The Importance Of Kindness In Leadership

Kindness is extremely hard to implement in the world we live in today because according to popular belief, kindness is weakness…

However, in the workplace, kindness is essential to leadership success.

Furthermore, genuine acts of kindness in the workplace don’t go unnoticed as people tend to pay it forward.

Indeed, most people who have been through fire in their personal and professional life appreciate serenity and kindness. They would try everything to maintain their self-worth and peace of mind.

Wondering how to develop kindness in the workplace?

The Importance Of Kindness In Leadership #leadership #kindness journeytoleadershipblog.com

Benefits Of Kindness in Leadership

Kind leaders act with the best interest and on behalf of their team and organization. They are authentic, humble, have high morals and a sense of decency.

In kind organization, leaders believe that the people are the heart of the organization.

Furthermore, leaders are able to increase engagement and empower team members who gradually grow in confidence.

In addition, being kind doesn’t mean that you are soft, a pushover, that you are avoiding conflict, that you lack boundaries, that you are people pleasing or that you have to put up with bad behavior.

It means that you take time to listen and understand the people around you before acting or making a decision. It also means that you analyze the consequences of your decisions. 

1. Kind leaders are kind to themselves

Kind leaders are firstly kind to themselves and the people closest to them.

They celebrate their own success, forgive themselves when they make mistakes and set clear boundaries.

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. - Lao Tzu Click To Tweet

2. Kind leaders use the Golden Rule

The best and strongest leaders put people first and treat their team with kindness.

They acknowledge people, show respect and demonstrate that they care. They simply treat people the way they want to be treated. They understand that they can get more things done, they have to treat people like people.

For example, they have face to face conversations and ask people how they are doing. They can be generous with their time and actively listen to people.

3. Kind leaders set clear expectations

They let people know what needs to be done to avoid miscommunication, misinterpretation, misdirections.

They don’t give out false objectives and avoid sending their team members on a wild goose chase. They celebrate their success and the success of others..

Team members will then commit to their work and reach their goals.

4. Kind leaders tell the truth

Telling the truth encourages growth within the team and builds up the leader’s credibility and respect.

They understand that the truth comes with consequences but they also want the best out of their teams so they overpass their need for self-preservation or self-interest.

They place people in the right positions and give honest feedback to help people perform at their best.

5. Kind leaders agree to disagree

A difference in opinion doesn’t dictate their character.

They have great communication skills and can handle tough conversations.

They don’t ostracize or belittle people who don’t like them.

6. Kind leaders believe in equality and equity

They treat everyone equally, regardless of their personal bias, stereotypes, personality, character and performance.

They are culturally sensitive and advocate for inclusion.

7. Kind leaders create a safe environment

Kind workplaces increase productivity and improve the company culture.

Leaders understand that employees need to feel safe in order to be productive.

Unkind leaders instill fear and use their power and position to make their employees comply. Employees feel unsafe and tend to quit their jobs or resort to the same bad behavior to survive.

Last Words Of Advice!

What of being kind requires too much time and effort that I don’t have? Kindness is a long term investment that requires authenticity, strength and courage.

There are some people who will create chaos, use fear and anger as a management, and try to discourage you from being kind.

 

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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19 Signs You Are Meant To Be A Self-Employed Leader

If you are reading this, chances are that you have been pondering for a long time whether or not you should go out on your own or keep your 9-to-5 leadership job…

Making the decision to be self-employed is a difficult one since everyone is not cut out to go out on their own and the risks are extreme.

However, staying in your current 9-to-5 contains risks of its own:

  • You are not sure if you will get laid off or not.
  • You are financially dependent.  
  • You are responsible for things that you don’t really care about.
  • You are in a cubicle and around people you don’t care about.
  • You suffer from a unhealthy work-life balance.
  • You are being underutilized, under-challenged and are underperforming.

Wondering if you are meant to work for yourself?

19 Signs You Are Meant To Be A Self-Employed Leader #leadership #self-development journeytoleadershipblog.com

1. You are all about growth

You are focused on yourself, on your growth and on the expansion of your business.

When others create drama or partake in office politics, you are too busy listening to books, reading my blog, self-development and business books.

2. You think as a brand

You need to start thinking about yourself as a brand and as a business.

Everything you say or do is connected to your brand and purpose.

3. You enjoy taking risks

The people closest to you will try to talk you out of being self-employed because they are afraid of the unknown.

If you have to take risks, it is better and safer to bet on yourself.

4. You love to learn

Whether you are reading books or taking classes, you are always open to learn.

You believe that there is always room for improvement.

5. You are good at many things

You don’t want to be stuck in one position or with the same role.

Your skillset is transverse, you want to apply yourself in different fields and you often outdo your job description.

6. You understand sacrifice

Sacrifice is necessary to get where you cant to go.

You won’t be able to go out or stay in bed as much as you want to because you are willing to get down in the trenches and put in the hard work.

7. You require flexible hours

You want to be able to handle your own hours and not punch in.

You want a healthy work-life balance.

The tricky part about this is that you are your own boss, wont take much time off, have to be self-disciplined enough to follow your schedule and achieve your goals.

8. You make your own rules

If you have been in the workplace, you will encounter rules that don’t make sense, that consistently protect one group or people and that create or encourage bias.

You want to walk to the beat of your own drums without having to be like other people or having to comply to crazy and counterproductive rules.

You want to create a culture with clear guidelines that makes more sense and that will help people succeed.

9. You want more control and visibility

You don’t want to constantly look for validation or permission.

You need all the information you can get to make the best decisions.

You need control and visibility to perform at your best. 

10. You want ownership of your work

You are sick and tired of giving away your ideas, intellectual property, time and energy for a small paycheck.

Thanks to ownership over your work, you take pride in what you produce daily.

11. You cannot hold down a regular job to save your life

Because you follow your own rules, are good at many things and are frustrated with the status quo, it is hard for you to keep a job.

You don’t like taking orders, are uncomfortable with the status quo, you get fired a lot or quit often.

12. You value financial independence

You respect money and enjoy making money.

You don’t like depending on someone else than yourself for income.

13. You don’t fit in

You are not a team player, have a hard time getting along with others or stand out like a sore thumb.

