Igor’s 5 Leadership Rules

They say knowledge is power. It’s not. The highest-paid authorities aren’t the most knowledgeable people. They are the most charismatic ones. They know how to lead. Here are the 5 things you need to know to be a better leader.


Igor Kheifets: I'm Igor Kheifets and this is the List Building Lifestyle, a podcast
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Welcome back to another edition of the List Building Lifestyle, with your host, Igor Kheifets. When I was growing up, I wasn't really a popular kid in school. I was kind of fat. I was really insecure. I always experienced a lot of grief over the fact that people didn't listen to me. I was never what you'd now call a leader.

It seemed like other kids who weren't as smart as I was, weren't as diligent as I was, weren't as good people as I was, because I consider myself to be a really great person and a great friend, for some reason, they were the ones getting all the attention, all the praise of their peers. It seemed like when they wanted to do something, everybody wanted to do it with them.

When I suggested to do something, nobody wanted to do it with me. Nobody would listen. My opinion would just not matter.

That reminds me a lot of how I felt in the first three-and-a-half years of doing all my marketing. No matter what I said, no matter the videos I published, no matter the emails I wrote, no matter the articles I published, no matter the things I said on the forums, no matter what I post on my Facebook wall, people just didn't care. My opinion just didn't matter. Of course, it showed in my income.

Then over time, I slowly but surely started picking up on some skills and some principles that allowed me to become a better communicator, a better leader, and as a result, people started listening to my opinion.

Now, I'm very fortunate to not only have a large customer base and a large readership base that does listen to my opinion, which again, I'm very, very grateful for, but I also have a large team of people in my personal life that are now a part of my network, a part of my inner circle. Basically, people who chose me as their leader or who chose me as their life companion as a result of the ideas and the opinions that I share with them, and the way that I share those ideas and opinions with them.

Of course, I want to think that it also has something to do with my actions.

But the point I'm trying to make here is that leadership matters. Leadership matters a lot. Even though it's an intangible concept that we can't really put in a box, leadership is very real and we need leaders. In fact, it's one of the most common things that I see that people automatically cling to things and other people that they see as the worth leaders that they need.

I don't need to tell you that. You probably have learned that to be true. In fact, if you're listening to this podcast, in a way, you're acknowledging me as your leader.

One thing that I wanted to share with you today is how leadership as a skill is really important when you want to become a successful online marketer, because most of the time, most of the time you will be selling yourself to people. You'll be selling your own ideas, you'll be selling basically very intangible things, and that will be the only thing that sets you apart from other people in the industry selling the same or similar things.

That is why I'm sharing with you this episode the five Igor rules of leadership. The first one being, there's no bad teams, just bad leaders. A great example of that, I don't know if you're a soccer fan or not, but I'm a huge Manchester United fan.

Even if you're not a soccer fan, you've probably heard of Manchester United. They're one of the greatest teams in European football, and again we're talking about football as in kicking the ball with your foot, and not the kind of football where you carry the ball around in your hands.

Manchester United is one of the greatest teams in the history of football. I sincerely believe that. I know Dennis will argue with me. I know there's probably a bunch of you out there who are fans of different teams, et cetera, but that's my belief here, and I'm going to stick to it. That's the beauty of having a podcast. It's a one-side dialog.

When we look at Manchester United history, for the longest time, they had only one coach, but the last 30 years or so, they've had Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm of the team. He was the general manager, and he won probably more titles than I can probably list in a single episode.

He broke the record for the most premiership wins, for the most premiership titles in history. He surpassed Liverpool, who had 18 or 17 of them. He had 19, he did season two time winner of the UEFA Champions League. The dude has achieved so much. Most of the time, his teams weren't the most talented teams in the world, although they had quite a roster if you think about it.

Here's what we noticed this principle at play, no bad teams, just bad leaders. In 2012-2013 season, Alex Ferguson announces he's retiring and he walks away with a league title. Then he passes the team into the hands of a different manager.

All of a sudden, for the next two or three years, I mean, Manchester United just sucks. I mean, they're just really, really bad. They have an incredible roster, they have some of the best scores in the world. They've got the best, definitely the best goalie in the world, and the infrastructure, the money, everything. The history, the pedigree, the mindset.

All of a sudden, the team starts losing to everyone and finishes somewhere in the middle of the table. Now, this is unusual for a team that's always in the top two or the top three teams in the league.

Then they switched the manager. They bring in a Dutch manager who has a rich history of wins. He used to manage Barcelona in some of their great days. He brought up some of the most famous players in the world. He's doing his best, he brings the team back into the top five, and I think he wins the cup, but still, the team kind of sucks. You can tell it's not the same team.

