Work and Lead Smarter!

The February 2013 issue of Inc. Magazine reminds all leaders, including healthcare leaders, of important leadership principles.  In a brief article titled The Overachiever’s Playbook, columnist Jeff Haden reminds leaders that, “The most successful people in business approach work differently.  They don’t just work harder; they work smarter.”


  1. They don’t create backup plans.  Backup plans can help you sleep easier at night, but they can also create an easy way out when times get tough.

  2. They start at the end.  Decide where you want to end up, and make that your goal.  Then you can work backward and lay out every step along the way.  The key is to never start small when laying out your goals.

  3. They avoid the crowds.  Conventional wisdom yields conventional results.  Joining the crowd – no matter how trendy the crowd or hot the opportunity – is a recipe for mediocrity.”


Many experienced leaders, and sometime even highly successful leaders spend inappropriate time and energy creating backup plans or starting at the beginning, middle or somewhere other than the end.  From time to time, many leaders consciously or subconsciously succumb to the great temptation to “join the crowd.”


Spend a few precious minutes honestly evaluating your leadership style, and most importantly, your actions.  Ask yourself – and your colleagues – for the honest truth about your habits:


  1. Do you refrain from creating backup plans in order to not give yourself “an easy way out?”
  2. Do you start at the end and work backward to lay out the steps to your goals?
  3. Do you avoid joining the crowd no matter how tempting that path looks?


Never forget: “The most successful people approach work differently.  They don’t just work harder, they work smarter!”


How about you?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I am a leader, speaker, and author who is passionate about Leadership Excellence and Achieiving Greater Success. I am the author of the books Be An Inspirational Leader(2016) and Presidential Leadership (2013), and deliver keynote presentations on those topics and several others.

Featured posts


“Dan Nielsen is a gifted facilitator and inspiring presenter. He truly has a passion for leadership and for getting to the heart of the matter. He knows what it takes to motivate both individuals and groups and genuinely leads by the example he sets.”

Sharla K JonesVP, HR Learning & Development Manager, PlainsCapital Bank


“Dan is the ultimate professional. He has exceptional relationship development and group facilitation skills. He is a keen observer and is able to offer accurate insights into business relationships.”

- Brenda Moon, Vice President Client Executive, MedAssets


“Dan is a forward thinking leader who is optimistic, collaborative and open to change. He is trusted and respected by colleagues. His speaking style is enthusiastic, confident and engaging. You know that a successful outcome will be delivered when Dan is leading the way.”

- Rick Provencher, Director Member Solutions, Amerinet


“Dan is a great communicator and inspirational speaker. His message is positive and always very motivating. I recommend Dan to help any organization optimize their employees' potential.”

- John Penhollow, Director of Corporate Accounts, Medical Action Industriesi


“Dan is a gifted leader who has the extraordinary ability to develop a strategic vision and mobilize an organization to achieve it. He operates with great integrity and character. Dan completely understands business dynamics and utilizes that understanding to optimize exceptional leadership.”

- Stacy Shillan, IV Infusion & Respiratory Services, Walgreens


“Dan has a passion for leadership and for providing the tools for others to become effective, insightful leaders.”

- Linda DeWolf, Founder, Travel Well


More Testimonials>>