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Become a Motivational Leader and All Else Will Follow

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how to become an effective leader

The transition from doing to leading for a new leader can be difficult and confusing. Though, it is admirable when as a new manager you are willing to keep “rolling up your sleeves” to start a tactical assignment.

You may have the stamina to wake up early, stay late at work to work out job demands in the short term. But as your responsibilities become more complex because of the increasing demands that is where the difference between an effective leader, and a super-sized individual contributor with a leader’s title becomes evident.

To be a good leader you must be more essential and less involved. Being active or busy is not enough. The most important thing as a leader is to be productive.

A motivational leader ‘shapes the thoughts and ideas of others instead of dictating their plans, having a sought-after perspective but not being a required pass-through, and seeing your own priorities come to life through the inspired actions of others.

Jesse Sostrin Draws out four strategies that leaders at all level can take to boost their leadership potentials

Read also: 5 Exceptional qualities that make great leaders

Start with your reasons

“When people lack understanding about why something matters and how they fit into it, they are less likely to care. But if you give them context about what’s at stake, how they fit into the big picture, and what’s unique about the opportunity, then you increase personal relevance and the odds of follow-through. Instead of giving just the business justification, make it a point to share your reasons. You can’t motivate somebody to care when you can’t express the reasons why it matters to you, so this essential step sets the table for effective partnering. Otherwise, you leave people to come to their own conclusions about what you’re asking them to do and why. The risk of misalignment is highest during the first conversation, so make sure you articulate your reasons from the start”.

Inspire their commitment

“People get excited about what’s possible, but they commit only when they understand their role in making it happen. Once you’ve defined the work, clarified the scope of their contribution, and ensured that it aligns with their capacity, carefully communicate any and all additional expectations for complete understanding. This is crucial when you have a precise outcome or methodology in mind. They can’t read your mind, so if the finished product needs to be meticulous, be equally clear-cut in the ask. Once clarity is established, confirm their interpretation (face-to-face, or at least voice-to-voice, to avoid email misinterpretations). “But I told them how I wanted it done!” will not be the reason the ball got dropped; it will simply be the evidence that you didn’t confirm their understanding and inspire their commitment”.

Read also: The life-changing habit of progressive leaders

Engage at the right level

It’s essential to stay involved, but the degree matters. You should maintain engagement levels sufficient for you to deliver the agreed-upon mix of support and accountability. However, there are risks when the mix is not right: Too involved, and you could consciously or inadvertently micromanage those around you; too hands-off, and you could miss the critical moments where a supportive comment or vital piece of feedback would be essential. To pick your spot, simply ask people what the right level is based on their style. This not only clarifies the frequency of touch points they will find useful but also gives them autonomy in how the delegated work will move forward”.

Practice saying “yes,” “no,” and “yes, if.”

The art and science of being selective. Successful investors don’t divert their money into every opportunity that comes their way, so we should be equally discerning with our time. Start by carefully assessing every demand that comes your way, and align the acts with the highest-valued contributions that you’re most skilled at making. For those requests that draw on this talent, you say yes and carve out the time and attention to be intimately involved. But for those requests that don’t align, you say yes, if… and immediately identify other people to accomplish the goals through their direct involvement. You may still consult, motivate, and lead — but you’re essential as the catalyst, not as the muscle doing the heavy lifting. This discerning approach may mean delegating some tasks to others, negotiating a reduction in your direct contribution, or just saying no while making the business case for why your effort and attention will have a greater impact elsewhere”.

 

By Rebecca Essilfie

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Leadership

5 Exceptional Qualities That Make Great Leaders

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Successful leaders around the world share specific common trait or characteristic that makes them effective leaders.

Mark Gould, COO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco advices on how to be a good leader. He says, ‘The easiest way to approach this is to think about the best bosses you’ve had in your career and to ask yourself what made them particularly great leaders. I’ve had the opportunity to work for a wide range of people in my career, and some of the best demonstrated some mixture of the following attributes”

Be Self-Awareness

Having self-awareness is vital for any leader so that you can build out your team with people who balance your own strengths and weaknesses. If you’re not aware of your own developmental needs, you may be more confident than you should be, and you may not realize the need for a particularly critical skill on your team. Do an anonymous 360 review with your team, and listen carefully to what it says”.

