33 Things Successful Leaders Have Given Up>>> Guest Article by Tim Denning

Here’s an article you might not expect. The advice here is harsh and it will help you understand leadership and the traps that exist.

I’ve met a few leaders during my time who try so hard and then never seem to get anywhere. They scratch their heads wondering why. Let’s look at those successful leaders we all admire and what they *don’t* do. What these leaders don’t do says more than what they actually do.

Leadership is a privilege and it’s time all of us divorce the bad leaders so that the true leaders can rise up.

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It’s time we vote with our lives and stop supporting these bad leaders who don’t understand one simple philosophy: everything starts with you. Leadership doesn’t exist to make you happy; it exists to make others happy and that’s the reward.

We’ve got to stop accepting mediocrity and these unsuccessful, pathetic leaders who only seek to please themselves. We don’t need to tolerate them and we should vote against them by leaving their asses behind.

You can be so much more without being subjected to poor leadership.

Here are 33 things successful leaders have given up:
1. They’ve given up worshipping hierarchy
Successful leaders don’t expect praise they give praise.

It’s not about your job title, how much experience you have or how many people you have around you who say nice things.

Hierarchy assumes you are better than someone else when the truth is you’re not. Let your inner belief guide you as a leader and give up hoping people will be impressed by your leadership title when they won’t be — we’d rather be impressed by who you are as a person.

2. They’ve given up making others live in fear
Fear doesn’t motivate people to be led by you. It causes the opposite to come true. Spreading fear is a mask for your own fear and insecurities.

It’s those things that happened to you as a kid or as an adult which you haven’t dealt with that causes you to want to make others live in fear and experience pain.

Maybe you threaten their job, or their position, or their livelihood but all that will guarantee is that they’ll do everything in their power to get away from your leadership as soon as possible.

3. They’ve given up getting the other leaders fired
Your successful leader counterparts are not walking around trying to get the other leaders fired in some Game of Throne type tournament where the last one left wins the kingdom.

Having someone fired is not impressive. That person has bills, a home to pay for and a family that cares about them.

Just because someone is not right for a leadership role, does not mean they are stupid or deserve to be fired in some kind of Mexican standoff.
Even worse is wanting to fire other leaders so you can gradually build up your own empire and have more power. This is ugly and driven by ego.

4. They’ve given up being afraid to be fired
Successful leaders know they have an expiry date and they’re not afraid to be fired. In fact, successful leaders are courageous and happy to sacrifice their leadership title for the sake of the people they lead.

Rather than worry about being fired, they concentrate on doing the best they can while being given the privilege to be called a leader.

5. They’ve given up being afraid of the old regime
Perhaps the previous leaders have moved on. Successful leaders are not concerned with eradicating an invisible virus which could be labeled as ‘the old regime.’

The people who followed the previous leadership will follow you too if you respect them, take care of their needs and lead them towards something meaningful.

6. They’ve given up a ‘revolving door policy’
Have you ever worked under a leader who has people leaving their team on a weekly basis? Do they make excuses about why every one of them is flawed and they will reign supreme?

Successful leaders don’t think like this.

When good people leave, they ask themselves “What could I have done better?”

An even better question they ask is “Could I ever be in a position to invite this person back again at some point?”

A revolving door policy is a sign that the current leader is doing a poor job.7. They’ve given up acting like a dictator
Successful leaders don’t tolerate the Wolf Of Wall Street way which is to lie, cheat, steal, sabotage and show people who’s boss.

Dictators who rule with an iron fist don’t last in positions of power long because the very people they lead end up turning against them.
Trade dictatorship for empowerment.

Build others up and let them too become a leader in something that is meaningful to them.

8. They’ve given up treating people like cr*p
More than anything, successful leaders are obsessed like a junkie to treat their people well because they understand it pays ten times the dividends in the long run.

Successful leaders treat everybody well — even the ones who don’t like their leadership.

In fact, they go even further to spend time with those who don’t like being led by them, so they can understand what they need to develop and see the side of them that is not coated in sugar.

9. They’ve given up having to recruit round the clock
A constant drive to bring on more people is healthy when your team is growing because of the collective good work.

If you’re being forced to recruit new people, to replace the ones leaving on a weekly basis, then the problem is you, not the people leaving.

