The Importance Of Becoming A Self-Disciplined Leader

Self-Disciplined LeaderAs a leader and as someone always searching for innovative ideas, I have to say that I have been struggling with staying focused on one topic at a time, controlling my train of thoughts and filtering negative emotions.

Although I come from a very disciplined home, my mind is sometimes undisciplined: tens of thousands of ideas flash through my mind in a second, which makes it difficult for my team to follow me.

 

By taking time out in the day solely for the thinking process, I have allowed myself to successfully manage my thoughts and become a self-disciplined leader.

Wondering how to acquire self-discipline or how self-discipline can successfully grow your career?

What is self-discipline?

Firstly, self-discipline is one of the most important component of leadership. Self-discipline develops in you set ways for your thoughts, actions and habits. Self-discipline means doing what needs to be done when you don’t feel like doing it.

In addition, it means that you accept your responsibilities and accomplish your goals because they are the best profitable option but not because you want to.

Self-discipline implies self-management or self-control, self-motivation, self-reliance, self-confidence and self-awareness and eventually, remains the basis for trust.

Secondly, self-discipline is an acquired skill, has several degrees to it and is not achieved overnight. It has to be practiced to become easier, to create routine and structure.

Lastly, early responsibilities in life, small tasks and assignments, given by parents or managers, allow people to gain discipline from a young age and shape their character.

Characteristics of self-disciplined leaders

Self-disciplined leaders are successful and ultimately become better at what they do. They are active, self-controlled, organized, are able to censor themselves and to build great relationships.

Leaders use self-discipline to sharpen their willpower and decisions making skills, to command respect from others and to lead by example, to achieve their goals regardless of their feelings, to gain profit and to look beyond hard work, to stick to their decisions, to evaluate themselves and place boundaries, to compartmentalize their emotions.

Furthermore, self-disciplined leaders have no fear of the future, are respected and dependable.

Self-disciplined leaders practice thoughts management, emotional intelligence, time management, character building, self-awareness and team building until they turn those soft skills into habits.

HABIT #1: MIND MANAGEMENT

Your thoughts, negative or positive, become your reality whether you want it or not. Self-disciplined leaders have peace of mind, no matter the situation.

For self-disciplined leaders, controlling your emotions is barely about becoming stoic, but about acknowledging your emotions, understanding them and keeping them in check before acting on them.

In order to control your thoughts:

  1. Nurture your mind with the right stimuli, with empowering thoughts and success stories. Remove distractions from your workspace. Block social media sites during working hours.
  2. Train your brain to handle different situations, and to prepare for both positive and negative outcomes.
  3. Meditate or turn to religion. Meditation brings a sense of contentment and allows you to accept and deal with your thoughts. In religion, controlling your thoughts is more about admitting God’s control over us and relinquishing our problems and emotions to Him. Which is why you need to keep your eyes on God and your focus on your purpose.
  4. Forgive yourself for past mistakes, let go of grudges and regrets,  and keep moving forward.

HABIT #2: EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Self disciplined leaders don’t allow their choices and decisions to be dictated by their impulses or feelings. Instead, they:

  • enhance their logical and emotional skills to be able to make sound decisions,
  • control their facial expressions,
  • resist and reject negative feelings,
  • handle stressful situations, conflicts and toxic individuals in a healthy manner,
  • adopt positive attitudes and behaviors.

To discipline your emotions:

  1. Control your thoughts and don’t leave them on autopilot. Pay close attention to your habits, especially in negative situations. Identify which behaviors you consider undisciplined and those that reflect your values ans goals.
  2. Change your self talk.
  3. Meditate on a daily basis, a least 10 minutes a day, to quiet the mind, gain serenity and suppress regrets.
  4. Cultivate gratitude. This will help you transform negative circumstances into positives.
  5. Change your sources of data that you intake and abstain from vain entertainment.
  6. Change or increase your social circle to individuals who possess the qualities and skills that you wish to acquire.
  7. Manage your health by taking care of the essentials. Your mind and body are interconnected and the health of the one impacts the other.
    • Sleep healthy hours and develop a steady night routine. Set an alarm at the same time everyday, put your phone in an unreachable area, don’t hit the snooze button.
    • Acquire a healthy diet.
    • Exercise regularly instead of procrastinating and drown your negative thoughts with dopamine.

