7 Reasons Leaders Must Tell The Truth

When I first started working, I was always confronted to difficult situations, to toxic managers lying and scapegoating people to protect their position.

To protect myself, I learn to discipline myself, to speak the truth and to walk in my own truth at all times.

If a process didn’t work, it just didn’t work.

If I did a good job, then I did a good job.

If I performed poorly, then I performed poorly.

I told the truth during annual performance reviews to my team and to my higher-ups.

Was it difficult? Yes.

Was it worth it? Yes.

Wondering how and why leaders must deliver the truth?

Part of being a leader is being able to handle a lie and tell the truth.

This is a job that most people cannot do.

It requires a strong sense of ethics, justice, vulnerability, transparency, fearlessness and determination.

7 Reasons Leaders Must Tell The Truth

The truth is ugly. The truth is painful. The truth is humiliating.

The truth isn’t easy to say but it will strengthen your character.

7 Reasons Leaders Must Tell The Truth

#1. The truth is powerful

If you walk in your truth, nobody will be able to use it against you or to define who you are.

You will gain control of your life, give up control over people, give up false expectations and take responsibility for your action.

#2. The truth promotes change

Telling the truth is similar to confrontation in the sense that it challenges the status quo.

It helps you face your assumptions and stereotypes about people.

#3. The truth is freeing

Knowing your truth will help you improve your lifestyle.

It gives you peace of mind and helps you accept reality. You don’t have to worry about what people think about you.

You don’t worry about being questioned because you walk with integrity.

#4. The truth increases your respect and credibility

Leaders have to speak the truth even when it hurts them directly.

Speaking the truth increases credibility and creates trust in relationships.

Leaders who tell the truth increase their influence, breed trust and are seen as reliable.

#5. The truth builds strong and deep relationships

Telling the truth creates a culture of candor.

In addition, telling the truth helps others grow and better themselves.

Not telling the truth would be doing people a disservice.

Furthermore, being candid will help build strong and safe workplaces.

#6. The truth forces you to confront reality

Seeking truth will help you understand your core values, your failures and your successes.

Telling the truth as a leader means being vulnerable and authentic.

As a result, you will be able to confront others, yourself and your ideas.

You will get more comfortable with yourself.

You will also be able to easily face your blind spots, acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses.

#7. The truth brings resolve

The truth helps leaders make effective decisions.

When leaders face hard realities, they have to acknowledge it and act quickly.

How To Deliver The Truth?

Just like advice, the truth must be solicited.

  1. Confront your own truth first. Like the old proverb says: remove the wax from your eyes before you remove the wax from someone else’s eye.
  2. Be transparent. Share your successes and struggles.
  3. Prepare yourself mentally for the conversation to come. Telling the truth doesn’t require as much energy as lying, is immutable and sustainable. However, you never know how the other person is going to react. Therefore, you have to brace yourself.
  4. Gather what you have to say in private. Write it down of necessary.
  5. Hone your communication style. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
  6. Clarify your intentions and visualize the outcome of the conversation.
  7. Discern who can handle the truth or not. Whenever in doubt, it is best to ask if they can. Then, take that person in private.
  8. Show compassion and be humble.
  9. Be empathetic and understand that the topic may be sensitive for others.
  10. Monitor your voice tone and your attitude. Your truth cannot be aggressive or finger-pointing.
  11. Look people in their eyes when you speak.
  12. People avoid the truth because they fear repercussions. Encourage and thank people for the truth. This way, you will get more of it and will create a culture of candor.
  13. Stick to facts and to “I feel like” statements.
  14. Explain boundaries and limit your truth-telling.
  15. If you don’t want to discuss a topic, be clear on why.

Last Words Of Advice!

Some leaders are tempted to lie because they don’t want to appear weak or less that they actually are. To avoid lying:

  1. Remember that sticking to the truth is not a weakness.
  2. Understand that everyone holds their truth and that there are several sides to every story.
  3. Don’t make promises you know that you cannot keep.
  4. Don’t use the truth to put down someone else or to crush someone spirit.
  5. Take responsibility for your actions and stop shifting blame.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

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10 Things Every New Leader Should Do

When you are a leader, people will be watching your every moves like a hawk.

So, there are a couple of things to do and not to do in order to be unimpeachable and to represent your true self well.

Sometimes, the novelty of the job, the number of people you meet, the quantity of information transiting in your direction, the new type of pressure tend to make you forget your role as a leader.

The truth is that you do during your first few days as a leader will mark memories in the long run.

10 Things Every New Leader Should Do

10 Things Every New Leader Should Do

#1. Create work-life balance

Congratulations on your new position!

  1. Take a moment to drain it all in and celebrate success. When you access a new position, you are either frightened or excited.
  2. Take some time to assess your new role and the advancement in your career, on your success.
  3. Get your personal life together. Have hobbies and a strong support system in place.
  4. Prepare your transition to your new position.

#2. Mind your character

When you meet someone for the first time, they will have a tendency to test you, your principles, character, core values and boundaries.

For example, from your boss to the cleaning lady, they will all check if you get angry easily or his much patience you have.

It is important to always be developing yourself as a leader.

#3. Check your attitude

A positive attitude is everything and will determine your heights to success. During the first few months, it is detrimental to:

  1. Stay visible.
  2. Adopt a winning strategy.
  3. Be aware of your actions. You are now a role model.
  4. Keep a positive attitude and body language, even when you don’t feel like it.

#4. Be approachable

Sometimes, it’s important to seem approachable:

  1. Introduce yourself to people even if you don’t know them or are not introduced. Don’t wait too long before introducing yourself or else it will quickly get awkward.
  2. Remember names when you are being introduced.
  3. Try to get along with people for the first few days.
  4. Help others find their motivation.

#5. Groom yourself and dress like a leader

No matter what people say, first impressions matter unfortunately. Dressing like a leader will help you feel confident and will in consequence increase your ability to lead.

Even though you know that clothes don’t define your character, most people make snap judgments.

Also, observe the company’s dress code and dress accordingly.

#6. Keep learning

Learning is a humbling process. Even though new leaders think that they can handle their position with their old skills and their old knowledge, most of them don’t have the necessary skills to be a leader.

