My good friend Toni Quist once facilitated a great workshop on leadership success at the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers’ Conference in Chicago. The session was powerful, and I will share some important facts about success in business from the session. In a nutshell, we all need to have trusted confidants, take time to plan our future and be a consummate professional. Toni is not only a friend, but she has also been a mentor to me for over 20 years. Her insights and advice have steered me in the right direction many times and she continues to help me be the best I can be.

That’s the first point that seems to be critical to a leader’s success. No matter how smart you are or how driven you can be, you need others to be your best. Taking advice and listening are things that might not come easy to all of us, but the better we are at it, the more successful we become. Think about the great Steven Covey and seek first to understand before being understood.

Once you have a few trusted people on your personal board of directors, you should have a plan. Remember, if you don’t know where you are going you will never get there. Planning is a big part of management and when the world gets in the way it is the first thing to go. Create an annual plan and check it every month. When you set time aside to plan your weeks and days, consider how the activities on your list get you to your ultimate goal or vision.

The final strategy I want to highlight is professionalism. Many of Toni’s points fit into this category. There is no groundbreaking news here, but it seems that many leaders forget the basics of being a professional. It all starts with respect. How you dress, how you address people you meet and know, how you communicate on email and how you respond under stress. In today’s very relaxed business environment there is still a strong case for dressing for success. Sitting up, smiling and being nice are part of making sure you leave the impression you want in business. 

Start today and continue your journey to be the best you can be! Leadership lessons seem so easy when you read them, but they are hard to execute day in and day out. For more thought provoking leadership lessons visit our Facebook Page People and Performance Strategies and become a fan!

You can share your own leadership success tips in the comments.


Toni Quist’s Top 20 Tips for Success


  1. Remember what your mother told you….
  2. The answer is YES!
  3. Be the BEST at where you are today.
  4. Pause
  5. Email is like a tattoo
  6. Sit up!
  7. Dress up and shine your shoes
  8. It’s about what they hear
  9. Do your homework
  10. Anticipate, articulate and appreciate
  11. Speak when spoken to
  12. Answer in headlines
  13. Everything is temporary
  14. Trust in positive intentions
  15. Diversity of thought
  16. Pave the road with the success of others
  17. Keep your tires balanced
  18. Lead on purpose
  19. Success is NEVER final
  20. Fake it ‘till you make it!

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