How to LeadPeople

Ever wonder how to lead people?

Before answering that very important question, let’s dig in a little.

The question is essentially a behavioral question. “How to lead people” concerns Actions. (See the REAL Leader Framework).  Those who want to know how to lead people are asking for tips about particular behaviors and specific actions–the “doing” part of leadership.

A different way to approach leadership effectiveness has to do with who. Who is capable of being a great leader? Anyone?  This question concerns leader traits, personality factors, experience, mind-set, interpersonal skills, industry knowledge, raw talents, emotional intelligence, and other characteristics or attributes of effective leaders. (These issues concern the Leader factor in the REAL Framework.)

“How do I measure the effectiveness of my leadership?” is another question worth asking. One of the most effective ways to measure a leader’s effectiveness concerns the leader’s impact on “followers.” That is, are they engaged in their work with heart and soul. Do they truly believe in the leader? Do they trust him/her? Do they find him/her credible? (These are the Engagement factors in the REAL Framework.) And of course ultimately, effective leaders get Results. They win the game. (The Results factor.)

So, in answering the question about how to lead people, make sure not to overlook these and other related questions first.

Now…on with it! How do I lead people?!

In a nutshell, this is how you should lead people. Be “A FUEL SOURCE.”

  • Be authentic, genuine, transparent and “real.” (Authentic)
  • Have a powerful vision of the future and opportunities that lie ahead. (Future-minded)
  • Care deeply about others. Be unselfish and giving of yourself…and share rewards. (Unselfish)
  • Show your energy and passion. Be energetic. (Energized)
  • Be clear in what you say. Say what you mean. Chart a clear path. (Lucid)
  • Know your stuff. Be smart. Think. Show emotional intelligence. (Smart)
  • Look on the bright side. See the upside. (Optimistic)
  • Show some forgiveness and be understanding of others’ shortcomings. (Understanding)
  • Bounce back. Fight back. Don’t give up. Endure. (Resilient)
  • Stand for what you believe in. Speak truth to power. Fight the good fight. (Courage)
  • Seize opportunities. Create a business from great ideas. (Entrepreneurial)

Sure…there are other things you can do to lead people. This is not an exhaustive list. Important things are missing, but who wants an exhaustive list? That would be exhausting. I bet you can’t remember all 11 right now anyway. Eleven things is plenty. After you do these eleven really well, we can talk about what’s missing…any icing on the cake.

So now you know how to lead people. Go do it. Go LeadPeople. Be extraordinary.

Oh yeah…I almost forgot. Who’s the guy with no shoes in the picture above? His name is Tony Hsieh. He is the CEO of He’s A FUEL SOURCE for the entire culture of Zappos, and the millions of people who’ve read his book on Happiness. He meets all the criteria I can come up with for extraordinary leadership. Been looking for a real example of extraordinary leadership? Look no further. He’s one of the best. Maybe I should actually write a blog about him sometime…

Here’s a nice video of Tony Hsieh.






About Curt Buermeyer

I am the founder and president of LeadPeople. I hope you enjoyed this post and encourage you to subscribe to receive these in your inbox. Thanks for visiting!

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