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7 Famous Eccentrics Who Can Teach You A Lot About Success

7 Famous Eccentrics Who Can Teach You A Lot About Success

Whatever career you are pursuing, you have an ambition to succeed. That success is measured by your aspirations, and not everyone has the same idea of success. We have been learning about it our whole lives, but let’s see what eccentrics can teach us about success. Maybe you’ll find something that you haven’t heard or thought about before.

1. Quentin Tarantino on never giving up and staying true to yourself

“There are two ways: my way and the highway.”

Quentin Tarantino is one of the best and most famous directors in the world. His success didn’t happen overnight and without effort. We can learn a lot from Quentin Tarantino, but the most important lesson he has taught us is to always be original and not to stop after the first bad review.

Because of his eccentric nature, and an incredibly unique point of view on how films should be made, he has faced many bad reviews from critics in the past. Even his film True Romance was rejected many times by the studios. No matter what some people from the movie industry said, he stayed true to himself and his work; he never changed to fit a mold and he never gave up on his work.

Just like Quentin Tarantino, you should always stand up for yourself, stay true to yourself, and proudly fight for your work. On your path to success, you will face many rejections and not everyone will say nice things about you. The most important thing is not to get discouraged and never give up if you want to succeed.

2. Hetty Green (aka “The Witch of Wall Street”) on thinking smart and being determined

“There is no great secret in fortune making. All you do is buy cheap and sell dear, act with thrift and shrewdness and be persistent.”

Hetty Green was the richest woman in the world 100 years ago. She inherited a lot of money from her father, but she reached true success on her own. She was the textbook definition of a miser and she didn’t really enjoy her fortune. But, what she enjoyed even less was the idea that someone else would get their hands on her wealth, so she made a will to ensure that her relatives didn’t inherit a cent of her vast fortune.

There are many funny stories about her and her temper, but she made it possible for women to get into the business world. She was fierce and many men were were afraid of her — they just couldn’t keep up with her smart moves and strategies. She taught us is that there is no secret in fortune making when it comes to Wall Street, you just need to buy cheap and wait for the hype to build, then sell for a lot of money.

What we can learn about success from “The Witch of Wall Street” is that, no matter how hard it is out there, a smart strategy combined with determination can take you to the top.

3. Hunter S. Thompson on luck in life

“Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.”

Hunter S. Thompson was an eccentric journalist who never regretted his way of life and, as he said, had a different perspective on life. One of his most famous works, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, was based on actual personal experiences and is a perfect testament to the man’s exquisite eccentricity.

As Hunter knew very well, luck constantly swings back and forth, and most of us cannot control it. However, what we should learn is to take the best of what luck brings us, and try to find a solution when it betrays us. Many people are just surviving in the business world, and many of them, unfortunately, give in to disaster.

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Success doesn’t depend solely on luck, although luck can significantly contribute to it. We have to learn to get the best out of the good times, when luck is on our side, and prepare for the hard times equipped with knowledge and solutions.

4. Björk on believing in happiness

“You can’t say no to hope. Can’t say no to happiness!”

She is an eccentric singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who released her first album with when she was 27 years old. Björk had released an album previously, in which she sang covers of popular songs, but when offered another record deal, she refused. Instead, she bought a piano with the money she’d earned and started composing her own tunes.

Through her music and life choices, she always believed in nature, goodness, hope, and happiness. When she went to music school and released an album, she didn’t give up on making it on her own by infusing it with her unique and eccentric style. Björk managed to do everything she wanted, because she never stopped believing in happiness and hope.

Those are the two things you need to have all the time. Otherwise, you will give in to disaster and not be able to keep the balance. If you don’t believe strongly that you will succeed, why start your career at all? Becoming successful in any field is tough, and you will fail many times before you find your way to the top. What will keep you motivated and determined is your hope.

Believe, hope, work on your success, and always choose happiness.

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5. Nikola Tesla on failure

“Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more”

The textbook example of an eccentric genius inventor, Tesla paved the road for many of the technologies we take for granted in this modern age. He knew a thing or two about solid work ethic. As Nikola Tesla said, our virtues and failings are inseparable, and there’s no successful person in the world who hasn’t failed. You cannot simply got through life without making a wrong move, because it’s the only way to learn.

In short, there’s no success without failure.

6. Lord Byron on being a leader

“When we think we lead, we are most led.”

When you get to become a leader of a team, you will probably have a lot on your mind. By reading about being a great leader, you can get a basic grasp of the core principles, but you won’t truly become a great leader until you’ve been in the trenches with your team and made tough judgement calls.

A good leader isn’t focused on leading, but on being led by their team members. This doesn’t mean being manipulated by them, but having open conversations and meetings with them and, together, coming up with solutions. Your employees will lead you through their advice and comments on how to make them the best they can be.

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A great leader is constantly learning, while being led by their employees.

7. Woody Allen on the key to success

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

According to Woody Allen, the key to success is showing up — this is a rule everyone should follow. There is no way to catch a good opportunity if you don’t show up. Even if you think some interview or meeting is meaningless, show up and find out for sure. It may be a waste of time, but it may also bring you success. Never assume you won’t get some opportunity. You never know who you might meet and who can help you out.

This formula applies to other spheres of your life, like achieving your fitness goals and learning new skills. The way to guarantee steady results is to show up for work, show up for the classes, and drag your butt to the gym. You have to stay consistent with your efforts and put in the work. The rest will come naturally.

These famous eccentrics never gave up on their unique points of view, and they all succeeded in their fields. Some of their traits and strategies might have been wrong, but in the end, we will always know them as great minds. Always stay true to yourself, fail, believe, and only then will your success become an inevitability.

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Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

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Last Updated on June 18, 2019

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common leadership styles and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

        More About Leadership

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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