HABIT #3: SELF-AWARENESS

Self-discipline allows leader to monitor their behavior in various situations and to assess their strengths and weaknesses, to find their purpose.

Without being aware of your strengths, you are unable to lead effectively. Trying to emulate another leader’s style, strengths destroys your natural talent, your uniqueness, your personality and your therefore your chances for success.

Furthermore, most leaders are blind to their own strengths and weaknesses. Some lead thinking that they possess a particular set of strengths and others lead blind to their own weaknesses.

Get to know yourself at a deeper level, increase your confidence, become more self-aware and quiet your ego:

  1. Renew your thought pattern, invest in your personal growth and don’t allow setbacks to mentally set you back.
  2. Reverting back to the memories of your childhood and recalling what you did well and with pleasure.
  3. Look for a common thread in the things that immediately and sustainably attract your attention throughout your life experiences.
  4. Read books and gain knowledge.
  5. Hire a professional to help identify your strengths and how to employ them.
  6. Take well-known online tests, such as StrenghtsFinder2.0 and StandOut, and cross-reference them.
  7. Asking the people closest to you.
  8. Surround yourself with supporting people. Stay away from yes men, undermining people or groups.
  9. Seek the truth about yourself and be unafraid of failure or the said truth.

HABIT #4: TIME MANAGEMENT

Successful individuals manage their time effectively to ensure that they accomplish their goals, allocate and maximize their time.

In the workplace, missing deadlines irritates and disrupts everyone on the team and makes you appear non accountable. So, to manage your time effectively:

  1. Define an achievable specific goal and apply timelines to it to create overviews of the milestones you wish to achieve. If you don’t have deadlines, create some for yourself.
  2. Make time to achieve your personal goals, follow-up on schedule and meet deadlines. Do not procrastinate, find excuses to postpone your work or allow anyone to distract you and squander your time. Instead, stay busy and focused, and put in the hours required to accomplish your goals.
  3. Prioritize your personal goals and accomplish the most important ones before hand.
  4. Implement a routine and stay focused on the prize.
  5. Make time to be proactive. With an increase in leadership responsibilities, people start pulling the leader in different directions, and the leader ends up doing more of what people desire than what is necessary to be done. Carve out an hour in the day or choose a day in the week to isolate or insulate yourself and execute your tasks that matter.
  6. Make time for yourself. Carve out another hour in your day to recharge your batteries to be more productive and efficient as a leader for your team. You may have to arrive earlier to work.
  7. Respect other people time.

HABIT #5: CHARACTER BUILDING

Not all hardworking and talented beings are disciplined. Therefore, not all hardworking and talented beings are successful.

On one hand, self-discipline helps in creating routine and structure, holding yourself and others to a high standard ( integrity and respect), remaining accountable for your actions on your job, executing your job in detail and delivering on time. Self-discipline also increases maturity and builds stamina and resistance to walk down the leader’s path. That means that you can take a licking and keep on ticking.

On the other hand, self-discipline makes you resilient. You are empowered to stick to your decision, are able to get up when you are knocked down and to keep going when you hear “no”. Building character is a gradual process:

  1. Be consistent with your values (integrity)
  2. Tenacity is also key. Don’t be discouraged or perturbed by obstacles, by failures, by the illusion that your goals are unreachable. Instead, resist the urges of giving in or giving up.
  3. Read, listen, watch motivational elements. For faithful people, turning to your belief system is a great way to stay on track.
  4. Draw lessons from your mistakes.
  5. Monitor what you say. If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.

