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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 October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

Reference

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