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The late motivational speaker and Tony Robbins mentor, Jim Rohn once called leadership, “the great challenge of life.”

If you’re a bookkeeping business owner, you know why.

It’s tough managing people.

But, there are personal traits you can learn to make you a great leader.

Here are Rohn’s top seven:

1. Learn To Be Strong But Not Rude

It is an extra step you must take to become a powerful, capable leader with a wide range of reach. Some people mistake rudeness for strength. It’s not even a good substitute.

2. Learn To Be Kind But Not Weak

We must not mistake kindness for weakness. Kindness isn’t weak. Kindness is a certain type of strength.

We must be kind enough to tell somebody the truth. We must be kind enough and considerate enough to lay it on the line.

We must be kind enough to tell it like it is and not deal in delusion.

3. Learn To Be Bold But Not A Bully

It takes boldness to win the day.

To build your influence, you’ve got to walk in front of your group. You’ve got to be willing to take the first arrow, tackle the first problem, discover the first sign of trouble.

4. You’ve Got To Learn To Be Humble But Not Timid

You can’t get to the high life by being timid.

Some people mistake timidity for humility.

Humility is almost a God-like word. A sense of awe. A sense of wonder. An awareness of the human soul and spirit.

An understanding that there is something unique about the human drama versus the rest of life. Humility is a grasp of the distance between us and the stars, yet having the feeling that we’re part of the stars. So humility is a virtue, but timidity is a disease.

Timidity is an affliction. It can be cured, but it is a problem.

5. Be Proud But Not Arrogant

It takes pride to win the day. It takes pride to build your ambition. It takes pride in community. It takes pride in a cause, in accomplishment. But the key to becoming a good leader is being proud without being arrogant.

In fact, I believe the worst kind of arrogance is arrogance from ignorance.

It’s when you don’t know that you don’t know. Now that kind of arrogance is intolerable. If someone is smart and arrogant, we can tolerate that. But if someone is ignorant and arrogant, that's just too much to take.

6. Develop Humour Without Folly

That’s important for a leader. In leadership, we learn that it’s okay to be witty, but not silly. It’s okay to be fun, but not foolish.

7. Lastly, Deal In Realities

Deal in truth. Save yourself the agony.

Just accept life like it is.

Life is unique.

Some people call it tragic, but I’d like to think it’s unique.

The whole drama of life is unique. It’s fascinating. And I’ve found that the skills that work well for one leader may not work at all for another. But the fundamental skills of leadership can be adapted to work well for just about everyone: at work, in the community, and at home.

So, which of these traits will you develop right now?

Make the choice to start today and your staff will thank you for it.

To your success,


Michael Palmer

Article by Michael Palmer

Michael is the CEO of Pure Bookkeeping, the host of The Successful Bookkeeper podcast and an acclaimed business coach who has helped hundreds of bookkeepers across the world push through their fears and exponentially grow their businesses and achieve the quality of life they've always wanted.