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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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Erick Clifford

Journalist

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Last Updated on November 12, 2020

15 Reasons Why You Can’t Achieve Your Goals

15 Reasons Why You Can’t Achieve Your Goals

The truth about many of our failed goals is that we haven’t achieved them because we didn’t know how to set and accomplish goals effectively, rather than having not had enough willpower, determination, or fortitude. There are strings of mistakes standing in our way of accomplished goals. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to fall victim to these mistakes for 2015. There are many common mistakes we make with setting goals, but there are also surefire ways to fix them too.

Goal Setting

1. You make your goals too vague.

Instead of having a vague goal of “going to the gym,” make your goals specific—something like, “run a mile around the indoor track each morning.”

2. You have no way of knowing where you are with your goals.

It’s hard to recognize where you are at reaching your goal if you have no way of measuring where you are with it. Instead, make your goal measurable with questions such as, “how much?” or “how many?” This way, you always know where you stand with your goals.

3. You make your goals impossible to reach.

If it’s impossible of reaching, you’re simply not going to reach for it. Sometimes, our past behavior can predict our future behavior, which means if you have no sign of changing a behavior within a week, don’t set a goal that wants to accomplish that. While you can do many things you set your mind to, it’ll be much easier if you realize your capabilities, and judge your goals from there.

4. You only list your long-term goals.

Long-term goals tend to fizzle out because we’re stuck on the larger view rather than what we need to accomplish in the here and now to get there. Instead, list out all the short-term goals involved with your long-term goal. For instance, if you want to seek a publisher for a book you’ve written, your short-term goals might involve your marketing your writing and writing for more magazines in order to accomplished your goal of publishing. By listing out the short-term goals involved with your long-term goal, you’ll focus more on doing what’s in front of you.

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5. You write your goals as negative statements.

It’s hard to reach a goal that’s worded as, “don’t fall into this stupid trap.” That’s not inspiring, and when you’re first starting out, you need inspiration to stay committed to your goal. Instead, make your goals positive statements, such as, “Be a friend who says yes more” rather than, “Stop being an idiot to your friends.”

6. You leave your goals in your head.

Don’t keep your goals stuck in your head. Write them down somewhere and keep them visible. It’s a way making your goals real and holding yourself accountable for achieving them.

Achieving Goals

7. You only focus on achieving one goal at a time, and you struggle each time.

In order to keep achieving your goals, one right after the others, you need to build the healthy habits to do so. For instance, if you want to write a book, developing a habit of writing each morning. If you want to lose weight and eventually run a marathon, develop a habit of running each morning. Focus on buildign habits, and your other goals in the future will come easier.

Studies show that it takes about 66 days on average to change or develop a habit.[1] If you focus on forming one habit every 66 days, that’ll get you closer to accomplishing your goals, and you’ll also build the capability to achieve more and more goals later on with the help of your newly formed habits.

8. You live in an environment that doesn’t support your goals.

Gary Keller and Jay Papasan in their book, The One Thing, state that environments are made up of people and places. They state that these two factors must line up to support your goals. Otherwise, they would cause friction to your goals. So make sure the people who surround you and your location both add something to your goals rather than take away from them.

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9. You get stuck on the end result with your goals.

James Clear brilliantly suggests that our focus should be on the systems we implement to reach our goals rather than the actual end result. For instance, if you’re trying to be healthier with your diet, focus more on sticking to your diet plan rather than on your desired end result. It’ll keep you more concentrated on what’s right in front of you rather than what’s up in the sky.

Keeping Motivated

10. You get discouraged with your mess-ups.

When I wake up each morning, I focus all my effort in building a small-win for myself. Why? Because we need confidence and momentum if we want to keep plowing through the obstacles of accomplishing our goals. Starting my day with small wins helps me forget what mess-ups I had yesterday, and be able to reset.

Your win can be as small as getting out of bed to writing a paragraph in your book. Whatever the case may be, highlight the victories when they come along, and don’t pay much attention to whatever mess-ups happened yesterday.

11. You downplay your wins.

When a win comes along, don’t downplay it or be too humble about it. Instead, make it a big deal. Celebrate each time you get closer to your goal with either a party or quality time doing what you love.

12. You get discouraged by all the work you have to do for your goals.

What happens when you focus on everything that’s in front of you is that you can lose sight of the big picture—what you’re actually doing this for and why you want to achieve it. By learning how to filter the big picture through your every day small goals, you’ll be able to keep your motivation for the long haul. Never let go of the big picture.

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13. You waste your downtime.

When I take a break, I usually fill my downtime with activities that further me toward my goals. For instance, I listen to podcasts about writing or entrepreneurship during my lunch times. This keeps my mind focused on the goal, and also utilizes my downtime with motivation to keep trying for my goals.

Wondering what you can do during your downtime? Here’re 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time.

14. You have no system of accountability.

If you announce your goal publicly, or promise to offer something to people, those people suddenly depend on your accomplishment. They are suddenly concerned for your goals, and help make sure you achieve them. Don’t see this as a burden. Instead, use it to fuel your hard work. Have people depend on you and you’ll be motivated to not let them down.

15. You fall victim to all your negative behaviors you’re trying to avoid with your goals.

Instead of making a “to-do” list, make a list of all the behaviors, patterns, and thinking you need to avoid if you ever want to reach your goal. For instance, you might want to chart down, “avoid Netflix” or “don’t think negatively about my capability.” By doing this, you’ll have a visible reminder of all the behavior you need to avoid in order to accomplish your goals. But make sure you balance this list out with your goals listed as positive statements.

How To Stop Failing Your Goal?

If you want to stop failing your goal and finally reach it, don’t miss these actionable tips explained by Jade in this episode of The Lifehack Show:

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Bottom Line

Overcoming our mistakes is the first step to building healthy systems for our goals. If you find one of these cogs jamming the gears to your goal-setting system, I hope you follow these solutions to keep your system healthy and able to churn out more goals.

Make this year where you finally achieve what you’ve only dreamed of.

More Goal Getting Tips

Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

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