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10 Leadership Lessons We Can All Learn From You-Know-Who (Lord Voldemort)

10 Leadership Lessons We Can All Learn From You-Know-Who (Lord Voldemort)

Okay, this might be a little controversial, so point your wand away from my heart and just listen for a second.

There’s a little bit of credit we’ve gotta give You-Know-Who.

Despite his deep passion for radical eugenics and world domination, Voldemort was an excellent leader. He banded many witches and wizards together to follow a pretty disgusting cause that would serve nobody but himself. And that’s pretty impressive.

Hear me out, my magical friends.

***Disclaimer: This article is in no way promoting hateful acts towards Muggles, Dark Magic (including, but not limited to, the use of any of the Unforgivable Curses), or general acts of terrorism on the wizarding world.***

1. He never gave up.

You-Know-Who was probably the most persistent dude ever. He didn’t let a little roadblock (like almost dying and then losing his physical body, rendering him a mere spirit-esque thing forced to live underneath a neurotic professor’s turban) get in his way of trying to dominate the world.

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2. He always had a back-up plan.

Somebody tried to kill him? No worries, he’s got a Horcrux. Somebody destroyed that Horcrux? No worries, he’s got five more (plus another accidental one – sucks for you, Harry!).

Voldy expected that there would be obstacles – and that’s why he always had a back-up plan. Don’t split your soul into seven pieces or anything, but definitely consider what could be the metaphorical Harry Potter in your plan and start creating those metaphorical Horcruxes.

3. He utilized a team.

He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named knew very well that he needed a team. After all, one Dark Lord can’t abolish all Muggle-borns on his own, you know?

If you have a big dream, you’re going to need a dream team. Get yourself some Death Eaters of your own – that is, some like-minded people who are as passionate about your dream as you are. Except maybe treat them a little better than he does. Give them some encouragement and don’t threaten to kill their families or anything.

Though in Voldemort’s defense, he did enjoy giving the occasional awkward hug to show his affections.

awkard hug
    *cringe*
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    4. He delegated.

    Some people develop a team, but then insist on doing everything themselves. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named knew that in order to maintain his fearful status, he needs to delegate tasks to other members of the team. After all, that’s what a team is for.

    However, having a few tasks in particular that you keep close to your heart is totally normal.

    kill harry potter

      5. He was an excellent planner.

      Voldemort was an impressive planner. That whole Triwizard Tournament thing? Wowza. (Miss you, Cedric. Always.)

      After all, if Voldemort just waltzed into Hogwarts (never mind the fact that he technically couldn’t have, not having a body and all), he would not have become the grand death-defying dude he did.

      In order to be a good leader, you need to meet with your team and strategize. Come up with a good plan, months, even years ahead, and make it known that you are fierce and have got all your wits about you.

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      6. He dreamed big.

      Whenever you’re trying to lead your team to victory, and you start to feel like your end goal is impossible, just remember that you’re not aiming to rid the human race of all Muggle blood while ruling the world under your fierce, unwavering tyranny. Your goal will start to feel a whole lot more attainable.

      7. He had conviction…and a lot of it.

      “It is the quality of one’s convictions that determines success, not the number of followers.”

      We all know that Remus Lupin was the one to say that (and he was directly talking about You-Know-Who himself), but let’s be real here: if Voldemort wasn’t full of conviction, I don’t know who is. Even Dumbledore had a lot of self-doubt hidden under that beautiful white beard of his. Voldemort, on the other hand, believed every word he said – and his conviction certainly convinced quite a few folks.

      As a leader, you have to believe in what you say. You have to truly know you’re capable, with all of your dark, decrepit heart.

      8. He presented himself well.

      Voldemort was a pretty great public speaker. He possessed quite a bit of charisma, which he was well known for as a youth at Hogwarts. It was that charisma that helped him to gather such a loyal following of evil, terrible, mostly-Slytherin minions.

      Conviction goes hand in hand with good presentation. To be a good leader, you’ve got to look and act the part. And when I say “look,” I don’t at all mean you need to adhere to any ridiculous body standards. After all, if you have a nose, you already one-upped The Dark Lord. Congratulations.

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      laugh

        9. He had his own style.

        Voldemort had his own personal brand that never wavered. It generally had to do with dark colors and skulls and snakes; not exactly my thing, but hey, it worked for him (well, up to a point), and it kept his team unified. I don’t think the Death Eaters would have continued to support him so strongly if he suddenly exchanged their hooded cloaks with fedoras and plaid flannel shirts.

        Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Find out your own leadership style, and own it.

        10. He was creative.

        Tom Marvolo Riddle. I Am Lord Voldemort. Creativity at its creepiest.

        Let’s also not forget the interesting ways he managed to survive multiple times, i.e. unicorn blood and turbans.

        To be a successful leader, you have to think outside the cupboard under the stairs. Obstacles will come, and it may not seem like there is a way around them, but there will be a solution, sure as Dumbledore’s love for socks.

        socks

          Featured photo credit: luciana_ufrj via flickr.com

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          Last Updated on March 21, 2019

          11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

          11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

          Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

          You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

          But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

          To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

          It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

          “What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

          The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

          In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

          Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

          1. Start Small

          The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

          Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

          Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

          Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

          Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

          Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

          It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

          Do less today to do more in a year.

          2. Stay Small

          There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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          But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

          If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

          When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

          I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

          Why?

          Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

          The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

          Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

          3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

          No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

          There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

          What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

          Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

          This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

          This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

          4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

          When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

          There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

          Peter Drucker said,

          “What you track is what you do.”

          So track it to do it — it really helps.

          But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

          5. Measure Once, Do Twice

          Peter Drucker also said,

          “What you measure is what you improve.”

          So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

          For reading, it’s 20 pages.
          For writing, it’s 500 words.
          For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
          For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

          Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

          6. All Days Make a Difference

          Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

          Will two? They won’t.

          Will three? They won’t.

          Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

          What happened? Which one made you fit?

          The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

          No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

          7. They Are Never Fully Automated

          Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

          But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

          What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

          It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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          The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

          It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

          It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

          8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

          Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

          Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

          When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

          The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

          Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

          9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

          The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

          Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

          You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

          But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

          So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

          If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

          This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

          The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

          Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

          10. Punish Yourself

          Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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          I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

          It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

          You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

          No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

          The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

          But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

          11. Reward Yourself

          When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

          Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

          The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

          After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

          If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

          Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

          If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

          In the End, It Matters

          What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

          When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

          And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

          “Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

          Keep going.

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          More Resources to Help You Build Habits

          Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
          [2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
          [3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
          [4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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