9 Common Misconceptions About Leadership

In the workplace, everyone has the potential to become a great leader if they have the right knowledge.

Unfortunately, most of the time, for lack of knowledge, we see our higher ups acting like children and creating toxic workplaces.

They misunderstand the real role leaders should have within their team and organization.

Wondering what are the common misconceptions about leadership?

9 Common Misconceptions About Leadership #leadership #selfimprovement #truth

Misconception #1. Leaders are bosses or managers

Don’t mistake leaders for bosses. Great leaders generally don’t like humiliating people or bossing people around.

Leaders don’t go around telling people what to do but tend to lead by example.

Leaders have to lead themselves first before they lead anybody else.

They don’t need or want to have power over others. Instead, they influence and empower others. 

Misconception #2. Leaders are not emotional

“Leave your emotions at the door” is an expression that we often hear in the workplace.

The truth is we can’t fully detach our emotions from our circumstances wherever we go.

The truth is nobody wants an emotionless leader who lacks empathy for their team and cannot communicate their emotions.

Why? Because emotions make us human. They are there to help and guide us.

That doesn’t mean that we should wear our emotions on our sleeves and bleed on everyone else.

It means that you should definitely communicate your emotions and that you can share what you are feeling in a disciplined manner.

Misconception #3. Leaders are unkind

We often hear that kind people are generally taken advantage of and don’t make it very far in the world.

People in positions of leadership feels the need to be mean to demonstrate their power and to protect themselves.

However, kind leaders are successful in the workplace because they:

  • Are firm yet vulnerable and are open to accepting help from others.
  • Listen and help their coworkers.
  • Are flexible and supportive.

In return, team members are more motivated, more productive, and are appreciative of a healthy work environment.

Misconception #4. Leaders are confident all the time

Leaders are human too.

They are not always confident and positive.

They have huge responsibilities and developed character, but they still fall prey to insecurities.

However, they make a point to nurture their self-esteem and boost the self-esteem of others. They know how to discipline their emotions because they are aware that they are role models.

Misconception #5. Leaders are professional and private

Leaders are professional but they have a personal life that they can share if they want to.

The reality is that leaders have to open up and get to know their team members.

They have to know what motivates their team and share what motivates them in return.

They need to know what is important to their team so that they create a healthy work-life balance.

Misconception #6. Leaders know everything

Some people think that leaders have to know everything.

Some employee may even challenge their bosses knowledge.

Leaders are not supposed to know everything. They are there to unite and to guide.

Instead, they must surround themselves with the best and rely on them to get all the expertise they need.

They may not be experts but leaders must not feel insecure about not knowing everything. 

Misconception #7. All leaders are extroverted

Extroverts are people persons, are skilled at communicating and speaking their mind.

Because communication skills are highly valued in the workplace, extroverted leaders have a leg up on the competition.

However, introverts can achieve their full potential as well because introverts have their own set of skills. They become wise and understanding leaders who listen to their team and reflect on the best solutions.

Misconception #8. Leaders have high energy

Sure, leaders should exercise and refresh their mind to maintain a certain level of energy.

However, they are not jesters or there to entertain the crowd.

They have to make responsible decisions and stay focused on the vision.

Misconception #9. Leaders are void of mistakes

In reality, leaders make the most mistakes.

They function ahead of the crowd and experience things before anyone else.

They had to make mistakes before they achieve any type of success.

Last Words Of Advice!

There is no general mould for leadership.

Most leaders don’t really need a diploma, title or position.

Furthermore, leadership is a constant work in progress. There are leaders at all levels of life and there are various leadership styles for leaders to express themselves.

 

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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19 Signs You Are Doing A Great Job As A Leader

Being a leader is hard work.

Matter of fact, the demands of the job can take a toll on your leadership and on your self-perception.

There are plenty of weak leaders who give in to the pressures of the job and become horrible bosses.

If leadership was easy, everybody would aim for the job and everybody would do it.

Sometimes, it is good to remind yourself that you are a good leader.

Wondering what are the signs that you are doing a great job as a leader?

19 Signs You Are Doing A Great Job As A Leader

Sign #1. Leadership wasn’t your main goal

The truth is you didn’t want to be a leader in the first place.

You simply wanted to be competent, enjoy your job and you have always put your best foot forward.

You maintain your work ethic even though you have never aimed for a leadership position.

Sign #2. You don’t abuse your power

Great leaders don’t mistreat their employees because they understand that their business depends on them.

They treat people humanely, empower their employees and make sure to maintain a healthy workplace culture.