Read also: Powerlessness corrupts corporate environments

Have Humility

Have you ever worked for a boss that thought he or she was right all the time, even when they weren’t? When you become a leader, people just automatically look to you for answers and direction. Resist the urge to always just offer direction, especially if you’re not entirely sure what the best answer is. Ask your team for their thoughts and demonstrate your willingness to take their advice, and you might be surprised how the culture in your group changes”.

Curiosity

I try to surround myself with people that are curious about a wide range of issues. Leaders who immerse themselves purely in their business silo can miss emerging issues or opportunities, as well as connections with other industries. And, it’s way more fun to have a team with diverse interests”.

Authenticity

I value leaders who don’t try to be one thing in the office, and another thing elsewhere. Inevitably, the real person comes out, particularly in times of stress. And, if your team senses that you’re not authentic in your words and actions, they’ll question whether you’ll have their back when issues surface, and it’s a safe assumption that they’ll start looking to move to another job”.

Read: 5 Reasons why most people don’t become wealthy

Sense if Humor

Let’s face it: work is hard, and we spend a lot of time in the office. However, just because work is serious doesn’t mean that we need to take ourselves too seriously. Particularly when the going gets tough, a little humor can go a long way to keep the team motivated. Don’t get carried away in thinking you need to be a comedian; just be yourself. A team who laughs together will have lower turnover and higher productivity”.

Commitment is key to success. To become a great leader you must commit to these skills. “Being selected for a leadership position doesn’t automatically make you a great leader”. Work together with your followers, gain their respect and this will go a long way to building a great working environment.

Compiled by Rebecca Essilfie

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Leadership

The Life-Changing Habit of Progressive Leaders

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Progressive business leaders

The difference between successful leaders and progressive path-breakers is that they have an infinite yearning to learn. A number of progressive leaders, philosophers and authors have been often quoted on the importance of learning.

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur by Pratik Dholakiya

Dr. Seuss summed it up perfectly when he said: “The more you read, the more you will know and the more you will learn, the more places you’ll go.”

From Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg, all the efficacious leaders share this impressive habit.

While these leaders have never eschewed the traditional methods of learning and have looked down upon college education, they have managed to teach themselves through alternative methods like going on a reading spree, perusing online journals and materials, watching videos or taking up skill-based courses.

Related: Is the CEO a Thinker or a Doer

If you are a leader or aim to become one, it is absolutely vital that you form this life-changing habit. If you are not learning already, here’s how you can follow the leaders.

1. Read great books.

Elon Musk credits his inclination to build rockets and traveling to Mars to reading books like “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams; “Einstein: His Life and Universe” by Walter Isaacson; and “Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down” by J.E. Gordon.

If you are a CEO, read books on management and leadership, read autobiographies of successful leaders. If you are a Web developer, read books on computers, right from its evolution to its future, know the topic inside out. If you are a homemaker, read books on homemaking, but read.

If you don’t know where to start, join a book club in your city or online and you’ll be surprised at the range of books that can enrich you for life. In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg started a book club called A Year of Books. Every two weeks, he would recommend a new book to inspire his followers to read at least one book a month.

2. Peruse online journals.

The Internet is the best thing that can happen to readers — I will say that over and over again. From medicine to psychology, from Zen to zoology, you will find some of the latest studies, journals and discussions on a topic that interests you.

Some of the best resources where you can access journals are JSTOR, SAGE, E-journals.org and Directory of Open Access Journals. These resources have some of the best reading material from scholarly societies and renowned authors and publishers.

Online journals are a trusted, relatively un-opinionated gateway to almost all the leading topics in the world. For instance, The Journal of Semantics has a collection of all major articles and studies related to semantics from the 80s to present date.

3. Watch videos.

Not everyone finds reading easy. I know quite a few people who would fall asleep reading two lines of a book. If you happen to one of these people, don’t worry. Thanks to YouTube and dozens of other online video platforms, you can learn anything you want by watching videos.

