7 Steps To Be A Positive Leader In Adversity

From workplace bullying to job loss, from an unsatisfied customer to a tough team, from company crisis to personal drama, adversity often catches us by surprise.

Indeed, we never see it coming. If you are a leader, you will definitely be subjected to it and will have to learn how to wear adversity like a badge of honor.

Wondering how to stay positive in the face of adversity?

7 Steps To Be A Positive Leader In Adversity

Why be positive?

Without adversity, we wouldn’t do, create anything or grow as people.

The most effective way to deal with adversity is to stop worrying, to maintain a positive and optimistic attitude.

People enjoy positive people and are most likely to help them. Positive people:

  • Are able to overcome adversity.
  • Are high performers.
  • Are most satisfied with their relationships.
  • Focus on the future and are resilient.
  • Focus on their strengths.
  • Have clear goals. They actively work towards their goals and understand that they can change the outcome of a situation.
  • Have control over their lives and see stress as a small bump in the road.
  • Know that their mood can be controlled.
  • Don’t waste their time and energy on drama.
When life puts you in tough situations, don’t say “why me”, say “try me”. Click To Tweet

There are a few strategies to keep your composure and maintain a sense of self.

#1. Assess the situation

Adverse situations are necessary and often come out of the blue.

Sometimes, the situation is not as bad as it seems.

The first step is to identify the origin of the situation and the possible outcomes.

Then, assess the criticality of the situation.

Finally, come up with different potential solutions to your problem.

#2. Change your mindset

Once, you have assessed the situation, it is detrimental to accept your reality, let go of the past and rework your perceptions of adversity.

You can tell yourself that there are always solutions to a problem, that your situation is not as bad as it seems, is only temporary, or can be an opportunity in disguise.

In addition, to change your mindset:

  1. Visualize yourself beyond your situation.
  2. Be grateful for what you have. There are people who are in worse situations than you are.
  3. Understand that your situation is temporary and that you are passing through and will come out safe.

#3. Gain control over your situation

Staying organized and focused will help you gain more control over your situation.

  1. Focus on what you can do and measure your progress.
  2. Write down your task for the day in order of importance so you can focus on it.
  3. Learn your job and become an expert in your field.
  4. Learn to say no without having to explain yourself. There are different ways to politely express refusal. “I’ll think about it”, “I’ll get back to you”, “I have a prior engagement”…

#4. Gain control over yourself

Adversity makes everything seems out of control and generates a lot of extreme emotions.

Keeping your composure requires a lot of emotional discipline. To do so, take care of your mind, body and soul.

Take care of body

Exercise to keep your confidence up and to quiet your mind.

Take care of your mental health

  1. Work on your mental health.
  2. Take time off and stay in a quiet place to meditate, to make peace with yourself, to cope with your problem, to sleep.
  3. Quickly identify your thought pattern.
  4. Express your facts, emotions and your adversity in writing.
  5. Write down your past achievements and what you did to overcome past obstacles as well.

#5. Keep your vision alive

To stay positive, you must keep your goals and your vision alive.

In doing so, remember your mission statement, your purpose and the reasons why you have joined the company.

#6. Maintain your sense of humor

Making fun of your problems can help you understand them and alleviate your load.

Maintaining your sense of humor in times of adversity is a conscious choice. To do so:

  • Have a good laugh and make fun of yourself.
  • Try to start your day with a smile on your face.
  • Look around and find things that will make you smile.
  • Be kind to other people, compliment them and put a smile on their face.
  • Give back to your team or to your community.

#7. Muster up a strong support system

Your relationships are what will get you through in hard times. That’s why you don’t have to shut yourself off and you must:

  • Surround yourself with successful and positive people.
  • Take the time to vent and talk things through with someone you trust.
  • Ensure that you make time for intimacy.

Last Words Of Advice!

It is important for you to know when it is time to move on.

Moving on doesn’t mean that you are weak or that you cannot handle yourself.

It simply means that you have control over your decisions, that value your health and sanity more than your job, that you understand life and are at peace with yourself.

Furthermore, remember that:

  1. You are only human.
  2. You are not the only one going through adversity.
  3. Your story can help someone overcome theirs.
  4. Your past mistakes don’t define who you are.
  5. You must not take your problems personally.

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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The Importance Of Risk Taking In Leadership

All leaders have a clear vision for their lives.

They are willing to go through tough waters to achieve their vision.

However, they know that the greater their vision, the greater the focus needed, the greater the risks taken, and hopefully, the greater the reward.

Wondering how to take risks and step out your comfort zone?

The Importance Of Risk Taking In Leadership

Taking risks means stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Furthermore, risk taking is an inherent human trait and plays a major part in the life of leaders.

Risk taking may depend on the leader’s age, generation and financial background.

Risk taking is contagious. When your team sees you initiating risks and stepping out of your comfort zone, they ble will feel more comfortable doing the same.

For the past few years, risk taking has been treated like a disease.

Nowadays, taking risks is valued because it provides opportunities even though the consequences can be disastrous.

I believe that the old saying “with high risks come high rewards” is still defensible.

Taking risks is not reckless as long as they are calculated.

Why should leaders take risks?

Some people try to avoid risks and others fearlessly walk straight into it.

However, leaders are willing and obligated to take risks.

The key rewards of risk taking as a leader include longevity, meaningful experiences, increased finance, and a more motivated, loyal and trustworthy team.

People don’t take risks simply because of fear. They are generally afraid of failure, of success, of being vulnerable, being wrong, or admitting their errors and limits.

How to take calculated risks?

Risk taking can be an effective leadership strategy. To take calculated risks:

  1. Define clear goals and a vision.
  2. Gather information to estimate your risks. Do your research to unveil potential obstacles and give yourself time to find a solution.
  3. Measure your resources and the costs of your actions.
  4. Take a moment to evaluate the negative and the positive outcomes of your decisions. Study the pros and the cons to make the right decisions.
  5. Do something that scares you everyday. Get out your routine and try new activities to uncover your limits and who you truly are.
  6. Be aware of your own abilities and surround yourself with people with complementary skills.
  7. Learn to trust yourself and your decisions. It is important to listen to your gut, to distinguish your intuition from your emotions, to avoid overthinking or over-analyzing your decisions.
  8. Understand that you are your only limit and that you set your goals.
  9. Increase your emotional intelligence. Don’t let your fears make decisions for you. What ifs will stop you from taking chances.
  10. Learn from your past failures.
  11. Practice taking risks and prepare yourself for rejection. Rejection is not as bad as it seems and usually doesn’t last as long as regret. Regretting a moment or a situation is definitely worse than being rejected.
  12. Avoid spreading your self thin, examine opportunities that come your way, and learn to say no to opportunities that seem too good to be true.
  13. Test your ideas to a wise sounding board that you trust and that can be candid with you.
  14. Be reactive. Be on the lookout for possible breakthroughs or setbacks, and be ready to correct mistakes.
  15. Embrace change and always expect the unexpected.
  16. Don’t try to be perfect. In case of failure from risk-taking, practice forgiveness. and failing forward.
  17. Don’t make assumptions and keep learning.
  18. Become resilient.

Last Words Of Advice!

In life as in work, risk is inevitable just like failure is. Remember:

  • Fortune favors the bold.
  • The risk is always worth being taken and can be life-changing.
  • Don’t be too overconfident or completely eradicate fear in order to properly estimate risks.
  • Recognizing the positive outcomes of your risk taking will create momentum and gain in confidence so you can do it again.

Let me know when was the last time you have taken risks and what was your reward?

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 Traits Of Highly Successful Leaders

You do not have to be famous, be a millionaire or own a company in the Fortune 500 to be a successful leader.

A successful leader runs a successful business with a healthy return on investment with the help of a successful team.

A successful leader is able to mentally, emotionally, physically and financially provide for his or her team.
Wondering what are the main traits a successful leader?

14 Traits Of Highly Successful Leaders

To become a successful leader, there are a few traits that you need to develop.

The traits of succesful leaders can be acquired anytime in life.

However, it is up to you to maintain them. It will also require a lot of self-discipline, self-motivation and self-awareness.

Trait #1. Successful leaders lead a healthy lifestyle

First and foremost, successful leaders are morning people.

They get a good night sleep.

They wake up early in the morning.

They choose to rise with the sun because it gives them time to think, to meditate, to plan their day.

Furthermore, they eat well and on time.

them, they exercise early in the morning to maintain their physical health, and to get rid of lingering negativity.

Trait #2. Successful leaders have strong conviction

They have the conviction that they are successful and that they will succeed no matter what.

Their conviction comes from their self-awareness, drive, purpose and their strong core values.

They have integrity and hold on to their principles.

They know that they can accomplish anything that they set their mind to.

They rely on their intuition, make their own opinion and don’t follow anyone.

Trait #3. Successful leaders manage their time effectively

They know how to manage their time and prioritize their tasks.

They are willing to handle the most difficult, most important and the most urgent first.

They say no to things that don’t matter to them or to things that don’t fit into the bigger picture.

Trait #4. Successful leaders value solitude

They regularly spend time alone to reflect and to get work done.

Trait #5. Successful leaders own up to their mistake

Indeed, they make mistakes.

They can admit when they have done wrong and can apologize for it.

They reward themselves for their successes and above all learn from their failures.

Trait #6. Successful leaders take calculated risks

They take risks, get out of their comfort zones, recognize what works and what doesn’t.

Trait #7. Successful leaders ask for feedback

They ask for feedback, actively listen to it, and if the feedback is sound, seek to apply it.

Trait #8. Successful leaders set boundaries

They have set clear boundaries in their mind early on.

They know what they need, want, wish for.

They also know what they will not allow or stand for.

They know how to say no and stand their ground.

Trait #9. Successful leaders obsess positively

Leaders spend their time obsessing positively.

By “obsessing positively”, I mean they are passionate and they can focus their attention on their goals for a prolonged amount of time.

Basically, they eat, drink, sleep, think their goals.

Trait #10. Successful leaders have a healthy work life balance

Even though they can obsess over their professional goals, they make time for a personal life.

They make sure to maintain a healthy work life balance.

Trait #11. Successful leaders are optimistic

They are grateful for what they have but are not complacent.

They do not dwell on negativity and CHOOSE to focus on positivity.

They don’t overthink or overanalyze everything.

They don’t play the victim and take responsibility for their actions.

They handle change, failures and pressure gracefully.

They see challenges as an opportunity to learn and they maintain a positive attitude in adversity.

Trait #12. Successful leaders are whole

Their self-esteem does not depend on what others think of them.

They don’t compare their lives with the ones of other people.

They don’t judge but empathize with other people.

They don’t insult but compliment people.

They don’t abuse their authority or power.

They don’t hug the spotlight but give credit when credit is due.

They do not need to harm someone else to feel superior or to feel whole.

They know who, how and when to forgive.

Moreover, they want to see others succeed. They encourage others to grow, to succeed and reach their full potential.

Trait #13. Successful leaders are wise beyond their years

They have a deep understanding of life and of themselves.

They can assess a situation and its outcome before engaging in it.

They have identified their purpose early in life and every decision that they make can be justified.

Trait #14. Successful leaders are learning machines

They are open-minded.

They are always learning, always evolving and always growing.

They understand that learning is a never-ending process, no matter their age or status.

On the flip side, they constantly want to share their knowledge with the world.

Last Words Of Advice!

Successful people inspire and act as role models for others and for their own organization.

Therefore, be mindful of your actions and of your words.
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.

12 Signs Of A Toxic Leader

Unfortunately, we have all experienced toxic leadership at some point in our career.

Toxic workplaces and toxic leadership foster because the leader is either encouraging it, participating in it or ignoring it.

Toxic leaders are corrosive on the long run. They erode their employees confidence, motivation, productivity, trust, loyalty and respect.

Wondering if you are a toxic leader or are in the presence of one?

12 Signs Of A Toxic Leader

12 Signs Of A Toxic Leader

#1. Toxic leaders retain useful information

Knowledge is power and toxic leaders know that.

The longer they can keep you in the dark, the longer they have control over you and the longer they stay in power.

In fact, leaders who retain information are insecure and are afraid of being replaced.

#2. Toxic leaders abuse their power and authority

Any chance that they get, toxic leaders need to remind you that they are in power and that they have leverage (financial leverage most of the time) over you.

This type of leaders have huge egos, consider that their employees are subordinates, and do not care who they have to step over to get what they want.

#3. Toxic leaders micromanage their employees

They don’t give people the time or the space to do their job. Instead, they breath down people’s neck.

In fact, micromanaging leaders are counterproductive and create a stressful work environment.

Which, in turn, slows down team work and efficiency.

#4. Toxic leaders condone poor behavior

They accept poor behavior from their team as long as the team produces results.

For example, they would tolerate workplace bullying if it would bring their team closer together.

In turn, they use fear and diverse punishments to incentivize their team.

#5. Toxic leaders manipulate and play aggressive office politics

They play mind games, use information about you against you, love to manipulate and gas light their own team just to stay in power and to advance their career.

#6. Toxic leaders shift responsibility

They talk about accountability but when push comes to shoves they avoid taking responsibility for their actions.

Besides, when things are great, they take credit for your success. When things go bad, they question your abilities and your failures.

#7. Toxic leaders give orders and don’t expect feedback

For them, it is their way or the high way.

They expect you to follow orders whether that order is right or wrong, whether that order benefits them or not.

The truth is they think that they know best but they actually don’t.

#8. Toxic leaders lie for no reason

They backtrack, bend the rules, adjust procedures, make up stories and rumors to for their needs.

They do not care about the impact of their words and create a culture of distrust.

#9. Toxic leaders protect the status quo

They deeply believe in hierarchy.

They don’t promote change or push innovative ideas.

In addition, they are locked in a particular era, in a particular setting. They don’t wish to modernize or adapt to change.

#10. Toxic leaders are overly emotional

They dramatize everything, have a temper and haven’t got a hold of it.

Their mood usually fluctuates throughout the day.

As a result, their behavior makes people walk on eggshells around them.

#11. Toxic leaders are passive aggressive

Either they play nice to your face and stab you in the back.

Or, they hold their feelings in and act it out instead.

Passive aggressiveness is very difficult to deal with as they don’t offer you any type of resolve.

#12. Toxic leaders lack core values

These leaders are entitled and self-serving.

They do not care about people and put their own interest first, no matter what.

Last Words Of Advice!

Toxic leaders often scare away their best employees.

Toxic leaders are simply fooling themselves because they live in constant fear.

They are afraid of losing control, of losing power, of seeming inferior, of being replaceable…

Furthermore, they let their fear control them and influence their behavior.

It is not necessary for you to play into their hands:

  • Learn from your experiences, about yourself and your limits. You can always extract lessons from a negative experience.
  • Emotionally and physically discipline yourself. Don’t lose your cool. By loosing your cool, you are giving them power over you.
  • Don’t take things personally and don’t let their problems become yours. It’s not about you but it’s all about them.
  • Find emotional support outside of work.
  • Keep your dignity. Don’t let other people actions define your character.

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.

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.

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.