You generally speak your mind and end up leading a project.

You have and value your own mind.

14. You genuinely love what you do

You want to do your best in your field of expertise.

However, in the workplace, you have no room to explore your passions or to demonstrate full enthusiasm for your field.

15. You take responsibility for your actions

You enjoy making your own decisions and understand that there are consequences for their actions.

When you make wrong decisions, you don’t shift blame, you learn from your failures and you are able to move on.

16. You are self-disciplined

You don’t want for people to tell you what to do or when to do it.

Even when you don’t feel like it, you manage your tile effectively, don’t procrastinate and go through your task list.

17. You enjoy working alone

Working alone is scary for some people but you embrace freedom and solitude.

You know that you can achieve more in less time when you are on your own.

18. You are resilient and resourceful

You expect the unexpected and believe that there is room for everybody to succeed in this world.

You see obstacles as challenges and are able to face different situations on a daily basis.

You don’t dwell on your failures, you celebrate your success and push through.

19. You are burning out

Your work environment has become toxic and is burning you out.

Your stress levels are very high and you feel like you are leaving your best self at work.

Something or someone at work is draining all your energy.

Last Words Of Advice!

If you are considering going out on your own, you have to be honest with yourself and assess your character and skills.

Before leaving your 9-to-5, make sure that you can survive without a job income or that your side hustle is making enough money.

 

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 Affirmations Leaders Need to Say to Themselves First Thing In The Morning

The leadership position comes with its own set of hardships…

You can sometimes wake up in the morning and feel like the world is against you. You will try to stay in bed or will simply underperform and not reach your set of goals.

Successful leaders understand that they have the power to change some things in their lives, that what they do and say to themselves in the first few minutes will determine the quality of their day. 

Wondering how leaders affirms a successful day?

10 Affirmations Leaders Need to Say to Themselves First Thing In The Morning

1. “I am working towards becoming my Best Self”

Leadership is a self-improving journey. Leaders working towards their best selves are proud of themselves, don’t settle for less, live out their potential and are purposeful with everything that they do. 

In addition, they know that they are enough, know what is best for themselves and others, expect excellence from myself and others.

They accept themselves for who they are and take advantage of their uniqueness.

Finally, they have standards and will not remove them for anyone.

2. “I am confident about my abilities” 

People come to leaders for their advice and expertise.

Leaders have to be confident enough to share information, make good decisions and guide people in the right direction.

3. “I have a strong support system”

Leaders surround themselves with people who understand their vision, who uplift them and who encourage them to do their best.

4. “I am resilient”

Leaders are strong enough to handle any obstacles and stay calm in tough situations.

They understand that there is a solution for every problem, that obstacles are opportunities to grow and the more challenges you face, the closer you are to success.

Furthermore, the difficulties in life will make you question your accomplishments and your value. However, you have to be grateful for the difficulties because they will teach you something about yourself.

5. “I am positive”

Leaders who think better experience a larger life and more successful endeavors.

They understand their attitude towards life matters. Therefore, they:

  • Rise above negative thoughts.
  • Don’t pay attention to slights and bad actions.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. If it will not matter in the next five years then it shouldn’t matter now.
  • Don’t take on people who are agents of chaos, who steal their joy or energy.

If you stay positive, positivity will be attracted to you.

6. “I believe that I will succeed”

Not trying to sound like a Disney movie, but everything leaders need to succeed is already within them, they just have to believe it and realize that past mistakes don’t define them or their future success.

They expect greatness out of my life and I take the necessary risks to achieve them. 

They dream big, accomplish all their goals and turn their dreams into reality because they believe that they can achieve whatever they set their minds to.

7. “I am focused and am not ruled by my emotions”

Your emotions impede you from enjoying life to the fullest. You have to understand that you have the power to control your emotions and make the best of your day.

Whatever you focus on will grow. So, focus on the positives and on things you can control.

8. “I am open to learn something new”

Leaders have access to so much knowledge nowadays. So, when leaders stop learning, they stop improving and keep repeating past actions and behaviors.

Leaders must keep an open mind, embrace new ideas and relearn some fundamental truths.

9. “I live in the present moment”

Leaders have to learn to leave the past in the past.

Therefore, leaders must not look back at their past failures very long. However, it is critical to extract a lesson from all your experiences and then move on.

They don’t complain and let go of anything that doesn’t serve them.

They acknowledge that everyday is a new day. They get another day to prove their potential and achieve their purpose.

10. “I am safe wherever I go”

The Fourth Agreement states that you shouldn’t take anything personally.

People will try to take out their insecurities on you when their issues are not directly linked to you. As Eleanor Roosevelt declared “No one can hurt you without your consent”.

Last Words Of Advice!

Taking the time out to reframe your mindset first thing in the morning will increase your chances of having a successful day.

Thinking about your best qualities can help you improve your leadership abilities, lifestyle and work performance.

 

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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9 Office Rules That Kill Productivity

In the workplace, rules and common practices are necessary to create order, maintain standards, increase productivity, solve punctual problems or improve the image of the company… 

Most rules are fundamentals principles of life and go without saying. However, some rules are too restrictive and damage the general morale.

Subsequently, productivity suffers, company culture worsens and employees resentment and mental load increase.

Wondering what are the rules that kill workplace productivity?

9 Office Rules That Kill Productivity

1. Hiring on bias and first impressions rule

I have been to  interviews where your first impression controls the whole interviews.

Companies want to hire the most competent applicants who will fit the company culture. 

Some companies or hiring personnel tend to hire one type of people and miss out on great applicants because of hearsay, bias, first impressions and their system of beliefs.

People value companies that believe in diversity.

2. Hiring over a keyword search

These days, the hiring process is done over the internet using keyword search algorithms. This practice leads to hiring personnel contacting applicants who have nothing o do with the position.

3. No individuality

Most companies have a pack mentality. To build a cohesive image, they require a strict dress code and a certain level of decorum from their employees.

However, people can be ethical and should have enough liberty to express themselves at a minimum. They should be able display personal items and wear the clothes that they want.

4. No communication tools

Some companies ban the use of cell phones and regulate the use of internet. However, these practices are antiquated and will not retain millennial employees.

