Tag Archives: Leadership

How to Become a Leader

10 Traits an Inspired Leader Must Have
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Originally Published on Apr 10, 2021 ByMarie Barnes


Leading people is not an easy task. A thousand and one responsibilities fall on your shoulders. After all, leaders are the safeguard against chaos. They are the engine of a group. What defines a great leader? An upright stance and a proud poise? Intelligence and valiance? The will of steel and steadfast determination? Often, we seek something in the leaders we lack. However, different challenges require different qualities from a chief. So, we may spend days enumerating all the possible traits a leader could have. There is no limit to perfection. Instead, we will concentrate on a specific side of a leader – his attitude towards the others.

The way you treat people makes them respond accordingly. Obviously, you can choose the path of tyranny, fear, and oppression to be an effective leader. You will force people to do things, they will obey, and technically you are a leader. But this is a slippery slope. Coup d’états and rebellions are the results of such leadership. If you want to be the one that people follow deliberately and with loyalty, you should possess the next traits. 

1. Determination

Let’s start with the obvious. You must be determined enough to get somewhere and not give up on the way. A determination is an obligatory minimum for a leader. People will not follow if you cannot move forward. They need inspiration, and you give it to them through action. 

2. Responsibility

Being a leader means you are responsible for the team. Every member of your group confides in your decision-making abilities. You cannot let them down. Your purpose is to lead them. In other words, wherever your team ends up, it is your victory or failure. You are the face of your group. When everything goes to hell, you are the first to meet the devil. If you can bear that burden, the leadership is for you.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” — John Maxwell

 

3. Genuine Empathy

Empathy is how well you can understand the emotions of others. It is the key to successful relations with anyone. If you feel what another person feels, you can better navigate through the reality of that person. Understanding their pain, you are more prone to help – it is becoming personal for you. 

There are many ways to show empathy: listen more, be attentive to others, do not judge hastily. It is not about forgetting your problems and turning into the selfless altruist to the end of your days. It is about paying attention. Just give a bit of your warmth to others along the way and try to understand them. Maybe, you can help them somehow. People remember such things, and they will respect you.

4. Positivity

Positivity is a useful tool. We all have dark moments in our lives, and unless we have a light with us, it is easy to get lost in the darkness. The moodiness stretches out, everything is dull and gloomy, and irritation takes its place. We snap at each other, but nothing resolves. Ill humor is a tricky enemy: it makes you forget about good times and joy. If you can fight that with optimism, then you have a torch to lead others through the darkness. People will seek your company to get warmer, and they will be happy to have you as their leader. 

5. Open-mindedness

You should not be close-minded, being intolerant to different people or ideas. If you cannot accept something new, alien, or better because of your personal preferences, fear, or pride, you will have problems. Times are a-changin’, as Bob Dylan sang, and so is the world. To keep up with the innumerous trends and progress, you need to get on board with it. Also, it simplifies your communication with other people as their personality does not affect your judgment.

6. Ability to Learn

This is the logical continuation of the previous paragraph. The ability to grow, adapt, and acquire new skills is a must for a leader. Learning from your mistakes is another thing. Everyone makes mistakes. Leaders do as well. However, accepting your failures and learning from them is important. Do not let ignorance take hold of you.

7. Straightforwardness

Sometimes, team members can make a mistake. Do you have it in yourself to show them their fault? Can you reprimand or fire someone if the need arises? You are responsible for your team, remember? If someone jeopardizes its future, you must deal with this person. You cannot play only a good cop here. 

8. Humility

Can you bide your mistakes? Can you ask for help from your fellow team member? Your ego and pride should not stand in your way. You are not some infallible machine that should perform flawlessly. You cannot know everything. A team works as one, and you are a part of it – ask for advice or support when needed.

 

9. Approachability

Other team members should not fear coming up to you. If they are afraid of reaching out, you have a lack of trust. It might lead to secrets and unspoken words. Secrets are bombs with a long fuse, of which you do not know. To avoid that, you need to establish an open-door policy. Work on your relationship with the team: your leadership depends on it. 

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Winston Churchill

10. Self-care

The final point is all about yourself. To be the most effective, you should care about your well-being. Your physical and mental health are the fuel of your energy. You cannot be optimistic, think a few steps ahead, make decisions, and be an inspiring example for others when your mind and soul are in the wrong place. 

We often tend to forget about the need for rest and recreation, joy and happiness while pursuing our professional growth. There should be enough sunlight and alimentation for a plant to grow. There should also be enough good things for you to live on and succeed. 

Congratulations, if you have all those traits within yourself. You should be good at leading others. If there is something you lack, do not get upset – everything can be learned and practiced to perfection. Look it up on the internet. You can find all the answers there. 

