Important Rules of Leadership

Being a leader is not easy. When times get tough, everyone looks to the leader of the group for guidance. While being a good leader is no easy task, leaders often reap significant benefits when they perform admirably. If you’d like to develop yourself into a leader, here are a few important rules to keep in mind.

Take Responsibility and Deflect Credit

One of the negative traits of a poor leader is that they always take the credit when things go well. When something good happens, they are the first one there to talk to the media, accept the award or take a pat on the back. A good leader would do the opposite of this. Instead of taking all the credit, they instead deflect the praise to their teammates. This helps your team members feel more valued but also builds confidence in your team.

On the other end of the spectrum, when things go bad, leaders are there to accept responsibility. A poor leader will always be likely to try to deflect the blame when something bad happens. They’ll blame it on another department or on a subordinate in their own department. If you are willing to accept the blame when something goes wrong, your team will respect you and often feel bad that they let you down.

Inspire Others

A great leader is a source of inspiration for the people around them. They always have a way of making their team feel better about themselves. They often have an infectious positive attitude that carries over into every facet of work and life. If you can be a source of inspiration to others, they’ll work hard for you and go to great lengths to make sure they meet your needs.

Be Willing to Adapt the Plan

Part of being a good leader is being flexible. If you’re too rigid in your thinking, you’ll often find yourself in trouble. Instead of sticking to your plan until the ship goes down, be willing to make course corrections. No plan ever goes exactly according to the script. In order to achieve true success, you’re going to have to be willing to swallow your pride and just make things work.

Overall, being a leader will never be easy. However, if you’re willing to put others first and be humble, you can evolve into a fantastic leader. Just remember to lead your team by example every step of the way.

How To Start Building Leadership Skills

No matter where you are on the company ladder, there are always ways and means to start building your leadership skills. Preparing yourself for the next step in your career will have you standing first in line for the next promotion. The following suggestions will have you well on your way up that ladder if you practice them religiously. These tips and suggestions include:

Act “As If” You Have Already Been Promoted

You want to move up and one of the best ways to do this is to act as if you already have the next position above the one you have now. Dress like it, talk like it, and carry yourself as if you have already achieved the next rung on the company ladder. Upper management will notice your new professionalism, and you will be in the spotlight for a brand new leadership career.

Support Upper Management

Always support the decisions and actions of management. When others are complaining and rebelling, realize that there are reasons for the changes and decisions that lower level employees may not be aware of. Be vocal and visible in your support and defend your company’s position.

Practice Leadership Traits

Do not be judgmental or arrogant as a co-worker or supervisor. Neither of these have any place in a true leader’s daily life. A real leader will be empathetic, caring, calm. understanding, and be open to new ideas. Practice these traits even when you feel frustrated and overwhelmed.

Read Biographies, Psychology, and Self-Help Books

Become an avid reader of leadership authors such as Anthony Robbins, Steven Covey, and Dale Carnegie. Study psychology so you can understand why some individuals think they way they do. Biographies of great leaders can be enlightening and educational.

Choose a Mentor

Select a professional whom you can emulate. This person can be someone you know and trust or can be a figurehead that you can follow from afar. It can even be someone who is no longer alive or is in your history books. Study that individual and how he treated employees and other individuals to get a true feel for what being a great leader is all about.

If you take this path, it won’t be long before you get noticed by the higher-ups. These are also excellent steps to follow if you own your own business and want to be an effective and productive supervisor or manager.

Skills Every Leader Should Be Proficient In

Some leaders are more effective than others. This can cause one to wonder what it is that the more effective leader does. There are some very important skills that are important for leaders to have. Leaders with these skills are more likely to be effective in business.

Shows Great Ethics And Makes People Feel Safe

One of the most important factors in leadership is how good he is at gaining the trust of his followers. The way that a leader can gain trust is by showing a great sense of ethics and safety. This shows that he actually cares about the people working for him. Therefore, he makes sure that he is clear on what he expects and any upcoming changes he is aware of.

Helps People Feel Connected

Many people have had jobs where they have felt as if they did not belong. This often resulted in their work performance falling short and in some cases, their lack of following what the leader has set out.