Some companies fail to see that technology is a new way of life and has become necessary. For example, to do their jobs appropriately, employees surf the internet for advice, for tutorials or need to stay connected with their families and other professionals.

Furthermore, every employee handle their break differently: some go to the bathroom for some quiet time, some like to get the gossip at the water cooler, some enjoys conversing over coffee, some make a phone call and others simply enjoy staying at their desk browsing social media.

Sure, there are definitely some sites that are inappropriate for the work environment and that need restriction.Sure, spending more time on the internet and on your cell phone that you do on your job is unprofessional.

For the most part, the internet and cell phones are great communication tools and can improve productivity. Like everything else, they should be used in moderation. 

5. No Bathroom Breaks

Now, that’s a counterproductive rule!

In a day, you cannot predict or control how many times and how long someone will have to go to the bathroom. Limiting bathroom break goes against basic human rights.

6. No time off

Nowadays, people value companies who allow telecommuting and provide flexible hours. 

Most professionals don’t need to be told at what time to show up to work and how long they should stay.

People generally want to honor their time at work. They should be able to regulate their own hours and take time off when they need it.

Cutting the salary of someone who is a few minutes late just seems petty.

7. No autonomy

We live in an age where team work makes the dream work and is mandatory to get a job.

However, most people value autonomy and tend to work alone at their desk anyways.

Forcing people to collaborate will most of the time breed conflict and often times reduce productivity.

8. No meetings

Unless there is an urgent matter to discuss, meetings are generally pointless and kill overall productivity.

Some companies schedule weekly meetings where you have to endlessly listen to people who are not adding value to the conversation and are not solving the problem, if there is even a problem to be solve.

9. Performance review rule

Feedback is constructive criticism and can improve productivity.

However, performance review makes people uncomfortable because they tend to:

  • Evaluate performance using an inaccurate list of criteria.
  • Bring employees back to their student day and make them feel like a number.
  • Generate the fear of being judged, getting fired or speaking up. 

Last Words Of Advice!

Employees have to remember that they have signed a contract, trading their time and effort for salary. If they are not honoring that contract, they must assume the consequences.

In addition, leaders who often break the rules themselves have to acquire the skills to deal with employees  who underperform or who violate general work ethics.

It’s all about trust, common sense and giving people a sense of freedom.

 

 

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 Tips To Ensure A Successful Career Change

Sometimes, we are stuck in a career that we hate or that no longer fulfills us… Other times, we study years to end up in ingrate careers, in careers that no longer fit us or our basic needs.

Uprooting, starting over, reinventing your career and moving forward is difficult. Starting over from scratch feels like a failure, is intimidating, is discouraging, takes time, requires optimism, an ability to learn, an interest in personal growth, a sense of  adventure.

Wondering how to actively change career and find a job that fulfills you?

10 Tips To Ensure A Successful Career Change

Being in the wrong job or leading the wrong people demands too much sacrifice and can lead to a serious breakdown or various health issues.

Our lack of interest spills over at work and most importantly at home, especially if we are leaders. We visibly become careless, inconsistent, we underperform and are emotionally unavailable.

Furthermore, a career change is necessary when your personal needs are not met, when you get feeling of boredom, start burning out, lack of satisfaction, work for a bad boss and with toxic coworkers.

Everybody has a breaking point and cannot spend a lifetime adapting to situations that are unnatural to them.

How to avoid making the wrong career choice?

Some people drift through jobs without any idea of what they are doing or without making a decisive career choice. To avoid making a bad career choice:

Actively changing careers

Changing career is daunting yet exciting. It is daunting because we might lose status, leadership position. However, it can be exciting because the future is promising.

Starting over means learning from your past mistakes, applying the solutions with an open mind and with a different perspective on life.

Quitting your job and pursuing the career you always wanted is a leap of faith. The future is unknown but promising. To transition smoothly:

1 Check yourself

Leaving your job is not a sign failure but is a huge decision. To make the best decision possible, rearrange your personal life before tending to the professional life.

  • Make peace with yourself and physically declutter your space at home then at work.
  • Assess your personal requirements. Your requirements can be money, recognition, trust, autonomy, performance and achievements. 
  • Address your past and your present experiences. Then, Estimate what you consider as a failure and as a success.
  • Measure your stage in life. How far are you in life? The consequences of changing career will be different if you are a recent graduate student or a seasoned senior professional.

2. Maintain some level of decorum

Avoid passive aggressive behavior on your last days at work and develop smart strategies to handle our current job.

For example, try to meet your boss requirements before quitting your job. When you meet the boss’s requirements, his trust in you will be renewed and your energy will be boosted.

3. Seek a solution before you walk out the door

Learn to deal with worst case scenarios on your current job before moving on to the next one. Chances are that you will meet the same situation somewhere else and potentially end up in the same mess.

4. Don’t limit yourself

Know that what we think we can achieve is unlimited and is not limited.

Changing career requires a different mindset.

Believe that ever force is on your side and attract the things you want in life. Don’t let fear stop you from moving forward.

5. Listen to your gut

Some people will tell you that it is a bad decision to change career.

Listen carefully to what they say and understand that their opinion is not really about you. Above all, listen to that gut feeling. Your needs are personal and will not be grasped by everyone.

Find ways to overcome these boundaries, keep moving forward and don’t look back.

6. Get to know yourself

To get to know yourself:

  • Accept yourself and your character flaws.
  • Identify your core values. Core values are what guide your behavior and character. Make sure that what you are doing aligns with your values.
  • Find out your passions, what you want and what you like to do, even when you are not getting paid.
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you tap into your full potential and make your career more sustainable, make work more enjoyable and will have you jumping out of bed to get to work.
  • Translate your strengths and weaknesses into coherent skills and avoid devaluing what you can do easily.

7. Have a plan

It is always helpful to hit the pavement with a solid plan and clear goals.

Build a visionset goals, focus or a purpose. Daily remind yourself of your dreams and goals. Then, determine the needs required for achieving this purpose.

Imagine your ideal life and your ideal position. Write it down and create a vision board to specifically solidify your dreams.

8. Update your resume

If you are looking for a job at another company, remember to update your resume with accurate experience and qualifications, big or small.

