An Amulet gives you quick tips for embracing All-In Leadership that you can start practicing right away. Designed to be more of a deep but manageable dive into your own motivation and approach, each Amulet will help you become stronger and more self-aware.

Your new Amulet is:

Choosing and enforcing useful limits.

We teach people how to treat us, either intentionally or passively. The best leaders actively enforce their own limits, which are based on personal goals that allow them to be themselves and act with integrity.

Choose limits that serve you.

  •  I don’t permit others to gossip or spread unuseful stories (rumors) in my presence.

Intention: To help create a positive, productive climate among my family, friends, and coworkers.

  •  I don’t allow people to ignore or disregard my thoughts and ideas.

Intention: To be heard and listened to by those to whom I speak.

  •  I don’t associate with complainers or doomsayers.

Intention: To associate with people who energize, encourage, and support me in the pursuit of my goals.

  •  I don’t permit others to dump their responsibilities, projects, or problems on me.

Intention: To accept obligations only when I have the time and resources to do my best, and to not get involved with people or projects that distract me from my mission.

Think of enforcing limits as a two-part process.

First, establish what those limits are for yourself. I recommend making each limit broader than you intend. For example, if your limit is that no one can yell at you, expand it to no one can raise their voice at you. That way, you will respond earlier to an incursion––an event that invades your territory––and be more effective at enforcing your boundary. If you become angry with someone, it’s a good indication that you’ve set your limit too narrowly and are consequently responding too late.

Second, communicate your limits to those around you. Use the following four incremental guides to express your boundaries to others. These steps play out over a hypothetical, escalating situation in which others are gossiping.

  • Inform. Tactfully describe the behavior that encroaches upon your limits. Say something like: “I don’t feel comfortable talking about him when he’s not here. Let’s talk about something else.”
  • Request. Clearly express your discomfort and request that the behavior changes. Say something like: “I’m uncomfortable with this conversation. Please do not gossip around me.”
  • Demand. State in clear terms that the behavior needs to cease immediately. Say something like: “Okay, stop talking now. I have asked you not to gossip around me. Let me be clear: Never gossip around me again.”
  • Leave. Make it known that you’re upset, then leave. Say something like: “Your gossiping is not okay with me. Our conversation is over. Goodbye.”

When you let others know what you expect, they can either respect your wishes or let you down––it’s up to them.