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4 Things Every True Leader Wants You to Know

4 Things Every True Leader Wants You to Know

There are lots of leadership seminars and workshops and conferences out there. They all aim to help individuals step up their business game and go from just another person with a good idea to a full-fledged entrepreneur who’s ready to take on the world. It sounds great on the events’ flashy websites and colorful brochures, but still, there are many people who believe that leaders — true leaders — are born rather than made.

We’ve all come across these people in our lives: the true leaders who understand how to build rapport with anyone and everyone, who have a vision, who can cut a path through any rough terrain and inspire others to follow. Or, perhaps you possess these characteristics yourself; maybe you know how to make people feel good when they’re working with you, and maybe you understand that while there are many roads to success, they all require hard work, determination, and initiative along the way.

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Whether you’re a true leader or you work with one, you know that true leaders seem to possess a different and special set of knowledge that allows them to be successful in any and all ventures. What’s more, understanding how a true leader thinks can not only help you in your career, but it may also bring out leadership qualities that you didn’t even know you had. Here are four things every true leader wants you to know.

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They want to trust you, and They want you to trust them.

True leaders know that strong relationships ultimately determine success much more than any other factor. And, for relationships to be good, there has to be a high level of trust. True leaders are willing to extend their trust to the people they work with, and in return, they expect their team members to trust their leadership skills and good judgment. True leaders want the people they work with to do great work, meet deadlines, and have passion for the mission at hand. Similarly, true leaders will exhibit these same characteristics: they’ll keep commitments and promises, and they’ll always get the job done well. They’ll be 100% accountable, and they’ll expect the people around them to be accountable as well.

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They’re not here to do it tomorrow.

True leaders take a real Jeffersonian, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” approach. There’s simply no time for procrastination, for slacking off, or for tabling things until a later date. A true leader[1] knows that there’s never any time quite like the present for working toward success. It’s true that some leaders make take this characteristic to an extreme — Elon Musk, for example, is known for being an obsessive workaholic, often at the expense of just about every other aspect of his life — so some perspective on work-life balance is always important. Still, true leaders know that if it can be done, it’s best to do it now.

They are going to challenge you.

If a true leader asks you to tackle a particularly challenging task, please understand that it’s not punishment! Rather, a true leader understands that his or her team members won’t grow in their skills and knowledge without being pushed a little. They know that if their employees do the same types of tasks over and over, they’ll become stuck in a rut, and that boredom will never lead to progression. With that in mind, a true leader will assess your abilities and continually ask you to grow them, essentially testing the tensile strength of your skill set. Will you rise to the occasion, or will you break under pressure? True leaders know that more often than not, you’ll be able to accept the challenges they throw your way.

They’re nothing without their team members.

“If no one is following you, are you really a leader?” is a question posed by many, including Dr. Maurice Roussety, a consulting strategist and leadership expert. True leaders understand that the answer is no; they know that their main job is to motivate and inspire others. Without a good team of passionate individuals working with them, they really can’t achieve the level of success they’re after. Finally, true leaders are always more interested in making their team members look good than taking all the credit themselves. They know that success is rarely an individual effort, and if they’re genuine about their leadership, they’re always grateful to anyone and everyone who’s pitched in.

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Reference

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Erick Clifford

Journalist

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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