On a piece of paper, list the following words:

  • starter
  • manager
  • mentor
  • creator
  • defender
  • motivator
  • problem solver
  • leader

Now, do this:

1. Next to each word, identify 3 or 4 qualities you connect with that kind of person. In the case of “leader,” for example, you might write “has good ideas.” Or in the case of “problem solver,” you might write “always willing to help out.” When you are done, you will have a list of 24 to32 personal characteristics.

2. Go back and rate yourself — on a scale of 1 to 5 — for each one of the 24 to 32 qualities you identified.

3. Now, make a separate list of every quality that you scored below a “4.” This gives you a list of the specific ways you can make yourself a stronger, more effective businessperson.

4. Every week, as you compose your weekly task list, assign yourself the task of improving on one of those qualities. You can either start with something you are weak at or something you are strong at. Each day, think of some way you can make a specific, noticeable improvement.

5. When you feel that you have upgraded your skill in one area by at least one point, begin working on another one.