People leave bad leaders — not teams, companies, sporting clubs or brands

10. They’ve given up making a bad example of someone
When someone does something wrong, they coach them in private.

Successful leaders do not subscribe to the idea that it’s worthwhile making an example of someone to show others how *not* to act.
Instead, successful leaders make examples of the role models to help inspire others.

11. They’ve given up letting their ego run the show
Ego is the enemy as Ryan Holiday would say.

You can never be a successful leader if you flash your ego and expect it to impress, inspire or motivate others to follow you. No one is following a self-obsessed fool; they’re following someone who is SELFLESS.

Your ego can be ugly and it will blind the people who follow you from seeing your true leadership potential. A leaders ego is about themselves whereas a true leaders goal is about everybody else other than themselves.

12. They’ve given up *NOT* listening
Rather than talking as if they have all the answers, successful leaders listen first. They accept that the collective wisdom is where all the best solutions are found rather than their own.

13. They’ve given up threatening people
It’s what scared, insecure, wannabe leaders do to cover up their own flaws and wear a mask of confidence.

Successful leaders don’t threaten; they inspire. They understand that threatening people only leads to mediocrity and it’s what we’d do as kids on the playground, not adults who’ve been given the privilege to lead others towards their hopes and dreams.

No one is inspired by a threat and it only creates more hostility.

14. They’ve given up talking behind peoples backs
Backstabbing is not a habit that successful leaders practice because they would rather tell people to their face in a diplomatic way, what they think.

Successful leaders are afraid to backstab because they know that eventually, it will happen to them if they do. They’re obsessed with transparency and giving feedback that is meaningful.

15. They’ve given up asking others to stroke their ego
They don’t want to be told how good they are and they don’t expect praise from their followers, or gifts, or privileges.

Ego stroking makes them uncomfortable because they know, like you and I, that they too are flawed, imperfect and have a long way to go in their development.
Ego stroking is only required when a leader is insecure and hasn’t spent the time to understand why they seek attention and praise.

16. They’ve given up telling lies
Lies like “I took the business from $9m to $700m” when the people in the room listening to that sentence worked with that leader previously and know that claim to be a lie.

Successful leaders don’t have to lie because speaking the truth has been one of their many hidden talents.
They know that lies eventually get found out and this won’t serve their goals. They prefer to tell the truth even if that means admitting they were wrong, owning up to failure or highlighting one of their flaws.

17. They’ve given up doing stuff they don’t believe in
Leading is meaningless if you don’t believe in the reason why you’re doing it. Successful leaders attach themselves to causes, people and goals they believe in even if they’re unsure whether they can succeed.

They do not chase things they don’t believe in because they know that it will be impossible to stay motivated and lead against their values, beliefs and purpose.

18. They’ve given up standing for nothing
Successful leaders stand for something. They create movements and tribes of people who are connected beyond the work itself.

They’ve given up standing for nothing and have a few key things they stand for.

Values such as:
Respect others
Lead with positivity
And the phrase “I’ll never ask you to do something I’m not prepared to do myself”

19. They’ve given up being disrespectful
Shooting your mouth off and talking down to people is disrespectful and successful leaders know that those actions will kill any thriving culture.

They prefer to be obsessed with respecting people at all costs. They understand that having people respect them starts with their own ability to respect each person first.

20. They’ve given up motivating people using their mortgage
This one’s directly related to leadership in business.

Successful leaders never threaten someone’s livelihood by attempting to bring their ability to pay their mortgage into the conversation.
There are a 101 ways you can pay your mortgage and if a leader uses this as motivation, you can be sure the person they are using it against is stockpiling their savings so they can leave you behind.

Successful leaders don’t motivate their people through money or threatening them with being able to put a roof over their head. Instead, they help you to be more successful so you can create more value and maybe pay your mortgage off quicker.

21. They’ve given up expecting people to work long hours
We’ve all heard of a leader who demands their team to work long hours. These leaders play games like sending emails at 11:30 at night to see who answers, and the speed of each person’s response.

Successful leaders believe in work-life balance and are afraid of their team burning out by working 12-hour days.
They want their people spending time with their families, traveling the world and having a healthy reason to come to work each day.

They do not want their team becoming tired and frustrated through working long hours because they understand that the work they do, and the relationships they must maintain, will be destroyed in these states.

