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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.

      boss-versus-leader

        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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        Last Updated on September 20, 2018

        How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

        How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

        If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

        Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

        But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

        Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

        If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

        1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

        For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

        Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

        If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

        But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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        So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

        Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

        In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

        2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

        Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

        Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

        Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

        Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

        For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

        Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

        Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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        For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

        Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

        Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

        Bonus:

        If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

        3. Take meaningful time for yourself

        We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

        Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

        If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

        Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

        This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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        No time for me-time? Try this:

        If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

        This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

        Bonus:

        Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

        4. Get productive and feel accomplished

        Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

        When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

        While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

        Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

        No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

        So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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        Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

        This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

        Try this:

        Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

        The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

        Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

        The bottom line

        There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

        The only question is — which tip will you try first?

        Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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