“I don’t think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness – to save oneself trouble.”
– Agatha Christie
As a child, we were always taught that hard work is the ultimate key to success, but as we grew up we were baffled to see the hard workers hustling their way for the race of success only to see their lazier mates ahead of them.
No matter how much we may decorate perseverance, it’s like the phrase – the early bird may get the worm but the second mouse always gets the cheese – because the first mouse tries too hard and often gets killed in a trap or injured, leaving the second with very little to do in the pursuit of cheese.
If we ponder upon it, we can find many instances where the lazier ones among us have found the answers way earlier and with much less hard work than our workaholic counterparts. This is because hidebound hard work is not the only answer, most of the times our wittiness and common sense do the trick, saving us from trouble. Of course, we can volunteer to our vociferous laziness the ism of practically preparing our mind to do nothing.
Laziness is regarded as curse in our society and often a taboo; however, if we are cool enough, it is actually a blessing in disguise to help us create things that actually matters.Advertising
Below are some good reasons why lazy people are often able to propel ahead of their hard working mates, despite their immense reluctance to the concept of “work”.
1. They pay attention to the tiniest of details.
Promptness is a quality that every worker should adhere to. You take a job and work your socks off because that’s what our conventional work ethic demands. However, when the hard workers channel most of their intelligence and energy in the work they are doing, they completely ignore the subtle nuances – and more often than not, these are the things that actually matter.
Being lazy gives the lazy bones all the time in the world to just contemplate about the job they are given over and over in their tiny little brains. The chances of missing tiny subtleties are extremely less. While their hard working partners sweat in stress, they can leave their common sense to take care of the situation.
2. They can think outside the box.
“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it”, said Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Obsessed with their ultimate passion of having as little as possible to do, the lazy people always find a simpleton solution of getting out of even the toughest predicaments.
They simply cannot help it. Chances are, their solutions will be unorthodox and a complete heresy to the conventional, but it would certainly work in a bizarre yet beautiful way.
3. Their methods of saving time innovates something.
Automobiles were only invented because men were too lazy to walk. Airplanes were only invented because men were too lazy to drive or sail. The lazy people focus on creating things that can give them the maximum number of days off.Advertising
When we look through history, we can find numerous examples of laziness helping in famous inventions. McMillan invented bicycles to spare him the trouble of walking. Programmers invented loops to save tedious hours of typing commands over and over. It’s like the saying: “If necessity is the mother of invention, then laziness is the father.”
4. They think of life hacks that normal people wouldn’t.
It’s the nature of hard workers to honestly walk over all the lengths and breadths, but the lazy people always choose the hypotenuse. Hard workers work like clockwork to fill and empty the water vessels, but lazy people develop sensors so they can control the mechanism with their remotes while lying on a couch watching TV commercials.
In a way, the minds of lazy people are controlled by a giant indolent monster which always puts oblique thoughts in their mind.
5. They make machines do their work.
“Human beings were supposed to work less, not more, following the rise of the machines”, according to John Maynard Keynes. Working less does not mean the work has to be less effective. Lazy people try to automate things as much as they can. Even for the simplest of tasks, they devise a system to relegate themselves from physical work. They make use of different shopping cart software instead of just relying on human efforts at their retail store.
Lazy Facebook page owners will just schedule the task for a week and relax, the thing they intended would still be there, and out of nowhere, they have freed plenty of time for themselves. They make maximum use of resources near them in an attempt to avoid any physical labor.
6. They make money even while sleeping.
Lazy entrepreneurs often develop an enterprise that will generate them income even when they are dreaming. If KFC produces chicken, lazy social media geeks put up a page and hooks them with consumers (for a charge of service, naturally).Advertising
While the hard workers work relentless office hours for a specified sum of money, the lazier minds come up with solution to earn money while doing things they love most – virtually nothing at all.
7. They believe genius happens in the moment.
Hours of rehearsals and preparations is not enough for most of the people to eradicate the nervousness of the moment. Meanwhile, those with an arrogant eerie of laziness do wonders just right at that moment with minimal preparations that put days of hard work to shame.
Lazy people are strong believers of carpe diem (seizing the day). They believe it’s the moment that creates something magical and not the days spent stressing over it. This way, they can juxtapose their perpetual idleness with a sense of accomplishments.
8. They are lazy because they are clever.
Our society does not trust lazy people with big responsibilities because they are full of mischiefs. Kurt Gebhard Adolf Philipp Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord, the German Army Chief before the second World War was puzzled by the fact that all of his officers were either clever and lazy, or stupid and diligent. However, it was the former who qualified for higher posts because they possessed intelligence and composure to come out of difficult situations.
They avoided pointless staff meetings and formal derogatory talks, but when they were in battlefields, they were true talismans.
