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14 Things to Remember When Having a Bad Day. (And Any Other Time.)

14 Things to Remember When Having a Bad Day. (And Any Other Time.)

Sometimes everything just seems to work out fine. And sometimes, well, it doesn’t.

Here’s 14 powerful reminders to help you find your footing back when life throws you a curveball and things go different than expected.

1.  Some people will not like you and what you do.

And that’s fine. Their opinion is just that – their opinion. And not the absolute truth about you.

2.  You’ll fail.

And that’s fine too. It doesn’t mean you haven’t got what it takes. It just means it didn’t work out as expected. Know that you’ll thrive tomorrow thanks to the mistakes you’re willing to make today.

3.  Success is the action you took, not the result.

Value the effort and dedication you put in – especially when the results are less than what you hoped for. You did show up. You actually took action, and that deserves a pat on the back.

Don’t use any less than results to beat yourself up with. Those results as just feedback to inform your next step – no more, no less.

4.  A should is just a could in disguise.

Don’t should yourself into doing something.

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It’s not because it worked for them that it is right for you. It’s not because you always did something that you need to keep doing it. It’s not because they expect you to do something that you should comply.

Every should holds a choice – even though the should might present itself as a unshakable truth or a must comply with instruction for how to live your life.

Replace the should with a could – literally – and see how all of a sudden abundant possibility opens up.

5.  A halfhearted yes makes everyone lose out – you included.

You, them, the work you are doing – we all lose when you don’t engage 100%.

When you say yes to something, give it your all. And if it’s not a 100% yes, then make it a no.

You’ll be astounded by how much time you’ll free up to spend with people that truly nurture you.  You’ll be amazed by how much time you’ll free up to do things that truly light you up.

6.  A tiny change does make a big difference.

Do just a bit more of what makes your heart sing and soul soar each day. And just a little less of what drains you. You’ll be astounded by what a huge difference those small changes make.

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7.  Slow and steady is good – even when everyone else seems to be moving fast.

Slow and steady can move mountains. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you should take big steps and turn your life upside down overnight because someone else did.

Choose a pace that works for you and keep moving one tiny step at a time.

8.  Other people’s success is not a prescription for how to live your life, nor a measure of your worthiness.

Be inspired by other people who are living their dreams and know that their success doesn’t mean that you are a failure for not being where they are in life.

Use their approach to life as an inspiration to fuel your dreams. See them as an example of what’s possible, but stick to your own voice, your style, your personality, your pace.

Don’t copy them and how they do what they do – you’ll never be able to be as good as the original, nor should you.

9.  All is not as it seems.

Your outside doesn’t always reflect how you feel inside. Neither does their outside always reflect how they feel inside.

So don’t be fooled by appearances. Don’t sabotage yourself by thinking that they always got all the answers, oozing confidence 24/7.

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They search for answers too. They feel small, worried and insecure too. That’s how we all do it.

10.  Rest is not a luxury. Rest is a necessity.

So rest. Vigorously.

Rest is fuel for the soul. It’s not a waste of time, but a life-saver. Don’t save on it.

11.  Laughter truly lights up a bad day.

Yes, that sounds cheesy. But yes, it is the truth – genuine laughter and a dose of playfulness do light up a tense conversation, a gloomy mood, a rainy day.

So laugh. Be goofy. Be playful. A lot. And then some.

12.  You are your soulmate.

Shower yourself with love. Just because. Unapologetically. Unconditionally. And even when the going gets tough.

Love yourself when you’re happy and love yourself when you’re not. Because there’s not a moment when you don’t deserve your love.

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13.  You are a one-of-a-kind original.

Honor what makes you you – instead of hiding it.

Your ideas, your voice, your style, your way of doing things, your work, your dreams – they’re as worthy as anybody else’s.

They’re what make you irresistible to the people who truly get you. They’re what make you irresistible to yourself – fulfilled, joyful and free.

14.  Following your fascination brings you closer to who you truly are.

It might seem crazy, weird, stupid and out-of-character, but explore your fascination nonetheless.

Your fascination is a pointer to something you are longing for, something that you might need to bring into your life. It’s your soul talking to you. Make sure you listen.

 

What do you remind yourself of when having a bad day? What do you tell yourself to find your footing back?

Featured photo credit: myxabyxe via flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 15, 2019

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

What Makes a Leader Fail?

A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

What Is Effective Leadership?

Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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“… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

1. Courage

The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

4. Likability

Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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5. Vulnerability

Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

6. Authenticity

Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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“A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

9. A Passion for Continual Learning

Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

The Bottom Line

No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

More Resources About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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