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.

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.

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.

C-Suite Productivity Hacks

Everyone wants to be productive, however we all know it’s easier said than done, right? If you’ve ever thought about all the successful people in the world, you know that it’s not easy for them to get to the top. Some have failed, others failed and tried hundreds of times before reaching their goals. However, all executives have one thing in common; they must find ways to stay productive. If you feel like you don’t have enough time in a day, imagine with a C-level executive feels like. The trick to productivity is to plan our your day to ensure you have time for all the important things that need to be done, followed by the least important. By following these hacks, you’ll be able to change the way you think and work to ensure maximum productivity.

No distractions- airplane mode

The reality is that as a society, we are more distracted than ever. The reason is none other than technology. We are constantly looking at screens and socially interacting through the internet. Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to get any work done as we continue to check up on e-mails, texts, and social media updates. However, have you ever noticed how many people try to get work done at an airport or on a flight? Putting your cellular devices and tablets on airplane mode may be the key to becoming more productive. I mean think about it; when the internet and cell service is down, you have no choice but to stay off your phone. This allows you to become more productive with your time and getting your work done. Try putting your phone on airplane mode when you’re looking to be more productive throughout the day. This trick works perfectly for those who are working from home or spending too much time on social media while at the office.

Least desirable task first

Another trick to get you on track and allow you to finish your daily assignments is to complete your most dreaded task first. Although dreadful tasks aren’t the most fun to do, they can actually keep you from getting your work done and wasting your time. By completing your most important or dreadful task first thing in the morning, you’ll have more to look forward to after you complete it.You’ll have no negative assignments thoughts to think about the rest of your day, ultimately allowing you to be more productive.

Create a plan

One of the most important steps to take for ultimate productivity is to create a plan. Whether you use your computer or write lists on a piece of paper or planner, creating a plan is crucial in productivity. When you write something down, you are making a contract with yourself, so you are less likely to break it. You’re also less likely to forget about it because your mind is cleared from all the things you’re trying to remember at the same time. Writing out all the things you have to do will also allow you to schedule out time for your tasks, but also allow you to see where you have free time and where it is being wasted. This will help you become more organized and motivated. Try this trick before bed or as soon as you wake up in the morning. You’ll quickly see a productivity difference.