John Baldoni on the Top 15 Things Leaders Need to Know in Tough Times

John Baldoni, author of Lead by Example: 50 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Results, is sharing the top 15 things leaders need to know to inspire results in tough economic times.

1. Demonstrate character. It forms the foundation of everything a leader says and does.

2. Be accountable for your actions and responsible for the actions of others.

3. Check your ego at the door (and keep it there).

4. Promote resilience. There is no shame in getting knocked down; it’s getting back up that matters.

5. Get in the habit of asking questions but do not expect easy answers. Make it safe for people to ask you questions, too.

6. Manage around obstacles. The path to fulfilled goals is seldom straight.

7. Management is the discipline of detail. Leadership is the art of thinking beyond details in order to make things better.

8. Drive innovation by encouraging everyone on the team to think and act creatively. Good ideas can come from anyone at anytime.

9. Encourage dissent about issues but promote civility around people.

10. Create a winning culture so that people feel confident about themselves and their work.

11. Change always happens. Learn to anticipate, embrace and adapt to it and teach others to do the same.

12. Teach others “the how”… then get out of the way and let people do their jobs.

13. Honor tradition but seek to do things that benefit people today and for tomorrow.

14. Get off the pedestal. Leadership is less about who you are than what you do!

15. Lighten up. Take the work (but not yourself) seriously!

John Baldoni is an internationally recognized leadership consultant, speaker, and author of six books, including
Lead by Example and Great Communication Secrets of Great Leaders. He was named one of the “30 Most Influential Leadership Gurus” for 2007 by He has been featured or quoted in many publications, including USA Today, Chicago Tribune, and Investor’s Business Daily. He is a frequent keynote and workshop speaker, writes a monthly column entitled “On Leadership” for, a weekly blog about leadership for Fast Company, and contributes regular columns for He also maintains a popular website at


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