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Qualities That Help You Win As A Leader

Qualities That Help You Win As A Leader

Since starting my journey at age 17 I’ve been lucky to gain a variety of valuable skills and knowledge. My time earning an engineering degree as well as my time leading StarInfranet has allowed me to grow as an entrepreneur as well as a person. My goal with these articles on LifeHack is to give people a solid base of knowledge on which to grow from. I’m very thankful for my accomplishments and share this information because I believe everyone can achieve the same.

Successful leaders are always looking for ways to improve. It’s important to open yourself up to new perspectives and experiences in the fast paced world we live in. As a leader your attitudes, your focus and values will be under close watch. The people you are leading will take action based on the qualities you show most often.

This article will cover some leadership qualities that will help you become a more effective leader. These qualities will improve how you communicate with your team as well as help you develop a clear focus that sets the tone for your team. Whether you are a business professional, entrepreneur or even a parent, you’ll find these leadership qualities useful to your growth as a leader.

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1. Be receptive to feedback

Feedback is a powerful communication tool. A lot of unsuccessful leaders despise feedback and despite cries for improvement, they just don’t want to hear about it. They just want to do things their way and have everyone follow them. Of course this approach doesn’t work if you want long-term success and a healthy work environment.

As a leader you should encourage feedback but only if you are truly going to use it. There’s no point in encouraging feedback just to appear to be a good leader and then doing nothing about it. Feedback needs to be absorbed, analyzed and transferred into tangible changes. When your employees can see that you make use of feedback then they’ll see that you truly listen to them and will be more willing to follow you.

2. Results focused

One of the less celebrated qualities of good leadership is being focused on results. Leaders that are laser focused on getting tangible things accomplished are more wiling to stretch themselves to achieve the desire results. Some poor managers do the opposite and sandbag a goal by adding tasks, switching deadlines and other delaying tactics so that they don’t run the risk of failure.

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When you’re focused on results as a leader, your focus spreads to the rest of your team. Having a collective of individuals on the same path should be one of your goals a leader. You can achieve this by showing your team your intense focus when it comes to getting concrete things done.

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    3. Know your team

    Structuring your team and allocating your resources properly is especially important in growing companies. Simple tasks such as meetings can get out of hand quickly without proper structure and organization. It’s important that everyone knows their role and how to prepare so that everything can run well.

    As a leader it’s important to know your team and put them in positions where they can make use of their natural strengths. You don’t want a highly analytical, introverted employee working in customer service for example. If your company is growing then you need to remember that nothing will stay the same for long, you will always need to be evolving in order to stay current. Get your team to embrace change by setting the tone that things will always be changing if there’s a chance for improvement.

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    4. Reward your team

    Everyone likes to be acknowledged for their work. A reward doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, sometimes a simple thank you will boost an employee’s confidence. When you reward your team they’re willing to work harder for you. Rewarding them shows your employees that you take their work seriously and that you appreciate quality results.

    Part of rewarding your team is listening to them and showing that you value their opinions. When people feel that their voices are being heard they are more receptive to feedback and more willing to work harder because they feel appreciated.

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      5. Flexibility

      Flexibility is a great leadership trait to have. It’s important not to be perceived as the type of leader where everything is set in stone. When you look at the reality of most situations, everything is not final and most things depend on context. Having a reputation as a flexible manager makes your employees more willing to share their thoughts with you, make suggestions and find new ways to do old tasks.

      6. Be decisive

      This may seem contradictory to being flexible but being decisive is an important quality for a leader. If you take in feedback and suggestions from your employees and then make a definitive decision, they’ll have strong confidence in your decision.

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        Being decisive helps to set the tone and give direction to your team. There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind but when you do it all the time, your employees have a decreased sense of urgency when they hear about new decisions that you’ve made. Being decisive keeps everyone on point and they know your decision isn’t something that you came to easily.

        Communication is key while improving yourself as a leader. Sometimes the best step you can take is to just listen to your team and look for areas to improve on. A successful leader is confident, decisive, focused and still able to make people feel comfortable sharing their ideas. Remember, as a leader you want to bring the best out of people, so they can put forth their best in the job. Try and include the qualities discussed in this article in your leadership decision-making processes.

        Featured photo credit: Creative Teamwork via flickr.com

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        Published on March 25, 2019

        How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

        How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

        Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

        But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

        Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

        “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

        It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

        Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

        As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

        As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

        Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

        Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

        1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

        When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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        Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

        2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

        Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

        But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

        If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

        3. Go to All Office Networking Events

        Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

        If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

        Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

        Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

        The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

        Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

        4. Show Initiative

        Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

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        Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

        Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

        5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

        Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

        Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

        6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

        A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

        Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

        Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

        A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

        Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

        Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

        These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

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        Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

        7. Find a Mentor

        With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

        Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

        Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

        8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

        After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

        What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

        Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

        Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

        You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

        9. Set Your Professional Bar High

        Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

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        Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

        Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

        Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

        The Bottom Line

        Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

        “Half of life is showing up.”

        The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

        Remember, your career is your business!

        More Resources About Ever-Growing

        Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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