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?
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 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.
Mistakes?! Everybody makes them but not everyone knows how to handle them. Mistakes are most often seen in a negative light but it shows you what you are made of, that you need to redirect your career, that you need to change procedures and your character.
Mistakes are inevitable, are a factor for change and have a knack for:
- Discovering our authentic selves.
- Exhibiting our vulnerabilities, limitations and blind spots.
- Helping us prioritize and go to the essentials.
- Showing us what works and what doesn’t.
- Teaching us to forgive and to be less hard on ourselves.
- Teaching us how to explore and experiment in life.
- Teaching us how to learn and change.
- Humbling us.
- Showing us who is our support system.
- Building our problem solving skills.
- Making us more resourceful.
- Displaying the consequences of our mistakes.
- Removing us from our comfort zones.
Wondering how to identify mistakes and how to correct them?
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. It is then detrimental to:
- Identify the cues of mistake making, of failure.
- Be self-aware.
- Take responsibility for the mistake that led to the problem.
- Encourage constructive criticism as much as feedback is given.
- Measure the consequences of the mistakes.
- 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.
There is a vast number of recurring mistakes and failures detected in corporate history.
MISTAKE #1: Fitting Into The Corporate Culture
The first mistake that leaders make is failing to see that they don’t fit in, that their values and morals don’t match the company’s culture.
To identify whether or not you will fit in and be an asset to your company:
- Check out the group that you have to work with.
- Pose the right questions about the company during the hiring process. You can even hang out in the company’s lobby or pip in the office to get a feel of the company.
Whether or not you wish to adapt to the culture is a personal choice. If you do:
- Observe other people who are successful within the organization and see if you can emulate their behavior.
- Learn to appreciate uniqueness and diversity.
- Learn to adapt to the situation at hand.
- Leave when there is too much discrepancy between your morals, values and the company’s culture.
MISTAKE #2: Focusing on the job and not on people
Leaders who don’t focus on people are seen to be snobs, insensitive, inattentive. They don’t like to be interrupted, are their best when left alone, avoid conversations and small talks at all costs, are focused on tasks, are afraid of failing at their jobs.
Unfortunately, they fail at relationships. This can easily create misunderstandings and conflicts because people have no barometer to measure your speech or your behavior.
Dealing with people has now become a sought after soft skill. To keep growing that skill:
- Relax and allow people to come to you.
- Control your verbal and non verbal cues.
- Recognize that people are part of life and that relationships can increase your success.
- Show that you care.
- Solve people’s problem.
- Take lunches and breaks away from your workplace in order to handle social interactions better.
- Give positive feedback, affirmations, encouragements especially to younger workers.
- Don’t play favorites with people.
MISTAKE #3: Sticking To Traditional Leadership Styles
Autocratic and commanding leadership styles, though common and easy, are outdated, are rigid, are no longer acceptable in society and don’t work anymore, especially with millennials.
Some leaders, needing to feel superior and powerful, tend to withhold information to control their employees. 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.
People are more comfortable in the democratic leadership style and are able to perform at their best.
- Allow your workers to give their input before you make a decision.
- Learn how to motivate and inspire your people.
- Be the solution to everybody’s problem.
- Empower others and help them to be successful.
- Don’t be arrogant, don’t bark orders or mistreat your coworkers.
- Listen to the needs of your coworkers.
MISTAKE #4: Shutting down dissenting voices, innovative and creative people
Pioneers and 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.
The thing is that pioneers are innovative, creative and can renew a company’s product and culture. They are natural catalysts, take risks and they need a room to breathe and to exercise their talents.
To include dissenting voices, innovative and creative people:
- Be more flexible with your policies and procedures.
- Learn to discern pioneers from troublemakers and contrarians. pioneers actually care about the organization and about their contributions to it.
- Allow pioneers to work on their own and own their results.
- Slowly increase their responsibility.
- Understand that everyone is not the same and deserve a different treatment.
MISTAKE #5: Controlling people and not delegating
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 the leader:
- Has faith in the workers.
- believes that the work will be up to standards.
- is confident in their personal abilities and is not afraid of being upstaged.
- is comfortable depending on others.
Delegating is not easy. To learn how to delegate:
- Avoid micromanaging people but measure their advancement.
- Don’t withdraw a project or assignment that you have previously delegated.
- Include employees in the decision-making process.
- Demonstrate confidence in yourself and in the people you have chosen to delegate the tasks to.
- When delegating, 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.
MISTAKE #6: Not Seeing The Bigger Picture
Leaders fail when they are unable to see the bigger picture.
To stay fixated on the bigger picture:
- Write a personal mission statement and build a vision board.
- Get to know your company’s mission and vision statement.
- Take time to think about your vision.
- Prioritize and stick to the essentials.
- Feed your mind with positivity.
MISTAKE #7: Competing With Coworkers
Comparing ourselves to others and competing with them can weigh on work performance and self-esteem.
Competition in the workplace, without rules and regulations, to increase work performance, to put two employees against each other can easily derail an entire organization, create a toxic workplace, create a culture of fear.
To reduce competition in the workplace:
- Collaborate with your team members.
- Build relationships that go beyond the workplace.
- Compete against the standards that you have set for yourself.
- Acknowledge your personal success.
- Build new 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.
In Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less, Greg Mckeown teaches us to hone our decisions making and time management skills in order to achieve more to do less and to do better, to filter out the noise and distractions, to find out what we really want out of life and pursue our dreams the most effective and disciplined way possible.
The essence of Essentialism
“Less but better” embodies the ethic of Essentialism. Essentialism is a way of thinking that drives success, that replaces false assumptions that we can do it all, that being busy means being productive, that we must accept every single opportunity that comes our way. Essentialists understand that:
- They have the ability to choose before they feel helpless and let someone else make decisions for them.
- Hard work does not necessarily pay off or lead to great results. Essentialists therefore learn to distinguish among all opportunities the best and most appropriate, most essential.
- Decisions are made by design and not by default. They focus their energy and time on a small portion of activities, and refuse those that achieve their goals.
The exploration and selection process
Essentialists give themselves the liberty to explore everything and anything before making a decisions on what to focus their energy, before committing to one option. To do so, they:
- Set aside time to think, to focus on different possibilities, to create space for intense concentration, to read, to meditate.
- Visualize the bigger picture and notice the larger issues that matter.
- Listen deliberately and observe intensely.
- Write a journal, with restraint, until it becomes a habit to keep track of the small changes implemented and to memorize the important events and information.
- Take time to play. In the workplace and in adulthood, playing has become trivial and undermined. However, playing sparks creativity, opens people up to see more possibilities, “challenges old assumptions and makes us more receptive to untested ideas”, alleviates stress, improve overall corporate skills.
- Make sleep a priority to counter-intuitively remain productive, to increase creativity and sustain a healthy mind.
- Apply the 90 percent rule, if unsure of a decision, to avoid committing to too many options in our personal and professional lives. “think about the single most important criterion for that decision, and then simply give the option a score between 0 and 100. If you rate it any lower than 90 percent, then automatically change the rating to 0 and simply reject”. For example, the 90 percent rule is useful to hire the right people and make sure that they are fit from the start.
- Say no to the unwanted opportunities that come your way.
- Fight the fear of missing out.
The elimination process
Furthermore, Essentialists find the courage, strength and conviction to firmly and resolutely say no to external pressure when they believe it is right and eliminate the nonessentials.
They clarify their goals, their personal and professional mission statements, make them concrete, measurable, meaningful and memorable, identify the activities that align themselves with their mission statements.
Clarifying their goals and missions improves their relationships, their motivation, sense of cooperation, sense of purpose, their jobs, roles. It also helps them focus their energy and time in one direction and therefore increase productivity. In the workplace, employees without a clear mission or values tend to play politics.
Often Nonessentialists are afraid of missing out on an opportunity or are afraid of conflict, of not being conform to expectations, to social norms, but saying no will increase your effectiveness and the respect level. Nonessentialists would be better off if they:
- Separated the person from their decisions.
- Found different ways to say no politely but firmly. It is critical to be prepared for reactions of annoyance, disappointment or anger from the other party. However, respect usually replaces those emotions in the long run.
- Traded the denied nonessential opportunities for better ones.
- Realized that respect is more valuable than popularity.
- Exercised discipline to remove distractions, cut their losses and stopped investing time, money and energy in nonessentials, dead-end activities.
- Broke free from a false sense of ownership to a project and object.
- Avoided staying somewhere just because they are afraid of wasting time, losing their investment and ownership.
- Admitted their mistakes.
- Avoided trying too hard to fit in.
- Challenged the status quo.
- Took a break before responding to someone and taking on a new commitment.
- Set boundaries and viewed them as liberating. Essentialists write down their red flags, deal breakers, lay down their priorities and take heed of negative people.
The execution process
It is critical to come up with a system to execute your essential activities, the right things the right way.
To prepare for wet days or to allocate time to respond to the unexpected, Essentialists create a buffer. The buffer is a contingency plan for difficult circumstances, works as a risk management strategy, ensures some wiggle room to execute their activities. To create a buffer, Essentialists:
- Accurately estimate the time of the activity by adding half the time that is expected to accomplish your tasks.
- Identify early all obstacles in their plan and remove them beforehand.
- Take small steps, increase positive interactions and congratulate themselves and their team for small wins.
- Design a routine to improve their ability to execute the essentials, to render the process easy and unconscious, to remove obstacles, to save their energy in the long run, to enhance their creativity and innovation.
- Stay in the present, avoid doing too many thing at once as opposed to doing many things and focusing on one thing at a time.
the pursuit of success can be a catalyst for failure. Put another way, success can distract us from focusing on the essential things that produce success in the first place.
Discerning what is essential to explore requires us to be disciplined in how we scan and filter all the competing and conflicting facts, options, and opinions constantly vying for our attention.
By definition, applying highly selective criteria is a trade-off; sometimes you will have to turn down a seemingly very good option and have faith that the perfect option will soon come along.
Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less by Greg Mckeown is destined to overachievers, to ambitious people, and to those who feel like they are spread thin in their personal and professional lives.
Indeed, when we want to be successful, we have a tendency of accepting every opportunity that comes to us, we fear that we will be missing out and we worry about everything. Greg Mckeown shows us that we have the power to choose, that it is OK to turn down a mediocre option, with the faith that a better option comes around.
Also, this book administers practical advice, applicable to leaders, illustrated with great examples, and made me realize the number of things that hinder my productivity and my time management.
At last, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less cannot be compared with New Years resolutions but provides a new way of thinking, a new way of life.