Three steps to becoming a leader – Karthik Siva

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It is a myth to believe that you can fix the external world, when your inner world is in turmoil. The first thing to remember if you want to be an effective leader is this – if you cannot lead yourself, you simply cannot lead other people.

So how does one become a leader? There are three simple steps to do that – but simple does not mean easy!

The first important step is this – Heal Your Past

A typical person has undergone trauma, humiliations, rejections, loss of face and failures amongst several other negative experiences in the past.

Most people carry these deep seated wounds that haven’t healed and are festering inside waiting to explode at the most inopportune moment. These traumas from the past create dysfunctional beliefs and negative programming which holds us back from living our best life.

If these past wounds are not healed, we will live in the present whilst being held a hostage to our past. So, healing the past is about becoming aware of our past programming that is running and ruining our present lives.

The second important step is this – Live In The Present

Most leaders have the illusion that they live in the present. It is not possible to be fully in the present unless our defective past programming is replaced by new and effective programming. This is really what makes a leader ready to positively face all challenges life throws at him, make effective decisions and take decisive action.

So living in the present really means – running new and empowering programmes that power us forward rather than keep us stuck.

The third important step is this – Create The Future

Creating the future is possible only when the mind of a leader is clear and free of past conditioning. Often many leaders embark on an ambitious and bold future but end up failing or sabotaging themselves.

This is because these leaders are driving their cars in full speed with their hand brakes still on!

In other words, they are speeding towards the future with old negative programming that keeps tripping them.

Let me use a metaphor and explain this differently – As a leader, remember, you are the programmer. So write a new programme.

And now, run this programme!


Karthik Siva is a highly acclaimed and respected international strategy consultant, nation branding expert and leadership mentor to CEOs and entrepreneurs. He is the Chairman of Global Entrepreneur Xchange, the founding Chairman of Global Brand Forum, Asia’s most influential Forum for brands, business and leadership, described by BBC as the “Davos of Branding” and by Straits Times Singapore as the “World Cup of Branding”.

Karthik is also a highly sought after keynote speaker and trainer in international and regional forums. Karthik’s leadership and expertise has been recognized and commended by several CEOs and entrepreneurs including Nobel prize winner and former Vice President of the United States – Al Gore. Karthik is also the author of Tools, Tips & Thoughts for Entrepreneurs, SPARK and How to Present and Persuade with Power?.


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