22. They’ve given up penalizing someone for starting a family or being sick
Yes, this sort of thing happens. When someone is sick or starts a family, they need time off. Unsuccessful leaders get upset by this and want to find replacements who can show up despite being sick or their child being born.

It’s a sad fact and one that successful leaders run a million miles from. They’d prefer people to recover from illness and experience the birth of their child so that they can show up with a new sense of purpose.

23. They’ve given up *NOT* focusing on personal goals
Successful leaders tie a person’s personal goals to everything they do, so they can be consistently ticking off boxes that serve their people’s goals, and help them to develop.

Personal goals are how you inspire people to do their best work.

Letting people achieve their personal goals through the work they do only makes them more inspired to be led by you.

24. They’ve given up blocking side-hustles
Allowing someone to scratch their itch through a side hustle is something successful leaders get satisfaction from.

Maybe one of your team wants flexible hours to work on a project.

Maybe one of your team wants to leave on time so they can spend the evening working on their craft.

Maybe someone wants to leave your team altogether to let their side hustle takeover for good.

Successful leaders encourage side hustles and celebrate when someone goes from working for them, to working on their side hustle full-time. Not letting people do their side hustles will only make them find ways to work for someone else who will let them.

25. They’ve given up worrying about people starting their own business
Some of the people you lead may start their own business. These same people may even become your biggest competitors. You can’t stop this from happening.

Successful leaders know that having someone start their own business to compete against you is not the end of the world. It’s better to have people you’ve led be your competitor than entire strangers who will show you no mercy.

If you’ve coached someone to start their own business as a result of your leadership, then we salute you.

26. They’ve given up *NOT* dedicating time to their people
People need a leaders time and when a leader is impossible to reach, they’re forgetting their most powerful weapon: the people they lead.
You can’t lead someone unless you give them some of your time and help coach them, problem solve with them and give them guidance.

Leaders who are not approachable and are always too busy don’t last.

27. They’ve given up refusing to take feedback
Feedback (especially negative feedback) can be hard to swallow as a leader.

Successful leaders welcome feedback because they know that it’s the only way to grow and become an even better leader.

These same leaders encourage 360-degree feedback and get good at swallowing the sometimes harsh truth.

28. They’ve given up *NOT* empowering others to make decisions
A leader who must make all the decisions is not a real leader. Leadership is about delegating and trusting others to make decisions in your absence.

When you don’t trust people to make decisions, what you’re really saying is “I don’t trust you.”

Let your team make decisions. Start them off with small amounts of authority and then build from there. You’ll be surprised how good it feels to see your team making decisions and becoming leaders in the process.

Delegating the right to makes decisions will also give you more time to be a leader instead of being bogged down in emails and requests for approvals of $4 staplers.

29. They’ve given up outlining how people are exited
Successful leaders don’t draw pictures of how people who leave will be exited.

They don’t make you afraid to leave or force you to stay back after hours to pack your things and even delete all your social media profiles off your computer.

Successful leaders also don’t require you to leave right away once you speak your truth and make your intention to leave clear. Instead, they allow you time to finish up, transition to your next gig, and celebrate what you’ve done to date with a lunch/dinner.

Exiting a team should never be a shameful event.

30. They’ve given up assuming that someone who leaves is a traitor
People will leave your leadership and that’s normal.

Those who leave your leadership are not traitors. Take the time to understand why they are leaving and if it’s because of you and your leadership, be accountable.

Learn from your mistakes as a leader because no one starts out leading a team perfectly — not even Nelson Mandela.

31. They’ve given up clock watching
Focusing on output rather than minutes served is what successful leaders care about.

We all have lives to live and sometimes stuff happens. Trains get delayed, family members need to be taken to the doctor, children start their first day of school, teenagers graduate university and some days people wake up late.

32. They’ve given up *NOT* wanting to be replaced
Success looks like having one of their team replace them. The satisfaction of leading someone to become a leader brings them immense pleasure.

Successful leaders understand that true leaders breed more leaders.

33. They’ve given up *NOT* seeing their life from their deathbed
This one might sound strange but hear me out.

Successful leaders put their lives in perspective by thinking about what their final days will look like and what they will leave behind when they leave this world.From this perspective, all the things these successful leaders need to give up to truly lead, become crystal clear.

You can’t be a terrible leader when your heart is full of compassion, gratitude and the need to leave this world behind better than you found it through being a leader.

