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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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Published on July 17, 2018

How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

I’ve never believed people are born productive or organized. Being organized and productive is a choice.

You choose to keep your stuff organized or you don’t. You choose to get on with your work and ignore distractions or you don’t.

But one skill very productive people appear to have that is not a choice is the ability to compartmentalize. And that takes skill and practice.

What is compartmentalization

To compartmentalize means you have the ability to shut out all distractions and other work except for the work in front of you. Nothing gets past your barriers.

In psychology, compartmentalization is a defence mechanism our brains use to shut out traumatic events. We close down all thoughts about the traumatic event. This can lead to serious mental-health problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) if not dealt with properly.

However, compartmentalization can be used in positive ways to help us become more productive and allow us to focus on the things that are important to us.

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Robin Sharma, the renowned leadership coach, calls it his Tight Bubble of Total Focus Strategy. This is where he shuts out all distractions, turns off his phone and goes to a quiet place where no one will disturb him and does the work he wants to focus on. He allows nothing to come between himself and the work he is working on and prides himself on being almost uncontactable.

Others call it deep work. When I want to focus on a specific piece of work, I turn everything off, turn on my favourite music podcast The Anjunadeep Edition (soft, eclectic electronic music) and focus on the content I intend to work on. It works, and it allows me to get massive amounts of content produced every week.

The main point about compartmentalization is that no matter what else is going on in your life — you could be going through a difficult time in your relationships, your business could be sinking into bankruptcy or you just had a fight with your colleague; you can shut those things out of your mind and focus totally on the work that needs doing.

Your mind sees things as separate rooms with closable doors, so you can enter a mental room, close the door and have complete focus on whatever it is you want to focus on. Your mind does not wander.

Being able to achieve this state can seriously boost your productivity. You get a lot more quality work done and you find you have a lot more time to do the things you want to do. It is a skill worth mastering for the benefits it will bring you.

How to develop the skill of compartmentalization

The simplest way to develop this skill is to use your calendar.

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Your calendar is the most powerful tool you have in your productivity toolbox. It allows you to block time out, and it can focus you on the work that needs doing.

My calendar allows me to block time out so I can remove everything else out of my mind to focus on one thing. When I have scheduled time for writing, I know what I want to write about and I sit down and my mind completely focuses on the writing.

Nothing comes between me, my thoughts and the keyboard. I am in my writing compartment and that is where I want to be. Anything going on around me, such as a problem with a student, a difficulty with an area of my business or an argument with my wife is blocked out.

Understand that sometimes there’s nothing you can do about an issue

One of the ways to do this is to understand there are times when there is nothing you can do about an issue or an area of your life. For example, if I have a student with a problem, unless I am able to communicate with that student at that specific time, there is nothing I can do about it.

If I can help the student, I would schedule a meeting with the student to help them. But between now and the scheduled meeting there is nothing I can do. So, I block it out.

The meeting is scheduled on my calendar and I will be there. Until then, there is nothing I can do about it.

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Ask yourself the question “Is there anything I can do about it right now?”

This is a very powerful way to help you compartmentalize these issues.

If there is, focus all your attention on it to the exclusion of everything else until you have a workable solution. If not, then block it out, schedule time when you can do something about it and move on to the next piece of work you need to work on.

Being able to compartmentalize helps with productivity in another way. It reduces the amount of time you spend worrying.

Worrying about something is a huge waste of energy that never solves anything. Being able to block out issues you cannot deal with stops you from worrying about things and allows you to focus on the things you can do something about.

Reframe the problem as a question

Reframing the problem as a question such as “what do I have to do to solve this problem?” takes your mind away from a worried state into a solution state, where you begin searching for solutions.

One of the reasons David Allen’s Getting Things Done book has endured is because it focuses on contexts. This is a form of compartmentalization where you only do work you can work on.

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For instance, if a piece of work needs a computer, you would only look at the work when you were in front of a computer. If you were driving, you cannot do that work, so you would not be looking at it.

Choose one thing to focus on

To get better at compartmentalizing, look around your environment and seek out places where you can do specific types of work.

Taking your dog for a walk could be the time you focus solely on solving project problems, commuting to and from work could be the time you spend reading and developing your skills and the time between 10 am and 12 pm could be the time you spend on the phone sorting out client issues.

Once you make the decision about when and where you will do the different types of work, make it stick. Schedule it. Once it becomes a habit, you are well on your way to using the power of compartmentalization to become more productive.

Comparmentalization saves you stress

Compartmentalization is a skill that gives you time to deal with issues and work to the exclusion of all other distractions.

This means you get more work done in less time and this allows you to spend more time with the people you want to spend more time with, doing the things you want to spend more time doing.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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