HABIT #6: RELATIONSHIP & TEAM BUILDING

Being disciplined allows leaders to command respect from others, to work well with their team members, to handle interactions with employees or customers judiciously.

In order to minimize supervisors intervention:

  1. Define your responsibilities or tasks, avoid stepping on anybody’s toes, delegate tasks appropriately,
  2. Play by the rules, treat your team members as adults and with respect,
  3. Look out for the best interests of the company and your team members,
  4. Coach your team, promote self-discipline amongst them, encourage innovative ideas without even if they fail,
  5. Share your performance expectations with your employees and help them direct their focus towards achieving their goals
  6. Address unacceptable behaviors immediately without punishing or humiliating the perpetrators,
  7. Model yourself as the best leader, avoid taking your job for granting or taking credit for team success or outstanding performance, and stay humble and .

HABIT #7: EXECUTION, MOTIVATION & STRUCTURE

Self-discipline brings predictability, consistency and order to the leader. Self-discipline captures the meaning of the word expectancy and provides the leader with latitude for risk assessment and management. To create structure and improve task execution:

  1. If you are somehow already disciplined in executing task, share your timeline and your attention to detail with others and help them pick up the slack without micro managing.
  2. Clearly, your order brings a sense of control to the team. However, don’t impose your discipline to anyone else.
  3. Focus on starting tasks rather than completing them.
  4. Follow through on your ideas and finish what you have started. Also, track your progress: record the starting time and the end time of your tasks.
  5. Execute your plan in silence, and respect yourself enough to put your money where your mouth is and to come through on your promises.

The Importance Of Becoming A Self-Disciplined Leader

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

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15 Hateful Coworkers and How to Deal with Them

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

Sometimes, bringing us to ask ourselves whether they’re the problem or we are.

Wondering how to spot these toxic coworkers from afar and how to handle them?

Every workplace has difficult employees and we all have been, to some extent, in different situations with hateful coworkers. I do believe that we all, partially or fully, demonstrate some level of toxicity towards a third party in the workplace.

Below, are the 15 worst toxic coworkers that I have already met and have had to deal with.

Case Study #1: ​The Delicate

Key Symptoms

The Delicate is a sensitive person with vain imagination that constantly and easily feels under attack, and that takes things deeply and personally. The Delicate thinks that people are looking, gossiping and criticizing him or her!

Treatment

  • Keep the conversation on superficial topics and crack jokes about him or her.
  • Avoid using sarcasm, making dry remarks, directly confronting this person. Instead, try to sugarcoat things and to give indirect constructive criticism.

Case Study #2: The Slacker

Key Symptoms

The Slacker is mostly concerned about personal life and regulating it during working hours.

The Slacker does not take his or her work seriously, spends his or her working life over the internet, cannot make a deadline to save his or her life, is not punctual even absent, unapologetically displays a lack of motivation.

The Slacker is visibly unfulfilled in his or her current position but won’t do anything about it.

Treatment

  • Impose a deadline or better yet let him or her publicly impose a deadline.
  • Pick up the slack with the rest of the team and keep quiet.
  • This individual will sink himself or herself. Otherwise, this individual will eventually have to get up and swim, explain their behavior, their performance and their results to upper management.

Case Study #3: The Rocket Scientist

Key Symptoms

The Rocket Scientist is the individual on the team that is full of knowledge but who is in search for recognition for his superior intellect and who demands an immense respect for his expertise.

The Rocket Scientist will feel insulted and will almost become passive aggressive if his or her ideas and point of view are being questioned.

Treatment

  • Avoid comparing his expertise to anyone on the team.
  • Avoid diminishing his knowledge and ideas in front of the team or behind closed doors.
  • Avoid criticizing his work and intellect.
  • Instead, tap into his range of knowledge by placing him or her in the role of a counselor but not a decision maker.