It is also detrimental to brush up on your interview skills, network and learn to sell yourself.

Apply to advertised jobs. You can also directly apply to companies without going through ads.

9. Determine your options

List the different careers that you wish you could have.

Identify your skills acquired at work and make sure that they are transferable.

Ask for sit downs to people who are in your career of choice. During that interview, don’t directly ask for a job but avoid making assumptions, ask probing questions and take notes.

Build strong and healthy relationships in your career of choice. You can do this by starting a small group, by assisting others at work and by bringing solutions to their problems.

10. Be open to learn

It is important to take risks, be open to learn and ask probing questions.

Taking classes and trainings will move you toward your career goal and keep you motivated.

Once a leader, always a leader. It is not something you can turn off.

Last Words Of Advice!

There is no superior or inferior job and the grass is not always greener on the other side!

If your career change is unsuccessful, you can always go back to the old one with fresh new eyes.

If you are not finding what you want, start your own business that is directly molded on your strengths and weaknesses. 

 

 

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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22 Things You Should Never Say At Work

If you are like me, then you have a serious case of the “Foot In Mouth Syndrome” which consists of saying things that inadvertently offend or embarrass people or yourself.

It is basically the art of saying things that you regret.

It is a real disease that plagues some of us, whether you are talkative or not, introverted or extroverted, thoughtful or not, mature or not.

To overcome this issue, we have to develop communication skills and tactfulness.

We just have to be extra careful to who we talk to, how we talk and what we say.

We just have to constantly monitor ourselves, filter ourselves more than usual, be more quiet than necessary, educate ourselves on our audience at all times.

We spend time fixing things and explaining what we meant.

We spend time avoiding expressions, topics and certain people.

22 Things You Should Never Say At Work

In the workplace, there are a few phrases that are tactless and unforgivable and that you must avoid at all cost.

1. Silence as a cure

Staying silent doesn’t help circumvent the issue.

I have learnt this the hard way.

When you are too quiet, people will usually fill in the blanks with negative thoughts. Nobody will say: Tim is quiet because he is shy, introverted or cares a lot about the words that come out his mouth. Instead, they will say: Tim doesn’t speak to us because he doesn’t like us or because he thinks he is better than us.

Moreover, when you are too quiet, people will soon disregard you and forget that you exist.

It is better to minimize or actively filter the words you say than to stay silent.

People make mistakes all the time. You will just apologize if you have to.

2. Unintelligible speech

Fear of saying something unforgivable can make us do crazy things like speaking unintelligibly.

Fear can make us do crazy things. Period.

Speaking unintelligibly constitutes an attitude of avoidance. By doing this, you are straining your interlocutor and creating misunderstandings.

Very soon, nobody will want to talk to you. It becomes imperative that you build up some confidence, articulate and speak at a respectable volume.

3. Offensive speech

When we find ourselves in a stressful situations, it feels convenient and relieving to swear.

Studies show that the people who swear the most are very honest (very honest about their feelings, I’d say).

However, in the workplace, not everybody is comfortable with offensive language and you wouldn’t want to damage your self-image.

The best option is to stay from curse words all together or replace them with better language.

4. “It’s not fair”

Life is hard. Everybody has their personal challenges and unfair moments.

If you have put in the work and have not been recognized or recompensed, it’s OK. Your prince will come someday.

Sometimes, you have been doing something wrong that you are not fully aware of and you may want to discuss your performance with your trusted circle.

If you have been on the receiving end of continual unfair treatment, it’s time to move on to another job where you can put your skills to work.

5. “I didn’t double check that”

Unless you are the most perfect being walking the face of the earth, you will want to double check your work.

This comment makes you seem full of yourself and you open yourself up to criticism.

Everybody is susceptible to mistakes and need to pay attention to details.

6. “I’m busy” or “I don’t have time for this”

In the workplace, you should be able to prioritize your tasks and manage your own time.

By saying this, you are stating your incompetence, your lack of organizational skills, lack of patience or your laziness.

You can find ways to communicate your business without being rude or ask to reschedule.

That being said, some toxic leaders give their employees more work load than a regular person can handle. If you have a toxic leader, just make it clear that the task is not feasible in the time demanded.

7. “I’m bored” or “I have nothing else to do”

If you are bored at work, then you are in the wrong job or you are not being challenged enough.

To get out your boredom, you can either ask for more responsibilities, show some initiative or just be quiet about it.

8. “I’ll try”

This phrase implies the possibility of failure.

It is better to say “I will” or “I’ll do my best” because you make yourself accountable for your actions and means that you will put your best foot forward to succeed.

The worst that can happen is that you fail to deliver. But, you did your best, you will learn from your mistakes and grow as a person.

9. “That’s impossible” or “There’s nothing I can do”

That is a self-defeating and limiting phrase.

It means that you are not solution oriented and that you don’t even want to try.

10. “But we’ve always done it that way”

Well, this phrase might sound familiar to a lot of people.

It has been said by a lot of people, especially if they are experts, have been in the same position for the longest while or are resistant to change.

Truth is, not because you have been doing it one way that it is the only or that it is the right way.

Instead, it is best to state the reasons why you may want to keep doing it that way.

11. “I know that”

No, you don’t know. Stop.

If you did, you would be working for yourself and conversing with yourself. You wouldn’t need to exchange information with somebody. You would be the greatest and surest source of information of the universe.

Even if you really did know something, you should discipline your ego and your need to demonstrate your intellect.

Chances are the person sharing information with you will not want to share again.

Chances are when you will want information, people will assume that you already know.

Chances are when you will want information, you will feel embarrassed to come forward.

12. Strong No

There is an unwritten rule in the workplace which is to never openly use the word no.

If you are a straightforward person, you might be tempted to use it. You may think that you are decisive and that you know what you want or don’t want.

However, you will look harsh and it would be very hard to come back on the no without looking indecisive.

There are different ways that you can say no without employing the word in itself.

You can simply give the real reason why you are implicitly saying no or say something to effect of “I have prior engagement” or “I’ll think about it”.

13. Unwilling yes

Saying yes especially when you don’t want to oblige may be just as bad as saying no.

It is better to grow a backbone, stop people pleasing (easier said than done) and learn different ways to say no.

14. “Sorry but…”

You can apologize sincerely (once) if you have made a mistake but sorry is rarely enough and you will have to put in the work to fix things.

There is no need to beg for forgiveness because the best apology is changed behavior.

15. “That’s not my problem”, “That’s not in my job description” or “I don’t get paid enough for this”

I understand this approach or why someone would use these phrases.

Sometimes, we want to mind our business, don’t want to step on people’s toes and get out the scope of our job descriptions. Meddling in others activities can be a huge source of conflict or seeming to eager to please can lead you to be overworked and underpaid.

However, these specific phrases give off the vibe that you don’t care, that you hate your job or that you don’t want more responsibilities. If there is an opportunity to evolve, you will not be chosen.

Instead, you can recommend someone for this task, express that you will take care of this as soon as you finish your more urgent and adequate tasks (which may take a while).

Appreciate the situation for what it is and take the opportunity to try new things and get out of your comfort zone.

16. “I don’t need help”

Employers value people who are autonomous, who don’t expect hand-holding or for other people to do their job.

The reality is we all need help from time to time whether we want to admit it or not.

Permanently locking yourself off is simply an ego move and asking for help sometimes is OK.

Furthermore, people will like you more if you ask them for favors or for help.

17. “You are wrong”, “You make no sense”, and “You misunderstood”

Even if this is true and even if the situation is heated, there is no need play the blame game.

The blame game never results in resolve but in more blame shifting.

When in conflict, you either want to convince the other person of your point of view or put an end to all exchange.

The easiest way out is to ask for further clarification or clarify your point of view and move on.

18. “You should have…” or “You could have…”

These phrases are confidence killers whether you say them to yourself or to someone else. Relax, mistakes happen all the time and eventually you have to keep swimming.

The most important part is to take responsibility for your mistakes and quickly find solutions to the problem.

19. “I may be wrong, but…” or “I don’t want to steer you in the wrong direction, but…”

These phrases denote your lack of confidence.

The truth is that you dismiss yourself before others do.

To boost your confidence, just state what you are thinking. If your statement is wrong, then it is wrong. There is no need for a full disclaimer.

20. “It’s not my fault” and “I am only following orders”

Well that’s an easy way out!

Some people refrain from taking initiative or making decision just so they can shift blame.

Shifting blame is the fastest to create tension in the workplace. Even if you have nothing to do with the mistake, find different ways to fix the situation.

21. “At my last job…”

This statement immediately puts people in defense mode whether you or talking about people or work processes because you start gossiping, comparing and criticizing.

It implies that you feel like you have been better places and you are not able or willing to adapt to your new environment.

Making nonconstructive or judgmental statements can ruin a career.

22. “I quit”

Sometimes, you are just going through a phase where you want to quit and give up.

There is no need to speak your mind out loud and let everybody know that you are on the brink of quitting.

Instead, take a break from what you are doing and if you are about to quit, move in silence.

Last Words Of Advice!

Communicating with tact is a skill that you can acquire with time.

Everybody puts their feet in their mouth from time to time.

So, don’t beat yourself up.

 

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

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Four Red Flags Wrecking Team Success and Cohesion

Four Red Flags Wrecking Team Success and CohesionBuilding an ideal team is one of the most complex but also one of the most rewarding and advantageous responsibility of a leader.

The leader has to select the team to ultimately create the best results for the organization, in light of the company’s culture and of the personality, motivation, commitment, values, performance, integrity level of his or her potential team members, with respect to his or her leadership style.

When the team is built, the leader has to look out for red flags that can destroy the synergy of his or her team and easily create a lasting toxic climate.

Wondering how to detect these red flags, avoid toxicity on your team, how to extract the best results from your team members and to become the best team member you can?

A few years ago, I worked on a year-long project, under a boss who used demotions and other measures to punish some of his employees when mistakes occurred. For example, he would quickly and sadistically withdraw work responsibilities from someone he did not favor to give to someone else.

Four Red Flags Wrecking Team Success and CohesionAs a result, the team was a unsalvable shipwreck: every man for himself, searching for a flotation device, fighting to get on land. My former boss manipulative behavior created a toxic climate where people were continually in flight or fight mode, were mistrustful towards one another, would turn on each other, retain information and sabotage every other person efforts to succeed, were obliged to seek his “affections” and to continually prove their loyalty to him in order to feel safe in their position, were more focused on office politics than on their work, were always on the lookout of a scapegoat, were afraid of speaking up and being transparent.

The lack of trust, commitment, performance was noticeable on a daily basis. By trust, I mean the ability of the team members to admit their mistakes, acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses, stay open, transparent with one another without any repercussion on themselves or their career.

RED FLAG #1: Lack of Transparency

In Speaking Truth to Power, James O’Toole states that “In essence, trust is hard to earn, easy to lose, and, once lost, nearly impossible to regain”.

Teams must be able to understand each other, to interpret their respective behavior and to be candid with one another.

To enable transparency, leaders have to:

  • Ask their team to reveal something personal and relevant about themselves. It can relate to their failures or successes, to their worst or most embarrassing experiences at work.
  • Encourage team building to better understand one another and enable bonds.
  • Assess and apply their team strengths and weaknesses by using profiling tools to get more insights into their behavior such as the DISC assessment, Social Style model, Right Path Profiles, Insights, MBTI).
  • Define a clear purpose for the team.
  • Explain major decisions from the organization to their team and include them in the flow of relevant information.
  • Maintain trust overtime and create unanimity.
  • Consistently tell the truth to their followers, be comfortable with it and practice integrity.
  • Value openness, empower those who tell the truth and must not reward those who do otherwise.

RED FLAG #2: Fear of conflict

In teams, conflicts do exist, are raw and real, are to be expected, and shouldn’t be avoided. In addition, they occur because we were born into different generations, backgrounds, with different personalities, values and morals.