9. They are often too lazy to be lazy.
What if you like watching TV, but you are too lazy to actually go to the power socket and switch on the television? Sometimes the lazy people are so lazy that they say, “Darn everything! I am going to amuse myself” and that’s just about when they create something actually productive.Advertising
Yes, they procrastinate things, and snooze their alarm, but in the moments of their mild epiphany, they are unstoppable. It’s something like the best political satires being written at times when press and media freedom lack the most.
10. Their ultimate goal is to create a lazier society.
Development works like induction – you develop and you beget further development. The lazy people actually contribute in creating a lazier society, where humans have to do less work. However, since the bars are always high, they contribute even further.
In addition to contribution for social development, they also can make time which they can spend with their families and friends. It is certainly better to chill with a beer and your friends, or enjoy barbecue with your family, than wasting your intelligence on hard hours at the office. Isn’t it?
Last Updated on August 7, 2018
14 Powerful Leadership Traits That All Great Leaders Have
Being a leader of a company or organization is certainly a difficult and often frustrating position – but it can also be tremendously rewarding.
Whether you’re just starting out as a leader, or have been leading for a while, you’ll be sure to benefit from knowing the essential traits that all great leaders possess.
Effective and successful leaders transcend the title of ‘manager’ or ‘boss’. They’ve found a way to achieve the perfect combination of charisma, enthusiasm and self-assurance (with a healthy dose of luck and timing probably added to the mix).
It may seem like some people are gifted with leadership skills, but the truth is most leadership traits can be learned, adopted, and strengthened with time and practice.
As we delve into the list of effective leadership traits, you will learn the behaviors and attitudes of a good leader.
Table of Contents
The 14 most important leadership traits
Please read through the list of leadership qualities carefully. Take note of which of the traits you excel at – and which ones you need to work at.
Traits for better self-development
1. Vision and mission
Having a clear picture of what needs to be achieved is a crucial quality of good leadership.
This vision is often communicated in a mission statement, such as this one from Starbucks:
How to develop vision? Spend time pinpointing what you need to achieve, and then plan the steps to get there. Here’s a complete guide on creating your own vision.
It’s no coincidence that successful leaders have an abundance of self-motivation.
Without a decent level of self-motivation, you’ll struggle to become a strong and respected leader. However, if you don’t have a lot of self-motivation right now, don’t despair.
One of the secrets is to have definite goals to keep you motivated at all times. Some people also choose to reward themselves every time they achieve a goal, and this is certainly a good way to keep yourself enthused and motivated. Learn how to set an ambitious yet achievable goal here.
3. Optimism and positivity
Positive energy is contagious. Great leaders are overflowing with this type of energy.
Not only does a positive mindset make leaders easy to work with, but it also gives them a constant source of inspiration and ideas.
Tap into this energy by aligning yourself with positive people and positive goals. Find out more about the habits of positive people here.
4. Emotional stability
In leadership positions, frustration and stress are daily occurrences. This is why leaders need to have strong and stable emotions. They can’t allow themselves to be easily knocked off track.
If you’re prone to losing your emotional stability when stressed or frustrated, try some of these techniques: breath deeply and slowly for 30 seconds, go for a walk, drink some water (instead of tea or coffee), turn your focus onto something you can resolve. Here’re some effective ways to control your emotions.
Watch a presentation by any CEO and you’ll see that even if they’re not natural presenters – they make up for this by having powerful self-confidence.
It’s not just CEOs who have self-confidence, any successful leader will have this trait in abundance. One reason for this, is that only a confident person can persuade others and gain their respect.
Worried that you have low self-confidence? Try faking it. Psychologists often recommend that if you ‘act’ at being confident, you’ll start to look, sound and feel like you ARE confident. And in time… you will be.
If you look for more ways to boost your self-confidence, this confidence coach has got you some nice advice:
Leaders are frequently called upon to make decisions (some leaders may have to make dozens of decisions every day). In fact, you could say that making decisions is one of the key things a leader must do.
Spend some time observing highly-successful leaders and you’ll see that they are quick to make decisions. They also enjoy making decisions, rather than stressing out like many non-leaders do when they’re asked to decide on something.
Put yourself in the leadership bracket by developing your decision-making skills. Start with small decisions – and then work your way up to bigger and more difficult decisions. Once other people notice your decision-making prowess, they’ll automatically see you as leadership material.
I know it’s really quite difficult to make the right decisions sometimes, but don’t worry, here’s a guide for you:
7. Passion and enthusiasm
Expressive. Active. Energetic. These are words best describe a passionate leader.
Great leaders are lively, driven and are possessed with zeal and purpose. It’s this passion that helps them achieve big results. If you want to emulate their success, then you need to develop passion and enthusiasm for the work at hand, and the end goals.
