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9 Greatest Things All Great Leaders Share

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9 Greatest Things All Great Leaders Share

Who is a great leader? What makes a great leader?  How can I be a great leader? True leadership is not the product of a single practice, but rather one of many.

A true leader is not defined by authoritative influence, for leadership and dictation are two very different things. Rather, a leader is a person who is willing to take action. A true leader creates his/her own destiny, irrespective of the social constraints that may pose a formidable barrier to success. They do not wait for things to come; they make them happen. And when opportunities refuse to knock . . . they build a door.

The world had seen many great leaders, none of whom were necessarily “born for greatness” but all of whom share common qualities. These are the qualities that are typical of effective leadership, and that any aspiring leader should work to develop so as to inspire others and achieve results:

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Great Leaders Are Persistent

Dedication is perhaps the most fundamental key to success. A great leader maintains persistence in the face of adversary, and always knows how to use self discipline in order to get ahead. No leader ever accepted defeat as a final outcome. Defeat is simply an education, and the first step to something better. Never underestimate the power of consistency.

Great Leaders Motivate Others

Motivation is a stimulant which can not be overlooked. All great leaders know how to inspire action, and sometimes a positive attitude is all it takes to get the ball rolling. In many ways, optimism is what lies at the roots of true leadership, and is critical to the maintenance of collective productivity.

Great Leaders Work Well With Others

Great leaders recognise the value of synchronicity, and moreover, the power inclusivity. They surround themselves with highly skilled people who complement their own skills and emulate their ambitions and personal values. By investing in mutually beneficial relationships, they expand their domain and create a stimulating workplace that allows for maximum productivity.

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Great Leaders Ask Questions

Great leaders are always prepared to acknowledge room for improvement. What can be done better? How do I improve? The capacity for acquired knowledge is infinite.

Great Leaders Make Decisions

No great leader ever sat on the fence. Great leaders commit to decisions and are always prepared take the appropriate risks at the right time.

Great Leaders Master The Art Of Communication

A great leader is articulate and succinct in the delivery of his/her message. They generate activity, not through the issuing of commands, but by offering guidance and support. They enunciate their performance expectations and are always clear about rules and expectations. By keeping the lines of communication open, great leaders ensure that all group members feel able to make contributions and receive recognition for their achievements

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Great Leaders Share What They Know

Knowledge is not a private prerogative. People respect a leader who doesn’t keep them in the dark. Collective awareness is the key to social justice and respect.

Great Leaders Share Their Power

Power is not a badge or a medal, and cannot be identified as a tangible entity. True power lies within the act of compassion, and the equal distribution of opportunities amongst others. Great leaders share their power and celebrate their influence by using it to help those in need, rather than those in want.

Great Leaders Share Their Time

Great leaders place an emphasis on magnanimity. They spend time listening to feedback and are always responsive to the group’s needs, and ready to offer support and assistance. Good leaders will always express sincere care and concern for all members of their group.

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Featured photo credit: Obama/pixabay via pixabay.com

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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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