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Marie Barnes

Marie Barnes is a Marketing Communication Manager at Adsy and an enthusiastic blogger interested in writing about technology, social media, work, travel, lifestyle, and current affairs. She shares her insights through blogging. Follow her on Medium.

Related:

Leadership Traits – List of Top Qualities of an Effective Leader (corporatefinanceinstitute.com)

 


How To Let Your Inner Leader Out

The 5 Ways On How To Let Your Inner Leader Out

Dateline: September 10th, 2020

By: Ben Grant


For some reason, many people think that such words as “leadership” or “leadership qualities” refer only to extraordinary people. But these words are not as special as they might seem to many. What is more, every person has the potential to become a leader, the only thing you need to do is wake certain qualities up. If you are doubting your skills, then our tips will help you reboot your inner leader. Below you will find out about the most common problems that prevent you from enhancing your inner leader, and the top five tips to help you solve them.

Why Don’t Most People Show Leadership in Life?

There are several common reasons that prevent many people from becoming leaders.

  • Unwillingness to Stand Out From the Crowd – Most people like to “live like everyone else” and go with the flow. In most cases, this is the result of their childhood experience. After showing an initiative at an early age, they received rejection or criticism. Therefore, the majority strive not to stand out from society, and calmly do what they are asked or ordered to do.
  • Internal Fears – Many people cannot reveal their inner leader due to the presence of fears and low self-esteem. The most common fear is the fear of failure. By the way, all this interferes not only with the manifestation of leadership qualities but also with living the way they really want to live. It is extremely difficult for many to cope with these fears on their own, but it is even more difficult to decide to fix these problems with the help of psychologists. Therefore, only a few become successful and can show their leadership potential.
  • The Misconception About Inner Leaders – Some people think that they will be able to show their leadership talent when needed. But in practice, they never reveal their potential. What is more, such people purposefully miss many opportunities and think that they will prove themselves next time.
  • Disbelief in Your Own Leadership Qualities – Many people think that leaders are born, not made. This stops them from awakening their inner leader and somehow expressing their individuality. Such people admire their successful peers but do not even know that they can do the same.

If at least one of the reasons seems to be about you, then it’s time to work on yourself and awaken your inner leader. It is important to remember that you have to follow the road to success day after day, since you cannot arrive at your final destination instantly. Therefore, the following tips will help you change your life.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Five Simple but Effective Tips to Awaken the Inner Leader:

 

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1. Look Inside Yourself

In order to become a leader, you need to start working on your personality. To lead other people and make them listen to you, you need to learn to lead yourself and be able to hear yourself first. It is a lot of work, but it is the key to success. The ability to lead yourself will allow you to become a leader for others. Consider the following 3 questions:

  • Why do I want to be a leader?
  • What will the development of leadership potential bring?
  • How do I need to act and think?

When you start to understand yourself, learn to listen to yourself, and put everything on the shelves, then you can start to act. Therefore, the first thing to do is to begin to understand what leadership means to you. 

Try to return to the above questions as often as possible, since, as soon as you start working hard in order to better yourself, your answers will change. These responses will guide you towards unlocking your inner leader.

2. Find and Accept Your Uniqueness

It is extremely important for you to bring out your uniqueness. Most people think that they are not that different from other people but, in fact, this is not at all the case. 

List your strengths and unique abilities. Each leader knows his or her strengths, and each person has them. Most people think that it’s necessary to work on weaknesses, taking your strengths for granted. But to awaken leadership qualities, you need to start by working out the strengths. This does not mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to weaknesses at all, surely, you should work on fixing the critical ones too. But keeping the focus on your strengths will help you to boost your self-esteem and awaken your inner leadership potential.

3. Leverage Your Public Speaking Skills

Unfortunately, many people have a fear of engaging in discussions, and this may be the result of negative experiences. If this is familiar to you, then you need to learn how to fix it. Perhaps people are not listening to you because you speak incoherently or not clearly. Therefore, reading classical literature and video recording your speeches will become paramount in solving these problems.

Whilst everything is obvious with the first, the questions may arise about the second one. Pick a topic and start talking about it on video. After that, see what you have done, and your mistakes in your speech will immediately become apparent to you. Be sure to write down each problem, and the next time you do this exercise, try to fix it. By the way, this exercise will help not only improve your speech but also help to cope with the barrier of starting a conversation.