READ MORE INSIGHTFUL THOUGHTS FROM MR. DENNING>>> https://medium.com/@timdenning

Citrin Cooperman Hosts Breakfast Attracting a Group of the Most Active Investors in the Independent Sponsor Space

Last week we had the pleasure of attending a breakfast hosted at Citrin Cooperman’s Manhattan headquarters for a lively discussion on the fast-growing independent sponsor space. Attendees included independent sponsors, private equity firms, investment bankers, and service providers to the space.

Our major takeaway from the event was that plenty of capital seems to be available to invest in independent sponsor deals, but what was in short supply was robust deal flow. Really well-done meeting. A special shout out to Sylvie Gadant from Citrin for organizing the whole affair, and Heather Madland from Huron Capital for bringing her team in from Motown to lead the discussion. Well done.

The 3 Keys to Becoming Irresistible What the people I adore all have in common….Guest Article by John Gorman

There’s a routine question asked in job interviews, first dates, table games and so on: What is the most important thing you look for in other people?

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There’s variations on this format (i.e. “What’s the most attractive quality you look for in a potential partner?” Or, “What’s your greatest strength?” And so on) but, in general, the answer remains the same: The character trait you hold above all. When pressed, I’ve often stumbled and resorted to something trite and probably not true: honesty, humor, confidence, charisma, etc. Those are fine answers but they’re not in my estimation the correct ones.

And so one day I sat down on my pleather couch, brewed some holy basil tea, queued up some Anderson Paak on the Spotify and really, truly tried to whittle down the essence of what makes truly admirable, special people exactly that. I analyzed people I looked up to, people I was attracted to, and people I just couldn’t dream to be without. And I found that the answer could never be just one thing, and that many of the things I think I admire are manifestations of other, deeper things I admire more. Here are the three components that, when taken together, create a spellbinding supernova of a person — one who can command a room and control their destiny, one who can be both altruistic and intelligent. And so I give them to you and make a case for each.


This trait is the root of all growth, learning and kindness. It’s the belief that you are not yet so great that your mind cannot be opened, and it’s the presence of mind to remember that we are all interconnected equals, and that injustice against one is an injustice against all. It is, flatly, an absence of entitlement. People who exhibit humility let their work speak for itself, they remain stoic in the face of their own suffering, and they remind themselves — and others — that life is fragile and therefore valuable. Humility quells ignorance and cultivates grace. I want this in the people I hold dear.


Without curiosity, you cannot be enthralling or even engaging, nor — most rudimentary of all — successful. It is frankly impossible. Curiosity drives an insatiable quest for knowledge, culture, novelty, experience, beauty, art and connection. It is the bedrock upon which you can build a life filled with stories, memories, accomplishments and relationships. People who exhibit curiosity can become masters, or polymaths, or auteurs — but they must first always have an open mind. They first seek to listen, to absorb, to immerse, to traverse. The world is too large and their time on it too short to ever remain fully satisfied in their pursuit of whatever new ideas pass in front of them. I want people around me to remain curious, routinely examining the world through fresh eyes, and using their eyes to find fresh corners of the world.


This trait is the miracle drug of humanity (and elephants, and dolphins). It is the simplest, sweetest attribute one can possess, and the most worthwhile one worth cultivating for social success. Empathy brings people closer, and makes others feel understood and less alone inside. And if there is one thing we’re all looking to become a little less of, it’s alone. When I see truly empathetic people, I see people who genuinely care, but also people who remind us that sometimes it’s okay to be still with someone else and not invade their space or encroach their boundaries. This unique ability to understand the world through others’ eyes and cut to the heart of what others are feeling and experiencing. Empathy breeds compassion, connection and love. It is an important precursor for honesty.

You may have noticed the three are closely related. This is no mere accident. In fact, when you stack humility, curiosity and empathy, you can easily see how they amplify each other.

Humility is the soul. Curiosity is the mind. Empathy is the heart.

Humility is how you value yourself. Curiosity is how you value your others. Empathy is how you value the bonds between yourself and others.

Humility is the soil of knowledge. Curiosity is the water that helps it grow. Empathy is the sunlight that shows us which way to bend.

And if you take any two without the third, you’re missing a crucial component: Humble, curious, apathetic people are slothful. Humble, disaffected, empathetic people are sensitive but not very interesting. Brash, curious, empathetic people are exhausting. But when you bring them all together, you create a benevolent triad.