Case Study #4: The Gossiper

Key Symptoms

The Gossiper is an individual that enjoys gossip, that emphasizes and embellishes a rumor.

The Gossiper is nosy and loves to keep the rumor mill spinning. This person is even capable of destroying someone’s reputation in the office.

Treatment

  • Listen to the rumor without adding any input. The information may not be malicious but indicative of office politics or of a situation that you can take advantage of.
  • However, learn to separate useful information from the gossip.
  • If this person only brings negative void information, crafted gossip, signal your disinterest by not responding or responding with monosyllables or challenging the facts in the story line, discreetly remove yourself from the circle, avoid participating in the rumor mill.
  • Be careful not to offense this person, for they would drag your name in the mud. If this person is actually gossiping about you, avoid any interaction and adding fuel to fire by striking back with gossip before damaging your reputation.
  • Confront this person in a non threatening and diplomatic way, in a private setting by stating that you are aware of the gossip and everyone is saying that she is a liar and the bearer of the negative information but you know that is not true.

Case Study #5: The Bulldozer

Key Symptoms

The Bulldozer is an individual that believes wrongly in his intelligence. The Bulldozer doesn’t hesitate to make everybody’s life miserable if things don’t go his way.

The Bulldozer threatens, bullies, intimidates, steps on toes and remains on the verge of harassment in order to get things his way. “It’s my way or the high way!”.

The Bulldozer imposes his way of doing things even if it is not the best way of doing them.

They make the worst managers ever but are the most common managers found in corporate.

Treatment

  • Cultivate your emotional intelligence in order not to respond to negativity with negativity.
  • listen to this person point of view from beginning to end without uttering a word, then summarize their position and calmly expose yours.

Case Study #6: The Work-To-Rule

Key Symptoms

The Work-To-Rule discards any part of responsibility in a situation, does not understand tram work and does exactly what is stated in their contracts and no more.

In fact, the Work-To-Rule insists on not taking on more responsibilities than his or her job description.

Treatment

  • Stress the importance of team work and the value of this individual contribution at work.

Case Study #7: The Overly Friendly

Key Symptoms

The Overly Friendly is an individual that thinks that his coworkers are his extended family and that doesn’t mind sharing extra personal details of his or her life. These details will make you uncomfortable.

Treatment

Explain that you don’t want to hear the gruesome details of his or her life.

If his or her behavior are too intimate, it can be considered as harassment and can be reported to human resources.

Case Study #8: The Naysayer

Key Symptoms

The Naysayer is an individual that irritatingly pinpoints everything negative in a situation and predicts problems before they happen, without proposing an alternative and constructive solution to the situation at hand.

Treatment

Position that person in roles that require to see problems before they occur.

No need to argue and show the positive side of an idea.

To inhibit this behavior, request an explanation why the situation would not work and a thought-through plan for the solution

Case Study #9: The Blameshifter

Key Symptoms

The Blameshifter is an individual that points the finger at everyone else but themselves and that comes up with very creative excuses to completely remove the blame from themselves.

It is a form of narcissism: the Blameshifter is afraid of confronting themselves.

Treatment

  • Come prepared with evidence.
  • If the blame is pointed at you and you know that it is not your fault, give proof of your innocence without accusing this individual.
  • If this individual comes to you with an object of complaint on someone else, in order to avoid being put in the middle, claim that this is none of your business and suggest that they have a conversation with the alleged culprit.

15 Hateful Coworkers and How to Deal with Them

Case Study #10: The Neophobe

Key Symptoms

The Neophobe is an individual that doesn’t deal well with change. The Neophobe is capable of refusing it, sabotaging it or even halting it.

Treatment

  • Demonstrate to him or her that change isn’t traumatic and can be positive.
  • Provide proof and facts that the change eminent is positive.
  • Help that person embrace change.

Case Study #11: The Chatterbox

Key Symptoms

The Chatterbox is an individual that drops by your workspace and starts chatting without solicitation about anything and everything.

