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Real Leaders Hate Managing People

Real Leaders Hate Managing People

Hearing the word “leader”, what first comes to mind is often “managers”. But what about Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa? They were great leaders though they weren’t managers. Both won the respect of millions, both started important social movements, and both are remembered as key influencers.

Real leadership isn’t about managing people actually, it’s about influencing people. And real leaders have these 10 qualities in common:

1. Leaders are here for change

No true leader accepts the status quo. They always seek to improve the system, and they have no problem with challenging long-established routines. Even when change is an uphill battle, a leader is ready to take charge and realize their vision.

Many people aspire to make a change too. While it’s never an easy process and requires more than one person’s power. Teamwork becomes vital. And this is how leaders can help make the whole thing possible.

2. Leaders are always looking at least 5 steps ahead

A leader’s role is to provide direction and guidance to a group of people, even when everyone has different opinions. They need to understand the implications of their decisions, and to keep one eye on the future. This helps them make a reliable roadmap for the future. At the same time, a leader is sufficiently flexible that they can change their plans if required.

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When some team members are planning the second step or the third step, leaders are already foreseeing the fifth step. Such vision helps make sure the direction is right and no efforts of team members would be wasted.

    Photo credit: Source

    3. Leaders never skip their routines, no matter how busy they may be

    A great leader does not seek instant gratification. They know that success is built on a foundation of solid routine and incremental progress. They don’t believe in overnight success. They just make sure their efficiency is high so that they can keep following their routine and would not skip a single one.

    Here at Lifehack, every employee receives half an hour of coaching each week. This is a significant time investment, but it pays off in terms of personal growth and business productivity.

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    4. Leaders’ know their followers’ stories

    Strong leaders take a sincere interest in their followers’ personal lives, aspirations, and motives. This allows them to tap into other people’s deepest desires, and use this to provide motivation and encouragement whenever they start to flag. That’s why I keep private profiles for every team member. This allows me to tailor my approach whenever we interact, and understand what their work means to them as an individual.

    5. Leaders love to empower others

    The best way to motivate someone is to provide them with real control and power over their work and lives. This increases their productivity and sense of belonging as well. As great leaders know who they attracted are really talented people, they have trust in them and would let them make their own decisions. Micromanagement is avoided all the time.

    Google embraces this principle with their “20% Rule.” Employees are encouraged to spend 20% of their working hours on their personal projects, rather than assigned tasks. This provides them with a sense of ownership and personal responsibility.

      Photo credit: Source

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      6. Leaders are talent magnets

      Very few people aspire to work with a narrow-minded, bad-tempered leader. A great leader knows that they will only attract the best people if they exhibit positivity along with their passion and grand vision.

      7. Leaders don’t believe in the existence of failure

      To a good leader, the only true failure is the failure to act. Otherwise, the worst that can happen is that they learn a valuable lesson – and that isn’t actually a bad outcome at all! By this logic, there is no such thing as failure. If an idea doesn’t work out, it just signals a need for a change in direction.

      They know one of the biggest regrets people have is they never try. So be bold to try, and “fail”. It’s always better than sitting there doing nothing.

      8. Leaders aren’t proud of being “busy”

      Being busy is often used as a status symbol in today’s society. However, being busy is not necessarily a sign of productivity. Leaders know this, and are always questioning how they can work more efficiently. They know that time management skills, together with the ability to identify and prioritize important tasks, are vital to success.

      When they find themselves busy, they know something is wrong. They would check if they delegate enough tasks and are focusing on the right things.

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      9. Leaders trust their intuition

      Some people maintain that trusting a hunch or gut instinct is never a good idea, but a true leader knows that, occasionally, it’s a good idea. A classic example is the case of Ray Kroc, the founder and former CEO of McDonald’s. Against the advice of those around him, he borrowed over $2 million to set up his first restaurants. He later explained that he was acting on his “funny-bone instinct.”

        Photo credit: Source

        10. Leaders always keep the concept of leverage in mind

        A leader is always thinking about the positive effects of their actions. They know that both small-scale and large-scale efforts are an opportunity for leverage. For example, a speech at a conference can provide them with a wonderful opportunity to spread their message, so they will invest the time needed to make it memorable. They ensure that they make the best possible use of their assets.

        Aim to be an influencer, and you are more likely to trigger real change.

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        Leon Ho

        Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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        Published on May 20, 2019

        How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

        How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

        Time.

        When you think of this construct, where do you see your time being spent?

        As William Shakespeare famously wrote “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me…”

        Have you used your time wisely? Are you where you want to be?

        Or do you have unfinished goals to attain… places you want to be, things you still need to do?

        The hard truth is, that time once passed cannot be replaced–which is why it is common to hear people say that one should not squander time doing nothing, or delay certain decisions for later. More often than not, the biggest blocker from reaching our goals is often inaction – which is essentially doing nothing, rather than doing something. 