“It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” – Mark Twain

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4. Learn to Control Emotions

Most likely, you paid attention to the fact that you are more engaged when listening to those people who are emotionally balanced. Often such people emit positive emotions, but they never overplay them. So the next challenge will be to learn to control your emotions, calmly respond to criticism and always keep your emotional state under control. Real leaders are hard to drive mad. The previously mentioned exercise with video recording can help you with this too. For example, you may start a private video blog, and make a short video every day analyzing situations that happened, your emotions, and the ways you responded to them. 

5. Be Yourself

Staying true to yourself and your principles is an essential skill of every leader. Most likely, in the early stages of working on your inner leader enhancement, you begin to follow the example of some famous leaders and copy their demeanor. Hence, the best thing is to reveal your strong sides and be authentic. Of course, you can and should take examples from great leaders, but you don’t need to copy them. Be unique and true to yourself!

Now you know what you need to do to become a leader for yourself and for other people. The main thing to remember is that leadership is what you make of it. When you learn to control yourself, understand your actions, improve your speaking skills, then you begin to develop as a leader further. Implement these five tips, and get a solid chance to succeed.

What do you think is the most defining characteristic of a great leader? Share your thoughts with us below!

RELATED TOPICS:BE A LEADERCHARACTERISTICS OF A LEADERHOW TO BE A LEADERHOW TO LEAD PEOPLELEADERSHIPLEADERSHIP TRAITSLEARN TO BE A LEADERPUBLIC SPEAKINGSELF-CONFIDENCESELF-ESTEEM

 

 


 

 

 

 


How To Be A Successful Leader From Home

Before the pandemic, working from home was something that a few people did and a lot more were interested in trying out.

Before the pandemic, working from home was something that a few people did and a lot more were interested in trying out. Now it’s rather suddenly become a fact of life for entire workplaces and teams, and many of us are still working to adapt. If you’re finding it difficult to manage some elements of working with your team or even staying on top of your own workflow and habits in this new normal, here’s some great advice compiled from my clients who are experienced in successfully working and leading from home

For Your Team:

Overcommunicate, especially when things are uncertain. Provide additional detail and context to make up for the information people can no longer pick up organically in casual conversations. Be as clear and consistent as possible to keep everyone moving in the same direction.

Raise the flag if something looks off. It’s important to speak up, because it’s harder to spot things that have gone awry when everyone is working separately. If you have a concern, check in to see if what others think . And if you’re spinning your wheels on a project, let your colleagues know. Identify problems early so you can start working toward solutions.

Create inner circles of collaboration. If you do your best work in collaboration with a work partner or small group, block a few hours to share a virtual room. Use technology to see each other, view each other’s screens and set up a virtual whiteboard to share ideas and work through problems.

Check in with others. Find the structure that works best for maintaining open channels with each member of your team, making sure you check in regularly. It’s more important than ever that you ask lots of questions and listen to the answers.

Recognize effort as well as accomplishments. There are fewer opportunities for recognition when everyone is working separately, so make an extra effort. In addition to celebrating wins, recognize those who are contributing extra effort and longer hours, those who are working through stressful situations, and those who have taken a risk or tried something new—even if it didn’t work out.

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For Yourself:

Start and end the work day at a specific time. Those who are new to working from home often experience burnout because they feel they never leave work. Set a schedule for the beginning and end of every work day. Of course there will be some nights you work late, but make them the exception, not the rule.

Work with your peak hours and low-energy moments. We all have times when we’re more focused and productive and times when our energy is lower and we’re more prone to distraction. An advantage of working from home is that it’s easier to balance your time, energy and productivity around your individual rhythm.

Remove as many distractions as possible. When you’re working from home, it’s easy to realize you’ve just spent an hour on social media or down an internet rabbit hole. Take social media off your work computer. Leave your phone in another room and get rid of any distractions that you know will get in the way of your productivity.

Create breaks during the day. No one can sit at a desk for 12 hours straight and do their best work. Even 15 to 30 minutes a couple of times a day can make a big difference in your focus and clarity. Treat it like a meeting and make yourself unavailable.

Exercise or do something vigorous at least four days a week. Aside from the physical benefits, exercise increases mental sharpness and makes you better at handling stress. It’s harder to fit exercise in, especially if you’re used to the routine of going to a gym, but your productivity and mental attitude—not to mention your health—depend on it.

Pay attention to your mindset. Working from home makes it extra important that you stay on top of your thoughts and mental attitude. It can be harder to find ways to clear your head, and there are fewer interactions with others to keep you grounded. Find things that nourish you—take your laptop out on the porch, play some music, read an author whose work inspires you.

Fight loneliness and isolation. Working from home, you miss out on camaraderie, companionship and interacting with others. But you don’t have to feel you’re on an island. Set up a virtual lunch date or happy hour, or create chat channels for topics of interest. Spend a bit of time every day connecting with co-workers about nonwork topics- think of it as the online version of stopping by their desk to chat.

