Expert advice on Business Leadership and tips on becoming a more effective Leader.

Leadership — By Pegine Echevarria

Each day I am inspired by individuals taking small and powerful actions towards leadership. Today I received a call from a young man I met three months ago. He is 19 years old. He is the first in his family to attend college, the first to graduate from high school.

When we met I was struck by his poise, his confidence, his tremendous smile and his willingness to help three younger students. I gave him my card when we met and encouraged him to call me. I knew when he called that he was taking steps to be a leader.

1. Leaders take risks. They reach out to people they don’t know or know well and connect with them. They take personal responsibility for their relationships.

2. Leaders laugh. I’ve seen amazing leaders transform their organizations, their negotiations and their team when they laugh… and laugh hard. They know that laughing encourages camaraderie and team cohesion, and laughter breaks down barriers. As long as the laughter is either self deprecating or about universal humanity.

3. Leaders motivate, inspire and promote to potential. They believe in their staff more than their staff does.

4. Leaders, exceptional leaders, like people.

5. Leaders become comfortable with change.

You may be in a leadership role now… or not. Everyone is responsible for being a leader in their lives and interactions. From the moment you wake up, to the moment when your eyes close at night, you lead. You transform your environment.

Do you say hello to your family, staff and coworkers? Do you really mean it? Before you begin your paperwork, do you connect with the people at work, in volunteer positions or at home who most impact your success? Do you ignore your administrative assistant or the receptionist? Did you say thank you to the paid administrative support at your volunteer organization? Have you appreciated, acknowledged and been aware of how your partner, child or parent helped you today? Leaders do.

Maybe you can’t change policy (yet), maybe you are in a cubicle – it doesn’t matter – leaders lead. They lead themselves first, then others.

On my conference room wall I have four words that remind and inspire me to be a better leader. The worlds are Love, Laugh, Believe, and Create. Great leaders lead with a philosophy and a point of view that guides their behavior and their purpose. These four words keep Team Pegine Inc. focused. What are your words? Do you have a philosophy or point of view? Perhaps today is the day for you to design your leadership philosophy.

Here are how my four words inspire, motivate and teach me.

* Love – Love and be passionate about your work. Can you truly say that you love what you do, love how you do what you do, love the clients you work with and love the people who help your company grow. I don’t mean love in the same way that you love your family. I do mean love in that you truly care and are passionate about your purpose, vision, employees, clients and customer’s satisfaction As a leader you serve your clients best when you love and are passionate about what you do.

* Laugh – It is time to truly laugh and enjoy the process of leading. Enjoy the people you interact with, the people you learn from and the people you work with. Laugh at your foibles as you grow and change and laugh at the challenges, trials and tribulations…they are always there to help your company and you grow. That is how you become a sparkling gem…by grinding the rough spots.

* Believe – Believe in the vision, believe in what you do, believe in your staff, believe in the people who support your work, believe in your future, and believe in your dream. As a leader, I believe in myself and my skills and I believe in the people with whom I surround myself.

* Create – Creativity and innovation are the keys to leading in a diverse world. New ideas, new products and new initiatives build business, people and a better society. As a leader you are also the creator, perhaps the creator of processes that make your work more efficient, the creator of initiatives that connect customers and staff easily or the innovator needed to reward staff for a job well done. At Team Pegine Inc., creating new ideas, initiatives and programs that support our customer’s goals to increase productivity, profitability and retain great people are at the core of who we are and what we do.

Remember, only you can change yourself. You can’t change others; however, they will change if you do. Focus on Loving, Laughing, Believing and Creating, so that you can be the leader you were designed to be.
Pegine Echevarria has over 15 years of experience as a nationally recognized expert on success, leadership, and teambuilding, and 30 years of experience in the workplace, ranging from corporate America to public service. You can visit Pegine at

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