  1. Make sure that you study and learn the corporate culture.
  2. Evaluate what you have learned from your previous jobs and from the previous one in your position.
  3. Ask questions even if they make you look or feel incompetent.
  4. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to perform.
  5. Don’t stop learning. Not because you have reached a leadership position that you have to stop learning and stop asking questions.

#7. Build relationships

Building the right relationships is a cultural key to success.

To quickly build relationships and to grow your network, put your interpersonal skills to the test and make a positive first impression.

#8. Watch out for office politics

Office politics in the first few days is risky.

  1. Be mindful of office politics and the cliques that already exist.
  2. Choose your clicks wisely you want to belong to. Do not try to belong to a group in particular or try to be friends with their former colleagues.
  3. Keep your opinion about your colleagues and your work to yourself. There is nothing more disgraceful than a gossiping leader that nobody can trust.
  4. Find out how your new team operated in the past.

#9. Assess your strengths and weaknesses 

You do not want to reach these heights and find out that the positions is not made for you, that you are not capable of achieving success, job fulfillment, job satisfaction.

  1. Understand that different skills will be demanded in your new role. What got you here won’t get you there.
  2. Make sure that you really want this position and that it’s right for you.
  3. Get a hold on your purpose. You will know if you are walking in your purpose by the amount of joy you experience while executing your purpose.

#10. Earn your respect

In your first few months:

  1. Do not try to be liked but to be respected. This is an advice for mostly women who have to annoyingly smile and forcefully be polite.
  2. Don’t be too quick to use your new authority or power.
  3. Start taking responsibility for your actions.
  4. Share your core values and set high expectations for performance, results, conduct, alignment and engagement.
  5. Give respect. Find out where your role starts and ends. There is no need to step on anybody’s toes.

Last Words Of Advice!

The first months are the right time to set right habits.

  1. Don’t stop growing and expect discomfort.
  2. Remember that you are the one who makes the decision.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

13 Signs That You Are A Trailblazing Leader

Pioneering or trailblazing leaders are the firsts to do anything in any field.

Indeed, they initiate, innovate, explore and thrive in uncharted territory. They face obstacles before anyone else.

Furthermore, they are always learning, growing and getting out of their comfort zones.

Needless to say, the job of the pioneering or trailblazing leader is hard. 

Wondering what makes you a trailblazing leader?

13 Signs That You Are A Trailblazing Leader

13 Signs That You Are A Trailblazing Leader

Being a pioneer or trailblazer requires courage, grit, commitment and responsibility.

#1. You have a clear vision

You have a clear vision for your future.

Your vision is a dream that encompasses their values and morals, that seems unrealistic but that is yet anchored in reality, that is ingrained in your DNA.

You are confident about it and you can communicate it easily.

You aim to build a company culture that promotes curiosity, imagination and brainstorming.

However, you do not need to have a clear step by step plan.

In addition, you are always frustrated because your reality doesn’t match your vision. Your progress doesn’t seem enough and you believe that you can be better, do better, do more and do faster.

#2. You know your worth

You are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, of your limitations and your uniqueness.

You value your originality and you hate imitating others.

You don’t try to blend in because you understand your value resides in standing out.

#3. You are pathologically curious

You are eager to learn and cannot stop asking questions.

Without fearing repercussions, you ask questions that no one has never asked before.

You understand that the possibilities are endless and you are never done exploring them.

You experiment with things that excite or scare you. By facing your fears, you evolve and learn important information about yourself.

#4. You embrace change

You embrace change and innovation. Matter of fact, you love to lead in tumultuous waters, you are the first to say or do anything and you adapt easily to change.

Great leaders know that they have to embrace change in order to stay competitive and relevant.

Moreover, you see life as an adventure. For example, you are unafraid of uprooting and moving to a strange place.

You love experimenting, taking risks and can’t stand routine.

You enjoy trying new thing and seeing what will happen next.

#5. You are creative

You are creative and your need to create overpowers all your fears.

You can’t help that you:

  1. Require creative freedom.
  2. Are entirely consumed by your creations.
  3. Care more about the content than the format.
  4. Care more about creating than being right or clever.
  5. Care more about creating or innovating than selling or introducing it to the world.

#6. You need freedom

Your freedom means everything to you.

You hate structure, rules, paperwork because you believe that all these are processes stifle your creativity, delay your pioneering moves and slow you down.

#7. You challenge the status quo

You are unpredictable. Your forward-thinking disrupts, challenges the status quo and pushes people out of their comfort zone.

Consequently, your presence and your perspectives make people uncomfortable.

You wish that they can see what you see and understand what you believe in.

#8. You attract the right people

You love to explore and to meet new people.

A trailblazing leader goes first and leads by example. By going first, you will attract the right type of followers and you will be able to feed from their energy to keep pursuing your vision.

At the end, you will build a team that is unconventional but has the right skills to reach your vision.

#9. You take self-motivated action

You constantly take action and need to move forward.

Indeed, you are always on the move, looking for the next new thing. You are always looking for new opportunities.

Furthermore, you are self-motivated. You do not need someone to encourage you or push you towards your goals.

You are goal-oriented: you have a tendency to focus on your vision and unfortunately forget your relationships.

However, with your actions, you will inspire others to take action.

#10. You are resilient

You are persistent and resilient. You see challenges as opportunities and courageously face adversity.

You are also committed to your vision and are willing to see a problem through.

By now, You have thick skin because people have tried to shut you down so many times.

Do not fear the winds of adversity. Remember, a kite rises against the wind rather than with it.” - Winston S. Churchill Click To Tweet

#11. You are solution-oriented

Because you usually blaze a trail, you have become resourceful and solution-oriented.

You are able to make quick decisions and bring new solutions to your organization by solely relying on your gut for the next direction to take.

In addition, you are able to find different solutions to one problem because you are confident about the future.

#12. You are optimistic

You stay positive as a life and leadership strategy.

You are optimistic and excited about all the possible positive outcomes.

Furthermore, you don’t complain. You understand that life is made of ups and downs, that complaining amplifies the issues and weighs you down.

