Quotes About Leadership by Anthony Robbins
Leadership is not an ability that you’re born with or without.
It’s also not a position like CEO or some managerial type role. You also don’t need to go to some graduate school to get you there. Tony himself just graduated high-school and never had the opportunity to attend post-secondary education because of family circumstances.
The truth is anybody can be leader – and you likely have taken on roles and not even realize it.
Tony defines what a leader is, it doesn’t mean someone who has subordinates or followers. A leader is just somebody who lives life on their terms, that they will never settle for less than they can be, share, give or create.
Developing your leadership skills is one of the most important things you can decide to do in your life.
It’s a life-long journey and I hope that desire to improve in this area is re-ignited by reading this post. Below you’ll read my notes on advice given from Tony Robbins for Leaders compiled from listening to hours of Tony’s Seminars and tapes online.
Let’s jump to the first quote / lesson on leadership.
Tony Robbins Quotes on Leadership:
1. Becoming a great leader
“Develop the one thing that all people have in common who succeed, their leaders.”
This is a leadership program because I don’t care what leadership style you are. I don’t care if you’re a great mom or great dad, you lead your child. You’re not led by your child. I don’t care if you’re a great businessperson, if you’re a great salesperson, if you’re a great negotiator, if you’re great anything.
This has been my entire life’s obsession. What makes the difference in people’s lives? And that leadership component, as I say, doesn’t always mean somebody follows you. A leader is somebody who lives life on their terms, that you will never settle for less than you can be or share or give or create.
2. All great leaders are great salespeople (a.k.a people of influence)
“The single most important skill in life is selling. We hate the word selling, so I’ll give you a word that it really is that doesn’t have a negative connotation. It’s the word that all leaders have. What would that word be, influence?”
Tony says, “What changes companies is leaders, the only way to change a company is leadership.
If I want to change a company that I own and I want to make a shift in that company. The number one thing I’m going to do is shifting leadership that might be taking leaders to a different level, that might bring new leaders in, that might be new leaders of new voices, with new perspectives, with new skill sets, new directions.”
3. What do all great leaders do?
“But we need to take things another level. Leaders solve problems and leaders maximize resources. If you’re going to solve problems, you can’t do it yourself or it would’ve already been solved. You have to get others to help you to do it, that requires influence.”
4. How I train leaders to become problems solvers.
Context: In this talk Tony asks everyone to get in the habit of coming up with three choices to a problem their facing. Always write out three possibilities or paths you can take:
“By the way, why do I have up them come up with three. Someone tell me why? One choice is no choice, two choices is a dilemma, until you have three choices, you don’t have a choice. That’s my rule in life. You may not like all the choices whenever you think you have one choice, one choice is no choice. You got two you’re in a dilemma. There’s always at least three choices. Plus, I’m making that person become a problem solver.”
“Some people see things that were done, and they ask why. I look at things that were never done and ask, why not?”
6. Get the best of the best
“Go get the best tools, go find a role model, find somebody knows that area has mastered that area and give you the insights and show not somebody who’s going to talk a good game. Somebody who’s done it.”
Tony continues, “I don’t care if it’s investing in real estate, then go find the person is the best in that stuff. If it’s changing your body, you’ve got to go do those things that absolutely work. Not some local person is going to pump you up.”
7. Lead in the front, by example.
“To be an effective leader you must lead yourself first.”
“I’m interested in how to maximize the psychology side.
That’s why I’m sharing this with you so you can increase both your leadership skill.
But who do you have to lead first to be effective? My friends who? Yourself. And so it’s good to see, what’s controlling you? Well, what I’m focusing on is controlling me. You can focus on something and make yourself crazy. You can focus on something that makes yourself feel great.”
8. Absolute Certainty
“If you’re the leader, your responsibility, your job, your opportunity, your privilege is to be able to truly lead. And you cannot lead if you’re living in fear, you cannot lead in a place of constant uncertainty. We all have uncertainty at times, but they’re missing the core ingredient, absolute certainty.”
9. Be kind to yourself
“So be kind to yourself, as corny as that sounds, be kind to yourself so there’s more energy available to solve the problems and to build the business and to meet your mission. Because the time your beating yourself up, you’re trying to prove yourself, you really care. But meanwhile, what you’re doing is sucking the energy out of your growth.”
10. Leadership is a skill
“I don’t think of leadership as a position. I see it as a skill, a tool that all of us have to have.”
