The 5 Key Distinctions to Bold Leadership

This post is adapted from a talk I gave at Adam Gilad’s event The Boldness Code in Las Vegas on Superbowl Sunday. Originally it was called The 5 Key Distinctions to Living a Bold Life, but then I had an opportunity to submit the article to Fast Company and I changed it to be more leadership focused. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

The Boldness Code

#1 – Be the Author of Your Experience, not The Victim of Circumstance

One of the key tenets of leadership is taking responsibility for your decisions. Taking that a step further, and into bold leadership territory, requires being the author of your overall experience in life.

Just as a fiction author creates not only the characters in her novel, but also the context and environment for each plot twist, so must the bold leader look beyond roles and responsibilities to include holistic considerations like diet, nutrition, lifestyle and exercise as key components enabling the practice of bold leadership.

For any aspect of your overall life experience that isn’t consciously curated, you risk becoming a victim of circumstance. The way to truly author your own experience is to control as many of the variables as you can proactively, so you spend less time in reactivity.

#2 – Embrace a Push Equilibrium

Bold leaders embrace the idea that their status quo is one of constantly pushing beyond their comfort zone. When your default action is to rehearse your upcoming speech one last time, or to do an extra couple reps at the gym, or to spend an extra 5 minutes really connecting with a client who is struggling – then you have embraced a push equilibrium.

The benefit to embracing a push equilibrium is made clear by Darren Hardy in his book The Compound Effect, where he shares that “Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE

Success is a function of consistent, incremental gains. The same way that you can’t go to the gym once a month for 10 hours, neither can you pull an all-nighter every so often and forego consistent daily progress

Pro Tip: Listen to Al Pacino’s “Game of Inches” speech in Any Given Sunday

#3 – Put a Date on Your Dreams

What get’s scheduled, get’s done. What doesn’t…might. Being bold in business and life is about drawing a line in the sand, and putting a date on the calendar for when you will accomplish your goals.

Otherwise it is just too easy for the the urgent to overtake the important. Even the best intentions can be sidelined when the pace of life introduces new options and opportunities or headaches and hassles. Scheduling your most important, big bold goals first and committing to them with people you trust holding you accountable is the way to keep your dreams top of mind, and top priority.

Pro Tip: Keep a yearlong calendar on your desk and pencil in the events, trips, product launches (and vacations) you’ll take this year. Look at it many times throughout the day to deeply embed these goals in your subconscious

#4 – The Essence of Leadership is Making Decisions

The primary distinction between a leader and someone being lead is that the former makes decisions and the latter executes them. Therefore, the heart of leadership is making choices and determining decisions. With the decision made, a course can be charted and traversed by others – and they may demonstrate leadership in making the many decisions necessary to succeed in doing so.

The absence of leadership is indecision and spinning in the realm of possibilities and potential indefinitely. We only have a finite amount of thought energy to process decisions each day, so one of the key determinants in being a productive leader is the ability to quickly assess the available options, weigh the potential costs and take action.

Pro Tip: Make “What’s next?” your two favorite new words. Each time you make a decision, you lock in gains towards your goals and can say “What’s next?”


#5 – Know How to Give and Receive

How many people do you know who love to give, that honorably want to be of valuable service to so many…and always seem to be struggling financially?

Indeed it is both noble and necessary to provide valuable service to customers and clients in order to have a successful business. But while there are countless training programs, certifications and degrees that prepare us to give, there are precious few on how to receive.

Being clear on your goals and taking responsibility for all that is required to reach them (Distinction #1) is a necessary but not sufficient to achieve them. What is required is to be open to receive and eradicate any hidden shames, insecurities or judgements around succeeding, winning and accumulating assets.

Start to become aware of any stories or looping thought patterns you notice that preclude receiving in abundance. Try to identify the moment in your thoughts where you go towards a negative outcome, and redirect it towards infinite possibility.

To your success,


ps: Leave a comment and let me know which of these resonated most for you!


Jesse Circle author shot copyJesse Krieger

Founder of Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press

Creator of The Author to Entrepreneur Experience

About Jesse Krieger

Jesse Krieger is the founder and publisher for Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press. International best selling author of Lifestyle Entrepreneur and Host of Bestseller Summit Live. Connect on Facebook, Google+, and YouTube


  1. Hi Jesse,

    Another great post! These 5 concepts are something we need to remind ourselves everyday.

    For me, the most resonate one would definitely be #1 – Be the Author of Your Experience, not The Victim of Circumstance. Last year had been a pretty tough year for me, three surgeries and my mom being diagnosed of cancer. The extended amount of time I spent flying back to Taiwan lead to an inevitable earlier notice for my previous position. So, I was caught off-guard by dropping the “safe income” when I don’t have a sustainable side business up and running yet.