#13. Your work ethic is unheard of

You have a strong work ethic.

You believe that if you put the work in, your vision will come to life.

You are committed to your vision and have laser focus.

Last Words Of Advice!

Remember, most people will feel uncomfortable in your presence because you question their reality and their systems of belief.

It becomes critical to remember who you are and what you stand for.

It becomes detrimental to be patient with people, to stand alone than to stand in the midst of people who group-think.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

15 Edifying Experiences That Help Leaders Learn To Lead

The best leaders develop their skills on the field and learn from their experience.

They acknowledge that they do not know everything, that their learning process is singular but they are curious and are open to learn.

It is common knowledge that experience is the best teacher. Your experiences will help you develop a leadership style, a communication style, core values, purpose, character and emotional discipline.

Wondering how and which experiences can teach you how to lead?

15 Edifying Experiences That Help Leaders Learn To Lead

25 Edifying Experiences That Help Leaders Learn To Lead

Through your experiences, if you take time out to extract the lessons from your experiences, you will become a wiser and successful leader.

#1. When You Fail

At some point in your career, you will fail as a leader or as a person. You will fail to meet deadlines, to perform or to succeed.

However, every leader knows that you cannot let failure define you and that you must go on.

Indeed, failure is most often seen in a negative light but shows you what you are really made of.

Failure are inevitable, are a factor for change, redirects your career, helps you change procedures and your character.

Experiencing failure teaches you to:

  • Be more self-aware.
  • Identify the cues of failure.
  • Don’t punish yourself for failures and forgive yourself.
  • Measure the consequences of the mistakes and take responsibility for the failure.
  • Encourage constructive criticism as much as feedback is given.
  • Make immediate analysis and changes to fix the mistakes.
  • Be smart and learn from the mistakes made.
  • Be wise and learn from the mistakes of others.
  • Create an environment that is safe to make mistakes and to recover from them.
Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward. - John C. Maxwell Click To Tweet

#2. When You Get Familiar With Positivity & Success

Positive experiences are highly memorable and can change your life forever.

Positive attitudes can become difficult to maintain in challenging situations in the workplace. But once acquired, it is a habit that can help you overcome bad situations.

Indeed, positivity ensures progress, diffuses situations, alleviates stress, reduces fear, increases endurance, increase self-esteem, attracts positive results and better opportunities.

There are many ways to bring positivity into the workplace and into your mind. When you get familiar with positivity and success, you learn to:

#3. When You Promote Forgiveness

Forgiveness is often seen as weakness in the workplace. However, it is an efficient tool to avoid toxic conflicts, boost productivity, motivation and well-being.

Truthfully, in the workplace, people are sensitive about their work, feelings get hurt easily and emotions get high. It becomes essential to:

  • Forgive yourself when you have wronged someone or yourself.
  • Forgive others for their wrongdoings as well.

Becoming a forgiving person will teach you to:

  • Be compassionate and to let things go.
  • Not define yourself by your mistakes.
  • Not focus on the past and to be present.
  • Do your best next time.

#4. When You Find A Role Model

A role model can be a family member, a friend, a coworker, or another leader.

Role models provide sound advice, ongoing feedback, emotional support, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, higher self-esteem, better focus, stronger confidence.

Emulating their thoughts and behavior can improve your mind and teach you how to lead.

Keep in mind that you can learn from a bad leader as much as a good leader.

#5. When You Enjoy Solitude

Solitude and leadership often go hand in hand.

That is because, though leaders have family, friends, mentors and large network, they are the ones making the ultimate decision for their organization and not everyone will agree with their decisions.

However, solitude can give you time to think, to understand who you are and how you want to lead.

Leadership is also having the power to stand alone.

Leadership is also having the power to stand alone. - Vanessa Sylvester Click To Tweet

#6. When You Find Your Purpose or Renew Your Vision

You need to know why you work and your team needs to know why they work for you.

It is the vision that leads you and propels you forward, that wakes you up in the morning, that drives your performance, that is communicated to your employees, that gives meaning to your actions and decisions, and that leans on your belief systems.

Leaders with a vision are ambitious and satisfied with their lives, become hopeful and optimistic about the future, invite change, and select their employees according to their strengths and not their weaknesses.

They are also daring and don’t fear failure, are emotionally invested in their goals, flexible, persistent, resistant to social pressure and are convinced of their future success.

With purpose, leaders can easily overcome adversity. - Vanessa Sylvester Click To Tweet

#7. When You Have To Chose Being Like Vs. Being Respected

I am sure that at some point, you have realized that you get more things done when your coworkers like you.

However, in these situations, you can quickly become a people pleaser and lose the respect of your coworkers.

There comes a time when you have to decide whether you want to be liked or to be respected.

#8. When You Experience Different Cultures

You have experienced different cultures and are now culturally sensitive.

Cultural sensitivity is being aware that everyone is not the same. It means being able to learn from different people, to understand their backgrounds, to collaborate and cooperate with them, without being judgmental.

Cultural sensitivity means viewing everyone as a unique individual. It promotes unity and has become a skill that is most useful in the world of today.

You are now capable of adapting your leadership and communication style to every single member of your team.

You are also capable of shifting the focus from yourself to your team.

#9. When You Thought You Knew It All 

Not because you are the leader, that you have all the solutions or are always right.

In fact, being a leader is being placed in a position of service and humility.

To be a humble leader:

  • Be confident about your own capabilities.
  • Take the time to think and to come up with a solution.
  • Understand that being a leader is not about being right.
  • Give people the time to think for themselves and to make their own mistakes.
  • Acknowledge that someone on your team may have better ideas than you do.
  • Learn to ask for help and to detect if someone needs help.
  • Learn to ponder your responses.

#10. When You Have Foot In The Mouth Syndrome

Sometimes, we say whatever comes to our mind.

Other times, we blurt out things that we don’t mean but we haven’t measured the real impact of our words.

In these moments, we understand that we should be quiet, that we should learn to speak less and listen more.

#11. When You Get Caught Up In Office Politics

Office politics is often badly perceived because it can be cruel, calculated and manipulative.