Related: If you believe in your idea, invest yourself in it

Being a marketer, I have watched the famed Whiteboard Friday videos of Rand Fishkin and picked up valuable lessons along the way. Learning comes in myriad ways and whether you are drawn to physics, marketing or trivia, you can learn without putting on your reading glasses.

4. Take online courses.

As a leader you have to constantly keep yourself updated with different skills, and as technology keeps evolving at an extremely rapid pace, the need to update has become more pressing.

One way to stay ahead is with a certification. Apart from the ease of online learning, you also have a validation on your skills. Due to the maintenance requirement of the credential, you are always ahead of the rest with the latest trends and developments in the industry.

However, the common thinking is that the rigorous schedules of working professionals stand as a blockage to learning, be it back in college or online. This has led online education providers like Khan Academy, Udemy and Simplilearn to introduce trainings that are available 24/7.

Case in point, Simplilearn is, by far, the most preferred because of their ‘Flexi-Pass’ — learners attain access to both live virtual classes and self-paced learning. Despite the time constraints, you can still give your career the boost it needs. Their trainings cover diverse industries including Project Management, Quality Management, Big Data, Digital Marketing, Agile, Scrum and many more. All you need to do is pick your course, chalk out your learning schedule, and start learning — the rest is taken care of.

Learning is a life-long experience and you can’t become a successful leader if you stop learning. If you are really serious about acquiring a skill, find out everything about it and look everywhere you’re your neighborhood library to free resources available online.

See also: My life-changing advice from a professional in my line of work

Education may be expensive but learning isn’t. The only effective cost is your time. No matter how old you are or where you live, learning has become truly accessible, so there’s really no excuse for you not to.

Source: Entrepreneur

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Leadership

My Life-Changing Advice from a Professional in My Line of Work

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I will define a professional as a knowledgeable person with a good understanding of how to behave in all situations. I think a professional is much more than an experienced person or just a knowledgeable person. However with much experience you can become a professional. I am in a space where I want to be a professional, but I want this with far less experience. This is pushing my parrot mouth to operate less unless I have questions, my elf ears to listen more than just hear and my ‘Chinese-looking’ eyes to stay open to observe.

I had an opportunity to be spoken to by a senior professional in the line of work I hope to pursue in a year or two and I am again going to share.

  1. Professional Appearance

The first professional thing about you should be your appearance. The kind of clothes you pick out for work will create the first impression anyone will have about you. Office skirts should not be unnecessarily short. Shirts should be well pressed. Trousers shouldn’t be oversized and not too tiny. Shoes should be well polished or cleaned. Hair must be combed or organized in a befitting manner.

Dress how you want to be addressed, if you want to be taken seriously then put all your style and love for fashion in a suitable manner for the job. Not all hairstyles are for work so know the difference and preferably reduce the colored hair. How else would people trust you with work?

  1. Language

A professional must speak clearly to the understanding of whoever they are addressing. The ideas in your head will remain yours and will be seeds until you start working them. You will need others to contribute in germinating and harvesting because no man is an island. Speak respectfully and communicate clearly. Listen attentively and ask all relevant questions. Gestures are equally important. They must be modest, yet show confidence and mastery in your field. Non-verbal communication can often be louder than words. Your language is the window to your mind so mind your language. Face and hair grooming experts like Meegah’s Makeover are coaches who can help you look good.

  1. Attitude

Knowing how to act in each situation you are faced with is a fundamental trait of professionals across all fields of work. At the workplace, attitude is everything. In dealing with different types of people you may have to learn to ignore a lot –those which are not necessary. Ignore sarcastic comments and flush out negative remarks each day otherwise you will be bitter at work and hold unnecessary grudges. Work hard, work smart and volunteer when you can, to work for free.

  1. Knowledge

Knowledge is the power every professional holds. The most important thing to truly make one a professional is the amount of knowledge. As a professional, it is important to read on everything related to your field and even things unrelated. Knowledge is however useless without direction. Know how to apply all the knowledge you acquire and be ready to learn new skills.

Starting out in life is not easy but perseverance will always win. Learn the roles you need to accept and walk the fine line with a few creative edges. A professional will always stand out.

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