In other words, the quality of your life, I really believe, comes down to your level of leadership. Other people don’t have to follow you to be a leader, but you have to live life on your terms.
And the first person you have to influence is yourself.
You know, whether you’re fit or fat, whether your kids are on drugs or not. It comes down to who has more influence. The guy on the street corner or you? Are you fit or fat shows can you influence your own hands, your own body, your own mind to do what’s necessary?
So, I think to be able to influence the thoughts, the feelings, the emotions and the actions of another human being. That’s what leadership is. And quality leadership, obviously authentic leadership is one where it’s servant leadership. You’re looking to influence those thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions for a greater good, not just for yourself.
And I think the people that master that are the people that you know about.
11. Practice and Repetition
Context: To set up this next quote, Tony describes the experience of playing a child in a video game. Don’t you find you always get destroyed? Absolute humiliation. Four seconds and BAM you’re dead. They’ll always win…and I mean ALWAYS. Is it because they are smarter, or their neurons fire faster? No. Tony says, it’s because of this one thing…
“They know the road ahead. And if you know the road ahead, you have an incredible power called anticipation. Anticipation is the ultimate advantage. See winners, leaders anticipate, losers react.
“The reason you get beat is you don’t know where things are happening, so you’re reacting. Reaction is always stressful. And yet so much of our life is predictable. If we just were to study it, not be caught up in our day to day, it’s predictable.”
The lesson – learn from the mistakes of others.
People have already solved many of the common things we find ourselves caught up in. The challenges we’ll face in our relationships, kids, body, job, economics or with our in-laws. These are predictable, and if you were to anticipate these things and put a strategy in place. You could take it all out and have the quality of life that you deserve. In business, it’s everything.
There are those that anticipate, those that lead, and then there’s that follow. The followers are the reactionaries. And you can’t anticipate and lead unless you first learn how to lead yourself at a different level.
12. The culture and standard of your company
“Sometimes in a democracy the lowest level standard is what becomes natural.”
The context behind the above quote:
Recruiters were coming to Harvard and they were voting on whether to block them from getting access to the transcripts of students. This made Tony mad, it’s unfair to those who did well. The argument for hiding the grades was to show the interviewers that we (as in the students) are more then just our grades.
Tony’s response, “you guys who are doing this right now are going to be judged on one thing, results. Your grades are results in this context, and if you think your grades are not it then convince me as the interviewer that the grades are a part of it, but there’s so much more you’ve done. If you can’t do that, you’re never going to make it.”
13. Focusing your focus
“We’re all smart, but it’s easy to get led astray by everybody else’s focus, isn’t it? And then all of a sudden let them create the meaning for us. And then all of a sudden we’re settling for a life far less than what we desire or deserve.”
14. The job of maximizing resources and engagement (similar to quote #3)
“What’s our job to do as a leader? Our job is maximize resources. How do we take whatever resources get more out of it? Ourselves, other people, our economics, our business, our technology. It’s the job of a leader. But you can’t maximize resources if you don’t have full engagement. So I’d like to see if we could increase that. And so one simple way of doing that, increasing that engagement is to start with us. Are you going to engage other people if you’re not engaged?”
Tony goes on to say, “And by the way, guess with all the research shows? Twenty-two percent more profitability, almost one for one, every percentage of increased engagement, you almost get to increase the profitability. But I would argue you get that in your personal life as well. The more engaged you are, the more the other person will become engaged. You want to get someone engaged, you get engaged.”
15. Your identity shapes you
“Whatever people have their identity attached to, they live. We live who we believe we are. That’s just how it works. It’s just kind of like I give an example. Look at your physical body. Your physical body today is an absolute reflection of only one thing, not your goals, not your desires, but your standards, the identity you have for yourself.”
16. Jedi Mind Control
“Learning how to control and direct your own mind and emotions and doing it in a way that really gives you what you want versus what your environment may be demanding from you right now.”
17. Jedi Mind Control Tip #1
“Just by changing what we focus on, we change literally what we feel. What you focus on to a great extent determines whether you’re succeeding or whether you’re failing in your business, in your career with your children in intimate relationships as well.”
Personal story from me – You can find the story of when Warren Buffett met Bill Gates for the first time when they were young. At the dinner Gates’ mother, asked everyone at the table to write what they believed was the single most important factor in their success. Gates and Buffett both wrote down the same one-word answer, “Focus.”
