The Golden Rule of Effective Leadership

The Golden Rule of Effective Leadership

Examine your intent to outcomes ratio and measure your progress towards your goal

“Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event.”  —Brian Tracy

How many times have you heard a leader utter these words: “I have the best of intent” or “I had the best of intent”?

To be an effective leader, having the best of intent does not matter if it is not followed up by action.  Action that is purposeful.  Action that is aligned to an outcome…a vision.  Thus, your intent as a leader needs to be measured by your outcomes as a leader.  They go hand-in-hand.  One with the other.

Leaders who have discovered and live their values, are in the perfect position to align their values with their intended outcomes….their vision.  The key is consistently aligning your intentions as a leader with your desired outcomes.  This is what I call your “I/O Ratio.

Your “I/O Ratio” as a leader should be in balance…it should be equalized…it should be integrated.  All of your stated intentions should match your outcomes 1-for-1.  Intentions are nothing but empty promises…void of any trust, credibility or accountability if not tagged with solid goals and outcomes to make your intentions a reality.   It is your leadership vision in action.

But many of today’s leaders get stuck on their intent…and never move forward to action.  These leaders stay in the “safe harbor” of their own “intention island” and have a fear of sailing forward towards a desired action.  Your intent as an effective leader should always have an appended outcome that you paint for your followers.  You need to bring them along.

Intentions without aligned outcomes will create missed expectations and an unrealized potential that can discount and dilute your leadership brand and legacy faster than anything else.  The world is full of “leaders” who pontificate their intentions…but are short on follow-up.  These leaders have an I/O Ratio that is completely out of balance and will wonder why they are unable to engage with a community of trust and credibility.  Don’t let that happen to you.

But intention is only the first step in effective leadership.  We can have the desire to do the “right thing” but unless we act…unless we take that first step towards the outcomes we want, our intention quickly becomes our island…which is just a useless piece of barren land surrounded by the deep waters of fear and anxiety .  So do all that you can to swim away from your “Intention Island.”  And move towards action and results.  Better yet, keep your I/O Ration in check and never get yourself marooned on the island in the first place!

Our goals can change. They should change.  Our life changes. Organizations change.  Things happen.  Sometimes expected and many times un-expected.  We need to be able to evolve, to bend, to be flexible.  But we still need to keep our eyes on our targets, our goals, our outcomes.  We still need to measure our progress towards our vision, otherwise we will never move off  “Intention Island.”

Keeping your I/O Ration in balance enables you to keep track of your progress towards your desired end results, no matter the detours our lives may take.  As you find your VOICE as a Leader, charting your outcomes aligned to your values is critical in moving from intent to action.  Build your bridge…learn to swim…float on a raft…but don’t stay marooned on Intention Island like other leaders!

By integrating the Emergenetics Profile into my executive coaching practice, I am able to guide leaders into greater insight and awareness of what is important to them in their life, and, thus, how creating their vision with aligned outcomes impact their leadership brand and create the vision they desire.

Finding your V-O-I-C-E as a leader means discovering your core Values; creating a compelling Vision to obtain the Outcomes you want; building relationships with Influence and credibility; making decisions that use your Courage to stand alone; and communicating your overall Expression for lasting impact.

Finding your VOICE as a leader does not mean shouting to make an impact…it means using the Emergenetics Profile to reveal your brilliance as a leader by:

  • Discovering your critical leadership Values
  • Creating a compelling vision to obtain the Outcomes you want
  • Influencing your relationships with trust and credibility
  • Making decisions that reveal your Courage and confidence to take a stand
  • Communicating your overall Expression for lasting impact.

“Where there is no vision, there is no hope.”  —George Washington Carver

Paul N. Larsen
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Paul partners with leaders across a variety of industries and within organizations of all sizes to build and expand their leadership strength with a deliberate purpose and cle ... Click for full bio

The Lies Spread by Bankers About Cryptocurrencies

The Lies Spread by Bankers About Cryptocurrencies

I had a chat with The Financial Times the other day, and provided lots of background as to why I don’t think cryptocurrencies are the choice of criminals. The comment that was reported was the following:

Chris Skinner, a financial technology author, said it was “complete rubbish” to suggest the main use of cryptocurrencies was criminal. “There is some criminal activity associated with some cryptocurrencies but it is quite minimal,” he said. “It’s a myth that the financial community want to promote.”

I feel I need to explain this further, so here goes.

My response was in answer to Vasant Prabhu, Chief Financial Officer of Visa (the card network) who made two claims:

1) Most people have no idea what they’re doing with cryptocurrency investments; and

2) Cryptocurrencies are mainly being used by criminals.