This individual does not necessarily partake in gossip, but volunteers to share their point of view.

This individual tends to makes you unproductive and inefficient.

Treatment

  • Avoid using words of exclamation or affirmation to not encourage this person to keep on talking.
  • Avoid making eye contact when this person is passing through.
  • Politely and respectfully explain that you are on schedule.

Case Study #12: The Martyr

Key Symptoms

The Martyr is a dedicated employee, willing to “die” for their company without being asked to do so, and that searches for recognition and validation.

For example, the Martyr does extra hours at work and manipulate the boss when someone else get a promotion.

Treatment

  • Show appreciation for this employee and value their work within the company.

Case Study #13: The Stealer

Key Symptoms

The Stealer constantly steals coworkers ideas, takes credit for them and denies it when confronted.

Treatment

  • Hold back on your ideas and opinions when having a conversation with this individual. Listen more than you speak.
  • Avoid confronting this fool but bite your tongue instead because he or she might not know how to implement your ideas.
  • Don’t report it to upper management before appearing to be salty.

Case Study #14: The Snake

Key Symptoms

The Snake is an overly ambitious — almost sociopathic — coworker that smiles to your face and that stabs you and everyone else in the back. The Snake will claim that your ideas are wonderful but will degrade them when you are not looking.

Treatment

  • Keep your personal information, brilliant ideas to yourself.
  • Listen more than you speak.
  • Stay socially engaged and involved in office politics.

Case Study #15: The Ultra Competitive

Key Symptoms

The Ultra Competitive is an individual that is prepared to step over your dead body to succeed or to get recognition in the workplace.

Treatment

  • Focus on your work or get involve in a project where the Ultra Competitive person is not involved in.
  • Stay socially engaged with your other coworkers and keep networking.
  • Consider the company culture, compare them to your values and figure out whether or not you fit in.

How do I deal with other difficult personalities?

Last Words Of Advice!

Toxic coworkersMost coworkers use extreme tactics to get advancements in the workplace and would do anything to trigger you, to demean you or sabotage your own progress.

Some take job positions where they do not belong and that they cannot handle.

Others are misusing their strengths and transforming them into flaws that are not accepted in the environment they choose to work in. Others are even responding to an already toxic workplace.

Lastly some coworkers are oblivious to their visible flaws and practice them outside of work.

In order to deal with other toxic coworkers:

  • cultivate emotional intelligence,
  • listen more than you speak,
  • look for the positive or the humour in negative circumstances.

No matter the reasons, you have to learn how to insulate yourself emotionally and spot a hateful coworker from a distance.

 

 

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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13 Leadership Tips For Your First Day On The Job

Congratulations. You have just been hired, after an incessant job search and multiple job interviews. Now, the real work has just started!

Wondering how to build a positive professional image as soon as you arrive on the job and to sustain it throughout your whole career?

13 Leadership Tips for Your First Day on the Job #work #career #careeradvice #job #leadership #success

From your first day on the job, your colleagues will definitely be judging you and your capabilities as a leader, as a team member or as a threat to their current position.

Meanwhile your employer will evaluate your abilities to integrate the organization and to quickly adapt, to learn the job skills.

You have to be ready to handle the pressure and to measure up to the job. And unfortunately, I learnt that there aren’t any do-overs when it comes to making a first impression of your professional image.

On the first day on my first job, I showed up on the first day with a negative attitude: I was anxious, unconsciously rejecting the fact that I had to work corporate and work for someone else.

Therefore, in the long haul, I started involuntarily rebuffing the idea of getting along with people, learning new skills and focusing on my job.

As a result, I integrated an unfavorable perception of my environment and I certainly believe that I left a negative impression of myself in the workplace. 

This stuck to me for a while until I quit the job and was able to start over elsewhere with a better knowledge of both corporate and leadership.

