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Being a Leader Is Overrated: Find Your Unique Superpower

Being a Leader Is Overrated: Find Your Unique Superpower

Having interviewed hundreds of candidates, I heard similar patterns when it came to career goals. Many people talked about wanting to be leaders or managers when talking about future aspirations, yet when asked why, the answers were pretty disappointing.

Most people responded with a general view that they’d just like to be some kind of leader or even that they should become a leader because that is seen as the epitome of success in some way.

Leadership roles are mistakenly seen as superior to others

Leadership doesn’t automatically mean you’re successful. Leadership roles are mistakenly seen as superior to others, yet a leader is primarily someone who coordinates, directs projects and allocates resources. Yes, this is an important role but just being in this role doesn’t equate success, rather it’s what you achieve in this role.

Becoming a leader doesn’t necessarily make you successful

Think of Adolf Hitler. You may consider him a skilled politician who psychologically succeeded at spurring and manipulating the emotions of an entire country, but he wasn’t a great leader as he essentially led people to make the world a worse place.

Being a leader isn’t always the easiest path to success as we believe it is

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    With leadership comes pressure and sometimes unrealistic expectations from others. Therefore it isn’t always the easiest path to success as we believe it is. When we recall past and current world leaders, most are considered bad, incompetent or manipulative.

    Think of highly successful people like the author JK Rowling or basketball player Stephen Curry. Both are highly skilled in their profession (in fact, both have become the top 1% in their field) but they don’t necessarily know anything about leadership showing that leadership shouldn’t be automatically considered ‘success’.

    Without followers, this world would essentially be doomed

    In society, leaders are important. They are needed to create efficiency and organisation within a structure. But still, even without leaders, as humans, we are able to still survive without them albeit less efficiently.

    But without followers, this world would essentially be doomed. The success and sustentation of our world come from the hard work of experts who do the real work. These are the ones creating, expanding and improving our society. If everyone was a leader, we’d end up creating nothing.

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      Using our strengths to create success: the 16 Personalities model

      We all have our own unique talents and it’s using these to our advantage that will truly make us successful.

      Looking at the 16 personalities model [1], we can see that each personality type is represented by a certain role and set of strengths that can be applied in the right way to create success. In other words, anyone can flourish and be successful if they apply their traits well and, more often than not, this doesn’t include any type of leadership.

      Take the personality type INFP or ‘mediator’ – these people tend to be creative, compassionate and charitable. While these attributes don’t immediately spring to mind as obvious skills for success, both Shakespeare and J.R.R Tolkien fall into this personality type and we all know how successful they ultimately became.

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      Take the 16 Personalities Test to identify your own strengths

      For some of us, our strengths or weaknesses aren’t always obvious and when it comes to our careers, knowing what these are can help figure out what path would suit us best. Taking the 16 Personalities Test can help you do this by answering a set of questions that best sums up the type of person you are and where your strengths lie.

          The SWOT Analysis Technique

          Another technique you can use to determine what your strengths and weaknesses are, and use them to your advantage in your career, is the SWOT analysis.

          SWOT stands for: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

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            A crossover strategy is used to analyze where your strengths and weaknesses can help maximize or minimize opportunities and threats. In other words, how your strengths can maximize opportunities and minimize threats, while finding out how your weaknesses can be minimized using opportunities and how you can minimize your weaknesses to avoid threats.

            This process helps you identify opportunities and threats early so you can thrive in your career.

            Analyzing yourself is the key to becoming successful. The general consensus tends to point towards leadership as the ultimate way of succeeding in any given career but this isn’t the case. Everyone has different personality traits that don’t necessarily make good leaders, yet utilizing your strengths correctly can bring you the success you deserve.

              Photo credit: Source

              Reference

              [1] 16 personalities: Personality Types

              More by this author

              Leon Ho

              Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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              Last Updated on January 24, 2020

              10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

              10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

              Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.

              Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.

              Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:

              • The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
              • The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
              • The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.

              Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.

              Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.

              Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.

              That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.

              1. Begin Your Day with Meditation

              I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.

              Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.

              Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.

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              2. Be Grateful for What You Have

              Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.

              Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,[1]

              “I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”

              3. Smile

              Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?

              Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.[2]

              Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.

              Can you smile again?

              4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

              Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.[3]

              If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.

              This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.

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              Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.

              5. Exercise Daily

              One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.

              Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule.[4] He said,

              ‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’

              He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.

              6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance

              Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.

              Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.

              So how do you manage your time effectively?

              Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;

              “I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.

              And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:[5]

              • Monday – Management
              • Tuesdays – Product
              • Wednesday – Marketing and growth
              • Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
              • Fridays – Culture and recruiting
              • Saturdays – Taking off
              • Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday

              No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.

              7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions

              Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.

              Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.

              Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,[6]

              “What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”

              Be intentional about your daily goals!

              8. Seek Inspiration

              It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.

              A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.

              Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.

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              Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,[7]

              “The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”

              9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence

              I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.[8]

              However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.

              10. Budget and Track Your Spendings

              Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,

              “A small leak sinks a great ship.”

              It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.

              Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.

              The Bottom Line

              Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.

              More About Habits

              Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com

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              Reference

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