No stranger to success. Within his nearly three decades of experience in writing, Todd Nordstrom has penned a whopping 12 bestselling books and contributed think pieces to both Forbes and Inc’s leadership channels for nearly a decade.
“I’ve interviewed hundreds, if not thousands of leaders, in every area of business and celebrity,” the Northern Minnesota native, 48, exclusively tells Us Weekly.
But he’s not stopping there: Nordstrom is also committed to sharing his knowledge and helping aspiring entrepreneurs and the like accomplish their goals, too, by joining Magnifi U, a revolutionary Micro Learning platform dedicated to personal and professional development.
“It’s interesting because while you think about leaders having charisma and work ethic and all these other things that are often talked about, I’ve actually found five things that aren’t often talked about,” he says.
Here, the businessman lays out the top 5 characteristics that helps successful people become leaders.
First, successful people respect transition — and roll with it. “Good leaders are followed because know how to pivot on a dime and change,” Nordstrom tells Us. “They also know that the proposal or project they’re working on today is probably going to hit some bumps in the road and they deal with it.”
Second, they care about creating value for other people. “The most influential leaders care about creating value for someone other than themselves,” he says, giving examples: “An entrepreneur creates a product that saves time, a musician creates music that people love, and even in the corporate world, the best bosses create cultures, and opportunities for employees.”
“It’s so simple, yet so many people just don’t understand this,” he adds. “If you create value for others, people follow you.”
Third, leaders don’t care when they’re being watched. “That’s kind of an odd one,” the public speaker admits, “but I’ve found that the most successful people that are able to maintain a high level of success and a high level of leadership are the exact same inside of work as they are outside of work.”
Nordstrom explains the characters of those who become success stories don’t change no matter what environment they are in. “They’re honest about who they are—with all their strengths and weaknesses. That’s called integrity,” he says. “If you want to be a leader, it’s invaluable.”
Next, they understand criticism can be the ultimate act of kindness. “We live in an oversensitive world,” Nordstrom laughs. “But, when you look back at your own life and compare your worst bosses to your best bosses, they probably had the same goal — and that goal was to make you better.”
“If you approach criticism with a level of kindness and an understanding that, ‘Hey, I’m actually doing this for your benefit, and I’m telling you this so you can improve,’ those people become the most successful leaders,” he continues.
Lastly, successful people are good storytellers. “If you think about the most influential people in your life and career, they [likely] have a great story,” Nordstrom explains. “They climbed the ladder in a unique way which inspired you to be like them — or they told great stories about other people that made you inspired — [which] made you want to think about the world in a different way and take your own path.”
“These people were interesting to you because they were interested in allowing a good story to impact you—to make you see yourself as the protagonist of a great story and improve yourself accordingly,” he concludes.
“As a shy kid, I never imagined that people would be seeking my advice,” Nordstrom tells Us. “But, I’m a curious cat. I like to listen to people and learn their perspectives.”
Now, those looking to learn from his perspective can check out his wise words on Magnifi U, a space for creators, authors and thought leaders. “There are a billion places to find information and education today,” he tells Us. But, “Magnifi U is offering content and curriculum that is unique, timely, and delivered in micro-learnings—short, engaging, entertaining, and knowledgeable answers to many of the things in life most of us have to learn the hard way.”