Leading The Way

24 May 2011

“A leader has two important characteristics; first, he is going somewhere; second, he is able to persuade other people to go with him."
- Maximilien F. Robespierre

Writing my success story would not be complete without looking back. Like most misdirected teens, I was a rebel interested only in having a good time. The only other avenue of interest was my Godfather’s business dealings in Real Estate. Hence, at age 15, I knew what I wanted to do in life. At age 17, I left school. The real estate bug biting, at age 18, I applied to a firm in England only to be told I was not old enough; again, I tried with no success. I tried once more, and was told the market had crashed and there were no opportunities for me.

Now 14 years later, I believe that my success is based on setting high goals, believing in myself, being totally dedicated to the pursuit of my dreams, and never, never giving up. Just as important is leading by example and treating everyone with fairness and respect.

Recently, I had to deal with the most catastrophic event to ever hit our country and our market, putting us in the middle of not only an office rebuild but country rebuild as well. It was a time of testing. Having gone through this horrendous natural disaster, I found leading by example to be of the highest importance. It demonstrates to others that you are prepared to do whatever the situation demands – however minimal or great – so expecting others to do the same is reasonable. This attitude helps you tap into your own potential but it also brings out the best in others. Acknowledging that no one has an exclusive on good ideas is to be receptive to your organization’s strengths rather than their weaknesses. Strengthen the positives by
offering solutions rather than criticisms.

To win loyalty from others, you first must be loyal to them. Take time to listen to other points of view. Work with people for who they are, not who you would like them to be. Never lose sight of the fact that you need to inspire people in order for them to develop their own potential for leadership. You accomplish more than you ever dreamt possible by encouraging others to reach for the stars, and in doing so, get to the heart of what leading by example truly means!

James Bovell

James Bovell


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