I thought they’d magically take care of themselves.

I thought the fairies would come through my window at night and whisper in my ear the answer to my biggest fears. I was wrong”

Writing down my top fears and then writing down how each of them was ridiculous and full of false evidence is how I freed myself from them.

I conquered each one head on. You can do the same and you must if you want to improve in the next six months.


Stop giving a damn.

This next one is tightly linked to the first point. You can’t confront your fears or make progress unless you stop giving a damn.

Holding on to your BS stories and ways of doing things in the past is screwing everything up for you.

As of tomorrow, stop giving a damn.

Don’t waste any of your energy caring about useless things like what could happen if you make changes in your life, or sell your car, or make a bold move.

Before making a few changes in the last six months, I gave a damn about too many little things. Things that just don’t matter like what my family thought of my girlfriend or where I lived. It just didn’t matter.

When I gave in to my stupidly, insane, stubborn ways of the past and did what I knew I had to do, things got easier. I could go about my day without caring about so many small things that had previously distracted me from my dream of inspiring the world through personal development and entrepreneurship.

You can have the same beautiful realization as me if you stop giving a damn about all the small things.


Reduce everything.

The major improvements in your life will come from taking stuff away not adding more into your life.

Reduce Netflix time.
Reduce your belongings down by at least 25%.
Reduce your expenses by cutting off things you don’t need or that don’t serve your primary goals.

All of us have too much of everything and it’s sucking up the time we need to improve ourselves.

You can’t truly turn your life around unless you commit to focusing big chunks of time on just a few commitments.


Select one thing you’re going to achieve.

Not ten goals. Not twenty-five. One.

For the last six months my one goal has been to double down on my blogging. No more podcasts, speaking opportunities or coffee catchups I feel I must do. I took one goal, and I did it every single day — including my recent holiday to Europe where I posted something daily that could inspire people.

Even if I was on the train going between Rome and Florence, my daily habit was achieved no matter what. It was easy to remember because I’ve only committed to achieving one thing.

The power of doing one thing that matters the most to you will give you the fastest transformation and sense of fulfillment.

The challenge is to discover what that one thing is going to be for yourself.


Commit to discipline.

Fat? Stop eating sugar and exercise.

Smoke too much? Quit.

Bored of your job? Get a new career.

Friends dragging you down? Divorce them.

Nothing in your life will change in the next six months unless you commit to discipline and follow through with action. Everything you need to improve in the next six months is pretty straight-forward.

To make progress requires discipline. Not discipline for five out of seven days a week but every day. Not “I’ll eat clean during the week and then binge on the weekend.”

Discipline is taking the action which you know is good for you and not being tempted to shy away from that. After being disciplined for 6 months, you’ll find it hard to go back. The hard part is creating the habit.


Read a lot.

Many of the answers you need to improve yourself will come from reading books not watching what the Kardashians had for dinner last night.

Aim to read a few books a month on problems you want to solve.

If you’re trying to build a company, then read The Lean Startup.

If you need brilliant mentor advice, then read Tribe Of Mentors.

If you need a radical transformation, then read Unlimited Power or Think And Grow Rich.

Each person has their own challenges and the answers can be learned through someone else’s experience. Someone else has gone through what you’re going through — read about the solution, then radically implement it.


Get your phone, turn off all notifications except SMS and incoming calls.

This was a big one for me. My phone had taken over my life and I had no blank space to think.

“I deleted Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, WeChat and Slack”

Damn, it felt good.

Life is effortless when you’re in control and that will come from being insanely focused on the tasks you need to execute on.


Come up with a why for your entire life.

Now to be fully transparent I had this one in the bag over a year ago, but during the last six months, it was the pillar of everything else I did.

Unless you know why you need to change and why you exist, it’s hard to achieve anything. Whenever I look at my to-do list, I sort it by the tasks that are linked to my why above everything else.

This makes managing my calendar simple. I ask myself this question: “Does the request of my time support my why?”

You can ask yourself the same question once you know the why for your entire life. This why will evolve over time, so my recommendation would be to start somewhere. Don’t overthink your why in the beginning.


Have one life-changing moment.

Radical change (especially in the next 6 months) usually needs a defining moment. These moments can come from life naturally, but the trouble is it could take years. I chose to manufacture my one life-changing moment.

I attended an immersive event that was about lifestyle design. During that process, there was so much emotion linked to what I uncovered that I had several breakthroughs.

Putting aside time to work out what you’re going to do and to reflect on the past is how you find your one defining moment.

If you want a few suggestions of events that might trigger a life-changing moment for you than send me a note and I’m happy to tell you a few I’ve attended.


Invest some money in your future.

Most of us (including me) typically only save for the present or the near present financial goals we have.

Investing for the future is how you set yourself up to win. I chose three buckets to put my money in:

  1. A long-term index fund (5+ years until any withdrawal)
  2. Personal development courses and events
  3. Books from Amazon

By having a plan for the future, I’m setting myself up to win. Even if you don’t have a lot of money, you can still set up a few similar buckets and start filling them up right now.

Within 6 months, you’ll have more invested in your future than you thought was possible.


Make a stand and forget what people think of you.

Maybe people don’t like the way you dress. Screw them.
Maybe people think your dream career is stupid. Screw them.
Maybe people will think your poor based on your current financial situation.

Take their opinion and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

It’s time to make a stand and stop letting what everyone thinks of you and your goals hold you back. People that have time to judge you probably suck at their own goals. Remember that.

The fastest way to go nowhere in the next six months is to sit there daydreaming about what every person you know might think of you. You don’t need permission”

In fact, you don’t need endless advice either.

Most advice is biased and most people are not you, don’t understand you and have no idea how you feel. So with that freeing thought right there, go out and make the next six months the period of your life that defines you.

Take my last six months and use them as inspiration for your next six months.
You can improve yourself and do so with very little effort.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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