Then they bring another manager. This time, this guy, he has won a bunch of trophies with other teams, he has his own little style going on. He brings a team to the top two, but still, the team fails, and the next season, completely drops the ball. They fire him in the middle of the season.

Now, they bring in a substitute manager, an ex-Man United player, and this guy, he just does wonders. All of the sudden, the team goes on an 11 team winning streak. I think the first time they lost was after 13 games or so. They advance in Champions League over one of the most potent competitors in the league that year. All of a sudden, the team is transformed. The mindset is back. The energy is back. He has a team, he's using half the players from the youth team because a lot of players are injured, and still he gets to win. That's a huge, huge proof as far as I'm concerned to this principle of no bad teams, just bad leaders. I mean, honestly. You put the wrong person at the helm of an enterprise or a group, you see that enterprise or group go down. We've seen that many, many times before, both in sports, both in business. Pretty much in every area of our lives.

Whenever your enterprise or team or business isn't performing, this is the time for you as the leader of that business to reflect on yourself, and ask yourself, why am I being a bad leader? That's rule number one.

The second principle of leadership is you don't get what you want, you get what you tolerate. What that means is, a lot of times, what happens is, we bring people on board, right? We start either, either it's a friendship or maybe they're coming in as a team member or maybe just a business partner that you've decided to partner up with. Maybe it's somebody you play professional sports with, it doesn't matter. When you lead that team and you clearly outline your goals for that team or give instructions, you'll notice that most of the time, people don't follow those instructions exactly as you outlined them. It took me many, many years to learn this principle, especially training my own sales staff. You always get not what you want, but what you tolerate. That has been the principle. I noticed the more tolerant I became of bad behavior as I call it, and for each and every one of us, bad behavior can be something else, but the more tolerant I was of bad behavior, the more of it I got.

It was only when I started cutting it off completely, even to the tune of letting go of a team member immediately, immediately as soon as they for example make the same mistake twice or something like that, or maybe they do something that's on my big no-no list, or maybe they lied to me once and I caught them. The moment I did not tolerate it from one person, the rest got the message and never violated the behavioral code.

This is something we can observe in Sun Tzu's Art of War, where he gives an example of a new emperor or a new warlord who steps in and orders his people to do something, and then one of them refuses, so he just comes up to one of them and just chops off his head. All of a sudden, the rest are super obedient.

Yo, it's Igor. If you're loving the content hop on over to listbuildinglifestyleshow.com for more free training and a free transcript of this episode. Oh, and I'd really appreciate if you logged into iTunes and rated the show. It really helps. Thanks.

You only get what you tolerate, not what you want. This is a principle to remember. No matter how big your business is right now, if you rely on other people in your business, you will see that principle at play.

Now, the third principle of leadership is start with why. Starting with why, the reason it's so important is because people think that what a good leader does is he or she commands an action, and the rest follow blindly, like ants or something, as if they're under a spell. But that's not true.

The only way you can motivate people to do what you want is by showing exactly how doing that achieves some sort of an outcome everybody wants. Specifically, you can expect people to do a better job only if they understand exactly why that particular action is important to you or your team or your enterprise. If you just tell people to do things just for the sake of doing them, it's just not as effective.

I guess it's not one of those principles that I can clearly explain in a scientific way. I just know that every time that I make a request for an action of my team and I clearly explain why that is very important, first off, I get less lash back, and second, I get better outcomes. I get better effort.

You'll notice that with your team as well. Explaining the reason why behind your request, behind your command, behind your wish has always served me really well, and I think that's a great principle to follow if you'd like to become a great leader.

Now, another thing that I see great leaders do and something I've started doing more often over the years is to show appreciation, monetary appreciation when possible. What that means is that, people love being appreciated. Most people work really hard, and they don't feel appreciated. They don't feel like whoever they're working with or whoever they're working for actually knows what they're doing and appreciates what they're doing. When you can, especially unexpectedly, show appreciation and make that appreciation count, it could just be as simple as a thank-you note, or it could be as big as maybe paying for a trip somewhere, something like that, or it could just be a small monetary bonus to their paycheck. It could be many different things. Showing that appreciation will typically encourage that person on your team to perform better.

You may think, okay, Igor, but that's being manipulative. You know what? You may be right. It may be manipulation. But it's also the right thing to do. I think there's few instances in life where manipulation is a good thing, but I think this is one of those things. Show an appreciation to your loved ones, to your friends, to your team members, to the people you work with, to sub-contractors that you work with, to professionals that you rely on.

For example, if I have an agency running my YouTube ads for me, showing unexpected appreciation for those people, it will only do better. It will only do good for you rather than bad. It will only create a stronger relationship. It can't hurt. Like, it's just impossible.