Sign #3. You don’t play mind games with your employees

You give your employees the respect they deserve by telling them the truth.

You don’t pit them against each other, gaslight them or scapegoat them.

You don’t play favorites.

You don’t force them to be something that they are not just to please you.

You don’t shift blame or prey on your employees insecurities.

You don’t spasmodically change the expectations, sabotage their efforts with irresponsible deadlines and over the top objectives.

Sign #4. You manage your own insecurities 

You don’t have imposter syndrome but you are secure with yourself.

Even if you may sometimes feel like a fraud, you don’t take out your insecurities on your team and you manage your insecurities in private.

You don’t put people down, ego or power trip in order to sit down your authority or feel better about yourself.

You treat everyone with fairness.

Sign #5. You are not self-centered

You are hyper-aware of your surroundings.

Everything you do is for others and to answer to a higher purpose.

You adopt a servant leadership style and lead with humility.

Often poor leadership is masked by those with the loudest voices and strongest opinions. - Nick Fewings Click To Tweet

Sign #6. You are not defined by your mistakes

You do not punish yourself for your mistakes.

In addition, you do not punish others for their mistakes. Instead, you give them the opportunity to correct their mistakes and to learn from them.

Sign #7. You take care of your employees well being

You make sure that your employees goals align with yours.

You take care of their well being first because you link productivity to your team’s mental health.

If they are sick, you invite them to take days off.

If they are bored, you give them challenges to fulfill them.

If they are under performing, you place them in their areas of strength.

Sign #8. You maintain your calm under pressure

You don’t lash out on your employees when you are under pressure.

Instead, you stay transparent, explain the reason for the bad situation, come up with an appropriate situation and make the hard decisions.

Sign #9. You don’t participate in office politics

It is quite easy to get caught up in office politics.

The best strategy is to stay clear from all drama.

You don’t talk about your employees to your employees.

Sign #10. You don’t drag out conflicts

You believe in forgiveness so conflicts can quickly be resolved.

You want to maintain a healthy workplace where employees are not bullied, are unafraid to express divergent opinions.

Sign #11. You get down in the trenches

You don’t let your employees do the dirty work.

Your employees will trust and respect someone who is competent, who can do what they do without complaining. They will know that your directions are sound.

Sign #12. You keep people accountable

You don’t let bad behavior or poor performance slide.

There are ways to let people know that they are going down the wrong path. You know how to give and receive feedback even if it hurts.

Keeping people accountable will allow more employees to ask questions, to take risks, to make mistakes, to admit to their own mistakes and to tell you when you are making some.

Sign #13. You communicate clearly

Every single one of your objectives is communicated and justified.

Your team can clearly follow your train of thought and can understand what you want.

Sign #14. You adopt a democratic leadership style

You do your research and request your employees opinion before making a tough decision.

You make the ultimate decisions but you believe that it is always good to have a sounding board.

Sign #15. You understand the importance of recognition

You don’t hug the spotlight. Instead, you give credit when credit is due.

You recognize when an employee over-performed or nearly burnt out on a project.

Sign #16. You help those who need it

In the workplace, people don’t forget easily (unfortunately).

They don’t forget who helped them in time of need and wont hesitate to reciprocate afterwards.

Sign #17. You love to try new things

You are open to change.

Besides, you are not complacent with your position or with your knowledge.

You are always open to learn new things, to change, to take risks, to question yourself.

Sign #18. You don’t take yourself too seriously

You have serious objectives and a lot of responsibility.

Leadership is hard enough to not have some fun once in a while.

Sign #19. You care way too much

You want the best from and for your team. You care because:

  • You really want them to succeed.
  • You are invested in their well being.
  • You have an open door policy.
  • You listen to their dreams and aspirations, to what they have to say without judgement.

Last Words Of Advice!

If you answer to these signs, then you are definitely doing a great job as a leader.

Otherwise, be kind to yourself and begin working on these signs.

It’s all about finding the right balance for yourself and for your team.

Keep the respect to get alignment, be likable to create influence, be approachable at the same time.

Keep the respect to get alignment, be likable to create influence, be approachable at the same time. - Vanessa Sylvester 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.

 

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The Importance Of Assertive Leadership | 9 Truths Of Assertive Leaders

Being assertive is difficult to some people.

Indeed, women – especially minorities – have the hardest time being assertive in the workplace.

Depending on society’s norms, corporate culture, personal fears, gender or ethnical background, being assertive can be perceived as being aggressive, bossy or disrespectful.