Take a look at this Passion Pyramid to find out how importance a leader’s passion is to the team:
One way to do this is to find what motivates you, and keep your focus firmly on that. For example, i f you’re motivated by helping others, then make sure your role and company are both suited to realizing this. If you’re motivated by money, then put your focus on achieving bonuses and pay rises.
Take a look at Leo Babauta’s guide on how to find your passion.
8. Accountability and responsibility
Exceptional leaders know that at all times they’ll need to take responsibility for tasks and their results. This includes things likes individual and team performance, as well as being accountable for when things go wrong.
When negative things occur (and you can guarantee they will from time-to-time), a great leader will immediately step in and take responsibility. Initially, they’ll try to resolve the problem in as quick and smooth a way as possible. But if this is not feasible, they’ll be sure to say that the buck stops with them – and they take full responsibility for what has happened.
To develop your leadership skills, you must never shy away from responsibility or accountability. If you prefer to sweep mistakes under the carpet, then you’re demonstrating non-leadership traits. Try owning up to issues and finding solutions to them. By doing this, you’ll immediately gain people’s respect.
Find out some tips on how to be a more responsible person here.
Distractions are everywhere. And it takes major focus to stay committed to tasks and goals. The best leaders understand this, and therefore, they’re always looking at ways to boost their team’s focus.
One way leaders do this, is to keep their team intensely focused on the bigger picture. This might entail allocating specific time for tasks and eliminating any non-essential work.
If you’re easily knocked off track, you’ll need to spend some time boosting your focus. Try planning your day, week, month and year to help ensure that you don’t fall behind with achieving your goals. Check out the 7 strategies of staying super focus recommended by a productivity coach.
Leaders know that to be successful they need to continually update their skills and knowledge. They deliberately learn all they can about their profession and industry, so they’ll able to make confident and assured decisions.
Why is ever learning so important? I’ll leave it to you to find out the reason here:
Imagine a CEO of a solar power company. His company may have amazing solar panels, but when it comes to discussing business with potential buyers, if the CEO or his sales team show a lack of understanding about the solar industry and future trends, etc., they’ll be unlikely to win any business.
It’s exactly the same for you. If you’re a team leader at an electronics store, you should make sure you fully understand all the products that you offer. But go beyond just that, and read about upcoming products and trends that might change what customers are interesting in buying in the future.
Traits for effective communication
The best leaders understand the feeling of their team members, customers and associates. They know when to praise, and when to discuss problems (usually in private).
Without empathy, leaders will be seen as cold, harsh and lacking understanding. They’re also likely to be regarded as untrustworthy.
One way to ‘put yourself in someone else’s shoes’ is to have regular informal discussions with your colleagues. When you do this, you’ll quickly learn their fears and desires. And when you understand why they have these – you’ll be in a position to express empathy. You can also learn to be more sensitive to others’ needs by taking up these communication skills.
12. Persuasive and influential
Communications are at the heart of all transactions. Whether it’s pitching for a sale or resolving a customer complaint, how you communicate will determine the outcome.
Charismatic leaders such as Richard Branson (Virgin) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) are confident and persuasive communicators. They know how to win over audiences and leave a lasting impressing in people’s minds.
There’re some common barriers that you’ll have to overcome in order to communicate effectively:
How to learn effective communication? You could join the world-renowned U.S. nonprofit Toastmasters International. They’ve been training people in the art of public speaking since 1924, and members have included Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, and Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy.
If you don’t have time to join a club, then practice your communications skills at home. You can do this in front of a mirror, or even better, video yourself presenting, and then ask some friends and family members for feedback. You’ll be amazed at what they pick up on.
Traits for ensuring an engaging team
13. Team building
If you put a bunch of random people together, you may have a loose definition of a team. In reality, a real team has purpose, drive – and a leader lighting the way.
If you’ve worked in different teams and with different managers, you’ll no doubt have come to this conclusion:
Managers who treat their team members like children are unpopular with the team. Conversely, managers who treat their team members like adults, are respected and well-liked by the team.
The days of disciplinarian managers are passed. Nowadays, successful team leaders know how to inspire and motivate their team, while keeping a harmonious atmosphere between all team members.
14. Fostering creativity
Solutions to problems are rarely black and white. Often it takes a leader who can ‘think outside the box’ to come up with answers. In other words, a leader must be creative, and also help to foster creativity and innovation throughout their team.
Creativity is not only associated with pursuits such as arts, literature and music, running a team can be just as creative. There will be times every day when you need to come up with ideas and give guidelines for your team to come up with theirs to solve problems.
Leadership is a journey of continuous learning
Leadership is an amazing experience that will take you on roads you’ve never traveled before.
Begin now to build your skills and experience, pick out the traits that you currently lack – and then work on developing those.
It will take tons of practice and time before becoming an effective leader but eventually you will join the ranks of great leaders.
Featured photo credit: unsplash via unsplash.com