Furthermore, conflict is always seen in a negative light or as a destructive process.
However, conflicts can be healthy and productive too. And even though conflicts are uncomfortable and make you feel under attack, they are necessary for personal and organizational progress, are used to generate the best decisions for the organization and to make team meetings mire engaging. In order to establish a conflict culture, it is imperative that leaders:

  • Create a structure where it is safe for their team members to express themselves without feeling the need to attack.
  • Hold their team accountable to the conflict system established.
  • Focus the conflict on the issue at hand to avoid personal attacks.
  • Assess each team member conflict capabilities/profiles with MBTI to develop the appropriate approach.
  • Ask their team members directly how they deal with conflicts.
  • Define conflict resolution, ease anxious team members in the face of conflict and find courage to speak truth to power.

RED FLAG #3: Lack of Commitment

Commitment is the willingness to achieve common goals as a team, the ability of team members to align themselves with the organization purpose, values and strategies even in disagreement with the decision taken.

To enhance team commitment, leaders must:

  • Embrace conflicts, divergent opinions, ideas and perspectives.
  • Among conflicting ideas, make wise decisions and be unafraid to displease some team members.
  • Before making a decision, understand and consider all ideas.
  • Clarify their decisions with the team and write down them down to avoid ulterior assumptions and ambiguities.

RED FLAG #4: Lack of accountability

Team members must keep each other accountable for their behavior, their mistakes and lack of performance. If no one is held accountable, team members gradually lose respect for each other and moral decreases. Leaders must:

  • Lead by example, call out mishaps, low results and misconduct.
  • Make every team member aware of each other contributions and functions on the team.
  • Track everyone’s progress and accurately measure performance.
  • Measure team success using objective and liable means.
  • Measure progress with timelines.
  • Focus on areas of productivity.
  • Make sure that the collective interest in results exceeds the individual needs of the team.

How to be an effective team member?

  • Develop your communication skills.

  • Make sure that you are understood and are open to clarifying misunderstandings.

  • Monitor your non verbal communication. Keep your body language positive and opened.

  • Look at the person you’re exchanging with.

  • If a problem occurs between you and someone else, fix it before the problem festers by talking to that person as soon as possible. This shows that you are willing to work through issues, that you are a problem solver instead of being inappropriate and ineffective.

  • Give sincere and appropriate positive feedback to your team members.

  • Develop your listening skills.

 

To demonstrate your interest in learning new skills, to better understand the other person, you have to:

  • be willing to listen more that you speak and voice your opinion in due time.
  • Implement the conversation with probing question.
  • Request other people opinion before giving yours.
  • Avoid planning your responses during the conversation.
  • Encourage the conversation with nods, smiles and eye contact.
  • Manage your tasks and time.
  • Put your understanding of the team task into writing in order to clarify immediate issues and to have a reference for time and deadlines measurement.
  • Own up to your actions.

 

Failing to follow through on your team assignments is synonym to letting your team down. To stay accountable for your part:

  • Keep your promises.
  • Offer to help coworkers in time of need.
  • Avoid procrastination and do not hesitate yo ask for help.
  • Avoid blaming others for your mistakes take the blame if you have done something wrong.
  • Find solutions to issues instead if creating them.
  • Learn from each and very situations and move on group them.
  • Avoid repeating past mistakes.
  • Work on interrelationship skills.

 

Last Words Of Advice!

In the team, you have to cooperate with your coworkers and work well with your supervisor. To do so:

  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Avoid stereotypes and jumping to conclusions.
  • Avoid gossip and keep confidences.
  • Share your knowledge with your team.

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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Goal Setting & The 80/20 Principle — 18 Ways To Apply This Principle And Change Your Life

Strangely, this week, I found myself explaining the 80/20 principle to everyone I know. Though this principle is well-known by leaders, it is rarely applied. Leaders around the globe get flooded with information, sometimes more than they can handle. However, they have to make swift decisions and keep their most important objectives in mind.

To extract value and positivity in every situation, to improve our daily life, our institutions, our efficiency, our processes, our achievements, it is detrimental to understand the 80/20 Principle.

Wondering how to generate goals and focus on the most important ones using the 80/20 Principle?

Goal Setting & The 80/20 Principle

What Is The 80/20 Principle?

The 80/20 Principle is actually known as the Principle of Imbalance, the Principle of Least Effort or the Pareto Law, uncovered in 1897 by Vilfredo Pareto, an italian economist. In the 19th century, in England, Pareto noticed that 80% of the wealth and income was accumulated by only 20% of the population.

Furthermore, Pareto remarked that the wealth was not evenly distributed and that not only wealth was distributed in this manner. The Pareto Principle was consistently reproducible in different countries, in different times and with different sets of data.

The Pareto Principle :

  • has been justified by Professor Zipf who demonstrated that 70% of marriages happened to people living 30% within each other.
  • has been used by Joseph Moses Juran during the industrial revolution, in Japan, in order to improve the quantity, the reliability and the value of customer goods.
  • is illustrated in every cause to effect relationship. For example,
    • 20% of employees or customers are responsible for 80% of the company profits.
    • 20% of criminals commit 80% of the crimes.
    • 20% of your clothes in your closet will be worn 80% of the time.
    • 80% of our achievements happen in 20% of our time.

According to Richard Koch, author of The 80/20 Principle The secret of achieving more with less, the principle either requires 80/20 Analysis or 80/20 Thinking:

  • 80/20 Analysis: Before taking action, Prior analysis of the non linear relationship between cause and effort. This analysis is time-consuming but more detailed.
  • 80/20 Thinking: Before taking action, intuitively identify what is most important, then verify the usefulness of the 80/20 principle in the given situation. This is faster.

Why It Will Change Your Life

Generally, the 80/20 is used to prioritize, to set goals, to achieve more in less time and with less effort. It can be applied in business, in life, in any social grouping and in various cultures. For instance, in business, it helps you identify the areas where you lose time, money and where it is possible to cut your losses.

To exploit its full potential, the 80/20 principle exerts us to:

  • Spot the most important and ignore the massive unimportant.
  • Understand that every action doesn’t lead to the same outcome or even lead to one.
  • Use and work on strengths rather than weaknesses.
  • Seek shortcuts instead of taking long detours.
  • Gain more control over our lives and thoughts, our work and career selection.
  • Relax, work less and “target a limited number of very valuable goals”.
  • Transform your work habits.
  • Target a number of valuable goals.
  • Develop a healthy business strategy.
  • It is always possible to improve your skills.
  • Multiply what is effective.
  • Apply it in business to reduce costs and to generate more revenue.

