I was recently asked the difference between a "Leader" and a "Manager or CEO". A very important question at a time when those with real leadership qualities will outshine the "normal" people who've risen to a position for which, in reality, they are ill-equipped. Which leads me to the title of this article. I prefer to be a little more upfront and call a spade a spade. Because, if you're not a "leader", regardless of what position you hold in your work or in life, you're missing out on the unlimited possibilities that life has on offer for you. You're a real loser, because, if you're "normal" you don't just lose out on being abnormally successful, you'll actually lose your own life.

But back to our question - which are you, a leader, or a loser? From my many years experience of working for and with top business people, I would suggest that "leaders" are simply abnormally successful people. They are abnormally successful because they use their minds differently to so-called "normal" people who, university research tells us, only use a tiny proportion of their mental energy to focus on the key tasks in hand - in the here and now. In fact, the research shows that "normal" people focus only about 1% of their mental energy on the only place that they can actually be at any moment in time - the here and now. To use an ordinary everyday expression, "normal" people - and that's most of us, are not present, they are"all over the place".

In stark contrast, "leaders" know how to focus more than a pathetic 1% of their mental energy on the here and now. As a result, they're not all over the place - or, at least, as all over the place than is the norm. So, they're more present, you might say that they have "presence" - which simply means there more present than the rest of us. And, if you have presence - or charisma - you are immediately well placed to bring those around you along with your ideas, you are immediately better placed to be leader, because people with presence are impressive. That, of course, is simply a statement of fact. If someone is more present than everyone else, you'll notice them more - they'll make more of an impression on you.

Of course, presence also hones the "leader's" ability to pay attention to what their senses are telling them. That's why you hear great leaders talk of gut instinct and vision - a word which is widely abused by "normal" business people who aspire to being leaders. Indeed, pity all the "normal" mediocre businesses that fall on their face - thinking that because they have a "vision statement" the troops will follow them to success. The difference between that 'normal' nonsense and the 'leader' is that the "leader" has already actually seen the outcome - they have been there in their "mind's eye". To borrow from some of life's great achievers, the 'leader' has already seen, felt, heard, smelled and tasted the outcome. As a result, it's something they actually believe. Why? Because years of psychological research and evidence from the world's top achievers in every field tells us that belief is simply a subconscious "picture". Armed with this subconscious belief, the 'leader' through their presence, transmits that belief to the "troops". How? Because, again, as psychological research proves, "state of mind" is contagious. The "troops" get sucked along on a tide of subconscious belief.

Of course, the good news is that anyone can re-learn to be a leader. I say re-learn, because, in fact, we are all born leaders. As young children we were expert at paying attention to our feelings and senses - as a result, we were both in touch with our own ability to believe and were possessed of presence in abundance. Unfortunately, as we grew up, we were expected to conform - through our education, by society and as a result of so-called "corporate culture". And, of course, great "leaders" do not conform!

We need to stop conforming too - to stop being "normal" and to start being all there - present in the here and now. To achieve greatness in business and in life, we need, again, to become childlike and come to our senses. Your five senses are the only contact you have with the outside world - everything you experience and think you know is mediated through your five senses. Start using your five senses to pay attention to the present moment. By being more present in the present moment, the resultant 'presence' is the simple first step to greatness.

Author's Bio: 

Willie Horton was born and educated in Dublin, Ireland. An ex-Accountant and ex-Banker, he has worked with business leaders for thirteen years, enabling them understand how their state of mind creates their lives. Clients describe the results as 'unbelievable' and 'life-changing'. Willie now lives with his wife and children in the French Alps. For more information, visit: