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10 Mistakes Successful People Refuse To Make

10 Mistakes Successful People Refuse To Make

Successful people use many strategies to obtain and maintain high performance. Learn about these inspirational practices and look for ways to improve yourself starting this week.

1. They Don’t Start Their Day Without A Plan

While no plan is perfect, it is a vital tool to maintain focus. For example, many successful people use the 5 Minute Journal which asks yourself, “What are 3 things that would make today great?” Keeping to a small list of key tasks is a great way to plan your day. As an alternative, you can use a 3×5 index card to write your day’s top priorities. This is a method that author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss has used for years.

2. They Don’t Focus on Perfection

Working toward perfection is often a trap — one that successful people have learned to avoid with practice. Instead of aiming for perfect, complete and deliver quality work. To learn more about this concept, read about the Learn Startup methodology. It is better to take chances, make mistakes, and learn to do better next time.

Resource6 Reasons Why Perfectionism Kills Your Productivity.

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3. They Don’t Obsess Over Failure

Successful people encounter failure as much as anyone else. However, they take the time to study the failure and learn how to do better next time. In the business world, continuous improvement is used to learn from errors and become more effective each time. Once you have extracted lessons and improved your ideas from failure, move forward with your life.

Learn More10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

4. They Avoid Spending Time With Negative People

The people we surround ourselves with make a major impact on our outlook on life. For example, if you regularly train with an award winning coach, you are likely to be inspired to reach higher levels of performance. Unsuccessful people often struggle to see possibilities because they are surrounded by negative news and people constantly talking about negative events and opinions.

Resource9 Helpful Tips To Deal With Negative People.

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5. They Refuse To Slow Down During Slow Periods

From time to time, many companies have slow periods. For example, August and December are slow periods in many organizations because many people go on vacation. Instead, successful people start a summer project to learn new skills and improve the organization. During these slow periods, use the extra time to organize your work and take a course.

6. They Never Say, “That’s Not In My Job Description”

Unsuccessful people avoid work by citing their job description over and over again. In contrast, successful people push the boundaries at work to acquire new skills and abilities. After all, successful people are interested in growing their skills. Being inflexible at work means you are less likely to be promoted and receive interesting work assignments.

7. They Refuse To Become A Workaholic

Successful people know that work matters in making the world a better place and earning income. However, they also understand that it is only one part of a full life. That’s why it is important to pursue hobbies, spend quality time with your family, and work through your Bucket List.

Get Ideas To Start Your Bucket List – The Ultimate Bucket List: 60 Things You Should Do Before You Die.

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8. They Don’t Set Vague Goals

Successful people work to translate their dreams into concrete action. A properly written goal is easy to measure and has a deadline. Instead of vaguely thinking about earning more money, a better income goal might look like, “I will earn $100,000 in 2015.” You can apply the same approach to learning goals – instead of “learn Spanish,” you could set a goal to complete 2 Spanish courses this year.

If you are unsure about how to achieve your goals, consider taking a goal achievement course. I recommend Michael Hyatt’s course called 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever. I have used the course to conceive, set, and achieve multiple goals in 2015.

9. They Don’t Ignore Their Health

Successful people value and work on their health for multiple reasons. For example, they use exercise as a stress management technique. In addition, successful people invest time in seeking out regular appointments with dentists and their doctor. It is far cheaper and faster to spend a little bit of time on keeping up health, rather than waiting for a crisis to appear.

Resource11 Post-Workout Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Fitness Goals.

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10. They Don’t Coast On Their Knowledge

Knowledge is a valuable resource that needs to be renewed over time. That’s why successful people do not coast on the knowledge they learned years ago. Instead, they invest time and money to buy new books, attend conferences, and reflect on their experience. It is absolutely vital to seek out new knowledge, especially if you are a professional and want to grow your contribution over time.

Tip20 Places to Educate Yourself Online for Free.

Featured photo credit: Happiness/pixolga via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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