Putting The Principle Into Practice To Set Tangible Goals

The 80/20 is for those who want more of their life, for the ambitious, for the goal-oriented and for the self-disciplined. Being ambitious is not synonymous to bein overworked, busy, or sacrificing yourself. To harness the 80/20 Principle, to make your dreams more feasible and to grow exponentially in any field:

  1. Discover what you are more enthusiastic about in life.
  2. Avoid investing the same amount of energy in everything that you pursue. Be strategic and identify the best 20% and invest 80% of your effort.
  3. Most people believe that goals are wishes, mere desires that they don’t believe they can achieve. Get clarity and be specific on what you want. There is no unrealistic goals.
  4. Make your goals big. The bigger the goal, the bigger the impact on your life, the higher the motivation and the longer you can maintain the vision.
  5. Make sure that these goals are self-imposed.
  6. Keep your goals simple. Simple is rare but simple is effective. Choose simplicity first. For example, identify the simplest and most standardized product, nurture the simplest 20%, make it high quality and eliminate the rest. In addition, simple businesses are better than complex ones because they deliver better value and perform better.
  7. Find ways to make your goals achievements fun. Avoid spending time on easy tasks and tune out distractions. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said it best: “Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least”.
  8. Avoid focusing on the negative and waiting for a positive outcome. It is necessary to let go of the customers, employees, products and processes that don’t bring profits
  9. Know your values and purpose. Then, align your goals with your values in order to feel more fulfilled.
  10. Analyze the reasons and the costs of these goals beforehand. Applying the 80/20 Analysis will indicate whether or not you would pursue them.
  11. Write down your goals for various parts of your life (career, work processes, leadership styles, lifestyle, health) and accomplish the most important goal. These goals must have value. Writing down goals allows you to solidify them subconsciously and to get everything into place.
  12. Write down what you really want and write it down as if you are writing it from the future, having already achieved your goal.
  13. Work on this one goal all the time. 20 Percent of your activities will result in 80 percent of our results. It is  a known fact that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in a basket. Instead, choose the basket to put all your eggs into.
  14. Review these goals on a daily to keep your commitment to yourself.
  15. Divide your goals into smaller steps to make your plan more coherent and easier to achieve.
  16. Identify the obstacles, the knowledge needed, the relationships that you have to build to achieve your goals.
  17. Measure your progress with parameters like money, time, energy, emotional investment. You can even create a deadline. If you miss a deadline, create another one.
  18. Share your goals with those that will implement it.

Last Words Of Advice!

Don’t beat yourself or your team up for not realizing all your goals. Have you used the 80/20 principle and what have you noticed? What is one of the goal that you want to accomplish?

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.

Goal Setting & The 80/20 Principle

 

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12 Ways To Build A High Performance Culture

The company culture depends heavily on the leader’s personality, character and vision…

The culture of the company affects every level of the company and determines:

  • How you act and operate.
  • How decisions are made.
  • How you treat your customers, employees.
  • How your employees treat each other.
  • How you handle failures and celebrate successes.
  • The acceptable code of conduct.
  • Why certain things are required.

A highly performing company culture increases engagement, retains good employees, satisfies their customers and has better results than any other company.

That is why leaders have to hold themselves to very high standards and realize how much their behavior impacts their workplace.

Wondering how to create a high performance culture?

12 Ways To Build A High Performance Culture #culture #performance #leadership

1. Assess the current state of your company

Leaders have to purposefully create and maintain a healthy workplace culture.

However, they must first be a living model for the culture that they want.

Leaders must take a good look at themselves when assessing the state of the culture: if the culture is unhealthy, then the leadership is unhealthy.

2. Define your why

Leaders must clearly define their purpose, personal mission statement and the vision for your company.

Building a high performance culture is subjective to the leader. It is important for leaders to have an initial idea of who they are, what they want and where they are going before they start hiring.

3. Define your core values

Core values are fundamentals beliefs, a set of principles that leaders follow and that guide then through life.

For example, a company can be based on the core value of radical honesty. In such culture, employees don’t sugarcoat anything, are able to tell the truth no matter the circumstances.

4.  Define your version of success

It is important for leaders to define the short term and long term goals, to give their employees a definition of success so they know what to aim for in the long run.

For example, success can be meeting deadlines and hitting results.

Success can also be defined on different levels of technical competencies or on leadership abilities.

Leaders must be realistic about their goals and set clear expectations for employees. Setting unreachable goals will only demoralize your team.

5. Apply the Golden Rule

The Golden Rule is the principle of treating people the same way you want to be treated.

Because leaders are role models, they have to become culturally sensitive and inclusive.

6. Empower your employees

There are several ways that leaders can empower their teams within the company. They can:

  1. Play to employees strengths and place them in the right roles. Help employees gain awareness and achieve their highest potential
  2. Acknowledge hard and good quality work.
  3. Allow employees make mistakes.
  4. Trust in employees decisions making skills. Employees will then feel confident about their abilities and stay engaged.
  5. Encourage training. Employees perform better when they are confident about their abilities.

7. Give your employees a sense of ownership

Employees take more pride and respect more what they do when they have ownership over their work.

Giving a sense of ownership will help you develop great leaders who will in turn inspire and motivate.

8. Promote innovation and change

Innovation is necessary for the survival of each and every company in today’s economy.

When leaders promote innovation and change, people will be more likely to grow, to adapt, ask questions, to try new things and adopt a change mindset.

9. Value transparency

Leaders must encourage a transparent and open culture where information flows freely.

For instance, letting your employees know how well your company is doing will improve trust. Of course, there will be gossip around the health of the company but overall employees will believe that you have their best interest at heart.

10. Practice collaboration

Leaders promote and encourage autonomy and collaboration within their team.

They allow their teams to have fun at work. They have broken down traditional workplace structure, simplified workplace processes and looked after their employees well-being.

11. Appraise customer satisfaction

High performance cultures are hard to come by.

Leaders continuously conduct customer satisfaction assessments because these assessments give a direct indication of team performance and the health of the company.

