Archives for category: leadership

(Reblogged from The Leaders Zone. Click here to see the original post)


By Dan Price

It’ s time for your annual performance review. You walk into your boss’s office, sit down and prepare for the litany of clichéd critiques and uninspiring atta boys. You try to decipher the feedback and pull out some actionable items, but grounding the theoretical appraisal proves difficult. You leave the room with your intrinsic motivation weakened by the encounter.

Now imagine this: Instead of a performance review, your boss sits you down and asks you how she can improve, how the company can flourish and how both can stay truer to their values. You’re naturally full of ideas, so you take the opportunity to launch into new concepts you’d been keeping in the back of your mind. You work with your boss to come up with a plan to improve the company and help her elevate her performance. You leave the meeting motivated by the prospect of working with your boss to create something great.


Every six months at Gravity Payments, we do this type of review. We seek to turn the boss-employee relationship upside down and create an environment in which leaders exist to serve those around them. Historically leadership has been about amassing power in order to operate paternalistically at best and tyrannically at worst. The notion of servant leadership has since permeated the business world, but too often it is used only as a more efficient way to gain authority, not as a way to truly serve.

Real servant leadership is about giving without the expectation of receiving. It’s not an incremental change; it’s a complete paradigm shift. Many people struggle with this because they are used to being the ones with all of the answers. Making this leap requires a certain level of vulnerability, but those able to challenge the leadership status quo will reap the benefi ts. If you succeed in shifting to the role of servant leader, you will fi nd the surprises you receive are far more impressive and humbling than you expected. When I made the decision to implement a $70,000-a-year minimum wage at Gravity Payments, I expected our business to take a f i nancial hit. I took the risk, and my team surpassed my expectations. Not only did our business accelerate, but a year after the implementation of the policy, our team banded together and bought me a Tesla to thank me. Ask yourself, Am I truly working to serve the people around me, or for personal gain? If the answer is personal gain, try beginning the journey to servant leadership by requesting to be held accountable, rather than the other way around.

Follow these steps to become a servant leader: 

1. Instead of spending your time defining expectations for your team, spend it identifying how you can support them. 

2. Have your team keep an eye on your actions rather than the other way around. 

3. Ask for feedback rather than telling your team what to do. 

4. Resist the urge to accumulate power. Focus on giving it away.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Price is the founder and CEO of Gravity Payments, a credit-card processing company that supports independent businesses. In 2015 he took a personal pay cut that secured a $70,000 minimum salary for his employees.

To read the original article fron Success Magazine click here.


i am malala

I finished reading I am Malala, written by Malala Yousafzai, in April of 2015, and tonight, after almost a year of waiting, I finally watched the movie.

Malala is my idol, and a true heroine of our time. At her short age she has started a worldwide movement in favor of women’s rights, in favor of education and against violent political regimes like the Taliban. If all this wasn’t enough, she is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in history. She achieved all this before she was 18 years old.

Malala’s story is inspiring, moving and significant, and she must have had a lot of help in writting this book as it is entertaining and easy to read.

I recommend everybody to watch the movie, and when you do, do it with your children and grandchildren. But before you watch it, read the book. The movie is just a good ending for the book, but is not a substitute for it. To understand it all, to understand her, to understand her cause and her movement, and to understand what each one of us has to do, you must read the book. I am Malala should be required as a text book in all highschools around the world.

I have two copies of I am Malala,  which I am going to give away for free. If you are interested leave me a message or send me an email.

You can read my full review of the book in


plan a plan b

You are going to fail. In working towards your goals, your dreams and your projects, sooner or later you are going to fail. Not always, of course, but every now and then. We all fail. It is inevitable. Thinking you can’t fail is naive. Nobody can have an endless run of continuous success.

The good thing is, if you have the courage to face your fear of failure and are willing to try, the chances of failling drop down. They drop every time you try again because you gain experience, and if nothing else, at least you learn what doesn’t work.

With a little vision, planning and preparation you have a good chance of achieving your goals. If you are willing to try, that is. If you don’t try, you have already failed. It is a fight, between you and your fear, and only one can win.

Ultimately, we are all going to fail, the thing is to choose how. As for me, I’d like it to be trying.

How about you?

talento esp foto-copia2

If you are not going to use it, it isn’t really a talent.


Don’t ever learn to quit, it could become a habit.

maestro vaca Jul_12_103


“A master of Wisdom was walking through the countryside with his apprentice when they came to a small, disheveled shack on a meager piece of farmland. ‘See this poor family,’ said the Master. ‘Go see if they will share with us their food.’ ‘But we have plenty,’ said the apprentice.

The master said, ‘Do as I say.’ The obedient apprentice went to the home. The good farmer and his wife, surrounded by their seven children, came to the door. Their clothes were dirty and in tatters. ‘Fair greetings,’ said the apprentice. ‘My Master and I are sojourners and want for food. I’ve come to see if you have any to share.’

The farmer said, ‘we have little, but what we have we will share.’ He walked away, and then returned with a small piece of cheese and a crust of bread. ‘I am sorry, but we don’t have much.’ The apprentice did not want to take their food but did as he had been instructed. ‘Thank you. Your sacrifice is great.’

‘Life is difficult,’ the farmer said, ‘but we get by. And in spite of our poverty, we do have one great blessing.’ ‘What blessing is that?’ asked the apprentice. ‘We have a little cow. She provides us milk and cheese, which we eat or sell in the marketplace. It is not much but she provides enough for us to live on.’

The apprentice went back to his Master with the meager rations and reported what he had learned about the farmer’s plight. The Master of Wisdom said, ‘I am pleased to hear of their generosity, but I am greatly sorrowed by their circumstance. Before we leave this place, I have one more task for you.’

