For my latest CNBC story on unconventional ways to build leadership skills, I spoke to management gurus, improv comedy artists, mindfulness experts, a business school leader, a CEO or two, and the co-founder of Amsterdam’s Boom Chicago. (Note to homesick expats missing American or British comedy: it’s hands-down the best place on the European continent to experience comedy in English.)
I also (finally) read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People––a leadership and personal growth bestseller by Dr. Stephen Covey that I had been meaning to read forever––as well as Dale Carnegie’s 1936 classic How to Win Friends and Influence People, a book I’d seen at the library as a kid and figured I’d never pick up.
If you want to be a great leader, here are a few essential tips I learned:
Develop a principle-centered approach. Be proactive. Connect with others through laughter. Real change comes from shifting your paradigm. Practice a martial art––it’s great for discipline and focus. Learn a language other than English. Read the classic leadership texts. Read the classics in general. Get out of your comfort zone. Shake things up by getting feedback from disparate outside perspectives. Meditate. Be mindful. Find a mentor. Mentor someone else.