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4 Mistakes People Easily Make That Stop Them From Achieving Big Goals

4 Mistakes People Easily Make That Stop Them From Achieving Big Goals

Most people have big dreams. But are they just dreams or real goals? What stops them from truly committing and achieving big goals?

If you’ve seen people talk about big goals and never really accomplishing them, it’s quite a common occurrence. The reality is that there are a lot of factors that stop people from achieving big goals. It all has to do with having the wrong mindset. The wrong mindset is often the result of committing four mistakes that easily cause achieving big goals to become an unaccomplished feat. In order to increase your chances in being successful with your goals, let’s dive into the four mistakes you should avoid:

1. Competing with those at the same level as us

It is human nature to do what’s easy! If you’re a golfer, you’ll compete with those at the same level as you. If you’re a small business, you’ll compete with other small businesses in the same industry as you. The results, therefore, are sub-optimal as you’ll only make incremental improvements to your overall performance.

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Therefore the cure is to compete with those who are a lot better than you are. Challenging yourself is the only way to accelerate your learning. So if you’re an amateur golfer, play with professional golfers, and you’ll start to notice the difference in your game over time. Never stagnate, always make an attempt to consciously be around those who are better than you to make yourself uncomfortable in a congenial setting and you’ll be on your way to fast development and progress.

So make a list of people who you aspire to be like. Email them, reach out to them on Twitter, and set up coffee meetings with them. Find opportunities to be around them and invite them to social events. You can’t go wrong!

2. Only relying on our own ability to make progress towards our goals

This is the behavior we default to as we think we can do it alone. The reality is that no matter how tough and capable you think you are, you can never achieve your goals without a little help. So never hesitate to ask for help when it’s needed.

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If you’re trying to build a business, for instance, could you leverage the knowledge and experience of mentors who have “been there and done that”? This could help save heaps of precious time that we would spend making mistakes by relying on our own abilities. It’s of course important not to underestimate your own uniqueness and abilities, to always have a questioning mind and not just blindly follow those who are better. But, it’s also important to take their inputs because without them, you will only delay your own progress.

Make it a point to understand that you don’t know everything. For every problem you have, think about who else out there could have been in the same situation as you and how they overcame it? Reach out to them and seek their help this very moment! Take action.

3. Hiding what we know from others

Think about it, when you have knowledge that could potentially be beneficial, you end up keeping it to yourself, internalizing it, and as a result, nothing ever gets done. You also, over time, will forget what you learn and the knowledge just becomes something you “know” and do nothing about.

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If you truly want to learn, you need to tell people what you know. It’s scientifically proven that teaching people solidifies the knowledge in your brain and helps you retain the knowledge. By sharing your goals with others, you also attract more support from your colleagues, friends, and family, and you clearly get to know who your supporters are! This can be a great way of creating alliances with people who are aligned with your vision and your goals and learn from each other, building meaningful relationships that go a long way in achieving big goals!

Don’t be scared of sharing your goals and knowledge!

4. Setting really long time frames for making changes

Most people think life is just way too long and end up setting lazy targets. We are told “success takes time” and words like “just have a lot of patience,” and then we rely on fate and time by thinking it will all work out. It’s certainly important to have faith, but, you shouldn’t rely on it!

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Make sure you have a big goal, and then set small, more achievable milestones towards the big goal that are time bound. Doing this ensures you’re on track and helps you evaluate your progress by having metrics and timelines to measure yourself against. You can’t take forever to achieve your goals, and you have to be aggressively patient, not just patient.

While most mistakes people make are mindset-related, you can correct them by being around people who are where you want to be in life. By being intentional about who you choose to associate with, depending on your longer term goals, you will be on the path to actually making your dreams and your goals a reality.

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Akshay Sachdeva

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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