    But as you said, don’t be the victim of circumstance. I’ve been procrastinating for years on launching a side business for myself. Now that my schedule suddenly opened up, I decided that it’s now or never. I end up completing in one month more than I did in the past three years.

    By the way, I would like to add one more key to the list. #6 – Find your path, work like there is no tomorrow, and stick till you make it. Sometimes, we just have to remind ourselves to push on even when we are nervous and full of doubt.

    Thanks for sharing! Heading off to tweet it.

    • Thank you Wuyen!

      I’m sorry to hear about your mother, and also encouraged to hear your resolve to seize this opportunity to write a new story for your future. Of course, there is so much to say on being the author of your own experience, it could be a short book. But once we take full responsibility for creating the life we want, and begin taking action, it’s incredible how opportunities begin to appear.

      To your success,


  2. I really can’t pick just one point of leadership resonated with me, but I can name two.

    !) Be the author of your experience, not the circumstance. I like this one because it speaks of creating your own reality, picking up the pen that someone may have taken from you, and writing your own life story as if it were a major motion picture. Leaders take responsibility for their lives and push themselves to experience the reality they want to, regardless if someone else may not like it or think it’s the right decision to make. That resonates with me because there have been times in my life where I wanted to do something, but I felt like if I went ahead and did it, someone else would frown upon me or judge me for attempting to do that thing. Essentially, I let someone else write the story. This one is huge in leadership.

    2) Put a date on your dreams. I love this point and it really resonates well with me. I’s easy to say you’ll do something, but more of a challenge to do it by a specific date and time when other people know about it because that creates accountability and doesn’t attend to laziness. I find when I put a specific date to something, and it needs to happen by that time, or when I keep a schedule of events with set times, I attend those events on time and complete those projects on time, every time because there’s a specified date attached to them, hence prompting you to actually do the thing that needs to be done. When someone puts a time and day on something they want to complete, and they actually complete it, their personal growth, their reliability, their growth; skyrockets and propels them forward to attain success. This is a key aspect of leadership.

    Another point I’d like to add is that another key quality of a leader is empathy. One’s ability to understand what their team wants and the ability to give it to them and lead them to the mutually desired goal is huge because without being able to understand others, it’s difficult to lead them to the destination. It’s like taking a vacation without knowing where you’re going or how you’ll get there. An empathetic leader is an effective, charismatic and desired leader.

  3. Love the way you repurpose common ideas into easy and actionable images, Jesse.

    Intention into action; energy follows thought; from healing your body to empowering your life;
    grasp your creative life force to build the future from the present.

    You speak from experience; thanks for sharing the journey.

    Thanks, Jesse

  4. Hi, Jesse

    Key #1 resonated immediately! I felt like it was specifically written with me in mind.
    “Just as a fiction author creates not only the characters in her novel, but also the context and environment for each plot twist, so must the bold leader look beyond roles and responsibilities to include holistic considerations like diet, nutrition, lifestyle and exercise as key components enabling the practice of bold leadership.”
    I read each key distinction a couple times and found precise, simple, usable advice and direction.
    All 5 Key Distinctions fit together well, designed to build momentum and remove roadblocks that would probably not allow for a lasting success if not dealt with and removed from the playing field.
    I love how with such a small investment, (time it took to read the keys twice!) I have personally gained solid information to help me get where I want to go, and stay there! Really want to thank you for sharing.
    Thank’s Jesse!

    -Ruth Young

  5. Love it Jesse. I could not agree more with numbers 4 and 5. Decision making is tough but you are at the helm of a company and need to make the necessary decisions to hopefully put your company in a better position. Additionally, with number 5 learning how to give and receive. This lends itself to transparency and communication for myself. Learning to be the best leader and mentor I can be!

  6. HI Jesse,

    I really enjoyed your commentary on setting dates for your dreams. I recently did this by starting my own blog entitled Jeff’s Ideas and Inventions. I did this because over the years I’ve dreamed up so many unique ideas and inventions, but hadn’t put them on paper. I think my friends and family are worn out from hearing about all of my ideas, so I finally set a date of March 13th and started my daily blog of all new and past ideas I came up with. I’m glad to know I’m finally headed in the right direction. Thanks for the reassurance.

  7. Wow! Really interesting post, I’m actually glad you covered leadership skills as it’s very important in business nowadays. Leaders are important in today’s society, because sadly people can’t think for themselves.

  8. You are absolutely right I have to push forward and out a date on my dream thks got the information this is a great help .

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