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.

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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.

15 Signs It’s Time To Quit Your Job

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

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

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

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

15 Signs It's Time To Quit Your Job

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

15 Signs It’s Time To Quit

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

You know it’s time to quit when:

#1. You Desperately Look For Reasons To Quit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#3. You Are Burnt Out

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

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

Finally, your body will suffer the repercussion.

You are burnt out if:

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

#4. You Require A Better Work Life Balance

You bring your job home and incessantly complain about it.

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

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

#5. You Are Depressed Every Sunday Night

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

#6. You Are Underperforming

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

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

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

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

#7. You Are Undervalued And Underutilized

You feel underappreciated and are bored to death.

You have no voice within the organization.

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

#8. You Take Too Many Breaks

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

Basically, you cannot wait for the day to end.

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

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

#9. You Just Don’t Fit In

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

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

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

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

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

#11. You Cannot Project Yourself In The Future

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

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

#12. Your Social Life Is Affected

Your social life is stunted and your relationships are strained.

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

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

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

#13. The Ethics On Your Job Are Questionable

You work in a toxic environment:

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

#14. Your Leader Is Out Of Control

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

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

#15. Your Organization Is Laying People Off

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

You have to financially take care of yourself and quit.

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

Developing An Exit Strategy

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

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

Last Words Of Advice!

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

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

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

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

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

Are You Successfully Managing A Healthy Work-Life Balance? — 26 Tips For Preventing Burnout

The workplace can help us realize your potential but it can also trigger fight or flight responses in us, bring out our innermost insecurities. At work, as leaders so many things threaten our career goals, our promotions, our desires for success, our relationships and most importantly our sanity.

Leaders constantly feel the pressures of keeping up, of always being on top of everything. It is even a requirement that leaders project confidence, demonstrate optimism, or remain stoic in the face of events.

However, sooner or later, we end up sacrificing what we value most, solely keeping up with appearances, looking busy but being unproductive, spreading ourselves thin, doing sloppy work and not caring about people.

Wondering what strategies to use to improve your well-being and work-life balance?

Healthy Work-Life Balance Preventing Burnout

What is work-life balance?

Work is part of life: we spend most of our waking hours at work more than anything else. Needless to say, work and life are not opposite nor are they inseparable: lack of work-life balance has direct repercussions on our health, finances and families, creates fatigue, poor judgement, poor performance, high emotions.

Creating work-life balance is not giving equal attention to both work and life. But, 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.

A healthy work-life balance can be motivated by life changing events or by a desire to do better. Work-life balance involves wise time management, self-discipline, and creates a better quantity to quality ratio.

Balancing work and life is hard but achievable because time is limited and we want to maximize our time the best we know how.

Benefits of a healthy work-life balance

A healthy work-life balance is an issue that mostly plagues millennials. To them, work should be enjoyable, emotionally and financially rewarding.

In many ways, it forces us to redefine success, our career and our relationships. It also helps us fulfill our needs, give us a profound sense of satisfaction, and become the best version of ourselves.

It allows you to create intention: you move with a clearly defined purpose. It is essential to manage your time and resources, level of commitment, to invest most of them in yourself and not in someone else’s dream.

It has the ability to increase job satisfaction, well-being, sense of self, self-awareness, effectiveness, adaptability, resilience, and creativity. It provides the tools to improve work performance, to revamp health, to maintain relationships, to appropriately deal with stress, and to avoid burnout.

How to create the best work-life balance?

Sometimes we are unable to distance ourselves from work because we feel indispensable to the organization, we feel threatened, or replaceable. Furthermore, achieving work-life balance is hard: some people, mostly high achievers, can feel guilty for taking time off and not investing it in their work.

However, an unhealthy work-life balance can lead to burn out, can trigger unexpected emotional outburst, heavily strain your physical and emotional well-being.

Burnout is hard to recover from. It hits you unexpectedly but is actually a slow burning process. Burnout is caused by overworking yourself, by a lack of recognition, by a lack of validation and chronic stress. It translates itself into feelings of powerlessness, hopelessness, dissatisfaction, despair, depressions, low self-esteem, feelings of being stuck and of failure.

In addition, it is detrimental to understand that living to work or sacrificing health and energy is not the way to succeed. To successfully create a healthy work-life balance:

  1. Take care of yourself first and boost your leadership self-esteem from time to time. It is cliché but it is true: when you fly on airplane, you must put your mask on first before assisting others.
  2. Be clear about your purpose. Identify the reasons why you are working, establish a personal mission statement or elevator speech.
  3. Take back control of your time, your energy, thoughts and happiness. Strangely enough, we choose the life we want to live. We chose yesterday the life we are living today.
  4. Be present and get out of autopilot mode. This will help you appreciate moments in your life and to think on your feet.
  5. Assess your strengths and weaknesses to figure out where and how to apply them, to know when and how to say no and to get the most out of work.
  6. Identify stressors, the things that fulfill you the most and those that don’t. What activities engage you the most? If your aren’t applying your strengths and interests at work, find areas outside of work to do so.
  7. Prioritize what matters most, avoid multitasking, pay attention to the vital few, keep your life simple and don’t be afraid of missing out.
  8. Align your daily activities in life and work with your values, principles.
  9. Set specific goals for yourself to increase motivation, to build up confidence and to stay focused.
  10. Be more disciplined. In order to make your life worthwhile, avoid distractions. This means that you have to shut down your phones, your television and avoid checking your emails outside of work.
  11. Be open to new opportunities, new experiences.
  12. Build real connections and learn to discern the authentic relationships by observing their actions.
  13. During the day, clear out at least one hour to relax and empty out your mind. Try meditation and a new sport. If it is not working, give yourself the space and the time to explore new things.
  14. Reduce your commuting time or avoid commuting during peak hours if possible.
  15. Dedicate more hours to sleep. Sleep is a cure for many diseases. It helps to eliminate bad toxins, to increase your focus and your job performance.
  16. Challenge your core habits and deal with change one at a time. Implementing a successful work-life balance can be overwhelming at first but it makes sense in the long run.
  17. Promote well-being in the workplace. Dedicate a specific space for work only, decorate your office with things you enjoy, be playful without being frivolous, show your employees that you take vacations and encourage them to do the same.
  18. Learn to delegate, to clearly communicate your requirements and to set boundaries. Setting boundaries help you gain respect from your employees.
  19. Stop focusing on analytics, metrics, meetings and deadlines to measure your self-worth.
  20. After work, reward yourself, leave work for the workplace and concentrate on your family and friends when you are with them.
  21. Help your employees understand that their health, well-being is more important to their productivity. That being said, monitor the most ambitious and driven employees to make sure they don’t burnout or literally work themselves to death.
  22. Value your employees and show your appreciation for their hard work.
  23. Don’t burden your employees with heavy workload and unreachable deadlines.
  24. Allow flexible hours and other activities in the workplace.
  25. Put the power of internet to good use and allow people to work from home. Employees working from home are more productive, have reduced commuting time, have less stress, are not constantly bothered by events in the office. It also allows the organization to save money on energy consumption and office space.
  26. Seek external help if needed.

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.