Stock business meeting

Are you in control or a victim?

We could write a book on this subject. Wait, there are hundreds already written. So many books written on the subject of management or leadership have the same premise. The great books have already been written in the 1920s through the 1950s. Socrates and Plato did some teaching and writing as well.

Bottom line – the key is what you are going to do with the information after you read it. We have all heard that the idea is 10% and the implementation is 90%. What are you going to do to become a great leader or manager?

Greatness takes time, learning, practicing and wanting to reach new heights. If you are doing the same thing and not changing, you are not growing or excelling.

You are not alone if you say, “Geeze, I want to lose weight or get in shape.”

The same holds true for saying, “I really want to be a great leader.”

The first stage is admitting you want to get better at something. The next phase is to learn the subject at hand, and finally changing the behavior to surpass where you are presently.

These words are not going to change you, but what you do over time will. Think of the movie with Bill Murray called, “What About Bob?” The famous line was the simple phrase “baby steps.”

No rush to the finish line, but how you get there is what is most important. Do you have the understanding and willingness to put it into place? If so, take an honest look at yourself and see what needs to be changed and what will it take for you to change the behavior. When you do (if you do) it is not for the moment, but the long term.

Think of it as if you are speeding and you see a cop on the side of the road. You slow it down and go “Whew, I didn’t get in trouble this time.” Then within a mile or two you are back to the original speed that made you go “whew.”

The key is to not speed and change your behavior of going too fast and to stay within the speed limit. You can’t do this at the moment you think you might have gotten caught speeding, but all the time. Once you change the behavior, you will no longer speed.

I don’t think the words in the box above need explanation or to be discussed at any great length. To me, they are pretty much “am I” or “am I not.” This is just one aspect of incredible management or leadership, and hopefully you will continue to seek out other books or articles on the subject and then make them your own. Learning can be fun especially when you witness the results firsthand.


• Takes responsibility for faults

• Looks for solutions

• Takes reasonable risks

• Talks in positive tones, gives appropriate recognition

• Thinks and plans

• Confronts the source of the problem, if possible

• Feels mainly satisfied

• Body language is alert or comfortably relaxed

• Can be trusted

• Keeps pretty calm

• Rarely threatened

• Rarely procrastinates


• Looks for scapegoats

• Talks about problems

• Plays it safe

• Whines, talks in negative tones, complains

• Reacts with little thought or planning

• Talks to others behind the back of problem causer

• Feels mainly frustrated

• Body language is tense or slovenly

• Cannot normally be trusted

• Loses temper

• Often feels threatened

• Procrastinates often

I hope this is helpful in really looking at yourself and what you should leave alone – what you are pretty good at – and what will take you to the next level.

Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service. He is the author of numerous business books including two national best sellers “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” Hal’s newest book on sales is titled “Ultimate Sales Book.” He can be reached at


Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

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