Wondering how to become a more assertive leader?

The Importance Of Assertive Leadership | 9 Truths Of Assertive Leaders

What is assertiveness?

Assertiveness is a useful communication style that helps people create a well balanced life and relate to people easily.

With this communication style, assertive leaders acknowledge the importance of their thoughts and opinions, honestly express their thoughts and opinions, understand that their behavior – and theirs only – is within their control.

The benefits of assertive leadership?

The corporate world talks about confidence in leadership more that we talk about assertiveness.

Assertive leadership is being able to take a position, speak up and speak your mind. Assertive leaders:

  • Have control over their lives.
  • Have clear boundaries.
  • Have great relationships.
  • Listen to the needs of others.
  • Choose to fulfill the need of others.
  • Have respect for themselves and for others.
  • Get respect from their coworkers.
  • Are serene and are unafraid of conflicts.
  • Don’t try to people please or to seek outside validation.
  • Are able to calmly and honestly express their needs and wants.

Being assertive is a skill that takes time to harness.

Assertiveness cannot be obtained overnight. It takes practice, self-awareness, self-love and self-respect.

Assertive leaders stand by several truths, that they apply on a daily basis.

Truth #1. Everybody has an opinion

Assertive leaders understand that everybody has an opinion that they are entitled to.

They know that they are entitled to their own opinions and that their opinions have value.

They don’t have to apologize for their opinion. Instead, they own them.

They don’t let outside opinion define them and they can agree to disagree.

Truth #2. Self-awareness is key

Assertive leaders are self-aware, understand that they matter and their opinion has value.

Assertive leaders believe that their feelings, emotions and opinions are valid and important.

Their thoughts and decisions are their own even when they don’t make sense.

They have disciplined their emotions and can assess every situation that they go through.

Truth #3. Building confidence

Assertive leaders are confident about their abilities and nurture their self-esteem.

It is the belief in our abilities to perform, to get results from our performance, in our worth and in our opinion of ourselves.

In addition, they are attentive to their needs and wants.

They do not seek the approval of others.

They know their strengths, weaknesses and limitations.

Truth #4. Being authentic

Assertive leaders are authentic and are honest with themselves.

Assertive leaders express who they truly are and what they really feel.

Moreover, people are able to freely express themselves around assertive leaders.

Truth #5. Walking with integrity

Assertive leaders act with integrity.

They are walking and talking role models.

When they speak, they mean what they say and say what they mean.

Truth #6. Take back control

Assertive leaders are in control.

They have control over their lives, their emotions and their behavior.

They take risks, take responsibility for their actions and don’t try to solve others people problem for them.

Furthermore, they seek to influence but not to control or manipulate.

Truth #7. Failure is a stepping stone

Assertive leaders are unafraid of failure.

They understand that everybody makes mistakes all the time.

They see failure as a stepping stone to success. Mistakes don’t mean that they are not in control or that the rest of their decisions will be mistakes.

Needless to say, they don’t let their failures define them.

Truth #8. No is an answer

Assertive leaders will politely and respectfully retain the right to say no.

They say no without feeling the need to justify themselves.

They don’t have to accept every opportunity that is brought up to you.

Just remember there are different ways to say no.

Truth #9. Conflict is inevitable

Assertive leaders stand up for themselves and don’t avoid conflict because conflict is inevitable.

Assertive leaders speak up when things go wrong, when a topic has deep meaning to them.

They pick their battles. They don’t have to go around looking for fights, sharing their unwanted opinion and overpowering the opinions of others.

They listen before they speak and don’t minimize divergent opinions.

However, they are unafraid of hurting people’s feelings, of making people uncomfortable or emotional.

Last Words Of Advice!

People are not assertive because they fear judgement, rejection, conflict, challenging the status quo etc…

If you cannot be assertive in a moment, save face by:

  • Requiring some time to think, to reconsider, to schedule a response.
  • Practicing what you have to say in the mirror with the proper voice tone.
  • Trying to write down what you want to say.
  • Making an assertion and not explaining yourself.
  • Communicating clearly, honestly and directly.

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

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

10 Reasons Empathy Matters In Leadership

Most people believe that the best leaders have the highest IQ, are emotionless and analytical.

Indeed, empathy is seen as a weakness in the workplace. The less you have, the more you will succeed.

The truth is the best leaders are empathetic, compassionate, highly sensitive and have high level of emotional intelligence.

Wondering why empathetic people make the best leaders?

10 Reasons Empathy Matters In Leadership

Empathy is a strong leadership skill that helps leaders to connect with people.

