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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 July 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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