        There are many reasons why we may not do something. Most often it boils down to adequate time. We may feel we don’t have enough time, or that it’s never quite the right time to pursue our goals.

        Maybe next month, or maybe next year…

        And, before you know it, the time has passed and you’re still no where near achieving those goals you dream about. This inaction often leads to strong regret once we look at the situation through hindsight. So, take some time now to reflect on any goal(s) you may have in mind, or hidden at the back of your mind; and, think about how you can truly start working on them now, and not later.

        So, how do you start?

        Figure Out Your Purpose (Your Main Goal)


        The first important step is to figure out your purpose, or your main goal.

        What is it that you’re after in life? And, are there any barriers preventing you from reaching your goal? These are good questions to ask when it comes to figuring out how (and for what purpose) you are spending your time.

        Your purpose will guide you, and it will ensure your time spent is within the bounds of what you actually want to accomplish.

        A good amount of research has been done on how we as humans develop and embrace long-term and highly meaningful goals in our lives. So much so, that having a purpose has connections to reduced stroke, and heart attack. It turns out, our desire to accomplish goals actually has an evolutionary connection–especially goals with a greater purpose to them. This is because a greater purpose often helps both the individual, and our species as a whole, survive.

        Knowing why it is you’re doing something is important; and, when you do, it will be easier to budget your time and effort into pursuing after those milestones or tasks that will lead to the accomplishment of your main goal.

        Assess Your Current Time Spent

        Next comes the actual time usage. Once you know what your main goal is, you’ll want to make the most of the time you have now. It’s good to know how you’re currently spending your time, so that you can start making improvements and easily assess what can stay and what can go in your day to day routine.

        For just one day, ideally on a day when you’d like to be more productive, I encourage you to record a time journal, down to the quarter hour if you can manage. You may be quite surprised at how little things—such as checking social media, answering emails that could wait, or idling at the water cooler or office pantry —can add up to a lot of wasted time.

        To get you started, I recommend you check out this quick self assessment to assess your current productivity: Want To Know How Much You’re Getting Done In A Day?

        Tricks to Tackle Distractions

        Once you’ve assessed how you’re currently spending your time, I hope you won’t be in for too big of a shock when you see just how big of an impact distractions and time wasters are in your life.

        Every time your mind wanders from your work, it takes an average of 25 minutes and 26 seconds to get into focus again. That’s almost half an hour of precious time every time you entertain a distraction!

        Which is why it’s important to learn how to focus, and tackle distractions effectively. Here’s how to do it:

        1. Set Time Aside for Focusing

        One way to stay focused is to set focused sessions for yourself. During a focused session, you should let people know that you won’t be responding unless it’s a real emergency.

        Set your messaging apps and shared calendars as “busy” to reduce interruptions. Think of these sessions as one on one time with yourself so that you can truly focus on what’s important, without external distractions coming your way.

        2. Beware of Emails

        Emails may sound harmless, but they can come into our inbox continuously throughout the day, and it’s tempting to respond to them as we receive them. Especially if you’re one to check your notifications frequently.

        Instead of checking them every time a new notification sounds, set a specific time to deal with your emails at one go. This will no doubt increase your productivity as you’re dealing with emails one after the other, rather than interrupting your focus on another project each time an email comes in.

        Besides switching off your email notifications so as not to get distracted, you could also install a Chrome extension called Block Site that helps to stop Gmail notifications coming through at specific times, making it easier for you to manage these subtle daily distractions.

        3. Let Technology Help

        As much as we are getting increasingly distracted because of technology, we can’t deny it’s many advantages. So instead of feeling controlled by technology, why not make use of disabling options that the devices offer?

        Turn off email alerts, app notifications, or set your phone to go straight to voicemail and even create auto-responses to incoming text messages. There are also apps like Forrest that help to increase your productivity by rewarding you each time you focus well, which encourages you to ignore your phone.

        4. Schedule Time to Get Distracted

        Just as important as scheduling focus time, is scheduling break times. Balance is always key, so when you start scheduling focused sessions, you should also intentionally pen down some break time slots for your mind to relax.

        This is because the brain isn’t created to sustain long periods of focus and concentration. The average attention span for an adult is between 15 and 40 minutes. After this time, your likelihood of distractions get stronger and you’ll become less motivated.

        So while taking a mental break might seem unproductive, in the long run it makes your brain work more efficiently, and you’ll end up getting more work done overall.

        Time is in Your Hands

        At the end of the day, we all have a certain amount of time to go all out to pursue our heart’s desires. Whatever your goals are, the time you have now, is in your hands to make them come true.

        You simply need to start somewhere, instead of allowing inaction waste your time away, leaving you with regret later on. With a main goal or purpose in mind, you can be on the right track to attaining your desired outcomes.

        Being aware of how you spend your time and learning how to tackle common distractions can help boost you forward in completing what’s necessary to reach your most desired goals.

        So what are you waiting for? 

        Featured photo credit: Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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