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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
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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 July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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