Sometimes, office politics is a dangerous and corrosive game but it is a game. It is part of human nature, a social activity, a marathon and not a sprint.

Other times, properly navigating office politics can give you access to leadership opportunities and promotion.

Once you have experienced office politics, you become aware of the power play, of how you speak and listen to people.

You start making sure that you are robust, are not dependent on people or other external factors, that you are emotionally detached from your work and that you can clearly separate your identity from your job.

#12. When You Have To Deal With Toxic Coworkers

We all have been exposed during a period of time to annoying, hateful, toxic coworkers who can drive us crazy.

Whether it’s confronting a team member about their behavior or their performance, toxic coworkers can take a toll on you.

However, it can also help you grow and become a better leader.

#13. When You Have Identified Your Core Leadership Values

Core values are principles that build your character and that define who you are deep down.

In life and in the workplace, your core values will definitely be put to the test.

For example, some people will not hesitate to lie on you or to sabotage your work to advance their career.

Consolidating your core leadership values requires hard work, determination, daily practice and self-discipline.

#14. When You Welcome Change

If you have experienced drastic change in the workplace, you know that is better not to resist it.

Change is a part of life, is a constant and is inevitable. Change shakes things up, disrupts old habits, breathes new life into the workplace and into any project.

Furthermore, it has the ability to stimulate interest in your job. It also creates an opportunity for promotion and to develop new skills.

Welcoming change teaches you to:

  • Be a catalyst for change and to champion innovation.
  • Regularly get outside of your comfort zone.
  • Handle feedback, setbacks and opportunities.

#15. When You Assist Training Programs

You have been to different seminars and courses and realized that you have acquired so much skills and tools in such short time.

You have also met like-minded people who understand you vision.

Last Words Of Advice!

There are various ways that a leader can learn new skills and can learn how to lead.

Every experience is an opportunity to test your skills and to learn some new ones.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

11 Best Strategies For Leaders To Fight Workplace Stress

Have you ever noticed that no matter how much you are successful, how much you wish to be happy or to have peace of mind, life has a way of placing you in the same stressful situations?

That is because, until you have learnt to deal with these stressful situations, they will keep showing up.

For example, if you try to avoid someone who stresses you out, you will constantly run into that same person until you deal with your feelings about that person.

It is therefore important to learn how to cope with these situations and find the right methods to address your stress.

Wondering how to cope and effectively fight workplace stress?

11 Best Strategies For Leaders To Fight Workplace Stress

Why are leaders stressed in the workplace?

Stress is inherently part of life and stressed leaders have seemed to become the norm. Leaders are mostly stressed at work due to:

  • interpersonal conflicts,
  • poor time management,
  • poor work performance,
  • a lack of financial freedom,
  • drastic and sudden changes,
  • excess meetings, policies and procedures.

Stress has a direct impact on the corporate culture, on the leader’s leadership style, performance, and health.

People express stress differently: some people get angry, some get exhausted and withdrawn, and others go into fight or flight mode.

11 Best Strategies For Leaders To Fight Workplace Stress

There are several ways to remain calm under pressure, manage your stress and use it to your advantage.

#1. Be more self-aware & develop your emotional discipline

It becomes critical to always take a step back from a situation, seek deeper insights in your thoughts and behaviors to identify stress triggers, weigh out the outcomes of the situation. How important is this situation for you?

To be more self-aware and develop emotional disciplined:

  • Confront your painful situation and identify your triggers.
  • Identify your strength, weaknesses and limitations.
  • Be aware of the first physical symptoms of stress. Observe how your body responds to stress. During stressful times, some people are tense, can’t sleep, can’t eat.
  • Control your emotional reaction to the situation.
  • Write down the things that bother you.
  • Put a name to your emotions.

#2. Change your mindset

Your mind has everything to do with your behavior. To change your mindset:

  • See stress as a motivation.
  • Influence your brain to accurately interpret a high pressured situation. We have a tendency to distort situations through our lenses and either make them grander than they are.
  • Assume strictly positive outcomes of the stressful situation and speak positivity into reality.
  • Be open to new opportunities and new experiences.
  • Stay calm and positive. Positive attitudes can become difficult to maintain in challenging situations in the workplace. But once acquired, it is a habit that can help you overcome bad situations.
Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. - Hans Selye Click To Tweet

#3. Be grateful

No matter how hard it gets, you are still breathing. This means that you have one more day to change your situation and to create a better life.

To dispel stress:

  • Be grateful for your day to day.
  • Make a gratitude list to remind yourself of what you are thankful for.
  • Appreciate where you are in life, even where it’s not where you want to be.

#4. Prioritize & stick to the essentials

When deadlines are set and cannot be moved, when we are late we tend to stress out.

Prioritizing is all about honing your decisions making and time management skills in order to achieve more. To do so:

  • Understand that it’s OK to miss out on things.
  • Learn how to say no and to set boundaries.
  • Learn to prioritize. When you have your priorities in check, you are able to know what is essential, what you are able to handle in your work day and who you are able to see.
  • Apply the 80/20 principle.
  • Don’t try to be perfect.

#5. Create a better work-life balance

Your professional and your personal lives are tightly intertwined. Creating work-life balance is not giving equal attention to both work and life.

However, it means that you are satisfied with your contributions to your life and work, that you are able to create a sustainable synergy between both so that you are fueled by them on a daily basis.

To create a better work-life balance:

  • Don’t stay too long at work.
  • Don’t take your stress at home.
  • Take long drives before getting home.
  • Spend more time with family and friends.
  • Figure out if you can work from home.
  • Create a morning routine to kick off your day on the right foot.
  • Take care of yourself first and boost your leadership self-esteem.
  • Align your daily activities in life and work with your values, principles.

#6. Learn how to delegate 

Most leaders want to control people, do everything themselves, be on top of everything all at once and find it hard to delegate.

However, to remove stress due to work overload, it is important to learn how to delegate and automate some of your activities.

Delegating will allow you to take all the load off your shoulders. To delegate:

  • Demonstrate confidence in yourself and in your team.
  • Select experts in their field, clarify their roles, give them the authority to do their jobs, allow them to fail and to grow.
  • Create clear progress measurement tools and milestones.
  • Avoid micromanaging people but measure their advancement.