Even if the person that gets that appreciation understands on some level that this is kind of manipulating the whole thing, still, everybody loves being appreciated. If you can do it sincerely, do it. If you can't do it sincerely, if it feels like manipulation, then do it that way.

But not doing it is the worst thing. Doing it in any form is way better than not doing it. That's the fourth principle of leadership.

The final principle of leadership took me a long time to get. I think this is the one where I dropped the ball the most. I think this principle is where I really messed up a bunch of relationships in my life. I think this principle cost me some friendships too.

The principle is critique the mistake, praise the mistake maker. What does that mean? Basically, if one of your team members makes the mistake, you definitely want to critique the mistake in a form of, okay, here's the mistake, here's why it happened, here's why it's really, really bad, and here's how to make sure it doesn't happen again. That's how you critique a mistake.

Critiquing a mistake is very factual. There's no negativity, emotion or toxicity in it, right? There's no toxic poison in the fact of critiquing the mistake.

Criticizing the mistake maker is where the toxic stuff is. It's where the relationships get ruined. It's where peoples' self esteem gets ruined. What you want to do is you want to critique the mistake. You definitely want to explain why it's bad and how to make sure it doesn't happen again and what were the damages incurred. But, you want to praise the mistake maker.

If you don't follow this principle and you critique the mistake maker, and the mistake maker takes everything you say personally, what you may end up creating, worst case scenario, is somebody who's so demotivated to work with you that they end up making more mistakes and more mistakes and more mistakes until you have to let them go.

The best case scenario that comes out of it, you breed a very fearful and insecure team member that is operating out of a place of fear, rather than out of a place of helping your enterprise to evolve and grow. Somebody who's afraid to make mistakes, and therefore takes really poor action as a result of that, rather than taking great action, suggesting better ideas, improving things around them.

I think I've made that mistake very, very often early on in my life. I do think it's because of my upbringing, because that's the only way I knew how to communicate at the time. I think that's one of the reasons why I lost the relationship with one of my best friends, Max, who used to work for me a while, and the friendship couldn't survive that. I think that's why I lost the relationship with one of my family members who I don't talk to anymore who also used to work for me.

I think that it's also why one of my employees ended up becoming very fearful of me, and as a result, ends up just making mistakes out of sheer fear, and operates out of that place of fear. I'm not going to mention their name, but they probably know I'm talking about them.

I really regret that. I've got to say. I really regret that after all these years looking back. I do regret not understanding this principle early on, because what I've done is I drove away lots of great people.

Now, to the same extent, I have to acknowledge who stuck around, people who knew me before I matured a little bit and got a little bit of perspective. Because I was really bad. I was criticizing people all the time. I mean, I criticized myself too, don't get me wrong, but I criticized people a lot.

Some stuck. Some people stuck. I guess they saw something in me that I didn't see myself, and they were able to see through all that criticism. But man, I really wish I understood that I need to critique the mistake and praise the mistake maker, and not really beat up the people who made some mistakes just because they were learning.

These are the five principles of leadership that I recommend you follow if you want to build a better team, if you want to both in terms of marketing, right, if you're building a team, if you're building a tribe or building a list or building any sort of community, like if you're on a mastermind for example, as well as building a team for your business, or building a team for your sports, like if you're coaching little league of something like that.

The five principles are: no bad teams, just bad leaders. You don't get what you want, you get what you tolerate. You always want to start with why. You want to show appreciation. You want to critique the mistake, and praise the mistake maker.

These are five rules of Igor productivity, or Igor's five rules of productivity. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode. Until next time we chat, have a good one.

Thank you for tuning in to the the List Building Lifestyle. Get access to previous
episodes, the transcript of today's show, and exclusive content at our website at
listbuildinglifestyleshow.com. Also, don't forget to claim your free seat at the
traffic workshop I'm conducting this week where I'm showing how I built a list of
four-million-three-hundred-thirty-one-thousand-six-hundred-and-fifty-six email
subscribers without losing money. And how my clients are pulling anywhere from 50
to 500 new leads per day on their list at a profit without any list-building
experience. Just go to Igor.cx to claim your free seat now.

Who Is Igor Kheifets

Igor Kheifets is the 3rd highest-earning super-affiliate in the internet marketing niche.

Igor’s 2-step system has helped him consistently rank as the highest-earning and the highest-converting (measured in commissions earned per click) for industry’s leading vendors including but not limited to Matt Bacak, John Crestani and Anthony Morrison.

Igor boiled down success in affiliate marketing to a set of predictable easy steps anyone can take to generate commissions.


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