Speak, Master.’

‘Return to the shack and bring back their cow.’

The apprentice did not know why, but he knew his Master to be merciful and wise, so he did as he was told. When he returned with the cow, he said to his Master, ‘I have done as you commanded. Now what is it that you would do with this cow?’

‘See yonder cliffs? Take the cow to the highest crest and push her over.’ The apprentice was stunned. ‘But Master…’

‘Do as I say.’ The apprentice sorrowfully obeyed. When he had completed his task, the Master and his apprentice went on their way.

Over the next years, the apprentice grew in mercy and wisdom. But every time he thought back on the visit to the poor farmer’s family, he felt a pang of guilt. One day he decided to go back to the farmer and apologize for what he had done. But when he arrived at the farm, the small shack was gone.

Instead there was a large, fenced villa.

‘Oh no,’ he cried. ‘The poor family who was here was driven out by my evil deed.’ Determined to learn what had become of the family, he went to the villa and pounded on its great door. A servant answered the door.

‘I would like to speak to the master of the house,’ he said. ‘As you wish,’ said the servant. A moment later a smiling, well-dressed man greeted the apprentice.

‘How may I serve you?’ the wealthy man asked. ‘Pardon me, Sir, but could you tell me what has become of the family who once lived on this land but is no more?’ ‘I do not know what you speak of,’ the man replied. ‘My family has lived on this land for three generations.’

The apprentice looked at him quizzically. ‘Many years ago I walked through this valley, where I met a farmer and his seven children. But they were very poor and lived in a small shack.

‘Oh,’ the man said smiling, ‘that was my family. But my children have all grown now and have their own estates.’

The apprentice was astonished. ‘But you are no longer poor. What happened?’

‘God works in mysterious ways,’ the man said, smiling. ‘We had this little cow that provided us with the slimmest of necessities, enough to survive but little more.

“We suffered but expected no more from life. Then, one day, our little cow wandered off and fell over a cliff. We knew that we would be ruined without her, so we did everything we could to survive. Only then did we discover that we had greater power and abilities than we possibly imagined and never would have found as long as we relied on that cow. What a great blessing from Heaven to have lost our little cow.”

I don’t know about you, but I loved this little story. I think we all have a little cow in our life that is holding us back. We shouldn’t settle for what is easy or for the bare minimum. Sometimes losing everything is what will help us find our true potential. So the next time that one of your “little cows” is taken away, take the opportunity to grow and learn and accomplish more. Growth will only occur outside our comfort zone.

true leader 21CL - Success

A true leader doesn’t see people for what they are, but for what they can be.

team leader - customer-services-team-leader-job-description.ashx

I read this article on INC Magazine.

What do you think?

Can you be popular and effective?

If you want to read the article from INC’s website, click here.

Don’t Aim to Be Popular, Be Effective

Managing your employees is not a popularity contest. When you remain focused on real goals so will they.

By Janine Popick | Apr 26, 2013

As the leader of my online marketing company VerticalResponse, I wear a lot of hats and do many things. The one thing I’m not down with is being in a popularity contest because this isn’t high school, it’s my business and my No. 1 priority is to serve my customers and my investors. But, this doesn’t mean I’m not in service to my team, because I’ll be the first one to tell you, I work for them and I’m here to help them be more effective.

It All Rolls Up to You

With SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-sensitive) goals, your company’s goals should cascade in a nice waterfall from the executive team to each level. But what this also means is that at the top of the org chart, you’re ultimately responsible to beat the drum that gets things done so when you sit at that next board meeting you aren’t sweating bullets. In order to get things done you’ve gotta do a few things that the most successful CEOs, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, (who currently rules the roost in the No. 1 spot in a survey by do:

Have a Clear Vision

Even during a time like now, when my business is going through an incredible change, we’ve made it a huge priority to be as open and transparent about where we are, where we’re headed and be 100 percent honest about any risks, challenges or delays. We hold town hall style meetings twice a month to keep everyone on the same page and enable them to ask questions and provide input and feedback. This has been incredibly effective at keeping us all in rhythm and keep the momentum and excitement building and let everyone know how what they do plays a role in our success and growth.

Have a Rock Solid Company Culture

VerticalResponse has always been a serious place. As in serious fun. We’re here to build the best online marketing tools and resources for our customers so marketing their businesses is a snap. But that doesn’t mean we have to dress in suits and ties and write in corporate speak. On the contrary, I’ve been known to sport my “Off The Deep End” t-shirt on software release days and last Friday there was a nerf gun fight that broke out just before our weekly happy hour. We try to support a work hard, play hard mentality. What’s really great is that we often hear the thing people most like about working here are their co-workers. When you’ve got a solid company culture, you’ll attract more of the kind of good folks you’ve already got.

Keep Moving Forward

After 12 years of leading my company, my passion for small businesses hasn’t wavered a bit. I eat, dream and breathe small business and my team knows it. By having the same level, if not even more of a vested interest in our customer’s success than I had the day I started VerticalResponse, I help us continue to move the business forward. That’s why we’re going through the massive change we are right now and will continue to evolve to stay ahead of the curve. But, I can’t do it alone. I need everyone, at every level sharing that clear vision we talked about, taking initiative and thinking like a boss to move it.

How are you not only popular, but also effective as a CEO?

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Copyright © 2013 Mansueto Ventures LLC. All rights reserved., 7 World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007-2195.

via Don’t Aim to Be Popular, Be Effective.

via Don’t Aim to Be Popular, Be Effective.

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