These three traits are the key to becoming warm, smart and memorable. They’re irrepressible and irresistible. They’re my favorite qualities in others: the most attractive, the strongest, the most admirable. And whether I’m hiring them, dating them or learning from them, these are the qualities I look for above all others.

John Gorman, Amateur life coach & insightful writer. Read More by JOHN

Merida Capital Launches Third Fund Targeting Cannabis Space

Mitch Baruchowitz’s Merida continues to build positions in the cannabis space. The firm just launched its third fund that will look to invest $200m across the entire cannabis ecosystem. The PE firm is only two years old, but has already invested in several dozens players in the space.

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Merida also announced the opening of an office in Toronto, Canada to look at deals in a country where cannabis is entirely legal.

eVestment Reports March Hedge Fund Performance at +0.87%. YTD #’s Best Since 2012

Demand for hedge funds is rising according to last week’s JPM industry report. The latest performance numbers released by eVestment suggest the demand will continue to increase as the industry shot the lights out by laying down the best YTD returns in 7 years.

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Let’s examine the data. Q1 2019 or YTD show an average gain of +5.40%. While March came in at +0.87%. India funds were the biggest winners in March with a + 10.35 %. Funds with a China focus we strong as well, posting a +5.03% number for March and a +18.65% number YTD.

Other interesting points from the March eVestment hedge fund performance data include:

Among primary strategies, Managed Futures funds produced big gains in March, returning an average of +2.78%, bringing Q1 2019 returns to +2.81%. The group has a long way to go to offset 2018 average losses of -6.02%. The largest funds in the space returned an average of +4.74% in March, but again still must recover a lot of ground to offset 2018’s losses of -7.48%.

Other big winners in March among primary strategies included Macro funds, which returned +1.56% for the month (+2.44% YTD) and Quantitative Directional Equity funds, which returned +1.28% in March, bringing YTD returns to +4.60%.

On the other end of the return spectrum, Event Driven – Activist funds took a dive in March, with returns coming in at -2.55% for the month, however, their YTD returns are still in the green at +5.48%, a far cry from the -10.36% these funds returned in 2018.

Among primary markets, Commodities funds were the only funds in the red for March at -0.35%, while YTD returns are still in the green at +2.61%.

To see the full array of data & view other eVestment reports> eVestment

Survey Indicates Demand for Hedge Funds is Increasing

According to the most recent JP Morgan survey of Institutional investors, demand for hedge funds is increasing as investors continue to seek returns that beat the traditional market benchmarks.

“While sentiment toward hedge funds has become increasingly critical after a turbulent 2018, investors plan to continue to utilize hedge funds as a primary source of alpha generation in 2019 — and to increase their overall asset allocation to hedge funds” according to the survey.

A third of institutions that responded are going to boost allocations, which would be a significant uptick of 15 percent over last year. Only 13 percent plan to downsize their hedge fund positions. And bit over half (55%) will stay even year over year.

Mike Monforth at JPM said, “Hedge funds are positioned well and investors are becoming more aware of the value propositions they can offer in certain markets….. “It’s a diversification play.”

Investors remain concerned about hedge fund crowding, style drift and transparency, according to the survey. JPMorgan said it polled 227 investors with about $706 billion in hedge fund assets for its annual Institutional Investor Survey.

Fee pressure on the industry continues as according to the survey “more than half of all investors are currently negotiating or looking to negotiate fees paid to hedge fund managers. The standard “2 and 20” model has become outdated as allocators look to incentivize managers through alignments of interests such as with the “1 or 30” fee structure which has grown significantly in usage over 2017 and 2018. Nearly half of all respondents paid less than 1.5% on average in management fees to their hedge fund managers in 2018.”

Macroeconomic and credit strategies will likely see an uptick this year as well. While fundamental long-short equity, event-driven and managed-futures strategies will likely see outflows, according to the survey.

The survey found new launches continue to be an increasing trend among investors. Mostly for diversification and lower fees. “However, the bar remains high for emerging managers to receive allocations. 69% of investors surveyed indicated a willingness to consider allocating to new launches, in line with last year’s survey results. Of those considering new launches, roughly half made at least two new launch allocations in 2018” according to the data submitted by investors.