Willingness To Accept New Ideas and Solutions

Among the types of leaders that people are going to run into are those that are open to new ideas. Leaders with this type of flexibility are going to have a better time connecting with their workers. For one thing, this helps the workers stimulate their minds as well as bodies in the workforce. When people deal with the rigid approach to leadership, they are less likely to stick around for the long haul.

Encouraging Self-Organization

When leaders are clear in the direction they give their workers, then they are more likely to get the results they want from their workers. One thing that can frustrate workers a lot is a leader that is confusing in the directions that he gives the worker. When a leader does nothing to make himself clear, one of two things could happen. The worker could give up and walk out, or the worker could do things the wrong way.

Effective leadership is very important to the success of a business. In order to get the best performance from his worker, he has to make sure that he is providing an environment that is very productive. Among the things to do when leading someone is let them know when they are doing something right as well as when they make a mistake.

Habits to Get You Into the C-Suite

You can overcome significant barriers to job advancement by simply practicing healthy thought and behavior patterns. These habits are practiced by leading Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) throughout the business world, and following their example can help you follow their success.

Be Part of the Team

CEOs are leaders, and leaders are part of the team. Start being a team player by understanding how your specific job is related to the product or service your company provides. This may lead you to think of ways your job could be done better. Second, promote the culture of the workplace, even if you see things that could be better. Volunteer for company charity events and participate in company outings.

Communication is a part of every work culture, so be sure to practice it. Remember, no workplace is perfect. Griping and complaining are negative practices that can prevent you from seeing a way to make things better, or from encouraging others. If someone starts griping to you, listen politely while looking for a way you can help in the situation. Unfortunately, some people just love to complain. Don’t be a party to this. It damages the culture and the company.

Practice Leadership Skills

Refusing to be drawn into a negative conversation is leadership because it demonstrates to everyone how to get out of these situations. Look for other ways to practice leadership skills, such as by setting goals for yourself. Then encourage others to set and pursue their own goals, and try to find some way to contribute to their success.

If you have management responsibilities, there is a balance to be struck when using this approach. Good leaders allow team members to make their own decisions on some details of the job. After all, thinking of ways to do a job better is one of the first attributes of CEO thinking, and leadership means building this skill in others.

Take a Long View

Every business and every job has its bad days. Don’t get ruffled by them. Focus on the long-term prospects for your job and the business. Encourage this attitude in those around you, primarily by demonstrating it.

This is so important that if you can’t do it you should move on to a new job. CEOs believe in their jobs, so if you don’t see a long-term future it is time to move on to somewhere else.

What Daily Rituals Can Do For You

Most of us intuitively know about the importance of starting the day off right. Think about what happens if you stub your toe on the dresser after getting up in the morning. You become grouchy and that feeling carries over into a large part of your day.

When you have a morning ritual that’s relaxing and energizing, you’re more likely to feel good while getting ready for work. This good feeling can often travel well into the progression of your work day. This article will tell you a few reasons why you should create a morning ritual for yourself.

Wake Up Early

Some people might object to getting up earlier than they absolutely need to in order to get to work on time. Many people don’t get enough sleep as it is. But if you wake up an hour or even 90 minutes earlier, you’ll be a lot more relaxed once your body gets accustomed to the early rising. If you have a family, you’re also less likely to get interrupted by children or your spouse. Lastly, you’ll have time in the morning to get your favorite morning beverage and just unwind before getting ready for work.

Why You Should Breathe (More) In The Morning

The benefits of meditation are practically endless. One major benefit of morning meditation is that you won’t need your morning coffee after your breathing session. That’s because the parasympathetic nervous system brings about a deeper state of relaxation when you meditate. After your meditation session, your endorphins will energize you and help you get through your day. No coffee needed. Plus, morning meditation makes you more adaptable to the hiccups that occur during the day. Report due in 30 minutes? No problem. Traffic jam? Nothing you can’t handle. Morning meditation does this and more.

Exercise

Everyone knows how important it is to exercise. But many people sit behind a screen for hours on end, so moving your body whenever possible becomes even more imperative. Doing a minimum of 50 minutes of a form of exercise such as running, yoga, or cardio can give you a much-needed energy boost for your work day.
Self Improvement

One activity you might want to consider doing in the morning is engaging in some form of personal development. You could journal, read your favorite personal development blogs, or read a biography or self-help book for 30 minutes. All of these activities can get your day off to a great start by gathering inspiration from people who excelled in their respective fields.

