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  • Kelly Willis, MSN, MBA-HM

Becoming a Great Leader Living The Four Agreements


A great leader is looked up to, followed, respected and admired. A great leader builds his/her teams up and helps produce other leaders. A great leader listens closely to his team without preconceived thoughts, with patience and with compassion. To become a great leader, one must first look inside himself/herself deeply to find out who they are inside, and who they wish to become.


The Four Agreements, written by Don Miguel Ruiz, is a life-changing book for most who read it. The Four Agreements continues an oral tradition of an ancient society from Central Mexico called the Toltec, of which the author reports to be descendant of. The four agreements are Be impeccable with your word, never take anything personally, never make assumptions, and always do your best.


How can you use these four agreements to become a great leader? These four agreements are about looking within first. To be impeccable with your word means to be conscious of every word you use, to yourself and others. The word has the power to do good, or to do bad. As a great leader, always and without fail, be impeccable with your word. Use it to provide praise and use it compassionately when a teammate needs coaching.


Never taking anything personal is a hard one for most. We take things personal when we don’t quite know who we are, and we agree with the reflection from others that are being mean to us. As a great leader, one must not take anything personal. You will have staff yell at you, perhaps call you a bad leader, or any other derogatory statement during your leadership career. Remember, what others say is a direct reflection of what is going on with them, it has nothing to do with you.


We all tend to make assumptions at times. This agreement we make with ourselves solves a lot of problems for us internally. Never make assumptions about what someone else is thinking, more than likely you are wrong, and you are torturing yourself needlessly. Being a great leader means not assuming the worse when an issue is brought up with a teammate. Setting this aside and listening closely to both sides without making assumptions allows for a better picture of the issue to form.


Doing our best means that we do everything to the best of our abilities at a given time. Our best is different when we are sick as opposed to feeling well. We do our best as leaders but no more or no less than our best. If we do more than our best, we are taking precious time away from family and friends, and if we do less than our best, we will potentially see poorer outcomes. A great leader strives to do their best at a given time, and thus leads by example.

In conclusion, as great leaders, it is vital that we examine ourselves first. We want to reflect a positive role-model being to the ones we lead. Making these four agreements a part of our lives first will translate into a wonderful leadership experience for you and the people you lead.

Check out The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz on Amazon with the link below. This is a must have book. If you travel a lot, The Four Agreements is also on Audible and is only 3-4 hours long. I highly recommend this book, and I have listened to it 4-5 times now.



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