40 Proven Leadership Lessons at Age 40, I Want You to Know

40 Proven Leadership Lessons at Age 40, I Want You to Know

The last 39 years have been a phenomenal training ground.  It’s felt like I have gone to the driving range everyday to gain knowledge then work to apply it.  

Outside of a few more gray hairs (wisdom) and a little more weight, turning 40 hasn’t been bad at all. I have 40 proven leadership lessons captured from my past and present that it’s important to remember in the future. These lessons and principles have shaped who I am and what I am becoming. 

1. You weren’t born to be the best leader of all time, but you can develop into a more effective one.

2. Excellence is iterative, and it’s your choice.

3. Fear and anger give lousy advice.

4. Most people endure instead of enjoy their work, which is sad.

5. Most people aren’t incompetent, they are uninterested.

6. Most people endure instead of enjoy their work, which is sad.

7. Failure is not final, failure is feedback.

8. A mediocre team can’t suddenly become great on the day of the super bowl.

9. Accountability is an advantage make it your obligation.

10. Accountability isn’t something you do to someone, it’s something you do with someone.

11. Winning starts in the mind.

12. The things you think and do daily become the person you become permanently.

13. Your strengths are not for you, they are for serving others.

14. You build confidence by following through with the promises you make to yourself.

15. Confidence comes from within, and it’s built through consistent daily repetition.

16. The words you say to yourself are the most important words you say.

17. True humility is not ignoring your gifts it's stepping into them.

18. Do things of significance today to create more time tomorrow.

19. Nobody learns anything from you when you're yelling.

20. Trust is earned in drips, but it’s lost in buckets.

21. Instead of wanting things to be easy, be prepared for them to be hard.

22. Great leaders don’t just get results, they transform lives.

23. Don’t reduce your life to how much money you can make, raise it to the level of impact you can have.

24. Assumptions set us up for suffering.

25. Many people start, but only a few finish.

26. Leaders don’t often lack talent, they lack focus.

27. Your guiding beliefs dictate your behavior.

28. Aim small to hit big.

29. Change is inevitable, growth is intentional.

30. The path to effective leadership is paved with humility, not pride.

31. One person can completely change the energy in a team or in a room.

32. People that serve others are remembered, but people that serve themselves are forgotten.

33. Relationships are at the center of leadership.

34. Without clear communication, people fill the gaps with assumptions and their own incorrect stories.

35. The character of a leader doesn’t directly produce results, but it counts more than them.

36. Your leadership is temporary, your impact is lasting.

37. Only leaders who are tested become great.

38. Asking for help isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength.

39. It’s not about what you are, it’s about what you are becoming.

40. Life is not owed, it is gifted.

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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company helping executives and managers to lead their best. He was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Management & Workplace. John is also the author of Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success. You can follow him on Instagram @johngeades.