Lead from within: Successfully working from home is a skill; it takes time and commitment and dedication to develop that skill. But with a great leader at the helm, people and teams can find their way and be as successful as ever.


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How To Utilize Data To Inform Your Sales Process

The Four Ways That Data Can Be Utilized To Inform Your Sales Process

By Dave Mattson | August 28, 2020


For as long as there have been salespeople, there has been data to analyze about the process they use to bring in business. The only issue has been how effective leaders are at drawing conclusions from that data.

All too often, companies don’t make effective use of the information available to them from their sales teams. They fail to generate the most relevant data points… or they focus on information that is familiar to them but less than meaningful. These common mistakes result in, among other things, the dreaded “garbage in, garbage out” sales forecast. So: How can you as a sales leader use data to support both the organization and the sales team? Here are four questions that will help you to do just that.

Question One: Do you have a sales process? This may sound like an obvious requirement, but most organizations we work with do not have a sales process! If you start breaking down data without a systematic process in place for generating sales, the data you come up with isn’t going to do you a lot of good. Note that a sales process gives people the steps they need to follow, from start to finish, to create revenue for your organization. Every company has a slightly different process; you can think of the data generated by the various steps of your sales process as being like an MRI. When it’s done properly, that kind of comprehensive scan is going to tell you what you need to know about the internal workings of your sales team. But to be useful, the analysis must line up with a functioning sales process!

Question Two: Have you identified your expectations? What are your expectations for each of the phases of your sales process? Break the process into its constituent parts: lead development, also known as prospecting; qualification; and then fulfillment and servicing the account. These three phases can also be understood, in the enterprise world, as landexpand, and renew. So. What are the specific outcomes you want to see within each of those three areas? What are the behaviors that make those outcomes possible? What are the departmental benchmarks – meaning what are your time-bound goals for behaviors that will land new business, expand existing business, and renew relationships with your best customers? Once you know that, you can break it down. What are the team benchmarks? What are the individual benchmarks? Set specific expectations. Hopefully, you’ve overlaid some competitive information, and you are meeting or exceeding the relevant industry benchmarks as you work with your team to identify the right goals. Once you have set the expectations, you will have something to compare the relevant real-world data to. (See Question Three.)

Question Three: Are you measuring the right stuff? Get meaningful data. Specifically, make sure you are getting data that connects to a specific step of your sales process. Make sure you are using your CRM system as a source of actionable business intelligence… not as a demonstration of compliance on the part of your salespeople. Make sure you are tracking leading indicators (activities that predictably generate revenue, such as having an initial voice-to-voice conversation with a decision maker) not just lagging indicators (activities that connect to revenue that has already been generated, such as filing a signed contract). Often, leaders spend too much time on lagging indicators and not enough in leading indicators. Identify the leading indicators that spotlight the effectiveness of a particular step of your sales process (such as the number of times a salesperson begins a discussion about the budget). Use that data to strategize improvement. What specific tools, resources, and behaviors will help everyone ensure the needle is moving in the right direction? How will you share the data in a way that inspires salespeople to monitor – and control – their own behavior?

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Question Four: Are you looking at a problem… or a symptom? This is perhaps the most important question of all. Is the data you’re examining pointing you toward an actual problem, or is it identifying the inevitable result of some underlying issue that you haven’t yet addressed? Sometimes, what seems obvious about a sales team’s needs isn’t obvious at all. Let me give you an example: Often, companies will look at their presentation-to-close ratio, realize that it’s low, and then self-diagnose based on that. They’ll say to themselves, “Okay, we need some help; we need to get better at delivering our presentations.” They think that’s the right response to what the data is telling them. But time after time, we find that’s not the problem.  When we do some digging, what we generally uncover is that they have a poor qualification process. The majority of those people they’re presenting to, they shouldn’t have been presenting to in the first place. They had no opportunity to win. Remember: There is a time to step back and get some help in assessing what the data is really telling you.

New technologies in CRM, in artificial intelligence, voice intelligence, and in any number of other areas are giving us all access to much deeper analyses than we could have made just a few years ago. As sales leaders, we can get the right data up on the dashboard… we can use that data intelligently… and as a result of what we learn, we can do a better and better job of leading our teams and our organizations in the direction they need to go. That starts with asking ourselves the four questions I’ve shared here – so we can avoid the all-too-common mistake of trying to land the plane without an instrument panel!

Interested in learning more about how you can utilize technology and data to inform your organization’s sales process? Learn why Sandler partnered with Gong to bring a measurable, data-driven approach to sales learning programs.