#7. Learn to communicate

Great communication skills will improve your leadership credibility, your self-confidence, your relationships with others, your feelings of belonging and will decrease your stress level.

They will also drive change and increase team motivation.

To decrease your stress level:

  • Learn to effectively communicate your grievances.
  • Remember that everyone is different and won’t communicate the way you do.

#8. Emotionally detach yourself from your job.

Obsessing about work is problematic and unhealthy. Most of the time, being emotionally attached leads to being sensitive to feedback and to being unable to see the bigger picture.

Unfortunately, most people who succeed are those who put in work and yet are detached from their work.

#9. Filter out your entourage

Leaders and employees have to make quick decisions while getting along with everyone, in multicultural contexts, with people from various backgrounds.

So, if your relationships brings you more stress than necessary:

  • Surround yourself with people you can trust. Build real connections and learn to discern the authentic relationships by observing their actions.
  • Confide in your mentor and ask for advice.
  • If you can, get rid of toxic coworkers or relationships.
  • Isolate yourself if needed. Sometimes, it is good  to remove yourself from society, to contemplate solitude in order to enjoy yourself, your thoughts.
  • If you are unable to avoid negative interactions, isolate the information that you need from the interaction. Write down that information and do not rely on memory or distorted thoughts.
  • Do not compete with people and stay focused on your job.

#10. Exercise and take regular breaks

Exercise and regular breaks will allow you to break your routine and mindless actions.

  • Plan your breaks.
  • Take time off to disconnect and enjoy your holidays.
  • Listen more than you speak to give your brain a break.
  • Make sure that your habits and exercise routine fit your lifestyle.
  • Do activities that you enjoy in the middle of the work day and on weekends.
  • Unplug from the internet and from your phone on your breaks and on the weekends.

#11. Let go & let God

At some point in life, you must:

  • Understand that you cannot control everything.
  • Control the controllable factors (like your reactions to the situation) and release what you cannot control. Worrying about people or events beyond your control is a waste of energy.
  • Know that your situation is temporary and that you will come through the other side. Meanwhile, be kind to somebody and help someone.

Last Words Of Advice!

Remember that, as a leader, people are closely monitoring your behavior.

They will be looking to you for inspiration and for a sense of calm in challenging situations.

Finally, make sure that your passion for your job outweigh your level of stress on the job. If it doesn’t, then it’s time to quit.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

14 Common Mistakes That New Leaders Make

New leaders get into leadership positions by demonstrating greater skills, higher levels of emotional intelligence, better expertise than the teams they were in.

However, for new leaders, mistakes are common and quasi inevitable.

Mistakes show you what you are made of, what you need to succeed, what you need to redirect your career, what you are missing to improve your character.

Wondering what are the common mistakes to avoid as a new leader?

Mistakes don’t directly lead to success but it can show you the way. It is best when they come to light rather than going unnoticed.

When mistakes are made, it makes sense for us to focus on what we have done right, on our strengths rather than our weaknesses.

14 Common Mistakes That New Leaders Make

14 Common Mistakes That New Leaders Make

#1. New leaders ego-trip

Some new leaders want to bring attention to themselves, to demonstrate their self-importance and their superiority.

They usually overstep their boundaries, put down their “subordinates” and come off as arrogant. It is safe to say that:

  • They lack self-confidence and self-awareness.
  • Their ego is fragile. They surround themselves with yes men and people who strike their ego.
  • They are entitled to their position and don’t understand that the position requires work and humility.

#2. New leaders power-trip

Leaders who power-trip lack humility and self-discipline.

They use their new position to impose their authority, to remind their “subordinates” that they have power over them and to exact revenge on coworkers that they didn’t like.

Needless to say, power tripping can damage trust and workplace morale.

#3. New leaders don’t deal with their imposter syndrome

New leaders let their imposter syndrome sabotage their efforts.

Leaders with imposter syndrome don’t believe that they are due to their position, don’t believe that they have succeeded thanks to their gifts.

Some of them are insecure, tend to feel like frauds and are afraid of being unmasked.

Some are overzealous. They want to do things their way, be the catalysts of change, challenge the status quo almost immediately.

Some overwork, they show off their skills and try to prove themselves.

Others expect perfection and not excellence.

#4. New leaders don’t know who they are

New leaders are generally unaware of who they are, how they are seen, how they should contribute and of what they now represent.

That is because new leaders:

#5. New leaders don’t update their mindset

Becoming a leader is a long and never-ending process.

However, new leaders have to quickly update their mindset to keep up with their teams.

They have to change their focus from frontliner to strategist, to doing from ordering, to performing a task to planning meetings.

Firstly, they must make a pact with themselves to grow and to improve.

Secondly, they must constantly monitor their words, attitudes and actions.

#6. New leaders don’t understand the requirements of their position

Leadership is not about the title or the position. It is about character, attitude and influence. New to their roles, most leaders:

  • Don’t grasp that being a boss, being a manager and being a leader are different.
  • Think “position” automatically implies “authority”.
  • Don’t understand their job description.
  • Don’t fully understand or commit to their role.
  • Fail to see the bigger picture.
  • Get overwhelmed by their positions.
Leadership is not about the title or the position. It is about character, attitude and influence. - Vanessa Sylvester Click To Tweet

#7. New leaders stop learning

Even though new leaders think that they can handle their position with their old skills and their old knowledge, most of them don’t have the necessary skills to be a leader.

New leaders face new responsibilities that they don’t have the skills for and :

  • Are too afraid to ask questions and to ask for help.
  • Take too long before initiating leadership training.
  • Have to learn new skills quickly, autonomously, and most importantly apply them.

#8. New leaders stick to traditional leadership styles

Autocratic and commanding leadership styles, though common and easy, are outdated, are rigid, and don’t work anymore, especially with millennials.

People are more comfortable and are able to perform at their best with a democratic leadership style.

Today, millennials expect validation, recognition, rewards, a more deconstructed workplace that is fun, relaxed, motivational yet productive and structured.

They want to understand their role, the impact of their contributions at work, to be involved in the decision-making process, to learn continually and to own their work.

#9. New leaders don’t cater to their past and present relationships

Some leaders stop valuing people, start ignoring their teams and their past relationships. Instead, they tend to:

  • Disconnect from their teams. For instance, they don’t listen to their team and don’t measure their words.
  • Avoid conversations, small talk and nurturing new relationships.
  • Avoid collaboration and do everything themselves.
  • Focus on the results.

Leaders who don’t focus on people are seen to be snobs, insensitive, inattentive.

Dismissing relationships can easily create misunderstandings and conflicts because people have no barometer to measure your intentions, speech or behavior.

#10. New leaders run away from conflicts

New leaders aim to please at first. They sugarcoat, don’t address awkward dynamics, avoid conflicts, run away from difficult conversations, want to be liked and not respected.

They don’t speak up when they have to. For example, they don’t communicate expectations don’t correct employee mistakes when they have to, are no longer transparent because they are afraid of judgement and of losing their position.

In addition, they comply too often because they are not confident about their abilities.

Even if it is sometimes wise to avoid conflict, this strategy is not sustainable.

#11. New leaders shut down dissenting voices

New leaders must get comfortable with people who cause dissent even though the latter are natural catalysts, and easily take risks.

Dissenting voices within the organization usually have a bad reputation.

They are not welcomed in groups, go against the grain, are seen as not playing by the rules, are stifled, are the ones that end up being fired.

#12. New leaders don’t delegate

At entry level, we want to control people, do everything ourselves, be on top of everything all at once and find it hard to delegate.

Some leaders don’t know how to delegate, don’t want to delegate or just find it plain hard to do so. Indeed, it is a hard task because it requires that they:

  • Give instructions to their employees.
  • Have faith in the workers, be comfortable depending on others and believe that the work will be up to standards.
  • Have confidence in their personal abilities and do not be afraid of being upstaged.
  • Do not feel guilty that they are giving too much work to their employees because they were once in their place.

#13. New Leaders fail to navigate office politics

They don’t fully understand the politics at work and don’t take time to grasp it.

It is important that they:

  • Address internal conflicts and discontinue previous leadership issues.
  • Stay aware of the new power struggles. Indeed, they will be compared to previous leaders and compare themselves to previous leaders, have to deal with jealousy and insubordination at first, have to face judgement and backlash from their coworkers.
  • Avoid talking negatively about the previous leader, gossiping about their coworkers with the coworkers.
  • Do not try to belong to a group in particular or try to be friends with their former colleagues.

#14. New leaders don’t take accountability for their actions

They don’t take accountability for their own actions.

Instead, they tend to shift blame, find a scapegoat, are afraid of the words “I don’t know”.

Furthermore, they take credit and don’t shine light on their high performing employees.

Last Words Of Advice!

Mistakes are inevitable, are a factor for change and for:

  • Humbling us and discovering our authentic selves.
  • Exhibiting our vulnerabilities, limitations and blind spots.
  • Showing us what works and what doesn’t.
  • Removing us from our comfort zones.
  • Helping us prioritize and go to the essentials.
  • Teaching us to forgive and to be less hard on ourselves, how to explore and experiment in life, how to learn and change.
  • Making us more resourceful, more resilient, more self-disciplined and building our problem solving skills.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

15 Signs It’s Time To Quit Your Job

Though people have to be financially responsible, they give themselves the opportunity to explore and to search for a job that will make them happy.

Needless to say, quitting your job is a big decision, an exciting yet scary endeavor.

On one hand, we remember that we have to survive and pay the bills. On the other hand, we no longer have to put up with bad decisions, poor workmanship and slow processes.

Wondering how to recognize when it’s time to quit your job and how to effectively develop an exit strategy?

15 Signs It's Time To Quit Your Job

People give themselves the opportunity to explore and to search for a job that will make them happy. Click To Tweet

15 Signs It’s Time To Quit

Sometimes, we are in way over our heads, other times we just want to collect that paycheck and nothing else. It becomes hard to notice the signs that it’s time to quit.

You know it’s time to quit when:

#1. You Desperately Look For Reasons To Quit

Your job has become a problem and is weighing heavy on your shoulder. You feel it in your bones and your desire to quit roams your brain all day.

At this point, anything would justify your desire to quit.

If you don’t get your morning coffee, then it’s time to quit.

If your train runs late, then it’s time to quit.

If there is too much traffic today, then it’s definitely time to quit.

#2. You Believe The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side

You are low-key envious of people who quit their job and who start their own business ventures.

#3. You Are Burnt Out

When it’s time to quit, your intuition will usually let you know in advance that something is wrong.

If you don’t pay attention to your intuition, your mind ill start to go in overdrive.

Finally, your body will suffer the repercussion.

You are burnt out if:

  • You are doing your best on the job but your best doesn’t seem to be enough.
  • You don’t have the energy or the time to do your work.
  • Your physical health suffers. working out doesn’t help anymore and you have probably put on weight.
  • You don’t pay attention to your personal grooming.

#4. You Require A Better Work Life Balance

You bring your job home and incessantly complain about it.

You don’t take care of yourself or your family.

You believe that you deserve a better work-life balance.

#5. You Are Depressed Every Sunday Night

Sunday nights are extremely depressing because you remember your past week and  because you dread Monday mornings.

#6. You Are Underperforming

You are underperforming and are making too many mistakes on things that you used to be good at.

You have been unable to reach deadlines, to defend your progress and perspectives.

You constantly look for distraction from your work environment whether you are on or off the job.

Furthermore, you don’t care about your workplace performance, your reputation, your well-being, the opinion of your coworkers, and the respect for our boss is gone.

#7. You Are Undervalued And Underutilized

You feel underappreciated and are bored to death.

You have no voice within the organization.

You don’t feel like your strengths and weaknesses are being adequately used.

#8. You Take Too Many Breaks

You have been absent and keep taking more absence leaves that you used to.

Basically, you cannot wait for the day to end.

You plan your breaks, your lunches and your vacations before you even start your workday. You obsess about your vacations and your mental health depends on them.

You go to the bathroom too often and take too many calls out of your office.

#9. You Just Don’t Fit In

Working gives us the means to survive and is quasi inevitable.

You need more freedom to express yourself and the company culture does not allow your form of expression.

#10. Your Job Does Not Align With Your Life Purpose

You spent time studying for a degree, graduated and your college degree doesn’t match your job description.

In addition, you don’t understand your task, get no satisfaction from doing your job and you start questioning the purpose of your job.

#11. You Cannot Project Yourself In The Future

There are no growth opportunities to evolve, to move towards a new position, to learn new skills.

You cannot project yourself in the future because you have other plans for your future, your leadership vision is not being executed, your life is changing but your salary isn’t, your colleagues are getting better paid than you do or because you have been passed up for promotion too many times.

#12. Your Social Life Is Affected

Your social life is stunted and your relationships are strained.

You don’t want to bring up work with your friends and family.

Conversations about work with people you enjoy depress you, project you in negative thoughts and negative emotions overwhelm you.

You are not a complainer but you start complaining NON STOP about your job. You bring up the subject with whomever even when it doesn’t matter.

#13. The Ethics On Your Job Are Questionable

You work in a toxic environment:

  • Your higher-ups and your organization generally lack ethics.
  • Your core leadership values don’t align with those of your organization.
  • You experience an emotional rollercoaster daily.
  • You are perpetually in fight or flight mode. You are either looking for conflict or hiding from everyone and everything.
  • You are being bullied, your self-esteem is continually being attacked and your ethics are daily challenged.
  • You suddenly cannot stand your colleagues and find faults in everything that they do.

#14. Your Leader Is Out Of Control

Employees don’t leave a job, they leave bad bosses. 

You don’t admire or respect your leaders. You don’t ask them for advice anymore and question their decisions.

#15. Your Organization Is Laying People Off

Your organization is facing serious financial difficulties and you think that you will get laid off.

You have to financially take care of yourself and quit.

There are two options after quitting your job: either you find another one or you create one. Just remember that not all workplaces are the same.

Developing An Exit Strategy

Sometimes, we have reached our limits and it’s time to quit. However, it’s always important to develop an exit strategy.

  1. Examine your mental, physical and emotional health.
  2. Take time off to think about yourself. Identify your core values, your purpose, your strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Evaluate your motivations to stay on the job. Look around for clues that it’s time to quit your job. You can do a pros and cons list.
  4. Think about the consequences of leaving your job.
  5. Plan your future before quitting. It is imperative that you:
    • Analyze your skill sets and check which ones you wish to develop.
    • Find out which field you wish to work in and discuss it with people who are in your field of preference.
    • Proactively look for another job. Keep looking for job and applying online while you are still employed. It is recommended to discreetly find a new job before moving on to the new one.
    • Pick your next profession with care.
    • Build a solid vision.
    • Prepare yourself for the next opportunity and get rid of past baggage.
  6. Be comfortable with change and embrace the unknown.
  7. Speak to your close friends and family about your decision. Ultimately, you know what is best for you.
  8. Be confident in your decision, acknowledge that there is no shame in quitting and understand that there is no perfect time to quit.
  9. Leave on good terms even though you hated your job.

Last Words Of Advice!

Quitting your job doesn’t mean being jobless, giving up on yourself or that you have failed altogether. During the quitting process, it is detrimental to grow internally, to keep yourself busy and stay on purpose.

Furthermore, you can either go after your dreams or help someone else build their own.

If you don't build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.” Tony Gaskins Click To Tweet

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

The Importance Of Identifying & Strengthening Your Core Leadership Values

All leaders must identify and set their core values before accepting a leadership position, before developing an organization or before joining a company culture.

Leaders with strong core values induce an ethical and healthy workplace.

However, when leaders lack character, they create conflict, mistreat employees, belittle customers, focus on results rather than build healthy relationships, allow sabotage and aggressive below the belt office politics. Subsequently, they then create a toxic environment.

Wondering how to identify and strengthen your core values?

The Importance Of Identifying and Strengthening your Core Leadership Values

What are core values?

Core values are principles that build your character and that define who you are deep down.

They are fundamental beliefs that guide you in life and at work, that drive your behavior and that gather things about you that you truly care about.

Core values are based on your culture, your systems of beliefs and what you learnt from your childhood.

In addition, core values guide leaders in any environment and in every situation.

They are principles by which leaders and organizations operate. They are transmitted to employees via the corporate culture, are shared from one generation to another.

Core values are principles that build your character and that define who you are deep down. Click To Tweet

At Journey To Leadership‘s, we believe in:

  1. Leadership. We want to lead by example, lead with character, motivate people to achieve a unique vision and teach people how to lead with integrity.
  2. Living to learn. We do not assume that we know everything, we give ourselves the opportunities to explore and to ask questions that challenge the status quo.
  3. Creativity & InnovationWe welcome change, embrace innovative ideas, love taking risks and bringing new products to make the world a better place.
  4. Purpose & Ambition. We invite people to aim high, to walk in their purpose and to stay focused.
  5. Candor. We encourage transparency, authenticity and speaking truth to power. We reward people for speaking up and for speaking the truth.
  6. Patience. We promote patience, being slow to anger and seeking understanding.
  7. Fairness. We do not discriminate, we are equal opportunity leaders, we believe in making fair decisions and treating everyone equally
  8. Diversity. We are culturally sensitive, respect diversity and believe that difference is good.

Why define your core leadership values?

Core values must be carefully chosen, based on our personal needs and wants.

Core values make life more satisfying and more meaningful, they are a lifetime commitment. Core values must help you:

Consolidating your leadership values requires hard work, determination, daily practice and self-discipline. In general, core values are hard to maintain but are worth the struggle.

How to identify your core leadership values?

Core values make life more satisfying and more meaningful, they are a lifetime commitment To identify your core leadership or organizational values:

  1. Find out how you would describe yourself.
  2. Examine if you are satisfied with the current state of your life and what you love or hate the most.
  3. Identify your strengths, weaknesses and blind spots.
  4. Think about what you would do if you were financially free and had no cares in the world.
  5. Analyze which workplace you thrive best and feel your best in.
  6. Evaluate your greatest accomplishments.
  7. Observe where and with whom you wish to spend your time.
  8. Identify what you cannot live without.
  9. Understand the lessons you have learnt from your failures.