At the same time, to survive, I did what my elders told me: “work hard and keep your head down!”.  But this brought on additional issues. Why? Because, according to Daniel Goleman, in Working With Emotional Intelligence,  the “rules for work are changing. We’re being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other.[…] These rules have little to do with what we were told was important in school; academic abilities are largely irrelevant to this standard.”.

 

In order for you to steer clear from the same issues that I have experienced, to develop a leadership image from the start, follow the tips below:

1. Arrive to work early and leave late on your first day

Arriving early to work demonstrate your motivation, your eagerness to learn and gives you more credit as a professional.

In addition, arriving early will allow you to get a general feel of your new colleagues’ arrival time, schedules, morning procedures.

It will also give you a time to which you will be expected to show up at work.

On your first day, at least, make sure to leave the office after a few coworkers have left the office and not before everyone else does.

2. Dress appropriately and to look your best

Undeniably, your coworkers will make snap decisions about you without getting to know or understanding your core values.

Subsequently, they will judge your book by its cover, no matter how you feel or what you say.

Dressing appropriately, without drawing attention to yourself,  gives the perception that you fit in, that you are the right person for the job, and that you care about yourself and others.

At your job interview, you had the time to consider the company culture and to take notes on the proper attire to fit in. Even on casual Fridays, groom yourself, do your best to look the part, and to dress for  the job you want and not for the one you have.

3. Be confident, positive and prepared for a full-blown interview from your colleagues

After the job interview, take heed of the coworkers interviews.

Most likely, they will ask about your education, your professional experience, your professional competencies for the job, a description of your current position, and the members of your team.

Prepare a short presentation of yourself to introduce yourself confidently.

4. Assume also that some of your coworkers won’t bother to get to know you

So, you will have to take initiative and make the first steps.

Extend a firm handshake, smile and proactively introduce yourself by using the short presentation about yourself and to control the message regarding yourself.

Also, prepare a set of probing questions for your coworkers.

5. Observe your coworkers in return, their behavior towards one another, towards their boss

Don’t be fooled, on your first day, most of your coworkers will be on their best behavior around you and will try their best for you to like them.

Withal, you can discreetly notice the clicks and the areas and subjects that bring tension.

6. Pay attention to company culture

Who gives orders, who is the unofficial leader, who arrives early and who arrives late, who takes coffee breaks and how often, who start the lunch process, where lunch takes place and for how long…does everyone work out? Should you go to the after works? 

Take a moment to understand the rules, on your own, without referring to any coworker just yet.

7. Remember the names of the people you meet

I am not a name person but you should not ask for names that were already given.

Wait a few days and someone will throw a name out there.

8. Cultivate emotional intelligence

Even though your coworkers will be on their best behavior for the first few days, there is ALWAYS someone to come around and test you for fun.

Your reaction to his or her obnoxious behavior will market your capabilities and your personal qualities, for future career success.

9. Communicate effectively, listen more than you speak and observe your body language

Listen actively and with intention of asking probing questions.

Ask for people opinions before you give yours.

10. Show interest in your new tasks

The responsibilities that you are given on your first days are boring and minimal: you will most likely be reading job regulations, technical documents and implementing basic tasks.

Nonetheless, ask pertinent questions, take notes, commit to the task at hand and don’t expect your boss or your coworkers to hold your hand.

11. Be open to correction, advice and guidance

Even though you have some experience under your belt, stay humble instead of showing off your knowledge, listen to what your coworkers have to tell you

Thank people for their help and own up to your mistakes.

Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know. Let me find out and get back to you.”.

12. Accept invitations for coffee, to smoke or to lunch with your coworkers

Mind you, I don’t drink coffee, I don’t smoke and I only take lunch breaks alone during my working hours.

But those breaks are essential to show that you are social and willing to integrate and share their habits.

Use those breaks to your advantage to get to know your coworkers.

13. Don’t indulge in office politics and gossip on your first day or ever

Avoid people who partake in gossip and employ aggressive methods of office politics.