Empathy builds compassionate leaders which consequently improves the health of workplaces.

Empathetic leaders understand what others need, are feeling emotionally and physically.

They rather listen than speak, they don’t need to communicate verbally because they pick up on verbal and non verbal cues.

#1. Empathetic leaders pick up on the emotions of others

Empathetic leaders are self-aware.

They understand themselves, pay attention to people’s non verbal cues and are able to perceive the emotions of others. As a result, they are able to easily relate to people.

#2. Empathetic leaders are a great judge of character

Empathetic leaders are true to themselves and notice inauthentic people.

They can easily distinguish a lie from the truth, which makes them highly ethical.

#3. Empathetic leaders are people persons

They put people first and use servant leadership style.

For the main part, they direct their attention on people and not on results.

They understand people and the motivations behind their behaviors. This also gives them an ability to build good relationships and avoid bad ones.

#4. Empathetic leaders are present

Empathetic leaders live in the present.

When someone is talking to them, they give them their full attention in order to sense their feelings and to access their emotions.

#5. Empathetic leaders are peace makers

Empathetic leaders enjoy their peace of mind. They want to get rid of conflicts or negative situation at all costs.

They cannot stand chaos or conflicts. So whenever a negative situation arises or whenever they sense negative emotions, they take it upon yourself to restore peace.

#6. Empathetic leaders create a healthy workplace

Being an empathetic leader is critical to the workplace.

Empathetic leaders have a tendency to calm people down and to build trust.

They set up their environment so that everyone can succeed.

Their behavior induces greater collaboration, increase performance and creates a healthier workplace.

#7. You are ethical

They have strong core values.

They follow ethics and work for the greater good.

#8. Empathetic leaders give good advice

Because empathetic leaders understand the origin of problems so well, because they know how to listen, people come to them for advice.

They usually are wise, solution-oriented, and possess the answer to most problems.

#9. Empathetic leaders lead with their intuition

Empathetic leaders lead with intuition to make important decisions. You sense where to go and what to do.

They have strong gut feelings and their gut is always right.

#10. Empathetic leaders know how to influence and how to motivate

They are attuned to what your team secretly needs and wants to succeed.

They know how to persuade and motivate people.

As much as they can step in other people’s shoes, they can change your point of view and influence you towards the same goals.

Last Words Of Advice!

Some empathetic leaders have roles that require their full attention and that challenge their empathy.

For that reason, most empathetic leaders evolve towards liberal and helping professions.

It is important for them to learn how to navigate people and negative situations.

  1. Spend time a few hours a day alone.
  2. Discipline your emotions.
  3. Observe the company culture and see how you can employ your empathetic leadership style.

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 Feeling Like An Outsider At Work? — 17 Simple Tips To Turn Your Situation Around

On my last 9 to 5 job, I remember my manager complaining to me that I would no longer be part of the team because I am too different, I asked too many questions and I don’t act like them or watch the same TV shows that they do.

Now at the time, I thought I wasn’t getting it and that I was failing at adulting.

Clearly, if I wanted to be successful in life and in my career, I either had to fake it and drain myself, or I needed to find another path and distance myself from “them”.

The point is that most organizations want their employees to be different and have original skills.

However, the reality is that most workplaces adhere to group-thinking, and create outsiders by forcing them to suppress their individuality for conformity.

Wondering what are the benefits of being an outsider and how you can overcome that feeling?

Are You Feeling Like An Outsider At Work? — 17 Simple Tips To Turn Your Situation Around

What is an outsider?

An outsider is a person who doesn’t feel like they belong. At work, that feeling translates itself into:

  • Feeling unsuccessful. According to society, being a successful adult at work means being great at your job, understanding and applying social norms.
  • Being unable to join a group or to find someone who matches your values and principles to some extent.
  • Being unable to express yourself freely in meetings and around a group of people.
  • Being excluded out of meetings or out of group conversations. If you are perpetually being excluded and are subject to other workplace harassment, your workplace is toxic and you must consider your mental health first.

Why are you feeling the way you do?

We are social creatures. We crave that feeling of belonging to a group that will take care of us and that will cooperate for better chances of survival.

