The Wall of Self-Preservation

Chapter 4

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What Keeps Leaders Mediocre?

  • A constant mode of self-preservation is no way to live your life or run a business. Defensive leadership leads only to mediocrity, and being average will not allow you to thrive in this hyper competitive global economy.


  • All leaders need to understand that the protective mode is not a productive mode. Most mediocre leaders have something they are trying to protect.


  • All executives who focus on self-preservation risk stagnation. When you find yourself on the defensive, the reason is generally that you fear losing something important.
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Influential Relationships are Important

  • Great leaders with true influence build relationships by serving the needs of those within their spheres of influence, even as they serve the needs of their businesses.


  • To have true influence, you have to move beyond the transactional approach to life and into the relational.


  • Your personal self-preservation tendencies may need to be reviewed for you to see real growth in your leadership.

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The Reality of Self-Preservation

  • Your self-preservation and protective instincts are a natural part of your everyday life. Those instincts become a detriment only when they become more important than your growth and fulfillment as a leader and as a person.


  • Great leaders learn to overcome this natural tendency toward self-preservation. They step beyond the walls to give, to serve, and to grow.


  • Self-preservation cannot become a lifestyle, not if you want to make a difference in the world.

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Real Leadership

  • True influence is possible when you hold true to your principles and values and when you use your God-given gifts for the benefit of those around you.


  • If you find true influence difficult in your work and relationships, then you need to break through whatever is keeping you from serving others as a positive influence.


  • To lead in the modern world, you have to focus on what the world wants and needs instead of what makes you comfortable.

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