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Which One Single Quality Helped Me To Become A Better Leader

by Danny Donchev, marketing manager of AdaptRM and founder of FortuneLords


Since I manage people, I have always wondered how to become a better leader. I have since read various books on leadership, and the very qualities which I tried developing are highlighted therein. These include:

  • Integrity
  • Transparency
  • Focus
  • Confidence
  • Positive attitude
  • Honesty
  • Inspiration

And so far, I am confident with the qualities that I have planted in my quest to become a better leader. I have since developed a positive attitude which has helped increase my focus time from 15 minutes to slightly over an hour. I also learned to become honest with myself, and in turn, this helped me learn how to become honest with my family, team, and business partners. This was a remarkable improvement as far as my growth was concerned. But I still felt that I hadn’t achieved my goal of becoming a better leader.

Becoming a better leader was and has been my main focus. In one instance; I managed two teams of digital marketer. On top of this, I was also managing freelancers by delegating tasks to them. Still, I was very much aware of all my strengths and weaknesses. And as a leader, I still felt like I hadn’t gained enough control over the people who were under me.

Thankfully, I experienced a major turning point on 11th of March 2015 when the great leader and motivational speaker, Brian Tracy, paid a visit to Sofia, Bulgaria in order to give a full day practical seminar on leadership. However, I still felt like the seminar was boring since I had gone through Brian’s books, and I didn’t feel like I was learning anything new. I was as bored as a Hellen Keller in an art gallery.

When the seminar came to an end, we queued on a line to buy Brian’s books and also to get his autograph. But while queuing here, I was asking myself whether it was really necessary to spend time here queuing for more books when I had several books on leadership topics at home.

But I later came to the realization that the 10 minutes of queuing here were never a waste of time.

So when our turn came, we approached Brian together with my business partner Georgi Todorov. We faced Brian Tracy and Georgi told him: “I am not buying any of your books today because I have got all of them. I just wanted to thank you for helping me to become the person I want to be. Thank you for you being such a great leader. By the way, could you tell me which is the most important quality to become a great leader?”

In that very moment when anticipating for a response, I pricked my ear the same way my dog does whenever I am pouring his favorite meal onto his bowl.

Now the answer came: ‘’ A good leader steps forward, takes responsibility and then gets busy with the task of achieving essential results.’’

This response gave me a new perspective of leadership. I was asking myself whether I was accepting responsibility for my actions. And because I had already learned to be honest, I quickly discovered that I wasn’t accepting responsibility. I often delegate tasks and responsibility to my employees. And while this can have a positive effect on their dedication, it is still not right because I realize that I am essentially transferring my own responsibility to someone else. This often led to failure which prompted me to blame the person which I deemed responsible. Looking back into my past failures, I couldn’t help but feel the shame.

“It’s such a painful thing looking at your troubles and realizing that you yourself caused the trouble and not anyone else.’” – Sophocles

But despite this regret, I was grateful for having learned that owning up to responsibility was my duty. I had simply neglected this in the past, and I blame it on my ignorance.

Weeks later after putting my time in books and articles on responsibility, I realized some dramatic changes in my behaviour.

I learned that blaming external factors such as the government or the people around me was not productive.

Then I also stopped blaming my team and myself too. Now, my main focus was on solving the problem rather than putting blames on anyone. And if I couldn’t solve the problem, I accepted and moved on.

I put aside the phrase of ‘’it’s not fair.’’ Why? Because even if you look around, you will realise that some people are born wealthy while others are born without basic necessity such as water. Is this fair? No! So what can you do about it? Well, you can solve the problem or simply accept it.

Finally, I came to the realization that my relationship with people I was managing, e.g. my employees and business partners were taking a turn for the better. I also realized that my inner conversation with myself was changing since I wasn’t blaming anyone. Instead, I was focusing on taking responsibility over all results. It felt good, the same way one who masters his faith would feel.


danny donchev

Danny Donchev is a marketing manager of AdaptRM, a revolutionary time-tracking tool. Danny writes more posts about productivity and efficiency on the AdaptRM blog. Danny is also the founder of FortuneLords. Hit him up on Twitter anytime.


This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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