You can’t also have 10 different focuses simultaneously. You have to be clear and direct it consciously, most of us don’t do that. What you focus on is what you’ll get. You’ll will find the answers if it’s meaningful enough and it’s your sole purpose. Focus is really the determining factor in the quality of our lives. If you’re just focused on waking up and paying the bills, you will find a way. But it’s a lousy goal with a negative outcome.
18. Life happens for us, not to us
“A person’s sense of identity, our sense of worth is tied directly to our feeling that we control events, not events control us.”
If we feel like events are controlling us, our self-esteem drops, our level of stress increases.
So a lot of us try and get control of it by doing little things or by doing something we’re really good at.
You know, let’s say you spend a lot of time in your work and you don’t spend much time with your kids because at work you feel like you’re in control.
19. Changing company culture (like #12)
“Changing an organization, a company, a country or a world begins with the simple step of changing yourself” – Tony Robbins
20. One common trait among billionaires
“What they have in common is hunger, a hunger that doesn’t go away. Most people are hungry because things are uncomfortable. They don’t like how it is and they go to try to fix it or they lose weight to get in a bikini for a month or whatever it is. But the hunger doesn’t last.”
Tony in this talk says, “The people that are the most successful on the face of the earth.
I think intelligence is one of the most valuable things a human being can have and develop. But how many of you know somebody who is incredibly smart and can’t fight their way out of a paperbag?
Right. So, intelligence is not enough. What’s going to make you maximize your ability is hunger, a hunger that doesn’t go away. So in the area where you achieved your hunger was sustained. You got hungry, you got desires, but you didn’t let it go. How many can relate to this?”
21. Personal growth
“If you want to grow your business, you’ve got to grow. There is no business that’s going to grow dynamically and consistently and give you huge levels of financial and emotional and spiritual rewards without you growing.”
As Jim Rohn would always say, “income does not far exceed personal development.”
22. The chokehold on any business
“If you look at any business and you want to know what the chokehold is on the businesses growth. It’s always the owner, it’s always the leader, because the chokehold is in the form of your psychology and your skills. And I would say to you, 80 percent of success in business is psychology and 20 percent is mechanics.”
“Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in strategies because I know one strategy can save you a decade of pain. One strategy can make you a million dollars. But if you have the strategy, how many have lots of strategies in the past and then not follow through, who’s done this before. That’s why your psychology is the most important part.
Anyone can be a leader in something that they decide to become masterful and you can be the leader of your own life. Everyone should lead their own life. You should be the leader of your family. And so I think everyone can be a leader. But there are different types and different styles of leadership. And I believe that leadership is a skill. It starts with having something that you’re committed to this larger than yourself, a vision that’s bigger than yourself.”
23. Staying the course
“Leadership is the capacity to disappoint your disappointment because you’re going to have to go through failures.”
24. A need for a compelling future
“I believe that every relationship, every part of life, every part of a human being needs a compelling future. If the future is not more compelling than today, today could be tough but if the future is compelling, we can get there. And that’s what every leader does.”
25. Using Story-telling to create that future
“Storytelling at its core is creating a compelling vision. Your vision must be larger than yourself, larger than the moment. Leaders embrace what moves them, transforming these inspirations into clear visions of what they must (rather than “should”) achieve.” – Tony Robbins
26. Consistent Actions (aka habits)
“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions.”
27. Your commitment
“I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life’s greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve.”
28. Investing for the long-run
“Deciding to commit yourself to long-term results rather than short-term fixes is as important as any decision you’ll make in your lifetime.”
29. Understanding it takes times
“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!”
30. Who can be a leader?
“Anyone can be a leader – and you likely already are.”
31. Three questions for your career
First, ask yourself: What do you want to give? What are you here to deliver? Whose lives do you want to touch and through what vehicle?
32. Your ideal client
“Don’t fall in love with your product or service today, because the demand is constantly changing. Instead, fall in love with your client.”
33. Asking the right questions
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Tony Robbins
34. Solving problems, not dwelling on them
Leaders spend 5% of their time on the problem and 95% of their time on the solution. Get over it and crush it!” – Tony Robbins
35. How to find opportunity
“The meeting of preparation with opportunity generates the offspring we call luck.” – Tony Robbins
Having specialized knowledge or developing some unique skills allows you to see things that others often overlook or don’t see. People may see at as luck, but its preparation, hustle, mixed in with opportunity. You can actively develop two out of three.
36. Take massive action
“In life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.” – Tony Robbins
I hope this post has likely made you reflect on what you know you need to do and where to explore.
Take action and go!