To not be implicated in the rumor mill, don’t expose your personal life.

According to Daniel Goleman, pay attention to “what to say, what not to say, and what to call it” throughout your entire career.

Last Words Of Advice!

Building a strong professional image and leader brand, as soon as you step into your new position, is detrimental to career success.

 

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 Forgiveness In Leadership

When you are a leader, you go head first into battle, experience joy, success, hurt, failure and disappointment.

Contrary to popular belief, being prone to forgiveness does not make you a weak leader or doesn’t mean that you have forgotten.

Forgiving someone who has harmed you is some way is difficult because you might think that you are giving them a pass, that you are being weak, you are giving in too easily, giving them your power, you don’t love or respect yourself.

Actually, by not forgiving they are holding power over you because nursing negative emotions is only harming you.

Wondering how important is forgiveness in leadership and how to forgive?

The Importance Of Forgiveness In Leadership #leader #leadership #forgiveness #peaceofmind #selfimprovement #selfdevelopment #selfawareness #serenity #JourneyToLeadership

The benefits of forgiveness

Forgiveness is a powerful and efficient tool.

Forgiveness is an often overlooked, undervalued gift but it requires strength, character, emotional intelligence and self awareness. Forgiveness is an active process.

It allows you to reach a state of inner calm to put negative memories at rest and get rid of negative emotions. Indeed, after forgiving, you feel re-energized, empowered, free and present.

In addition, forgiveness helps to resolve conflicts, move forward, promote creativity, build trust and relationships.

Forgiving leaders encourage risk taking, authenticity, collaboration and dissenting voices in the workplace.

Lack of forgiveness in the workplace can heavily affect employee morale, retention, productivity, satisfaction, innovation and cohesion. It can create a toxic workplace.

How to forgive?

People have different values and motives in life. They would not hesitate to hurt you to get what they want, to shift blame and judge. To forgive:

  • Avoid shifting blame. Take accountability for your actions and take back control of your emotions. When you forgive, you are no longer a victim nor do you become a persecutor.

  • Acknowledge what has happened, be compassionate with yourself and give yourself time to recover.
  • Own and learn from your mistakes before you make them again.
  •  Remember that you cannot control the behavior of others and you can only control yours.
  • In the words of Don Miguel Ruiz in The Four Agreements, don’t take it personally. It is hard to cope when someone’s anger is directed at you. However, their bad behavior has nothing to do with you but everything to do with their insecurities or they are doing the best with the tools that they have.

  • See an opportunity to grow and see this as a challenge.

  • Understand that all situations can be resolvedDo what you can, if you can, to repair the situation. If you need to talk it through, have an honest conversation.

  • Envision what will happen to your emotions, mind, self esteem if you don’t forgive.
  • As a leader, encourage forgiveness in the workplace and be a model for forgiveness.

  • Don’t let this negative event or negative emotion define you.
  • Focus on the positive. When we are pushed in a negative situation we can only see the person in a negative light.

  • Create new positive memories. Leave the past in the past.
  • Be grateful for that experience.

Last Words Of Advice!

The hardest thing is self forgiveness. Our inner voice is most critical of our decisions, actions and thoughts.

If you are the one who has hurt someone else:

  • Be honest with yourself
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Remember that what goes around comes around.
  • Think of how you would want to be treated in that moment and if you would have wanted a second chance.

 

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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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.

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.

Providing & Receiving Positive Feedback

Annual Performance Reviews are often dreaded by most employees.

It is the time of the year where we often get offended, where leaders realize that they don’t really understand what is going on in their organization.

In addition, most employees believe that their performance review is inaccurate and biased. It has been shown that it doesn’t help employees improve their performance reach their greatest potential, or grow personally.