To strengthen your core leadership values?

  1. List your core values, write them down and give examples of your core values in action. Everyone has a list of at least 5 values that they hold on to, that facilitate their responsibilities and ease their problems.
  2. Remind yourself daily of your core values through a vision board or positive affirmations.
  3. Align all your decisions with your core leadership values. When your values don’t align with your decisions, you start feeling uncomfortable, emotionally triggered and in conflict with yourself.
  4. Communicate your core values to your employees. A company without core values is a toxic environment.
  5. Put your values to the test in life, at work and within your organization. Core values often show themselves when we face adversity. If someone tells you or forces you to believe that life is unfair and you wholeheartedly rebel against that thought, then your core value is definitely fairness.
  6. Empower other people to find their own core values.

Last Words Of Advice!

Leaders must be convinced of their vision and committed to their core values.

However, some core values are harder to apply than others. They demand more effort than others. So, don’t give up!

 

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

11 Habits Of Emotionally Disciplined Leaders

There are no good or bad emotions per se. However, some emotional displays are more socially acceptable than others, depending on each individual’s socio-economic background, appearances and attached stereotypes.

For example, being spiteful and openly provoking someone is socially accepted. However, a person reacting to that provocation with anger is not.

Furthermore, in the workplace, you must leave your emotions at the door, and display a confident and positive attitude. Demonstrating that you are having a bad week will probably get you removed from the project.

When the pressure is on, organizations look to leaders to take action and to safely bring the organization out of hot waters. Leaders who are unable to step up to the plate will potentially be removed from their position.

As a leader, you must discipline your emotions, always have a clear head, continuously deal with challenges, give and receive feedback, keep your employees motivated and on task, even when you are tired or fed up.

Wondering how to discipline your emotions and improve your leadership skills?

11 Habits Of Emotionally Disciplined Leaders

What being emotionally disciplined means…

Emotional discipline is about being able to effectively manage your feelings. Being emotionally disciplined means that you are also able to:

  • Stay calm in challenging situations and overpower your own emotions. You can then deal with a tough situation, without making it worse.
  • Respond and not react to triggering events.
  • Gain more power over yourself and control yourself instead of being controlled.
  • Separate your inner voice from the outside noise.
  • Remain in the present, avoid dwelling on the past and obsessing about the future.
  • Decide and act how you want to really feel.
  • Acquire the freedom to express yourself freely and to engage in activities that make you happy.
  • Avoid getting tangled up in someone else’s web and positively interact with people. Let’s be honest, emotional discipline is useful to gracefully put people back in their place.
  • See people for who they really are and for how they really make you feel.
  • Gain new perspectives on your problems and navigate different situations.
  • Effectively address important and difficult issues.
  • Take advantage of a given situation and delay instant gratification for long-term rewards.
  • Possess several strategies to overcome most challenges.

Why discipline your emotions?

People will try your patience and your peace of mind on a daily basis in life and in the workplace.

The way you feel has an impact on your behavior, on the way you lead and the way you think. Your emotions also affect your health, your self-talk and your work performance.

Needless to say, becoming emotionally disciplined requires a lot of self-reflection, quiet moments with yourself and understanding that no one can harm you without your consent.

It requires growth, that you build up your resistance and become thick-skinned. It is not an easy nor an overnight process.

How leaders strengthen their emotional discipline?

Most people who possess emotional discipline are successfully placed in leadership positions because they are able to work through their own discomfort. To strengthen your emotional discipline, it is imperative to acquire the following habits.

#1. Leaders have a strong hold on their identity

They know their core values, their strengths and weaknesses. They also know where to apply them and they learn about themselves through their emotions.

In addition, they do not let stereotypes and assumptions define them.

#2. Leaders understand their triggers

This step is time-consuming because people might not want to immediately confront their emotions and they might resist the drive down memory lane.

When the pressure is on, leaders are able to quickly identify the origin of your emotions. They know their triggers, understand why that situation or this person is triggering them.

Furthermore, they don’t let anyone push their buttons or control them, they don’t react but they respond to negative behavior.

They navigate office politics well and they know how to deal with toxic people.

Remember, it is essential to not give the people who are triggering you satisfaction.

#3. Leaders stay on purpose

They have a goal and vision for their life.

They wake up in the morning ready to achieve their goals for the day and to make the right decisions for themselves.

#4. Leaders walk with integrity

They do what is right because doing the wrong thing requires too much emotional effort.

Moreover, they take accountability for their actions and don’t shift blame.

#5. Leaders stay in the moment

Most of the time, being in the moment will give you the opportunity to feel your emotional response and give you the appropriate response to any situation.

#6. Leaders identify the emotions that overcome them

If you cannot find the right words to describe your emotion, postpone your self-reflection until later, when you’re in a quiet place.

#7. If they can, leaders write down their thoughts on paper

This way, you will notice your thought patterns, illogical and irrational thoughts, the assumptions that you make, the systems of beliefs, the solutions to your situation, what you need to feel better and to clarify your situation.

#8. Leaders practice self-care

They work out regularly, eat well and do things that you enjoy.

In addition, they take the time to meditate, to quiet the noise in their minds, to improve their self-talk and to employ the power of positive affirmations.

#9. Leaders see people for who they truly are

Leaders are not only self-aware but they are aware of other people’s intention.

#10. Leaders have a strong support system

They have an emotional support system in place that helps them reason, that they go to regularly and that act as a sounding board.

They also surround themselves with people who are emotionally healthy.

#11. Leaders don’t take anything personally

To paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt, no one can harm you without your consent.

So, emotionally disciplined leaders look for solutions instead of dwelling on their circumstances, focus on the positive and don’t dwell on the negative.

Last Words Of Advice!

You cannot run from your emotions and project false ones. 

Eventually, they will catch up with you. One small insignificant incident can trigger and instantly download all the emotions that you haven’t dealt with.

Don’t be afraid of your emotions. They are there to help you and they will ease up once you have confronted them.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.