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Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ 7 Leadership Tips


Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' 7 Leadership Tips

This week I have the pleasure of attending and presenting at the Raymond James National Conference for Professional Development in Washington DC. The conference always has world-class keynote speakers, and today I was particularly impressed by Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

In addition to being phenomenally funny, he gave a rousing speech that brought the crowd to its feet upon its conclusion.

Leadership is a big focus of my coaching of financial advisors, and Dr. Gates essentially defines the word leadership after holding positions including Defense Secretary, Director of Central Intelligence, President of Texas A&M and more.

7 Insights on Leadership

“There is a difference between leadership and management. Leadership is looking at the future.”

“Leaders listen to their employees. Listening is a big part of leadership – to your employees, clients and key stake holders.”

“Leaders must be confident in their vision and willing to shift the vision via the finding from the listening.”

“Surround yourself with people smarter than you are and integrate their ideas into the plan.”

“A characteristic of effective leadership that doesn’t get enough attention is a sense of humor.”

“Listening, consultation, inclusivity and transparency are the keys to leadership.”

Listening, consultation, inclusivity and transparency are the keys to leadership.

“You can be one of the strongest leaders in the world, and still treat people kindly and with the utmost respect.”

Related: Does a Leader Always Need to be in Front to Lead?

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