My Philosophy

When I read a book, I always appreciate knowing the author’s perspective and philosophy. Once I learn an author’s underlying beliefs, I am in a better position to learn from him or her. I’ve actually already shared part of that philosophy, but here is some more context.

Our Potential Is Vast

Think about the last time you were in a room of people where a baby was present. Where was most of the focus in the room? On the baby, of course! We all are drawn to babies, like metal to a magnet. We all sense that there is something magical about their presence. However, on a purely logical level, this doesn’t make much sense.

Babies cry. Babies smell (really bad) sometimes. Babies are high maintenance.

And they aren’t attractive by the standards we use to determine physical attractiveness in adults. Yet we are still drawn to them. We want to look at them (or their pictures in their absence).We want to hold them, smile at them, and talk to them in strange voices. Why is this true? Because deep down we know that every baby we hold, every baby we look at, every baby we hear has the chance to be anyone and anything. That baby could be a president of the United States, a Nobel Prize–winning scientist, a best-selling author, a preacher, a teacher, a star athlete—anyone.

We know that a baby’s potential is limitless.

Because you were once a baby too, that same limitless potential that we know resides in babies still resides in us. Our potential is vast: we are capable of far more than we can ever imagine. This potential exists in all parts of our life, including our potential to be a truly remarkable leader.

We Can Choose

One of the most valuable abilities we all have—something that distinguishes humans from other animals—is the ability to choose. We make choices all day, every day. Many are subconscious and taken for granted, but we can choose how to respond to a situation, what to say, and how to view something. We also have the power to make a choice to learn and grow, or to stay and stagnate.

This book is about helping you use your power of choice wisely to help you become a remarkable leader.

Opportunities Abound

Chances are you are reading this book because you want to become a more effective leader in one part of your life: at work, in your church, in a volunteer organization, or in some other role. Having a focus is a perfect way to approach this book, but you shouldn’t limit your view.

The skills of a leader are transferable across all the roles you play in all parts of your life. So while you may read this book through the lenses of your leadership role at work, recognize that you can practice and use those skills in your community, in your church, with your neighbors, and even at home.

We Shouldn’t Settle

If you believe, even if only intellectually at this point, that your potential is huge, then it should be easy to see why you shouldn’t settle for less than your best. You didn’t decide to read this book because you thought you could be a slightly-better-than-mediocre leader. You didn’t decide to learn more about leadership skills so you could get by.

Deep down you know you can be remarkable. You shouldn’t settle for anything less than your best self, reaching ever closer to your potential—whether as a leader or in any other part of your life.

This isn’t the time or the place for compromise. Now is the time to take action to become what you are capable of being. This book is about helping you move up your ladder of success, increasing your confidence and competence as a leader—to become remarkable.

What Are the Skills?

Before you read any further, get a mental picture of a person you consider a remarkable leader: a person who personifies leadership to you. This person can be living or dead, someone you know well or have worked with or someone you have only read about or observed from afar. Once you have that person in your mind, write his or her name below.

My remarkable role model leader:

Now write down five skills, attributes, behaviors, or habits that make this person a model of leadership for you:


We all have a picture in our mind’s eye of what a great leader looks like or of how a great leader behaves. You’ve just now identified part of your personal picture.

Organizations build these pictures too. They are reinforced through culture and often codified by a list of leadership competencies or leadership behaviors used to describe the traits they value and use to evaluate potential leaders within the organization. Each organization has a different list of competencies. The lists I’ve seen range from five to twenty-three competencies. In the end, although those skills may be stated somewhat differently, there are some core skills or competencies that usually are included. This book focuses on thirteen of those core competencies:

Remarkable leaders learn continually.
Remarkable leaders champion change.
Remarkable leaders communicate powerfully.
Remarkable leaders build relationships.
Remarkable leaders develop others.
Remarkable leaders focus on customers.
Remarkable leaders influence with impact.
Remarkable leaders think and act innovatively.
Remarkable leaders value collaboration and teamwork.
Remarkable leaders solve problems and make decisions.
Remarkable leaders take responsibility and have accountability.
Remarkable leaders manage projects and processes successfully.
Remarkable leaders set goals and support goal achievement.

These are the competencies I have identified through experience, consultation, observation, and study as those broad, core competencies that lead to remarkable leaders.

Author's Bio: 

Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. You can learn more about him and a special offer on his newest book, Remarkable Leadership: Unleashing Your Leadership Potential One Skill at a Time here .