With the first point, I agree. In fact, I loved the John Oliver Show that discussed crypto and started with the line that cryptocurrencies are “everything you don’t understand about money combined with everything you don’t understand about computers”. A perfect combination for idiots to invest in. I agree with both Vasant and John, as many people are buying cryptocurrencies for no other reason than other people are buying them.

The second point I completely disagree with. Mr Prabhu said cryptocurrencies were a “favourite” for criminals.

“It’s very hard to get dirty money through a banking system. Cryptocurrency is phenomenal for all that stuff . . . Every crook and every dirty politician in the world, I bet, is in cryptocurrency.”

This is complete baloney and is a smokescreen being created by financial people to deflect the real purpose of cryptocurrencies, which is to use software and servers to manage value rather than buildings and humans. In other words, cryptocurrencies have the opportunity to reduce or even replace banks, which is why I find it interesting how often I hear a financial person say that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are just for criminals when it’s blatantly not true. Unfortunately because they are in a position of authority, politicians believe them; and unfortunately, because they are also in a position of authority, the media believes them; and unfortunately, because they are in a position of authority, the public sometimes believes them too.

Most law enforcement authorities however, state that the levels of criminal activity with cryptocurrencies is so tiny today that it doesn’t matter and, specifically, does not warrant deflecting their time and energy to investigate them. Just to illustrate this, the total worldwide investment in all cryptocurrencies is around $300 billion today. Even if criminals were running 10% of that, it’s still just $30 billion. That is an insignificant amount compared to the trillions being laundered through the traditional financial system, mainly through offshore companies buying up properties.

From The TelegraphNovember 2017:

Organised crime generates income equivalent to around 2.7pc of global GDP. Around $1.6 trillion of this is laundered to disguise its criminal origins: financial crime is undoubtedly a worldwide problem.

From What Mortgage, February 2018:

Julian Dixon, CEO of Fortytwo Data, whose research found that more than a third (37%) of all suspicious activity reports (SAR) across the entire legal sector were related to property: “For criminals, the vast amount of cash involved in property purchases provides the perfect cover for laundering the proceeds of drugs, terrorism and firearms offences.

From The TimesFebruary 2018:

Rob Wainwright, director of [Europol], revealed that 3 to 4 per cent of the £100 billion of illicit cash circulating in Europe is laundered through anonymous digital currencies such as bitcoin.

So that’s around £4 billion max right now. That’s less than a particle of a drop in the ocean of crime globally.

Now, the concern may be that cryptocurrencies offers the opportunity to launder funds. This is possibly true and is why I said there is some criminal activity with some cryptocurrencies which is tiny today, but might grow over time. Even then, it is speculative and too early to call. For example, that paragraph from The Times is factually incorrect, as bitcoin is not anonymous. In fact, nearly all digital transactions can be tracked and traced online, and therefore offer the worst use case for money laundering.

This is why the only currency that criminals currently use in any volume for illicit activity is Monero, because it is nearly an equivalent of digital cash. Nevertheless, the total market cap of Monero is $3 billion, and even if half of that is criminal activity, it’s totally insignificant on a global scale.

All in all, it is obvious that most financial people have created this myth of criminals opting for cryptocurrencies for two reasons:

1) it is to protect their turf, as they don’t want to lose their role as intermediators of finance; and

2) it is to deflect the authorities from looking at the true perpetrators of illicit monetary activity, namely the banking system.

Bear these two points in mind when I say that banks were built for the physical distribution of paper, which is why cash and property are the physical assets that are the preference of criminal choice. If you didn’t know it, London is actually the money laundering capital of the world:

  • British registered companies and British-based banks helped move at least $20 billion of the proceeds of criminal activities out of Russia between 2010 and 2014.
  • Transparency International’s research found 766 UK corporate vehicles involved in 52 large scale corruption and money laundering cases approaching valuations of £80 billion.
  • Around half of the 766 companies alleged to have been involved in high-end money laundering were based at just eight UK addresses.
  • The Home Affairs Select Committee hearings found that the London property market is the primary avenue for the laundering of £100 billion of illicit money a year. No wonder first time buyers cannot get on the property ladder.

If anything is the preferred market for money launderers then it is banks, not cryptocurrencies. No wonder financial people are trying to deflect the media elsewhere.

Bottom-line: as all things move to digital distribution of data, the trail to audit such movements get easier because they can be sniffed out and monitored; as a result, most criminal activity will continue to leverage the weak links in the chain, which is the physical distribution of paper through cash and property assets in the traditional financial system.

I’ve written a lot on this in the past and would point to these two blog entries for more:

And there’s also a lengthy but worthwhile read about why bitcoin cannot be regulated, as it is protected by America’s first amendment and the right to free speech.

Chris Skinner
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Chris Skinner is one of the most influential and prolific thought leaders on the future of banking, finance and technology. The Financial Brand awarded him best blog and ... Click for full bio