Therefore, to get things done, we feel like we must fit in, preserve our well-being and be liked. Furthermore, feeling like an outsider can stem from:

  • A lack of cultural sensitivity. It is easy to feel excluded when we don’t understand a culture or when we don’t feel understood because of the cultural barrier.
  • A lack of social skills, a lack of confidence, a shy, introverted or lone wolf personality. Basically, feeling like an outsider is a social conditioning.
  • Your negative thoughts. If you believe certain things about yourself then they will most likely come through.
  • Differences in core values. For example, if most of your workplace like to gossip and you don’t, then you will start to feel excluded.
  • Gender gap. 
  • Generational gap. Each generation perceives the world differently and challenges the previous one. In one generation, people are shaped by social trends, are programmed with thoughts, values, moral ethics, models, examples of success and the guidelines to succeed.

What are the benefits of being an outsider?

I was brought up with the conviction that different is good. I believe that there are several ways of doing one thing.

So, I would never be thrown off if someone would go about life in an unconventional way. If you’re feeling like an outsider, chances are you:

  • Possess untapped talents and unused skills. Your feeling of being an outsider disappears when you find a place where you can exercise your gifts.
  • Are aware that you are not maximizing your potential and you are not walking in your purpose.
  • Are creative, innovative, are a trailblazer and a leader. Indeed, most leaders are outsiders. They have unique gifts and a unique perception of the world.
  • Can monetize what makes you different.

How to handle being an outsider?

Feeling included at work leads to better health, stronger work performance and brides a positive work environment. However, if you feel like an outsider, you are not alone.

Indeed, the feeling of being an outsider is very common and is not something to be ashamed of. Some people hide it, others don’t front. What is the best approach?

To claim your difference and get the best out of work:

  1. Accept yourself and take pride in your difference.
  2. Be compassionate with yourself. Not because you don’t fit in that there is something wrong with you.
  3. Strengthen your own identity and find out more about your core values.
  4. Identify your strengths and weaknesses so you can better apply them.
  5. Figure out your goals, build a vision board and remain focus on your goals.
  6. Understand that you don’t need to fit in to be successful and don’t need to be one-dimensional to exist.
  7. Acknowledge that feeling like an outsider is not a permanent nor unique situation. You can be the most wonderful person on this planet and still feel like an outsider.
  8. Stop trying hard to fit in. The more you try, the more you feel drained, the more you will end up with the wrong crowd. You just have to be prepared for when the right opportunities and people come your way.
  9. Assess your behavior and your thoughts towards your situation. Then, document your situation. Are you new to the company? Are people enjoying your company? Are people including you? Are you reserved or standoffish? Do you like, respect or understand the people you work with?
  10. Give yourself the time and space to explore what works for you, what you like and what you don’t like. There is no right place for you. You have to create your own space and not settle for less.
  11. Express who you truly are from time to time and observe what happens next. You will either create or shut off opportunities.
  12. Fill your days with activities that you enjoy.
  13. Build a strong support system with people who accept you for who you are.
  14. Support people who think and act outside the box. People who think outside the box are usually creative and innovative.
  15. Don’t pay attention to what people say about you. Don’t let external circumstances define you.
  16. Stop people pleasing and seeking outside validation. Avoid adjusting your personality and your core values to please people. Instead, observe the social norms at work, see if you want to acquire these norms, and then adjust your communication style, your work style accordingly.
  17. Otherwise, prepare an exit strategy.

Last words of Advice!

Sometimes, we have acquired all the diploma, all the skills for a job and still feel like an outsider.

Remember that there are benefits in not fitting in, that you are not failing, that you can be a leader and create your own path, that if you are not liked or included then you can be respected.

I have found that becoming an expert in your field will help you feel like you belong and will help you gain in credibility.

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.

30 Questions Every Leader Should Ask Themselves

Being a great leader depends on how well they know themselves. Leaders must make sure that they are self-aware, clearly communicate their goals and expectations, reach their goals, set high standards, expect quality work and meet deadlines, demonstrate that all their team members matter, show gratitude, don’t settle and spend time with their team.

Needless to say, a little introspection is required from time to time.

Wondering how do you become the best version of yourself? 

30 Questions Every Leader Should Ask Themselves

Sometimes, we end up in or go after leadership positions but don’t understand why or how we got there.

It is always important to assess our goals, values and purpose every step of the way.

1) What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership encapsulates different concepts and key competencies.

For most, leadership is the ability to wheel power, to influence people positively in order to be successful, to bring like-minded individuals together towards a common goal or vision and to translate that vision into reality.

In order to be effective you must figure out what leadership means to you.

2) Why do you want to be a leader? What is your purpose in life?

Most people want to lead because they see themselves in power, in control, with status and doing whatever they want.

However, leaders are always held accountable for their actions, have to serve as models and have to exhibit exemplary behavior.

Without an ethical purpose in mind, they will not be able to sustain their role very long.

If you weren’t a leader, what would you do? What career would you pursue?

3) What are your strengths and weaknesses? 

Do you have sufficient resources to achieve your goals and yourself?

Leaders must find at least one field in which they excel. This will develop their credibility, their confidence and will help you be of assistance to people in need.

4) What are your core values? 

If your leadership roles don’t correspond to your values, it is time to rethink your career.

5) How do you center yourself? 

Learning to center yourself, to choose peace of mind requires that you acquire new healthy habits and that you question your thoughts that most often are an illusion or distorted memories.

Figure out how to preserve your time and energy, how to ensure your growth, how to continually improve as a person, and how to boost your leadership self-esteem?

6) Can you grow within your role and responsibilities?

Some people get into positions to please their families, impress their friends or flatter their own egos.

A job or a role in which you feel boxed in is frustrating, leaves little space for you to develop your skills or maximize your strengths.

7) How do you wish to impact the world and the people around you?

As a leader, you must project yourself in the future and visualize the legacy that you want to leave.

8) Do you walk the talk? 

Integrity is currently a rare character trait and most sought after leadership attribute that can help you succeed in the workplace as much as in life.

It actually goes a long way and projects more authority and credibility than a title or a position would.

Furthermore, the team you lead, the environment that you work in is a direct reflection of you. If you want a trusting workplace, be trustworthy.

9) Are you open to learn?

Being open to learn and to explore is detrimental to success.

To start the learning process, you can read books, take trainings and classes, and talk to people who are in positions that you aspire to.

Furthermore, you must understand that if you seek knowledge, you will never fully be an expert.

10) Are you developing a healthy work life balance?

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.

To do so, you must focus on the vital few and not let your career affect your personal life and vice versa.

11) Are you self-interested or committed to the collective good?

We choose a certain career because our ever-changing needs and desires align with that particular career but not necessarily with the collective good.

In the leadership position, there is a huge discrepancy between hiring the right person with the right competencies for the job, between hiring someone with lesser competencies to feel unthreatened, between hiring someone to serve you and caress your ego.

There is also a difference between wanting the organization to succeed, wanting the team and the project to shine, and taking all the credit for someone else’s work.

12) What is your favorite leadership style

Leadership style refers to the way that the leader interacts with his or her employees, influences their behavior, motivates them, make decisions for them and for the organization.

A specific leadership style can deeply influence the quality of work, the levels of commitment, the work satisfaction of both leader and employees.

13) Are you emotionally intelligent?

We cannot control everything in our life.

However, we can control how we react to different situations, how we see ourselves and who we aspire to be.

14) Are you able to solve conflicts effectively?

Leaders must be able to anticipate problems and implement solutions for the future. What strategies do you apply? How do you handle bad news? How do you set boundaries? Do you encourage dissension?

15) Do you have interpersonal skills?

There are several components to leadership. One of them is building and maintaining healthy relationships.

Leaders are responsible for the people they hire and the people that they lead. How do you build your team?

16) Are you culturally sensitive? 

Cultural sensitivity is being aware that everyone is different.

It means being able to learn from different people, to understand their backgrounds, to collaborate and cooperate with them, without being judgmental.

17) When have you failed, how have you recovered yourself and what have you learned about yourself then? 

Failures don’t directly lead to success but it can show you the way. It is best when your mistakes come to light rather than going unnoticed.

18) What are your greatest achievements as a leader and as a follower?

It is important to recall the time you have succeeded and demonstrated great leadership.

The memory of past success will serve you right when you face challenges. If you did it once, then you can do it again.

19) Are you able to direct someone else towards success? 

Mentorship is usually the realization of leadership.

It is similar to tutorship, to parenthood, to partnership, or to an alliance.

20) Are you able to delegate?

Delegating increases employee empowerment and talent engagement, leads to higher levels of commitment, innovationmotivation, and better relationships..

21) Are you able to perform under pressure?

As a leader, your behavior in pressure moments impacts those around you and can predict their performance.

22) How do you solve problems and make sound decisions?

The ability to anticipate, to solve problems, to make quick and sound decisions will determine the success of a leader.

23) How do you motivate others? Can you communicate your visions successfully?

Effective communication skills will improve your leadership credibility, your self-confidence, your relationships with others, your feelings of belonging and will decrease your stress level.

Your communication skills will also drive change and increase team motivation.

