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7 Things That All The Best Leaders Do

7 Things That All The Best Leaders Do

There are many qualities and traits that make up a good leader. What separates the best leaders from the rest?

1. They take initiative on their own

The best leaders take initiative and get things done without anyone having to tell them to do it. They know what they want to achieve and think about it all the time. John Quincy Adams said “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” The best leaders are always taking action towards something significant, and you should too. Don’t procrastinate and try to pace yourself along when it comes to achieving goals that matter to you.

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2. They exercise self-discipline

The best leaders are disciplined. They know how their minds work. They know what motivates them and how to form new habits. They are productive when they need to be. They avoid doing things they know will slow them down in the long term. Andrew Carnegie said “The man who cannot or will not control himself never can control others.” This is by far one of the most important qualities of leadership. Don’t let negative habits run your life into a downward spiral.

3. They mastermind and create plans

The best leaders have masterminds of other people thinking out plans with them. They know what motivates other people and how to do it. They know they can’t accomplish everything alone and they can reach their goals much faster with the help of other people. This is a fact. Earl Nightingale said “No man can get rich himself, unless he enriches others.” Find like minded people with similar goals whom you respect to mastermind, form plans, and have regular meetings with.

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4. They have the courage to step into their fears

Nelson Mandela said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” We could all draw some inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s story. Giving his autobiography a thorough read would probably put your life into perspective. There is always someone who has been through worse than you. The best leaders are not afraid to experience fear and unpleasant emotions if that’s what it takes to achieve their goals.

5. They learn all the time

The best leaders learn everything they can about their field and their position. They constantly look for ways things can be done more efficiently or effectively. They learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others. They listen more than they talk. John F. Kennedy put it best “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Make learning a habit.

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6. They give more than they take

The best leaders are givers. They aren’t out to take advantage of other people. They are in the habit of offering more value than they take. They understand and appreciate others. This creates happiness and peace of mind for them, and makes people want to serve them. As Dwight D. Eisenhower put it “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Become a peaceful caring person and you’ll have all the cooperation you need.

7. They show persistent continuous action towards definite goals

Everyone respects persistence in the face of adversity. The best leaders know that defeat and failure are only temporary setbacks. They will make the necessary adjustments to their plans and move on. As Napoleon Hill says “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” Calvin Coolidge said “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not, nothing is more common. Genius will not, unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not, the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Steve Jobs said “You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” Know what you want and constantly move towards it through persistent continuous action until you attain it.

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Featured photo credit: http://www.morguefile.com/creative/miguellara via mrg.bz

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

I’ve stood on the edge of my own personal cliffs many times. Each time I jumped, something different happened. There were risks that started off great, but eventually faded. There were risks that left me falling until I hit the ground. There were risks that started slow, but built into massive successes.

Every risk is different, but every risk is the same. You need to have some fundamentals ready before you jump, but not too many.

It wouldn’t be a risk if you knew everything that was about to happen, would it? Here’re 6 ways to be a successful risk taker.

1. Understand That Failure Is Going to Happen a Lot

It’s part of life. Everything we do has failure attached to it. All successful people have stories of massive failure attached to them. Thinking that your risk is going to be pain free and run as smooth as silk is insane.

Expect some pain and failure. Actually, expect a lot of it. Expect the sleepless nights with crazy thoughts of insecurity that leave you trembling under the covers. It’s going to happen, no matter how positive you are about the risk you are about to take.

When failure hits, the only options are to keep going or quit. If you expect falling into a meadow of flowers and frolicking unicorns, then you’re going to immediately quit once you realize that getting to that meadow requires you to go through a rock filled cave filled with hungry bats.

2. Trust the Muse

Writing a story isn’t a big risk. It’s really just a risk on my time. So when I start writing a story, I’m scared it will be time wasted. Of course, it never really is. Even if the story doesn’t turn out fabulous, I still practiced.

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When I’ve taken risks in my life, the successful ones always seemed to happen when I followed the muse. Steven Pressfield describes the muse,

“The Muse demands depth. Shallow does not work for her. If we’re seeking her help, we can’t stay in the kiddie end. When we work, we have to go hard and go deep.”

The muse is a goddess who wants our attention and wants us to work on our passion.

If you’re taking a risk in anything, it’s assumed that there is some passion built up behind that risk. That passion, deep inside you, is the muse. Trust it, focus on it, listen to it.

The most successful articles and stories I write are the ones I’ve focused all my attention on. There were no interruptions during their creative development. I didn’t check my phone or go watch my Twitter feed. I was fully engaged in my work.

Trust the muse, focus your attention on your risk, let the ideas and path develop themselves, and leave the distractions at the side of the road.

3. Remember to Be Authentic

Taking a risk and then turning into something you’re not, is only going to lead to disaster. Whether you are risking a new relationship or new opportunity, you must be yourself throughout the entire process.

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How many times have you acted like you loved something just because the men or woman you just started going out with loved it?

For example, I’m not an office worker. I have an incredibly hard time working in a confined timeline (ie. 9-5). That’s why I write. I can do it whenever the mood strikes, I don’t have somebody breathing down my neck, telling me that I’m five minutes late, or missed a comma somewhere. I don’t have to walk on eggshells wondering if what I’m writing will get me fired or make me lose a promotion. I can just be myself, period.

One girlfriend didn’t understand that. She believed solely in the 9-5 motto, specifically something in human resources because that was a very stable job. I was scared for my future, but I stuck with the relationship because of my own insecurities and acted like I would do it to make her happy.

Here’s a tip: NEVER take away from your happiness to make somebody else satisfied (note I didn’t say happy).

Making somebody else happy will make you happy. Doing something to satisfy somebody is murder on your soul.

4. Don’t Take Any Risks While You’re Not Clearheaded

I’d been considering the risk for a couple weeks. It all sounded good. I was 22 and I could be rich in a couple of years. That’s what they were selling me, anyways.

One night, while at a house party with some friends, I found myself at a computer. A couple of my friends were standing nearby and asked me what I was doing. I told them I was considering starting my own business and it was only going to cost me $1,500.

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Of course, when a bunch of drunk people are surrounded by more drunk people, things get enthusiastic. It sounded like the best business venture in the world to everybody, including me. So I signed up and gave them my credit card number.

A few painful months and close to $4,000 dollars lost later, I quit the business. I was young and fell into the pyramid scheme trap. It was an expensive drunk decision.

Drinking heavily and making decisions has a proven track record of failure. So when you have something important to decide, don’t let your emotions take over your brain.

5. Fully Understand What You’re Risking

It was the start of my baseball comeback. I got a tryout with a professional scout and killed it. After the tryout, he talked to my girlfriend and myself, making sure we understood I would be gone for up to 6 months at a time. That strain on the relationship could be tough.

We understood. I left to play ball, chose to stay in the city I played in, and a year later we broke up. Not because of baseball, see point 3 above. Taking big risks can have massive impacts on everything in your life from relationships to money. Know what you’re risking before you take the risk.

If you believe the risk will be worth it or you have the support you need from your family, then go ahead and make the leap.

You can get more guidance on how to take calculated risks from this article: How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve More and Become Successful

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6. Remember This Is Your One Shot Only

As far as we know officially, this is our one shot at life, so why not take some risks?

The top thing people are saddened by on their deathbeds are these regrets. They wish they did more, asked that girl in the coffee shop out, spoke out when they should have, or did what they were passionate about.

Don’t regret. Learn and experience. Live. Take the risks you believe in. Be yourself and make the world a better place.

Now go ahead, take that risk and be successful at it!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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