That is because, performance reviews:

  • Are given annually which is insufficient. Indeed, mistakes have time to fester for a whole year.
  • Don’t provide enough details. The annual performance review tracks a few of our skills and take snapshots of our behaviors.
  • Take into account only one person’s point of view.
  • Cross-examines someone with different sets of sills with defective criteria.

Wondering how to adequately give and receive feedback?

Providing & Receiving Positive Feedback

The ability to give and to receive feedback is essential to success and to being a great leader. It is a personal development tool and a skill that can be learnt.

What is constructive feedback?

Feedback is the general way you perceive people, is a shared appreciation of a person and of a situation.

Furthermore, feedback is constructive criticism, challenges the way you think about yourself and aims to see people improve and become their best selves. It is the desire for employees to perform well and to find satisfaction in their job.

In fact, giving feedback is similar to coaching, mentoring or teaching.

Feedback is different from micromanagement, negative criticism or emitting judgement. It can be wrong but it is unfortunately necessary for our growth.

Benefits of the feedback process

We perpetually need evaluation to assess our current situation, our ego and our work performance.

The feedback process, if done the right way, will:

However, giving or receiving feedback is difficult: it relies on false assumptions, it consumes time and energy, is often met with avoidance or with resistance.

Nevertheless, being closed off from feedback unequivocally leads to conflicts, to setbacks, to communication issues, to an inability to find a solution.

How to receive feedback?

Receiving feedback as a leader will set the example and encourage people to listen to what you have to say.

Receiving feedback doesn’t mean automatically acting on the advice or immediately starting the changing process. It means that you must:

  1. Understand that there is always room for improvement. 
  2. Be open to feedback in general and therefore to understanding someone’s perception of you.
  3. Listen to what people you trust are saying about you and give the thoughts some consideration.
  4. Consolidate your confidence and set apart your identity from the perceptions people have about you.
  5. Understand that you have the option to choose to apply the feedback.
  6. Identify your triggers and fortify your emotional intelligence. You must therefore be willing to ask the right questions, to objectively talk about issues regarding you and to separate the person giving you feedback from the actual message.
  7. Learn from your mistakes and give yourself time to apply what you have learnt.

How to give feedback?

Leaders who are able to effectively receive feedback are able to give them as well, must exhibit exemplary behavior. To give effective feedback:

  1. Build trust and respect in your employees.
  2. Help people feel good about themselves and motivate them to grow.
  3. Develop an adequate communication style.
  4. Find out why you are implementing the feedback process.
  5. Specifically identify the issues you need to deal with, the reasons and the solutions for them.
  6. Understand that everybody processes information differently, has their personal systems of belief and their own truths. This makes the interpretation of feedback difficult.
  7. Before starting the process, collect enough information to form an accurate opinion. Prepare examples to back up your claims. Do not assume things about people and do not classify them.
  8. Don’t project, force people to change, force people to be something that they are not or treat them like a project that needs to be fixed.
  9. Mind your intent and be genuine in your delivery. Inauthentic feedback breeds distrust and generates negative emotional responses.
  10. Be empathetic. Think about what you are going to say and do before meeting with the person. Show appreciation, choose your words and timing carefully.
  11. Discuss people’s work performance but not their personality nor core values.
  12. Focus on people’s strengths rather than their weaknesses.
  13. Avoid definite terms such as “never”, “always”, “must”, “should”, and make “I’ statements.
  14. Encourage positive behavior. Work is not always fair and not everyone plays by the same rules.
  15. Acknowledge that there are consequences to every action.
  16. Give frequent feedback outside the annual performance review, in private, as soon as possible.

Providing & Receiving Positive Feedback

Last Word Of Advice!

Human beings are very sensitive and most people are not confrontational. So, treat people like you would like to be treated. Don’t seek to offend or to blame, and don’t talk down to them.

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

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

Henri Junttila

MEET THE AUTHOR

Henri Junttila is the founder of Wake Up Cloud which helps people find and follow their passion. Henri Junttila is also the author of Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself.