Wealth Building Strategies

Self-Leadership Learn to Lead Yourself Before You Earn the Right to Lead Others

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln

compassThe biggest leadership challenges I ever faced in my career invariably ended up within me.  While the initial problems may have been external, the battle to solve the problem was fought in both my mind and heart.  This internal struggle by a leader to know, do, and be the right thing, at the right time, becomes the true test of character.

Leadership trouble erupts when the external problems overwhelm the internal abilities and emotions, usually as a result of insufficiently developed good leadership habits and self-disciplines.  While literally any dummy can be a good leader during great times by maintaining the status quo, true leadership is tested during times of tremendous stress, strife, change and conflict.  Just like a top athlete who is paid to perform for the entire season, the athlete earns his or her pay in the critical moments of a championship game.  This game-ready leadership state starts with developing and then maintaining tremendous levels of self-discipline compounded by systems that do not fail while under stress.

I first noticed this in the corporate world, while starting my career in a 1,400 person high-volume, advanced electronics manufacturing facility, which was an incredibly fast-paced and stressful environment.  Some of our skilled, long-term production supervisors could withstand almost any chaos that came their way (fires, fights, equipment breakdowns, etc.) with inner calm, the new supervisors (myself included) had not developed that inner fortitude. 

Over the years and through subsequent executive roles, I realized that I needed to develop myself to a high level of self-discipline and good habits, in order to exude confidence and calm to others for whom I had the responsibility of leading. 

This has been a lifelong project, and today, I want with you to share the three most important principles that helped me develop self-leadership.

Self-leadership Principle #1:    Make self-discipline a priority

The world has a way of giving you a heaping dose of discipline, one way or another.  Either you are disciplined by the world (i.e. You’re fired! or Whoops, we lost your money! or You’re next in line for promotion, I promise!) or you discipline your own world, on your schedule, and your terms.  I prefer the latter not the former.  Deciding to actually develop internal leadership skills, such as character, emotional control and developing a Positive Mental Attitude, is the first and most import step.

Self-leadership Principle #2:    Build a success system that works

Building good self-leadership is a long process, and requires a system that constantly builds, reinforces and corrects the right types of behaviors, while mitigating or eliminating the harmful behaviors.  About 20 years ago, I wrote down the types of behaviors I wanted to develop into a brief series of statements I call Percy’s Creed.  Each morning I read through the Creed and ask myself how well I did on living the principle the previous day, and check the ones on which I did well and mark down the ones I didn’t.  Not only does this provide a daily reminder of what is most important, it also enable me to self-correct and make regular, daily improvement.  My creed is posted here for your information.  Feel free to share it.

Self-leadership Principle #3:    Focus on continuous improvement

It’s been said that if you are not moving forward, you are moving backwards.  I agree.  In fact, I have embraced the concept of Continuous Improvement as one of my most important career builder and life principles.  We sometimes make it too difficult to achieve a goal by focusing purely on its attainment, rather than on the progress we are making towards attaining it.  Like progressive resistance while weight training, the progress attainment towards the goal makes us stronger, better and more resilient as we strive to achieve what is most important in our lives.


more from Eamon Percy: Six Steps To Building A Great Team


How to Win the Loser’s Game – Part 8

 So, how can ordinary investors apply the academic evidence – the lessons learned from more than a hundred years of rigorous research? How can they apply that to achieving their financial goals?

Well, this might sound dramatic, but the work of Louis Bachelier, and of Nobel Prize-winners like Samuelson, Sharpe and Fama, should make us question almost everything we thought we knew about investing; and almost everything the financial industry and the media tell us we should be doing. Let’s watch….

“If you are serious about investing and building wealth the video documentary series ‘How To Win The Losers Game” is a must see. It’s excellent. 

After watching the video if you want to learn more about better low-cost, long-term, low-maintenance, diversified investment strategies, download our free guide “12 Essential Ideas For Building Wealth” by clicking on the banner at the top of this page.

Paul Philip, Financial Wealth Builders Securities

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Six Steps to Building a Great Team!

summary1“Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.”

– Booker T. Washington

Great leaders recognize that nothing is complete within isolation, and focus on building great teams. In business, we often talk about the importance of teams, but rarely take the time to truly plan out our effective teams. There are five traits necessary to building a great team.

How to build a world-class team

  1. Focus on building the team before you need to accomplish the big task. By getting the right team in place before the main task is executed, people will feel that they are part of the bigger picture and be more committed.
  2. Attract top people to you by building a superior company.  The best will come to you, rather than you going to them. This saves time, money, and they tend to bring their top colleagues with them.
  3. Build a team with the right people with the right skill sets that complement one another, and are necessary to achieve the task. Not a team that has skill sets that you like or your own personality traits, but have the skills and traits necessary to achieve the critical task.
  4. Build a team that truly supports and trusts one another, so it’s not a group of individuals but is a team with a common purpose. This process takes some time, since it requires the formation of the team, a period of time for them to get to know one another, for that knowing to turn into trust, and ultimately for that trust to turn into action.
  5. Assure that each person on the team knows what their areas of responsibility and accountability. Like a sports team each person plays a particular role. They are supported by one another, but at the end of the day, each person has a position. As a leader it is your responsibility to assure those roles and responsibility are clearly defined, articulated, agreed to, measured and appropriately resourced over time.
  6. A team needs to be rewarded for their actions. No team no person will work on any activity without some measure of reward, and I’m not necessarily talking solely about financial compensation. Because most of us are focused on doing something important something with purpose, so your reward should be consistent with a purpose for the team. 




Want To Get Rich? Go Where The Money Is

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 7.21.36 PMI have been travelling over the last few weeks, including a business trip to Toronto, which is where I started my career in the 1980s as a young electrical engineer.  The city seems to be booming right now as many industries, from finance to real estate are doing well, and the region is somewhat sheltered by the downturn in the oil and gas markets.

My few days in the city reminded me of my first trip to Toronto in the fall of 1986.  I had graduated with my engineering degree in May of 1986 from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and had enjoyed a few months off in Vancouver to take in the sights of the world famous Expo 86.  As the summer wound down, my job hunting activities in Vancouver ramped up, but the career choices for a newly graduated engineer in Vancouver were slim.  After a number of disappointing rejections, I finally received a job offer but it started at a ‘training salary’ of $1,000 per month, which was a modest sum even back then.  

It was during a particularly low point that a family friend mentioned to me that if I wanted to be successful I needed to “hunt at the watering hole”.  While not a hunter, I got the analogy immediately and decided that if I was to launch my career, I needed to go where all the action was and throw myself in the middle of it.  In Canada, the business centre of the action was and still remains Toronto. So on a Monday I purchased a one-way ticket to fly to Toronto that Friday, and within two weeks of arriving had landed a job with The Ford Motor Company.  It was a great start to my career and the rest, as they say, is history.

Over the course of my career, I periodically needed to remind myself to ‘hunt at the watering hole’ or to ‘go where the action is and throw myself in the middle of it’.  My recent trip back to Toronto was another good reminder.  It is a good reminder for you as well, from both a career and business perspective. I am not suggesting moving to Toronto, however, that may be a good option for some businesses or people. What I am suggesting is to remind yourself that the purpose of your business is to creatively develop products and solutions that help the most number of people solve problems, and then charge them for it.  You can do that best where the action is hottest and your customer are concentrated!

Use these three steps to make it happen:

Strategy: As the world changes, the best way to service that large number of people with a valuable product or service changes over time, as the market needs change.  This requires a constant readjustment of the business strategy to ensure you are moving towards the action, and not becoming stagnant so the action moves away from you.  The action is your feedback mechanism.

Value Proposition: This approach requires you, the business leader, to become truthful with your value proposition, so you do not become overly enamoured with your existing products and services, rather you listen to what the market really wants and provide it. 

Scale:  Being in the centre of the action is the best way to achieve scale (growth) and critical mass (risk mitigation) since a business is generally able to secure more customers at a lower cost.  The action could be an online marketplace or physical.  Either way, the idea is to focus on where your customers congregate and then mix with them so you understand their buying patterns and detect changes more rapidly.

Be thoughtful and serious about your business, and ask yourself if you are truly focused on where the action is.  If the answer is no, be honest with yourself and correct the situation immediately.  Tamp down pride, particularly when money is at stake.  It takes courage to admit you are wrong, and then leadership to fix it.  As Ann Landers famously said, “Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”  

Find out where the action is and through yourself in the middle of it!

Have a great day!

By Eamonn Percy

Also by Eamonn Percy:

Trust Your Intuition

A classic article by the recently passed 92 year old Legend Richard Russell: 

Taking Action


About Eamonn Percy

Eamonn is an experienced business leader, with a track record of success in creating shareholder value by helping companies achieve superior performance in global markets. He has held a variety of senior leadership roles with companies in the cleantech, energy, engineering and automotive sectors, including Powertech Labs, Ballard Power Systems, Pirelli Cable & Systems, and Ford Electronics. He has significant board experience in corporate, academic, and regulatory sectors; is active in supporting the local community; and has been honoured with awards such as the BCIT Distinguished Alumni Award and Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award. Eamonn has a B. Eng (Electrical) from Lakehead University, MBA (Finance) from University of Toronto, and has completed Executive Education at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.….read more HERE

Six winning strategies to build your wealth

invest 1201Follow along with us to discover the approach that best suits your particular portfolio size, time line, level of experience and appetite for risk. 

Momentum investing: A truly wild ride
Want to shoot for the stars? Consider momentum investing, where the drops are stomach-churning, and the possible returns jaw-dropping. 

Value investing: A taste for value
Love a good bargain? Check out value investing. It’s not for beginners, but with a little patience this strategy can produce stunning results.

Dividend investing: Yield to growth
Like the idea of stocks for the long run, and getting paid to wait? Take a look at dividend investing, and discover the power of high-yield growth.

Index investing: Easy street
Want a low-cost investing strategy that beats most professional managers? Harness the humble power of the Couch Potato.

Mutual funds: In good hands
You can get great long-term results with mutual funds—you just have to keep it simple and watch the fees.

Fixed income: Safe and sound
No stomach for stocks? A smart fixed-income strategy can help you achieve your financial goals with a minimum of risk.