Using those skills, leaders should be pushing a vision for their life, for their family or their organization and it shouldn’t matter whether they have the right relationships, enough money, enough favors, or have hired people with the desired skill set.

24) Are you organized and can you meet deadlines?

Leaders don’t have the luxury to procrastinate because it is similar to self-sabotage. However, they are all subject to it to some extent.

Being organized, methodical, pragmatic will help you gain a sense of satisfaction and will increase your chances of success.

25) Who do you look up to?

It is critical to have a role model who will help you improve, achieve your goals and will show you your life purpose.

Your role model is authentic, relatable and can be a family member, a friend in your entourage or someone you barely know.

26) Can you handle change?

Change is a part of life, is a constant and is inevitable. Change shakes things up, disrupts old habits, breathes new life into the workplace and into any project.

Leaders must visibly act out the change, must be ready to do things differently and to think otherwise.

27) What do you hate the most and will not stand for?

You can’t always find out what you like but life has a funny way of putting you in front of the things that you hate the most.

28) Can you accept criticism from others?

Accepting criticism implies that you are able to listen, accept people point of view and give feedback as well.

29) Are you becoming too complacent?

30) What do you want to improve on?

 

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

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

7 Pragmatic Principles Of Office Politics

There are laws and principles that govern the workplace. We can either ignore them, acknowledge them or abide by them.

These laws and principles are the most visible when someone has been promoted, is moving forward or a new boss is in town. Some appear to be jealous, some try to quickly affiliate with the winner, to show their allegiance. Others are quick to sabotage and to compete.

I am not one to willingly participate in office politics. However, in my opinion, because knowledge is power, the best way to avoid politics is to know the rules. I like to know what is happening, how to read a room, to always be aware of my behavior, and to prepare myself for what is coming.

This advice is also valuable for minorities who encounters western group think in the office, who need to be realistic about their situations and want to understand how to advance themselves, how to protect themselves.

Wondering how to navigate office politics and whether or not you should be interested in it?

7 Pragmatic Principles Of Office Politics

What is office politics?

Office politics is a human concept and is inevitable. It is also very necessary and will go on whether your participate in it or not.

In office politics people seek power, leadership, influence and/or control of other people, more responsibility on their job.

Office politics is a particular hard skill because it requires that you control your primitive, impulsive responses to different situations and that you stay in high alert at all times.

The Perks Of Office Politics

Political animals in the office usually get what they want, to evade conflicts and sometimes create them between different individuals. Political animals:

  • Have influence. They build healthy relationships, even with toxic individuals.
  • Recognize the agendas and powers at play in any relationships.
  • Get the best projects, get promoted, get pay raise and other rewards.
  • Are trusted for their opinions.
  • Get credit for their hard work.
  • Get their career on a positive track.
  • Have the ability and the tools to deal with opposition and usually wins in a conflict.
  • Conserve their energy and focus it on worthwhile issues.
  • Avoid being blindsided or facing unpleasant outcomes.

What We Hate About Office Politics

Office politics is often badly perceived because it can be cruel, be viewed as being calculated and manipulative.

Sometimes, office politics is a dangerous and corrosive game but it is a game. It is part of human nature, a social activity, a marathon and not a sprint.

It is often used to sabotage, to manipulate, to deflect or to create a conflict between people.

Therefore, it is not for the faint of heart. Before starting, you must make sure that you are robust, are not dependent on people or other external factors, that you are emotionally detached from your work and that you can clearly separate your identity from your job.

Furthermore, keep in mind that abusing power on the long run does not lead to success.

Principle #1: Defining your purpose

Having greater goals in life will help you sustain and overcome opposition, avoid being pushed around by people or events. Your ultimate goals can be:

  • staying at a company and getting your pay check to ensure your lifestyle and to guarantee financial stability.
  • staying at a company, evolving, building healthy relationships
  • Living the company and finding better

Either way, set realistic goals, expectations for yourself. Next, stay focus on your goals, use your goals to guide your decisions and your behavior.

Principle #2: Know your strengths, weaknesses and limits

Politics and power will challenge your weaknesses.

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you assess your worth, appreciate your contributions at work and determine whether or not you can run with horses. This will also help you identify them in others, understand them, maximize their potential and forgive their weaknesses.

To be effective at office politics, don’t directly demonstrate or enunciate your strengths or weaknesses. It is best to wait for the right moment to do so.

In addition, you must seek to enhance your performance, your productivity, to develop competencies that are hard to acquire or hard to replace. and to deliver great results. Then, discreetly promote your results.

