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6 Qualities That All Great Leaders Exhibit

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6 Qualities That All Great Leaders Exhibit

Isn’t it amazing how we can tell when a true leader walks into a room? They command attention. They possess a certain aura that makes them stand out. They have influence and are wonderful communicators. Everyone loves them because of their charisma and their strong display of power. But it’s not only power that makes a leader great, because power can only go so far. Here are six distinct qualities that I believe all great leaders have that makes the organizations they lead exemplary ones.

1. Great leaders have vision.

A leader is a visionary. They can see the big picture long before anyone else can and will move companies along that path strategically. It is said that without vision, the people perish. Companies can’t run successfully on their own. It takes vision and a great leader to carry it effectively. Many people feel that at the end of the day, it’s all about the bottom line. But it’s how you get to that bottom line that is important, and it’s predicated on a strong visionary.

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2. Great leaders pave the way for others to succeed.

Strong morale is the by-product of organizations that possess a leader with charisma. Everyone wants to do their job and do it well when they feel they are appreciated. Great leaders reward those who go above and beyond and push the envelope of potential in everyone. They are fair and forthright in delegating tasks to others, making sure apprentices understand their assignments thoroughly, thus allowing them to soar. They don’t mind promoting those they have mentored because they don’t feel threatened by those who follow them. They are willing to raise up others like them, to make their own work easier by giving others the responsibility for the task at hand.

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3. Great leaders walk in integrity.

Because the demands are great for these leaders, they have no time for games or to say something and not mean it. Great leaders walk the walk and talk the talk. They expect those around them to do the same in order to be on their team. Integrity is their middle name and they thrive in their roles because others gravitate towards doing business with them, knowing full well that anyone privileged to work with them will benefit from a strong, honest partnership that upholds the highest level of loyalty and solidarity.

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4. Great leaders create a sense of purpose to their work.

When you know the reasons for doing what you do, it makes doing that work easy and fun. Many employees want a fun environment to work in, and when they know their work has meaning, an increase in productivity occurs. But not only does the quantity of the work go up, but the quality of it does too. Great leaders add purpose to the workplace.

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5. Great leaders are confident.

Great leaders are quick decision-makers and problem solvers. They are confident in their ability to think critically and make sound decisions. Even if the end result lands the company in a bind, they own up to the decision and fix whatever discrepancy has been made to turn the company around. This comes with being assured of themselves and using wise judgment in all of their affairs.

6. Great leaders are servant-leaders.

Above all else, great leaders are humble enough to get down in the trenches with other employees and do the work it takes to meet the demands of the company’s consumers. It’s not all about being demanding. If someone is out, they take up the slack. They make sure if no one else does it, they will do so gladly. They are not too high to do manual labor and actually love to work alongside others. It’s a great teaching tool to lead by example.

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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