What You Haven’t Heard About Being CEO

Being a CEO is actually a tremendous responsibility and the weight of that responsibility can take a huge toll on a person. Long is the list of CEO’s who have crashed and burned from the tremendous weight of leadership. Burning out doesn’t have to be a fact of life for CEO’s, however. As the new saying goes, it’s important to “put on your own oxygen mask first.” Here are 3 ways to engage in good self-care, which will help you to lead effectively over the long haul.

Rise early and start slow

Many people have this idea that the most productive people spring out of bed at the crack of dawn (or before) and immediately spring into action. That might be the best recipe for burnout, however. In reality, it can be far wiser to rise early and spend those early morning hours in thoughtful pursuits like planning, envisioning, meditating and even getting inspired. Early mornings are a great time to lay out a plan of attack for the day and strategize any current challenges you or your company is facing. Before you act, it’s important to have a plan and early mornings are a great time for developing one.

Throughout the day, breathe, write and move

Breathe: Taking as little as 30 seconds to breathe deeply several times a day will go a long way towards reducing stress and oxygenating the brain.

Write: Throughout the day, whenever you encounter a problem or issue that needs to be dealt with, write it down. Not only will that help you get it “off your mind” – literally – but it will give you a reminder of the problems that need to be solved during you morning strategy session.

Move: CEO’s spend an inordinate amount of time sitting behind computers and in meetings and conferences. Moving throughout the day is extremely important. It’s much better to do some kind of active movement 5 minutes every hour than to do a single hour-long workout before or at the end of the day. You can still put in that time, but it’s also important to stay loose and limber throughout the day.

Reflect

All too often, it is so easy for one day to simply run into the next that we can feel like a hamster on a wheel just running, running, running and getting nowhere. Taking some time at the end of each day to reflect on achievements, accomplishments or advancements you have made can minimize this feeling of constantly running and never getting anywhere.

Business Books to Keep on Your Shelf

No matter the industry, it’s important to be well-read on important material so that you can be well-versed in the happenings within the industry. While periodicals and newspapers are certainly worth your time to read, it’s also vital that you keep up with the recent and precedent-setting literature that others around you are reading. While most of us obviously can’t keep up with every single thing that’s published, knowing what some of the best, most thought-provoking books are and reading some of them can help you keep your edge. For some of the best books on business, check out my list below.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey

    • An industry standard since it was first published in 1989, Covey’s book remains so well-loved for its cut and dry analysis that puts homegrown principles like honesty and integrity over psychology and fads.

True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership – Bill George

    • Leadership is something than anyone can learn, but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to learning it. In his book, Bill George curates the knowledge and wisdom of more than 125 leaders to disprove the notion of the “perfect leader” and help others imbibe what it means to be a leader and find their own “true north” method for being one.

Shoe Dog – Phil Knight

    • Fans of the brand Nike will recognize this name as the founder of athletic giant Nike. Knight founded the brand in 1964 and has since grown it into a globally recognizable brand that has earned him an incredible personal fortune worth $26.2B.  Shoe Dog is his memoir, which tells his story all the way from borrowing $50 from his father to launch the business all the way to reaching remarkable annual sales of tens of billions of dollars.

The Essays of Warren Buffett – Warren Buffett & Lawrence A. Cunningham

    • When it comes to business acumen and success, there’s no one quite like Warren Buffett. His skill and keen insight into the world of real estate helped him build a name and legacy for himself as one of the wealthiest men alive. Buffett’s essays makes for great reading due to the guru’s ability to explain complex concepts concisely and write in an easily comprehensible manner.

Things All Inspiring Leaders Do

Leaders are not all built the same. I’m sure you’ve experienced both great leadership and ineffective leadership at least once before. However, truly inspiring leadership seems to be few and far between. In order to dissect the makeup of an inspirational leader, here are five of the most important things inspiring leaders are doing.

Positive Presence

It takes a lot to be considered inspirational as a leader, but you’ll never achieve that level of greatness without being a positive presence. Positivity is infectious. It’s hard to not laugh with someone or celebrate the wins of a team member when leadership is right there with you doing the same. If you don’t have someone at the helm who’s happy to be at work and eager to help, it’s hard to feel that way about work, too.

