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Last Updated on January 21, 2018

10 Traits of Sucessful Heroic Leaders

10 Traits of Sucessful Heroic Leaders

Everyone likes to hear the stories of great leaders, especially heroic leaders. Think of great people like Martin Luther King, Mandela, and Mother Teresa. These heroic leaders were common individuals who jumped into the crisis situations regardless of whether or not they were responsible for resolving the issue. We praise these characters as role models and celebrate their successes.

Here are some common qualities of heroic leaders.

1. Courage

Heroic leaders have the determination to achieve the goal, regardless of the challenging obstacles. They display confidence under stress and are courageous enough to take risks when others are looking to hide themselves.

In, 1955, Rosa Lee Parks in Tuskegee, Alabama refused to hand over her seat to a white passenger on an isolated Montgomery, Alabama bus. She was detained and penalized, but her courageous action directed a positive boycott of the Montgomery buses by African American passengers.

    2. Passion

    It might be possible to instill leaders’ qualities, but truly heroic leaders are already passionate about their work. Their passion and level of assurance inspire the team members and motivate them to perform better.

    Mohandas Gandhi was a well-known political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement. Gandhi headed the powerful Salt Tax protest and was detained numerous times for his protests against British rule.

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      3. Integrity

      Leadership is the integration of external actions and internal ethics. Heroic leaders are trusted by their followers because they never change from inner values, even when it might be difficult.

      Nelson Mandela had the trust and daring to fight against the unfair structure of apartheid. Because of his political actions, he was sent to prison for 20 years, but he managed to win the trust of the people and soon he was set free to lead a free South Africa.

        4. Honesty

        Heroic leaders are always honest with everyone around them; they tell the truth and possess little tolerance for telling people what they want to hear. At the end of the communiqué, they expect honesty from others, and they don’t penalize people for doing so.

        Abraham Lincoln’s great laws of truth and honesty led people to recognize him as a judge or moderator in several cases, fights, and quarrels. People trusted implicitly upon his honesty, truthfulness, and fairness.

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          5. Confidence

          Developing self-confidence is ingrained in heroic leaders as a key to success. A leader begins to develop confidence by achieving a small accomplishment. As heroic leaders progress in their lives, they attract fellowship, use influence tactics to develop self-confidence, and shape, train, and motivate a team.

          Steve Jobs’s leadership style was multifaceted. He was strongly focused when committed and confident enough to make risky decisions to enlist legions of employees and customers in the persistent search of his goals.

            6. Patience

            One of the greatest qualities heroism possesses is a great amount of patience, an invaluable virtue, which helped them in spreading their message.

            Martin Luther King, Jr. significantly contributed to American society by eradicating isolation and hugely plummeting racism. During his movement, King’s life was in unceasing danger—his home was blown up and his companions were threatened, hassled, arrested, and detained. His impeccable quality of patience to remove racism makes King one of the most inspirational heroes of all time.

              7. Selflessness

              A great American leader John F.Kennedy once said, “Don’t ask what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

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              This is the attitude of truly heroic leaders. They are more concerned about group successes than with hunting their own goals. Such individuals become an inspiration for others, even as they face challenges; they will embrace success and earn respect.

              Again, the great Nelson Mandela was a selfless leader who lived his life for his people, and he has been recognized as one of the greatest leaders in the world. His willingness and enthusiasm to sacrifice for others headed a movement to unite a divided nation and bring together periods of pain and racism. Throughout his life and even after his death, he is renowned as a hero. Mandela dedicated himself to the struggle of the African people.

                8. Caring

                Apart from selflessness, Heroic Leaders care about making the world a better place; they display a sense of concern and kindness for others. They are community service leaders, who take action intentionally to improve the lives of others.

                Mother Teresa’s life-long dedication to the care of the poor, unprivileged and deprived people was one of the utmost examples of service to the humanity. She dedicated herself to humanity, forgotten and unwanted people, not only in India but all over the world.

                  9. Humility

                  Humility is the common quality of heroic leaders: nonexistence of pride or self-assertion in their personality. Heroic leader realizes their own weaknesses, and give credit to all the people behind their success. Humility is the most powerful virtue that is needed within every leader to achieve success.

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                  Jim Levy, an army officer, is recalled as a humble man who served his nation and public in times of war and peace and always kept his sense of service. After the war, when he came back to Montgomery, Levy switched from combat services to community responsibilities and set an example of leadership by playing key roles in various public activities.

                    10. Supportive

                    We conclude from this point that heroic leaders display a supportive leadership behavior. They make it a habit to guide others and are welcoming, approachable, and supportive. Truly heroic leaders lean toward the welfare and requirements of their subordinates.

                    Malala Yousafzai, 15 years old, is the world’s most famous advocate for girls’ right to education; she was shot in the head for protecting every girls’ right to an education in Pakistan’s Swat valley.

                      Featured photo credit: blog.ishafoundation.org via b.isha.ws

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                      Published on January 16, 2019

                      How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                      How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                      We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

                      You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

                      You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

                      That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

                      Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

                      1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

                      Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

                      We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

                      To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

                      At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

                      The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

                      2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

                      Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

                      The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

                      In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

                      It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

                      It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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                      So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

                      • Are you a great strategist?
                      • Are you an effective planner?
                      • Is Project Management your strength?
                      • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
                      • Are you the ideas person?
                      • Is Implementation your strength?

                      Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

                      3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

                      One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

                      Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

                      Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

                      Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

                      4. Take Time for Planning

                      “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

                      One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

                      You can take the time to think about:

                      • What’s the purpose of the project?
                      • How Important is it?
                      • When does it need to be delivered by?
                      • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
                      • What are the KPIs?
                      • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
                      • Who is working on this project?
                      • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
                      • What tolerances can I add in?
                      • What are the review stages?
                      • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

                      Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

                      5. Focus on Priorities

                      Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

                      Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

                      One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

                      1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
                      2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
                      3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
                      4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

                      James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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                        The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

                        If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

                        If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

                        6. Take Time Out

                        To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

                        If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

                        Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

                        In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

                        Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                        7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

                        Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

                        I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

                        Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

                        If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

                        8. Stop Multitasking

                        Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

                        So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

                        When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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                        If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

                        9. Work in Blocks of Time

                        To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

                        I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

                        Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

                        Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

                        Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

                        Then take another 10-minute break.

                        Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

                        By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

                        10. Get Rid of Distractions

                        Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

                        “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

                        Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

                        If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

                        11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

                        You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

                        Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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                        Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

                        12. Take a Time Audit

                        Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

                        Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

                        You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

                        Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

                        Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

                        At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

                        If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

                        13. Protect Your Confidence

                        It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

                        When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

                        Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

                        When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

                        Final Words

                        A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

                        The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

                        If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

                        Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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