Gihan Perera – Nine Things Successful Leaders Do Now


Gihan Perera, author of The Future of Leadership and multiple other books


The rules of this manifesto form the basis for a book and training for working with corporate clients.

Gihan Perera - The Future of Leadership: Nine Things Successful Leaders Do Now


Part One: Be a Leader they want to follow

1       Show Up: Make time to lead

2       Speak Up: Cut through the clutter

3       Step Up: Stand for something

Part Two: Build a Team they want to be a part of

4       Light Up: Foster innovation

5       Wise Up: Build their judgment

6       Tune Up: Accelerate the experience curve

Part Three: Reach out to a World that wants to help

7       Team Up: Find talent everywhere

8       Partner Up: Join forces

9       Link Up: Leverage trust



This is an elegant rule-based manifesto with a simple structure.

First, there are three parts reflecting three levels of leadership – leading the self, leading teams and leading in the wider world. This provides a neat way to provide an overview of your entire framework.

Second, there are three items for each part which provide actions steps and goals to be achieved for each item and each part.

Third, there is a consistent palette of words for each item all used a single keyword combined with ‘up’ as a consistent phrase. When this works well it is simple and elegant. Be cautious of forcing words to fit as it may come across as being contrived.


Dr Alan Graham – A Toxic Leader Manifesto – the other side of leadership, how not to do it

Geoff McDonald – The Expert Manifesto

Napoleon Hill – Laws of Success

Gordon Gecko, Greed is Good


Gordon Gecko is a character portrayed by Michael Douglas in the movie Wall Street (1987).

The movie was directed by Oliver Stone, produced by Edward R Pressman and written by Oliver Stone and Stanley Weiser.


The story of the movie is about a wealthy corporate raider Gordon Gecko played by Michael Douglas and his interactions with the young stockbroker Bud Fox, played by Charlie Sheen.

Douglas won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Gecko.

The character Gordon Gecko is said to be a composite of several people – including Stone’s father who was a stockbroker on Wall Street during the Great Depression.

The film portrays an archetypal view of 1980’s success. The lead character famously states: “greed, for lack of a better word, is good”.

It contrasts the desire for a quick-buck or fast result epitomized by Wall Street as compared to the traditional steady, hard work approach of many companies and individual workers. 

Gordon Gecko - Greed is Good - Wall Street Movie 1987


The manifesto or philosophy of the movie is best captured in a scene where Gecko (Douglas) speaks to the stockholders of the fictional company Teldar Paper.

Here is an extract from that speech:

I am not a destroyer of companies. I am a liberator of them!

The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed – for lack of a better word – is good.

Greed is right.

Greed works.

Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.

Greed, in all of its forms – greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge – has marked the upward surge of mankind.

And greed – you mark my words – will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.



Does a manifesto have to be ‘real’ to be valuable? Not in this case.

The success of this manifesto is that it was able to capture and speak to the prevailing mood of the 1980s – it simply presented it in as an easy to digest movie morsel.

In particular, this fictionalized account has a licence that a true story based on specific individuals probably would not have been able to – except with a certain promise of a law suit.

Interestingly, while the purpose of this manifesto was as a social commentary, it did have the unexpected side-effect of inspiring many people to work on Wall Street – based on the number of comments that Stone, Sheen and Douglas received over the years.

Also, it shows that a manifesto always sits within a wider context of people, story and narrative. It highlights that some will adhere to your viewpoint, others will not and there will be consequences for the actions that follow.

Paul Roos: 25 Points to Success

Paul Roos - Here It Is - book coverCreator

Paul Roos is a former AFL (Australian Football League) player and coach. He played a total of 356 games for Fitzroy and Sydney and was a two-time All-Australian captain. He also coached Sydney and Melbourne. Roos was the coach of the Sydney Swans in 2005 when they won their first premiership in 72 years. Roos is a member of the AFL Hall of Fame and currently works in the media.


When Roos finished his playing career after 16 years and 356 games (only 12 people have played more games) he sat down and made a list of 25 things “I liked and disliked about coaching and playing. I wanted to make sure I never forgot what it was like to be a player.” (Page 5)

The list became the basis for his coaching at both Sydney and Melbourne.


The secrets of the Roos method: 25 points to success

  1. Always remember to enjoy what you’re doing.
  2. Coach’s attitude will rub off on the players.
  3. If coach doesn’t appear happy/relaxed, players will adopt same mentality.
  4. Never lose sight of the fact it is a game of football.
  5. Coach’s job is to set strategies: team plans, team rules, team disciplines, specific instructions to players.
  6. Good communication skills.
  7. Treat people as you want to be treated yourself.
  8. Positive reinforcement to players.
  9. Players don’t mean to make mistakes – don’t go out to lose.
  10. 42 senior players – all different personalities, deal with each one individually to get the best out of him.
  11. Never drag a player for making a mistake.
  12. Don’t overuse interchange.
  13. Players go into a game with different mental approach.
  14. Enjoy training.
  15. Make players accountable for training, discipline, team plans – it is their team too.
  16. Weekly meetings with team leaders.
  17. Be specific at quarter, half, three-quarter time by re-addressing strategies – don’t just verbally abuse.
  18. Motivate players by being positive.
  19. After game don’t fly off the handle. If too emotional say nothing, wait until Monday.
  20. Surround yourself with coaches and personnel you know and respect.
  21. Be prepared to listen to advice from advisers.
  22. Keep training interesting and vary when necessary.
  23. Team bonding and camaraderie is important for a winning team.
  24. Make injured players feel as much a part of the team as possible (players don’t usually make up injuries).
  25. Training should be game-related.


Paul Roos, Here It Is: Coaching Leadership and Life; Viking, Penguin Random House, 2017, Pages 21-22.