Principle #3: Maintaining your leadership capabilities

It is important to learn to keep your peace and your composure at all times by seriously controlling your emotions. This demands a lot of discipline and will help you grow as a person.

Furthermore, lead by example and take care or yourself first. Great leaders have power but stay humble and don’t abuse it.

Seek understanding

To help you manage people, conflicts, to adopt the right behavior, to estimate your position and status:

  • Understand the company culture, values and principles.
  • Understand the people who you work with, estimate their boundaries and assess their attitudes.
  • Believe that hierarchy exist and is gladly enforced in the workplace. This means that you must, at some point, show deference to your “superiors”.This doesn’t mean that your “superiors” have greater character, greater skill sets or greater vision. However, no matter who you are, you won’t be able to freely speak your mind, to make your own decisions, to control your assignments.

Discipline your words and your thoughts

  • Stay away from gossip and rumors.
  • Watch what you say and how you say it.
  • Give substance to your speech.
  • Monitor your behavior at all times.

Discipline your emotions

  • Get rid of your ego and nurture your sense of humor. If you don’t know something, say so and don’t fake knowledge.
  • Don’t waste your time and energy on useless matters.
  • Keep your wits about you.
  • When someone slights you, don’t give them an emotional reaction.

Principle #4: Behave ethically

  • Remain true to your core values.
  • Don’t expect to be treated fairly.
  • Upgrade your character in order to be unimpeachable from the start. People with low or no ethics are unsuccessful in the long run.

Poor character leads to abusive, aggressive, masochistic, sadist behavior and office politics.

When I was working for a long corporation, one person in the office was being bullied. I was asked, as a team member, to participate in the bullying and to force the person to quit.

Most of my team members, for fun or for fear of retribution, would engage in toxic behavior towards this one person, put down false complaints and manufacture false rumors as well.

Without doing the same, I realized that sadistically beating down on someone, engaging in toxic behavior were not aligning with my core values and wouldn’t allow me to sleep properly at night.

To solve the solution, I simply listened to the request, spoke positively about the person, suggested to them that they had to find a better position and found a better place to work myself.

What was your ethically questionable experience?

Principle #5: Building your network and gaining influence

Networking is an important process, especially if your are shy and introverted. Who you know will determine how far you will get.

Here are some tips below that will help you be unbothered, to gain influence and build positive relationships:

  • Protect your reputation at all cost. For instance, if you make promises, live up to them.
  • Have a positive attitude. Avoid being mean or offending people for sport.
  • Act or be confident. It is important to fake it until you make it, to dress confidently and dress for success.
  • Give your best on your job and put your best foot forward. You can even become an expert in your field.
  • Empathetic ally listen to your coworkers. This way, you will get invaluable information about the environment, be solution oriented and build strong relationships.
  • Look to be respected and not to be liked.
  • Seek to integrate the group before you seek to lead it.
  • Target people who can help you achieve your goals and let them know what you bring to the table.
  • Don’t worry what people say about you, don’t gossip or spread false rumors.
  • Avoid too much flattery. You will appear weak to  your peers, will erode their respect and the respect of the higher-ups.
  • Involve people in your decision-making process.

Principle #6: Friend or Foe?

It is detrimental to discern your friends from your enemies, your confidant from your comrade, your constituents from your compatriots.

Keep in mind that:

  • Not everybody is your friend and don’t expect your “friends” to have your back.
  • It is better to have allies than to have enemies.
  • Your enemies won’t stop at anything to block you from achieving your purpose.

In conflicts or challenging situations:

  • Always seek to diffuse tension.
  • Avoid taking sides, power struggles but don’t give in to enemies or attempt to please them.
  • Mind your business and don’t take anything personally.
  • Identify the toxic behavior and the solution for it.
  • Don’t stoop to the level of the perpetrator or please the naysayers.
  • Don’t play the victim or suffer unfair treatment.
  • Ask questions rather than giving answers or have a private chat with an enemy and try to bring them to your side.
  • If you are not in position of power or are not favored at your job, accept it and move on, especially if you don’t know how to maneuver the situation.
  • If excluded from a group, don’t attempt to fit in, just join a new one or leave the place.
  • If you are being openly criticized or insulted, don’t let that affect your self-worth or your work. Agree with the perpetrator without demonstrating emotion.

Principle #7: Change

To handle office politics, one must learn to appreciate change and adapt to it.

  • Stay present, stay resilient and robust to conflicts and change, to your own emotions, to the emotions of others.
  • Learn to deal with change and quickly recover from your blows.

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.