Leaders who make an impact do things differently. One defining characteristic is the ability to bring the best out of others. Follow the acronym L.E.A.D. as a guideline on how to do this:

Look for…
Draw out…

the best from others.

Incorporate this formula into your daily actions.


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For This You Will Be Remembered

The Influence Rule states…

I choose to build others.

This rule is essential to leveraging your leadership for maximizing impact. The key here is this approach is not just for individuals with a title. This approach is important for all team members. Print the image below and keep it in front of you. Think of yourself as a builder of others. It is the most important mindset if you are interested in making a large, positive difference on the teams in your personal and professional lives.


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The Rules

The current version of the Impact Rules is as follows:

The Influence Rule – I choose to build others.

The Spirit Rule – I choose to give my best in the face of challenges.

The Class Rule – I choose to earn trust.

The Legacy Rule – I choose to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow.

The big key to each of these rules is the word choose. Leaders who make an impact on others make decisions every day directed by service and giving his/her best to that end. Use these rules to cross-reference with your daily goals.

1. What did you do today to coach, supervise, manage or inspire the best out of others?

2. What did you do today to overcome challenges and rise to the occasion?

3. What did you do today to allow others to see you as trustworthy?

4. What did you sacrifice today for others?

Keep these four words in front of you everyday to help remind of you of what’s most important to lead:

Build, Best, Trust, Sacrifice


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Spirit: Why Regret is a Double-Whammy

The Spirit Rule states:  I choose to give my best in the face of challenges.

An important part of getting and keeping a healthy spirit is understanding how to deal with life’s mistakes, challenges or opportunities not taken.  If we are going to be able to lead people forward, we can’t be weighed down by our own past.  Regret is one of the heavy stones that can hold us back from experiencing a healthy spirit.

Regret is so detrimental to our emotional well-being because it is a today feeling about a yesterday action. It is a state that is both changeable (how I feel now) and unchangeable (what I did then).  Regret can also be a double-whammy. If it doesn’t change and you continue to let it live knowing you should change it, you now feel bad about what you did then and how you are feeling now. This double-whammy effect is why regret should be vaccinated quickly. Some vaccination techniques…

1. Get your mental and emotional focus on something else.
2. Look for and celebrate the upsides of the situation.
3. Use positive language when talking about related events.
4. Don’t put your focus on the regretful event. Don’t bring it up in conversation (either with yourself or with others.)
5. Clearly understand the source of the regret and learn how to deal with it and move on.

You will notice these strategies are part “face it head-on” and part “move on” techniques.  Regret is a nasty bug that steals energy and joy you need to get and maintain a healthy spirit.  Follow these techniques (and others that work for you) and work to get and keep a spirit that can help you deal with future challenges you can avoid or change.



Tweet This:  If we are going to be able to lead people forward, we can’t be weighed down by our own past. #impactrules

Follow me:  @yns1

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The Influence Rule


Click the image for a high-res, printable, share-able version.

The Influence Rule states, “I choose to build others.”  This is where all real, tangible leadership starts – with the leader making a decision to purposefully help others.  Therefore, leadership is not just leading a company, a school, a non-profit, a team, etc.  Leadership is taking actions that will directly benefit, support, strengthen, aid, etc. those around you.

How should you live out the Influence Rule in your life?  Well, it depends on who you are, your skills, talents, interests, gifts, etc. It also depends on who you have around you and the role you can play in his/her life. Below is a simple list you can use as inspiration or confirmation of how to be a positive influence on others.


  • Lend a hand where you can.
  • Arrive early and/or stay late.
  • Give an encouraging word.
  • Ask others how you can help.
  • Do random acts of kindness.
    • A simple rule to follow here is the rule of Plus One.  When you are paying for something or buying something for you, also do it for the next person.  I.E. – pay the toll for the next car, buy $10 worth of food for the next person in the drive-in, buy the movie of the person behind you, etc.
  • Listen actively to a friend sharing a story.
  • Stand up and vocally share your support for a person or cause.
  • Brainstorm ideas with a friend in need.
  • Give something of value to or for a person who needs it more than you do.
  • Randomly pick a few people today and say something kind about them on their Facebook wall.
  • Celebrate someone in your Twitter feed or Facebook wall.
  • Compliment someone.
  • Actively appreciate someone.
  • Say thank you.
  • Say I’m sorry.
  • Say I love you.

