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10 Ways To A Magnetic Leadership Style

10 Ways To A Magnetic Leadership Style
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Leaders are not always born.  Strong leadership abilities come from the right amount of people skills and bold action.  To go beyond traditional leadership, you have to be willing to step away from the computer screen and be seen.

The greatest leaders know their product, clients, customers, and supporters.  They make their supporters feel like they care, and sometimes they actually do.  If you want to make your leadership shine, have others trust you, and follow you, you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Here are 10 ways to do it.

1. Play with transparency.

Be open about any losses, gains, and what you are working on. Creating an environment built on too many secrets generates fear and rumors.  If there’s a problem, share it with your team and let them see that you don’t always have the answer.  This can be scary for someone who is always in control, but often the reverse happens, and you’ll gain more respect.

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2. Make them think it’s their idea.

People like to own stuff.  They don’t want to feel like they are working hard to make you richer, and smarter.  To increase your influence as a leader, make sure others have a stake in whatever they are working on.  Invite them to set the rules, parameters, the ins/outs, and you provide the space and creative freedom.  If you surround yourself with entrepreneurial-minded team members, you’ll find yourself doing less micro-management and more guidance.

3. Learn to ask the right questions.

Sometimes you won’t have the answers.  You don’t have to.  You can simply answer a question with a question.  The person will give you more information which will allow you to move forward.  Don’t ever come off as a know-it-all leader.  Keep others on their toes.  When you ask the right questions, you give yourself more time to think and respond proactively while letting others figure it out for you.

4. Stop looking busy and do something.

Get rid of the busy work.  A powerful leader is someone who looks good, has good habits, and is socially sophisticated.  Let others see you exhibiting the ideals you advocate; get active in your community, or join a local sports club or book club.

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5. Reward others often with really good perks.

Surprise your team with anything from a fully paid weekend excursion to bonuses.  Your supporters will want to work harder because there is an end-goal, and it isn’t just Friday or the weekend.  They actually get to see the value of the work they deliver.  The bigger the work, the bigger the rewards they should enjoy.

6. Practice shutting your mouth.

Many leaders are comfortable at the podium, speaking to a large group, and talking with their hands.  This animated version is not always necessary.  Learning to listen is probably the most powerful form of communication. If you learn to listen to what others are not saying, you will be able to give them what they don’t know they want. This can lead to your next mega idea or product.

7. Be a philanthropist or act like one.

This is one of the easiest, but most costly ways to increase your visibility and shine as a leader.  Is there a cause you are passionate about? If you can’t find one, start one.  Find a nonprofit you believe in, pump your resources into it, get on the Board, and make a difference in the lives of people you don’t know.  Philanthropy is a powerful way to help others, while you get exposure for good work.

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8. Learn to surprise others and keep them interested.

To keep the interest of those you support, a leader must learn how to stay in control.  It’s easy to get stuck in default mode and be predictable.  A team needs to know that they are following someone who is capable of anything, fearless and unafraid to take the road less traveled.

9. Spend time with the right people.

A leader doesn’t have a lot of time.  Find the relationships that matter most for your professional goals.  Cultivate them with meaningful correspondence, face-to-face meetings, and informal niceties.  Find out how you can help your contacts before they can help you.

10. Increase your value and you will be indispensable.

Develop a new idea, product or strategy that you can teach others.  Make sure it is your own successfully proven technique.  Share it generously with a chosen few to solidify your position as the source of this great new idea.  It will be difficult to replace you. Others will come to you to learn, which will increase their confidence and lead them to become your evangelists.

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Featured photo credit: photopin via

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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