Clear Communicators

Easily, the biggest problem with ineffective leaders is communication. It should be no surprise that inspiring leadership are experts at communication. They are always clear and concise but go out of their way to clarify anything that does not make sense. They also are very careful and deliberate with their messaging. They don’t want to waste your time or send a message that comes off with a different meaning than they intended.

Grateful for Their Team

The most satisfying feeling at any job is working under grateful leadership. For employees, it goes a long way when leadership is grateful for the hard work and dedication they put out day after day. Jobs are not meant to be fun, so there are always unpleasant or difficult tasks that need to be finished. Coming out the other side of a grueling task knowing that leadership is grateful for your work makes it that much easier. Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than working really hard only to find out it went unnoticed.

Listen Intently

Listening is a close cousin of communication. No leader can be an effective communicator without also being a great listener. When leadership listens intently to what you have to say and internalized it before responding, you both get closer to achieving goals that work for the both of you.

Genuinely Care

Compassion is the final attribute inspirational leaders all possess. They genuinely care about the company they lead, the employees who work with them, and the consumers they serve. When people come from a place of genuine care, it’s easier to work through the difficult times.

Being CEO is Not Easy: Here’s Why

It more than likely goes without saying, but being the Chief Executive Officer of a company is no easy task. What’s more important to talk about is why. Not many people know exactly what it takes to be a CEO or what makes it such a hard job. We have a general understanding that the title comes with a lot of responsibility, but here are a few of the difficult parts of the job.

CEOs have to take the biggest risks

As CEO, you’re the head risk taker. It’s your job to steer the company in an innovative and explosive growth directions. More often than not, that involved taking quite a big risk. There’s no great reward without a substantial risk. This can be a taxing part of the job, especially when taking a risk falls up short.

Earning Respect of All Employees

Earning the respect of an entire company is not an easy task. Plus, you have to give respect to get it back. To add on another layer of difficulty, earning that respect also requires you to prove every day why you are fit to be CEO. Listening to the ideas and concerns of others is the final piece of the puzzle. Respect is much easier to earn when your employees know you spend the time listening to them and value what they have to say.

Have to Communicate Well

Communication is one of the biggest jobs of a CEO. You must communicate effectively with the board and also be able to turn around and communicate that same information to the rest of the company. As the face of a business, CEOs are also tasked with communicating with consumers. This could be at the release of a new product or responding to issues. No matter what way you look at it, communicating well is a pivotal and difficult part of the job.

CEOs Determine and Set Work Culture

As we know, work culture is extremely important to every office. It can change the landscape of the office and the quality of work completed by employees. It’s the CEOs job to effectively determine what the company culture looks like and begins to put it in motion. If the CEO doesn’t live the culture and help push it forward, it will never get off the ground.

Tips for Time Management

There are only 24 hours in a day, and no matter how much extra you try to squeeze into each day, that fact is never going to change. The question that remains is how to use those 24 hours most efficiently and effectively to get done as much as you can in the time that you have. While some people have no problem managing their minutes on a daily basis, others might not be as lucky. Make the most out of each day with these tips for time management.

  • Prioritize.

Like I said, there are only 24 hours in a day, which means that if you have 26 hours worth of things to do, you’re going to have to make some decisions. Even though, in your mind, everything needs to be done today, there is likely a hierarchy of importance with these tasks. Figure out what absolutely needs to be done that day, and work backwards, choosing 3 or 4 of the most important tasks to complete each day.  

  • Get a good night’s rest.

Sure, on the busiest days, the last thing that you feel like you have time for is sleep, but missing sleep will hurt you in the long run by impacting your productivity and not allowing you to be at your best. While it’s easy to cut 2 hours of sleep out of your night to make room for more tasks to complete, don’t sell yourself short by not giving your body the rest and rejuvenation that it needs to begin each day at 100%.

  • Get a jump start on the day.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” and this phrase has stuck around so long because it’s true. Procrastination is the killer of productivity, so get an early jump on each day to keep yourself on your toes.

  • Focus on one task at a time.

If you tackle each task with the entirety of your to-do list in the back of your mind, you’re going to overwhelm yourself before you even start while not making your list any shorter. Focus 100% (or as much as you can) of your attention on the task at hand, and do this for each task on your list until you complete them.