I encourage you to do four things with this list.

  1. Print it.
  2. Add to it items you find important.
  3. Mark the ones you know you already do and commit to doing them more.
  4. Mark the ones you have never done and do one of them today.

Good luck using your influence to build others and, therefore, make an impact in your world.

TwitterTweet It – The Influence Rule says, “I choose to build others.” #influence #impactrules

Follow me at @yns1.

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Podcast Interview


Click the link above to access an interview I did for a friend’s leadership podcast. We discussed in-depth the Impact Rules. The core discussion starts around the 7-minute mark.

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The Failure Factory


The Spirit Rule states:

“I choose to give my best in the face of challenges.”

Challenges are created from many different sources. A common source for most people is failure of achieving goals.

Failure is a reality of life for all of us. None of us achieve what we want all the time. Influential leaders do not have less failure than casual leaders. They simply have a better built Failure Factory.

This Failure Factory is not the production line; failure is a given in life and is produced just by being alive. This is a processing factory and everyone has one. Failure goes in, how we choose to respond or react to it is the processing part inside the Factory and our leadership effectiveness is strongly impacted by what comes out the other end, which is how we are fundamentally changed (for good or bad) by the failure.

Influential leaders positively influence people and situations to create value and growth. This means they are able to remain positive, still influence others and have the uncanny ability to create value even when failure is fed in. How?

Influential leaders have developed the ability to…

1. Recognize and be okay with the fact that they are flawed. They are very self-aware.

2. View failure as temporary. They have their sights set on the long-term.

3. Actively seek out learning lessons by asking why did this happen, not just how did this happen. They look for meaning.

4. Laugh at themselves. They take their job seriously, but not themselves.

5. Risk, Fail, learn, adjust, risk again, fail, learn, adjust, risk again, fail, etc.

Take a good look at your Failure Factory. You can drastically improve your ability to follow the Spirit Rule by improving the inner-workings of your Factory.

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What Does Each Produce?

Why do the Impact Rules work to help you make a difference in your personal and professional life? There are many reasons, but I have selected one outcome for each below. This is what you become more of when you learn and adhere to the principles taught for each area.

Influence: Uplifting

The influence Impact Rule is all about using your words and actions for good, not evil.  It is about choosing to be a source of encouragement, appreciation, good news, etc.  This mode of operation helps you to be uplifting to those around you.

Spirit: Resilient

Spirit is all about giving your best in the face of challenges.  These lessons serve to increase your capacity for investing your time on projects, people, situations, etc. that most people give up on because they are frustrating, challenging, annoying, etc.

Class: Trustworthy

The class rules help you earn trust from others and supercharge your credibility. Leadership works best when the leaders are acting in a trustworthy manner and when their followers truly see them as trustworthy.

Legacy: Selfless

The legacy section is designed to help you understand how to create change that will last. The element of personal sacrifice is key here.  If you aren’t personally sacrificing something you want for the betterment of others, you are missing a key component of leadership that works.

Click here to view chatter about #impactrules on Twitter. Follow me at @yns1.

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Why Are You Breaking The Rules?

The Class Rule states:

“I must follow the rules to earn trust.”

We all have reasons why we choose to break certain rules in our personal and professional lives. These reasons, in the moment, seem more compelling, valuable, useful, etc. than the trust and credibility we would earn if we didn’t break the rules.  An important question is why are you breaking the rules?  What are you using as an excuse to break relationship, social, trust, and/or etiquette rules? Here are some possible sources:

  • Your physical appearance
  • Your stature in a community or peer group
  • Your popularity
  • Your experience
  • Your position within the company/organization
  • Your fear
  • Your procrastination
  • Your heritage
  • Your ignorance
  • Your arrogance
  • Your defiance
  • Your peers

The key is to recognize when you are breaking a rule (be self-aware), understand why you allowed yourself to break the rule and then (most importantly) identify strategies to overcome these barriers to trust.

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Impact Rules for Professionals

Following are four key questions every professional leader should ask to ensure they are following the Impact Rules:


What am I doing to help others increase their performance capacity and perform at that level consistently?


What am I doing to ensure I can consistently give my best in the face of challenges?


What are the rules I need to follow to earn trust and strengthen credibility with others?


Where am I investing resources today that will directly create positive change for others tomorrow?

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