Three Sneaky Things Effective Leaders Do

Don’t tell anyone else about this. Keep it to yourself. I am about to let you in on a secret about effective leaders. They are “sneaky.” Before I tell you, please keep in mind the context that these are outstanding leaders who work hard, commit themselves to personal development, and get the job done. They are anything but lazy. But they are “sneaky.” Here is how:

  1. They sometimes strategically go “radio silent.” Radio silence is a military term where all transmissions are ceased in order to protect details of a mission from enemy ears. What does that mean for the leader? He or she sometimes needs a brief reprieve from the continual stream of noise, demands, questions, and decisions. Therefore, without you knowing it, they will disconnect from social media, have all messages sent to voice mail, turn the phone to the off position, and/or do their work at a location other than their primary office. They will do this for a short period and you will not even know it. They create some space to think, plan, or rest, but do not fall behind because their system for conducting work is effective.


  1. They sometimes sneak out to play. Whether they take a morning to fish, catch a weekday ball game, work in their garden, or get in a round of golf, you will not know it. They are sneaky. And their work still gets done. It doesn’t seem fair since everyone else is at work while they are playing. But context becomes important once again. You did not know they worked past 10:00pm three nights last week. They may not have gotten a day off last week. You may not have considered that they were at the office an hour or more before everyone every day last month. Effective leaders do not work only forty hours each week. They work hard until the job is done based on responsibility rather than clocks. But they are not workaholics either because that would cost their families and other valuable relationships. They will only do this occasionally. They don’t abuse it, but they are sneaky and refresh themselves occasionally by getting away for a few hours to play. Don’t begrudge them because they still get the job done.


  1. They are smart and sneakily make themselves look even smarter. Effective leaders are smart, educated, and knowledgeable, but they don’t know everything. They surround themselves with talented team members. They are avid readers (researchers) and lifetime learners. But, everyone has limitations. They may not know everything but they know how to get to the information they need quickly. They do it through staff, through personal study, diligence in seeking information, persistence, and fortitude. They know a lot, but not as much as you think. They have brains, but more importantly have been sneaky about developing skills that make them appear even smarter.


Don’t tell anyone. But, being sneaky can sometimes help you to maximize your leadership!