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9 Greatest Things All Great Leaders Share

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 July 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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