12. Monitor your culture

There will always be things to improve in a company but it important to strive for more. It is up to leaders to:

  • Nurture, develop and sustain the culture.
  • Deliver a set of tools to drive performance.
  • Show that the health of the company matters.
  • Give regular updates on how employees are doing in regards to their individual and collective goals.

Last Words Of Advice!

Most leaders, when trying to improve their cultures, focus on metrics and not on the people. If your culture is not where you want it to be, remember that:

  • One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.
  • You need to focus on the positives.
  • You just need to take on step at a time. For example, start by sharing your goals or by being transparent about the current status of the company.
  • If you don’t think you can practice of implement the culture that you want, find a manager or a human resources person who has the skills that you are missing.

 

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

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Are you self-sabotaging at work? 18 Tips to Learn to improve your work performance and climb up the corporate ladder

jonathan-pendleton-61209We all have a dream of outperforming ourselves at work and staying consistent and moving up in our career.

However, we have difficulties bringing our wishes and expectations to life.

Furthermore, in the fast and highly competitive corporate world, some of our attitudes, assumptions, values, flaws often render us completely ineffective, come in the way of us being the best version of ourselves, from learning new skills, from developing our talents.

The reality is that, despite our best intentions, we are often our worst enemies, are unable to improve our career, to achieve our definition of success, to satisfy our higher purpose.

We thereby harbor dissatisfaction, self-defeating thoughts and resort to self-sabotaging actions.

Wondering how to become a better performer, a better contributor, a better leader in the workplace and control the self-sabotaging tendencies?

Most of the time, self-sabotage takes roots from collaborators sometimes abusing substance, striving too hard for materialistic success.

Self-sabotage also stems from an inability to control extreme negative thoughts and emotions such as anger, guilt or resentment, and an inability to control other people. Indeed, in the workplace, low performing employees and leaders tend to either:

  • complain too much about circumstances,
  • not take action or initiative,
  • doubt their capabilities,
  • be addicted to praise,
  • struggle to live up to other people expectations. Not pursuing your true purpose and implementing somebody else dream cause you to subconsciously rebel against your current situation.
  • act impatient,
  • be unable to follow rules or respect authority figure,
  • be unable to handle the pressures of responsibility;
  • misinterpret the image they have of themselves
  • be busy or lack time management skills,
  • lack conflict resolution skills,
  • fear the unknown,
  • fear criticism, looking ridiculous or being embarrassed,
  • fear change or fear success,
  • feel rejected or reject their own being,
  • fear failure. Failures are usually blessings in disguise.

How to improve these bad habits and become an effective member of the workforce?

Becoming a better performer and contributor in the workplace doesn’t end at solely executing your duties and providing acceptable results, it also means working on your character and core values. To enable effective performance in the workplace, it is necessary to:

  1. Assess your strengths and weaknesses and ground them into reality. I cannot stress enough how self-discovery is an important and long life process that allows to:
    • upgrade your moral compass and create new ethical standards,
    • accept our unique distinctions,
    • evaluate your role and contributions at work,
    • assist, be assisted by coworkers or team members with a complementing set of skills.
  2. Understand your interests and abilities. This way you are able to develop your core capabilities, to choose the work that stimulates you the most, the workplace in which you best fit in and the team that complements you the best.
  3. Keep learning, grow your knowledge and your emotional intelligence that you may increase satisfaction at work, to envision greater possibilities, to overcome obstacles and to be successful in every area of your life by:
    • doing something new, something different, challenging your thoughts and your routine,
    • nurturing your natural curiosity about the world, about what you don’t know,
    • breaking routine and mindless actions to stimulate your imagination,
    • tackling your fears and negative emotions head and listing the consequences of your actions.
  4. Adjust your self-image to reality by writing down:
    • the qualities you have about yourself and the ones you want to acquire,
    • your trigger points. Don’t let identifying your trigger points to get discouraged and give up on yourself. Noticing your self-sabotaging habits is actually beneficial to you: you are probably not in the walk of life that you wish or supposed to be in.
  5. Act responsibility, be proactive, take initiative. Take on more responsibility and assignments, perform them with enthusiasm and motivation in order to become confident in your abilities, autonomous, dependable, emotionally mature and trustworthy. Indeed, the more you take on responsibility, the more you learn about yourself, the more you understand the consequences of your actions, the faster you admit your mistakes as soon as you notice them, the better you remain accountable especially when things go wrong, the more you grow, the more you gain competencies, the more you are willing to take initiative and even risks.
  6. Discipline yourself by inspecting and readjusting your thoughts, actions and behaviors to set standards, and dominating your immediate desires and impulses.
  7. Stay true to yourself. Avoid comparing yourself to others and competing with others.
  8. Allow yourself to think. In silence, without looking for distractions, confront yourself, make peace with yourself, strengthen your decision-making skills, observe bad habits, and therefore learn more about yourself, find your true purpose, learn to trust your intuition and inner feelings. Meditation, quiet contemplation, introspection are the key to staying alert, to increase your performance at work, to develop and recognize good ideas, to stay engaged and more conscious of your life.
  9. Define clear goals and seek better methods to become more productive, more competent in the workplace.
  10. Learn to insulate yourself from the noise in the workplace.
  11. Vary your experiences and get out your comfort zone.
  12. Take care of your physical health. Exercise regularly.
  13. Make a good impression, from day one, without overdoing it and running a political campaign, by dressing appropriately and being punctual.
  14. Respect and treat people the way you would like to be respected and treated. Uplift people instead of bringing them down or being considered as a toxic coworker in the workplace. Develop relationships and properly manage people emotions, don’t impose your emotions on others, don’t create enemies where you can have a supportive friend. As a result, you can become a good contributor and a valuable team member.
  15. Embrace change, renew your coping and self-defense mechanism.
  16. Expect to make mistakes, to learn from them and keep it moving.
  17. Avoid naysayers and haters like the plague. Change your circle of friends if they are the ones bringing you down.
  18. Service others. Servicing others doesn’t mean to submit to everyone and to every order. It means doing your best to get along with one another.

Last words of advice!

If you happen to abuse substance or are in emotional distress in the workplace, don’t be ashamed, you are not alone. Please talk about it to your closest family and friends, or find the nearest Workplace Help Center.

 

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

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