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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Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges By Amy Cuddy

Presence is an indicator of success and an “incredible powerful state”.

Presence is hard to define and is subjective.

However, it can be understood with verbal and non verbal cues.

It can be predicted by your “confidence, comfort level, and passionate enthusiasm”.

What is Presence?

Presence, as I mean it throughout these pages, is the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential. Click To Tweet

With presence, you can be yourself, be honest with yourself, be in the moment, connect with others, represent yourself well, and reveal the abilities you truly have.

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges By Amy Cuddy

What are the benefits of achieving Presence?

Presence allows you to listen, to hear other people out and to be heard in return.

Presence establishes trust and creates influence.

Presence aligns your beliefs with yourself.

Where does Presence come from?

It comes from believing your own stories and from being authentic.

When we don’t believe in our own stories, we will have a hard time convincing others, we will come off as inauthentic and consequently lose confidence in ourselves.

To identify your boldest and most authentic self:

  • Write down who you think you are.
  • Speak the truth to yourself.
  • Believe in your truth.
  • Believe that your truth will be conveyed properly.

What obstructs Presence?

There are a few conditions that can destroy your Presence:

  1. Impostorism

Impostorism makes you question your abilities and makes you worry about what other people think about you.

This condition is not unique to highly achieving women and is independent from the number of achievements received in life.

  1. Stereotypes

Not conforming to stereotypes or to social expectations make achieving Presence difficult.

  1. Powerlessness

Powerlessness makes you self-conscious, perturbs your self-image, and blocks your authenticity and your abilities.

How to acquire Presence?

Personal power is power to—the ability to control our own states and behaviors. Amy Cuddy in Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges Click To Tweet

You gain Presence by developing personal power.

Personal power is essential, removes fear, quiets inhibitions, protects you against your negative emotions, allows you to forgive easier and fluctuates in time.

In addition, your personal power makes you fearless, gives your more freedom, and makes you less susceptible to external pressures.

However, it can be acquired using different tactics. For example, you can use breathing techniques and power poses to trigger personal power.

When we have personal power, we tend to remain calm, to have more control and to expand ourselves in order to take place.

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges By Amy Cuddy

Review

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy revolves mainly about managing your nonverbal cues to induce Presence, identifying your best authentic self, nurturing your boldest self, and creating personal power.

In Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Amy Cuddy:

  • Aims to help people with imposter syndrome, who are in difficult challenges, who feel powerless and distracted.
  • Gives advice on how to handle conflict, how to stay optimistic, to act confident, even when you don’t feel confident, until you become confident.
  • Wants people to gain more control over their lives.
  • Uses stories from people around the world who have seen her TED Talk to inspire and convey her message.

I have to say, I enjoyed the topic of personal power the most. Often, we see leaders who are afraid of going against the grain, try to fit in and to please their team, only to find out that it’s an impossible task.

Some lead using their social power, leveraging salary for work but lack influence and personal power.

Needless to say, their success will depend highly on how they carry themselves, on their verbal and non verbal cues.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Presence stems from believing in and trusting yourself—your real, honest feelings, values, and abilities.

Presence, as I mean it throughout these pages, is the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values, and potential.

A truly confident person does not require arrogance, which is nothing more than a smoke screen for insecurity. A confident person—knowing and believing in her identity—carries tools, not weapons. A confident person does not need to one-up anyone else. A confident person can be present to others, hear their perspectives, and integrate those views in ways that create value for everyone.

Power makes us approach. Powerlessness makes us avoid.

The feeling that arises from personal power is not the desire to have control; it’s the effortless feeling of being in control—lucid, calm, and not dependent on the behavior of others.

Ratings 3.5/5

Author

Amy Cuddy

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.

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.