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Leadership Isn’t About Title or Position, But Your Ability to Influence Others

Leadership Isn’t About Title or Position, But Your Ability to Influence Others

Are people in management roles necessarily leaders? Leadership skills are subjective – you can have many different styles that work to varying degrees. Our modern day challenges mean methods of leadership are influenced by multiple factors, and adapting to these and keeping your leadership qualities high is an indicator of a good leader.

Some people find themselves in management roles without having developed these crucial skills. Perhaps you’re a manager and struggle to lead your team? Or maybe you’re not in a management role, but feel you want to create better leadership skills?

The Benefits of Having Good Leadership Skills

Whether you’re in a leadership role or not, recognizing and implementing good leadership skills within your team or business can help your productivity and team relationships to no end.

It can even come down to implementing small changes that make a huge improvement. There are many ways you can do this, but there is one fundamental similarity with all effective leaders, and that’s having the ability to establish a co-operating following with either a team or an individual.

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What Qualities and Skills Should a Good Leader Possess?

So what qualities make a positive, successful leader? The ability to set and achieve challenging goals, knowing when to make good, solid decisions, and at the same time be inspiring and supportive toward others are all skills that a person in a leadership role aspires to accomplish.

But there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to good leadership skills. It’s all about using your personality to its greatest effect while being mindful of how your team works best and the goals you wish to achieve.

1. Be the Source of Positivity

Positivity is the number one mindset you should bring to a team or work environment. Positivity spreads, as does negativity, so keeping a good, positive mentality helps to motivate others as well as yourself. It forms the working atmosphere and provides energy, which goes toward better productivity and keeps people wanting to continually do their best.

2. Know Yourself and Your Team Well

Knowing your team’s strengths and weaknesses and being able to address them in order to get the best out of the team as a whole is one of the best skills you can develop. It’s all about using your resources well and to everyone’s advantage. It’s also about knowing your own strengths and weaknesses – using them well and working on your professional growth.

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3. Be Confident in Your Decisions to Make Everyone Head in the Same Direction

Confidence gains respect, and when challenges arise, keeping yourself and your team calm in the face of setbacks shows that you are focusing on the larger goal rather than worrying about the minor bumps in the road. Having the confidence to stick by your decisions and believe in yourself and your abilities will keep you level-headed.

4. Keep Your Focus Strong

Leadership requires a lot of focus. Being able to visualize and see the end goal, whether it’s managing a big project or building up a small business, is highly important. But keeping that focus strong when challenges are thrown at you is the true trait of a leader. Focus means keeping on top of your team, together with your own responsibilities, without distractions.

5. Delegate to Make Your Team Feel Trusted

Delegating is all about trust, and building trust within your team cultivates a perception of respect with others. Clever delegating can use people’s strengths well, but also create positive challenges in order to allow certain members of your team to grow and gain more skills in the process.

6. Deliver What You Think Clearly to Get Everyone on the Same Page

Good communication is paramount. However, it’s not always about what you say but how you get your point across. Good leaders are articulate and able to clearly explain their visions, wants, and needs. It’s important that you and your team are on the same page at all times, so people with good leadership skills make it clear that they are available to communicate with on a daily basis. This will show you’re dependable and open.

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7. Keep Your Words and Promises

You absolutely have to lead by example to be a good leader. People are less likely to work hard if they don’t see you doing the same. Showing your team that you’re on their side and working hard right next to them develops respect. Keeping your word and promises is also a must if you want to been seen as committed and trustworthy, so stick by what you say you’ll do.

8. Get Your Team to Generate Creative Ideas Together

Having a creative side helps immensely when plans go out the window. Having to make quick decisions is vital, and the ability to think outside the box can allow you to create the best options. Involving your team without making rash decisions isn’t a sign of weakness either, it’s about rallying your best resources to come up with the best solutions.

9. Trust Yourself So Your Team Can Trust You

When things are uncertain and the pressure is on, sometimes you will have to follow your gut feeling. Of course, knowledge of similar past experiences can help in these situations, but when you’re faced with a new challenge, you need to have the confidence to trust in yourself and your ability to make the correct or best decision you can. Your team can’t trust you if you can’t trust yourself.

10. Be Flexible with Your Approach to Deal with Different Situations

Business can throw all sorts of curveballs, so being adaptable is a sign of a good leader. But it isn’t just about adjusting to changes, having the ability to adapt your approach to different types of people and how they operate is a great skill to possess in leadership. The diversity of personalities and different ways of working means you need to be able to customize your approach toward them on an individual basis. This will inevitably get the best out of your team.

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11. Be Able to Inspire and Motivate Your Team

Being able to inspire your team is a good motivational skill, and it’s about keeping the morale of the team up with things like bonus schemes. Enthusiasm and drive is what you ultimately want in your team and making efforts to cultivate this will go toward a more productive and successful business. All too often, workers’ needs are ignored because there’s too much focus on results, rather than looking after who or what is getting those results.

12. See Every Problem As a Challenge

The difference between a problem and a challenge is your mindset. You need to be the solution to a problem – in other words, you want to drive toward a problem, not shy away from it. By seeing a problem as a challenge you are showing your problem-solving skills and using it as a reason to learn and grow.

13. Encourage Your Team to Pursue Relentless Growth

Pushing people to be their very best stops you from having a stagnant team. A good leader knows the importance of nurturing and encouraging their team to be the best they can. Knowing that actively allowing growth will ultimately benefit your team as a whole, is an excellent skill to have as a leader.

14. Be Consistent with the Values You Set

Your employees are usually a reflection of the values you set. Doing what’s right for your team and your business instead of making decisions from the space of needing to be right is paramount for successful leadership. Don’t let your ego get the best of you and always be authentic in your interactions. Be the best example in all areas of work.

15. Be Open to Build Good Relationships with Your Team

A good leader doesn’t hide crucial information. A good leader knows that a team that has full knowledge of what’s going on at all times is a team that can function to its best ability. Trust goes out the window when you’re seen as someone who isn’t being entirely honest. It’s all about building good relationships, and that includes being open, honest, and transparent.

It’s always beneficial to work on your leadership skills, especially if you’re running a business or a project. Some people either aren’t sure what makes a great leader, or get too focused on the importance of results instead of truly looking at themselves and seeing how much positive influence they can have on others. Be a good leader and see how you reap the positive results.

More by this author

Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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