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7 Ways To Go From Being a Good To Being a Great Leader

7 Ways To Go From Being a Good To Being a Great Leader

Being a good leader isn’t a piece of cake. And being a great leader is even tougher. Any business leader wants to lead, motivate and support his tribe to the absolute fullest. Yet, at the end of the day most us suspect that we are coming up a little short.

The good news is – you can become a truly great leader! All you need is to put some extra effort and consider the following 7 tips when increasing your leadership abilities.

1.  Invest in yourself

Being a great leader means continuous learning: about the people you work with, your niche, business operation, the industry game set and yourself of course. Don’t be frugal when it comes to investing in your education. Allocate the time, money and resources. Be relentless when it comes to gaining new knowledge about everything and everyone within your business eco-system.

How?

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  • Watch a relevant TED talk in the morning.
  • Listen to niche podcasts on your way to the office
  • Subscribe to industry news and top blogs via Feedly to stay updated on current trends
  • Enrol to new university courses, attend webinars and master classes hosted by industry experts.
  • Set up selected mail forwarding to receive your correspondence whenever you are when traveling.
  • Schedule informal meetings with your team (or part of it) to discuss ongoing matters, listen to new ideas and possible complains.

2. Be emotionally aware

While many people believe emotions are a handicap in the workplace, the truth is – they are critical to establish effective management. Relationships between people are the key to successful business. Whether those are between you and your employees, or you and your business partners – you have to be emotionally intelligent if you want them to last and be productive.

Great leaders are sensitive to understanding and considering different points of view. They are forthright, candid and fair when it comes to making key decisions. Treat all the people you encounter the way you want to be treated.  Trust, loyalty, and transparency should be your main projected qualities if you’d like to strengthen your business and grow your authority.

3.  Be Decisive

Highly admired leaders are decisive. They are ready to handle tough calls quickly and gracefully. They always take time to assess a complicated situation before taking any actions.

Great leaders make rational decisions. They gather the information, consider multiple options and when it’s time to make a move, they do it fearlessly.

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  • What would have happen if Apple executives decided against bring back Steve Jobs, after firing him?
  • What would have happened if Henry Ford decided not to double the worker’s wages to attract better workforce?
  • What would have happened if Samsung decided not to introduce a sabbatical program that is now the company’s secret sauce to being a successful global brand?

Have the nerve to take difficult, out-of-the-box decisions if you’d like to achieve immense success!

4.  Facilitate and Communicate Sincerely

Great leaders know the difference between just giving information versus nurturing growth. They provide feedback, they illustrate the concept, they motivate – honestly and smartly. They ensure that the communication runs smoothly in two ways. Once you hear your team uses your language and messages to describe your vision and goals, it means you are truly making an impact!

Pass along the business lessons you’ve learned, so that your team can avoid those mistakes and outshine you. Nobody learns and reaches success in a vacuum. Be the action force and drive your people towards greater success.

5.  Know Your Limits

No matter how caring and open leader you are, you are still a human, and have some limits. Set respective boundaries. Inform everyone at your company that you will not tolerate certain behaviour. This approach will save everyone a lot of frustrations and misunderstanding.

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6.  Inspire

When you are going through a tough stage, you should be everyone’s role model of a positive behavior.

Pure talking won’t do the trick here. Act. Speak directly to your team, help them overcome their doubts and concerns. Offer actionable suggestions and alternative options for those feeling anxious about their place within the company. Help your employees solve the problems and show how their day-to-day work contributes to the overall company’s health.

Great leaders take time to establish personal connections with their employees. Make your time together matter. Your title and the fact that you have spared some precious moments for them, won’t inspire them. It’s the genuine attention and care that does. Show that you value each one of them and you always have their best interests at heart.

7.  Project a Vision

Greatest leaders of all times – Henry Ford, John Rockefeller, Warren Buffett, Steve Wozniak to name a few – were also powerful visionaries. They have created mighty empires out of nothing.

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If you want to succeed, you need to develop a clear vision of what’s your ideal business is all about. And never, I repeat never, lose faith in it. Even during the roughest days stay sure that you and your team will accomplish any point from your list.

Yes, you will face setbacks. But let them not deter you! Learn from your failure, make adjustments to your plans and move on with confidence!

Featured photo credit: Vinoth Chandar via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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