Today’s article is about an excerpt from the great book Listen Up, Leader! by David Cottrell.

If you pay attention to this one key point it will help you improve your leadership with your team and guide you in taking your business to the next level.

One of the many nuggets of information that David Cottrell tells us in his bestseller “Listen Up, Leader!”, is that all leaders have to understand that some very important perspectives come from their direct reports. Here is one of those very important reminders:

There are a few rules of leadership that you need to know (he is talking from the employees perspective here):

“First, we are watching everything you do. 

Even when you think we’re not paying attention, we are. 

There is never a time when you are not leading. 

You may think that when you choose to ignore an issue, you are not leading. You’re wrong! If you show up late for meetings, you lead us to believe that our time isn’t valuable. 

If you lose your cool and over-react to small issues, we wonder how you will react when something big comes along. It’s a fact. You are always leading. You can never not lead!


David Cottrell is not only an extremely talented author of many superb books on leadership but is also a decent and caring man. I had the distinct opportunity to meet and chat with him a few months ago at a conference. I mentioned that a friend of mine going through cancer treatment could not be at this conference and asked if he would autograph a book for him. Not only did he include a nice short note along with his autograph, do you what  else he did? He personally followed up by sending me some personal information he had written via email for me to forward to my friend. (he did what he said he would, when he said he would) That in itself is a great example of walking the talk. But he even followed up with a second email to see how things were going and if there was anything else I wanted to help out my friend. Wow!

This, after less than a 5 minute meeting. What a gentleman and example of true leadership.