This is a classic list manifesto. What stands out in reading his book is that he demonstrates and examples of each of the principles and how he used them throughout his coaching career.

The most interesting thing is the insight – to be a good coach, I need to remember what it’s like to be a player.

This applies in some many places. For instance:

  • To be a good manager I need to remember what it’s like starting out in your career
  • To be a good presenter I need to remember what it’s like to be an audience member
  • To be a good writer I need to remember what it’s like to be a reader

I think most of us can apply that rule to our own work in some way.


Paul Roos website

Paul Roos podcast – he shares these lessons applied to work, life and business

Dr Alan Goldman – A Toxic Leader Manifesto (a great comparison – how many show up on both lists?)

Quigley and Baghaic: As One Manifesto

Sally Mabelle: From Separation to Connection


Dr Alan Goldman: A Toxic Leader Manifesto

Dr Alan Goldman: Toxic Leaders Manifesto

Creator: Dr. Alan Goldman is a professor of management and faculty director of the W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University West and author of several books, including: Transforming Toxic Leaders (Stanford Business Books).

Purpose: “A toxic leader manifesto reveals behaviors critical to destructive and nasty rule. …Here’s a step by step itinerary of beliefs, attitudes, behaviors and characteristics of abusive leaders who specialize in workplace intimidation and belittlement. This twenty-five point toxic leader manifesto is provided as a service for those involved in human resources, executive boards and consulting as well as those who are walking the plank and wondering whether they are in the midst of a horrible boss.” (Quoted from the manifesto article)

A Toxic Leader Manifesto

1.      It is essential for the toxic and abusive leader to bypass dialogue and Q&A;

2.      The toxic leader must attack, deflate or discard employees who are identified as lacking in any way or who dare to challenge declarations and decrees from the top;

3.      Employees who are ranked beneath a toxic leader are identified as operating at a distinct disadvantage and they should be treated accordingly;

4.      Bullying developed in childhood is transferable into adulthood and the professional life of the toxic leader; bullying must be cultivated and nurtured via vigorous continuous improvement;

5.      Thou shalt yell at and demean employees who fall short, error or are deemed annoying;

6.      Thou shalt stifle any workplace conversation that is directed toward questioning toxic leader authority or decision making;

7.      Toxic leaders are placed on notice that privately and discreetly conducted verbal attacks against subordinates lack sufficient force, vigor and shame and must be brought out into public forums for all to witness;

8.      It is mandatory that yelling at subpar subordinates be conducted  by toxic leaders in public in an effort to promote fear, humiliation and sufficient loss of face;

9.      Public humiliation of employees is not just a right of toxic leadership, it is a duty and is central to annual performance appraisals and continuous improvement of an embarrassing and inadequate workforce;

10.  Solving workplace screw-ups requires on-the-spot, quick & between-the-eyes abrasive questioning and abrupt, consolidated decision making on the part of toxic leadership; toxic leaders will always be extremely diligent about not admitting any voluntary input from subordinates re: screw-ups;

11.  A toxic leader demands immediate, piercing, cut-through-the-bull-answers to pointed questions aggressively directed toward subordinates in public arenas;

12.  When criticizing employees, this must be carried forth harshly, publicly and without any opportunity for substantive response, whatsoever;

13.  Leader criticism of underlings is a monologue not a dialogue; an exchange of ideas or the notion of a constructive conversation is outside the boundaries of toxic leaders who must reprimand, demean and lead employees around like dogs on a leash;

14.  Civilized and substantive feedback is the mortal enemy of the top down toxic leader;

15.  Progressive, liberal notions of empowerment and democracy are left wing fictions to be repressed, discouraged, trivialized and eliminated in an extremely timely fashion;

16.   Employees deemed insufficient, inadequate or failing are not to be empowered within a toxic organizational system or provided any tangible means for self-improvement and enhancement;

17.  The word of the toxic boss is complete and final and may not be brought under review to any other person, department, judge or entity within an organization or outside the company;

18.  In support of a toxic leader an organization bestows as close to absolute 360 degree power as possible with all dissention heavily penalized;

19.  In response to toxic leaders there are to be zero tangible or practical employee outlets for challenges to authority;

20.  A repertoire of smiles, facial expressions and a variety of nonverbal veneers are essential to the toxic leader who may have to conceal pending judgments and admonishments from subordinates;

21.  Facial and eye expressions conveying innocence, cluelessness and bewilderment are essential to the toxic leader’s veneer and the concealment of anger, venom, and pending outrage and bullying;

22.  Aspiring toxic leaders do well to choose role models and prototypes to analyze and emulate during the course of their training in destructive and demeaning behavior; toxic leader mentoring is vigorously encouraged;  accordingly, masterful toxic leaders are expected to volunteer as mentors;

23.  Toxic leaders build from the ground up and demand 101% allegiance from all relevant departments, individuals and entities within the organization – in an effort to achieve complete, utter unanimity and the elimination of dissention, debates or diversity of views in response to toxic proclamations and rulings;

24.  Toxic leaders master and regularly engage in “double talk” and sophisticated gobbledygook or verbal gymnastics in order to persuade themselves, subordinates and media that they are glorious, uplifting and chosen leaders who are certainly not destructive, villainous or toxic; and

25.  Toxic leaders will take note of the psychological, emotional and adrenaline highs experienced when in an agitated state and in the process of abusing unworthy subordinates; efforts must be made to neurologically dissect, simulate and communicate-via-mentoring this “rush” and supernatural feeling of exhilaration when bullying targeted underlings.



Article and complete Manifesto on Psychology Today

Published on July 18, 2011 by Dr. Alan Goldman in Transforming Toxic Leaders

Expanded Authors bio and published books

‘Toxic Leader’ on Wikipedia