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21 Things New Leaders Should Do

Posted on 17. Jan, 2017 by .

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It’s easy to find lists of all the things that leaders shouldn’t do. Here are the positive steps you can take to build successful leadership.

Especially at the beginning of a leadership journey, it’s easy to focus on all the things you’re not supposed to do—don’t be inaccessible, don’t play favorites, don’t build your authority on fear. And those things are important, but if you focus exclusively on the don’ts you may have a hard time moving forward.

Here are 21 positive steps that will help you become the kind of the leader you can take great pride in, the kind people will honor with their followership.

1. Keep tabs on expectations. As a new leader you shouldn’t take for granted your new title or your role for granted. Just because you are the leader doesn’t mean you have to have it all figured out.

2. Grow your competencies and develop your skills. As a new leader studying every day is important, if you are doing just enough to get by, the day will come that it’s no longer good enough.

3. Listen to learn. Odds are that many—if not all—of the people on your team know more about various aspects of the business than you do. As a new leader respect the expertise of others.

4. Humility goes a long way. As a new leader humility is a skill that must acquired and practiced over and over again.

5. Be the missing link. As a new leader recognize that although your team may be very capable, you were placed in that job for a reason. You bring a perspective that the team may lack. Know what it is, and make sure they know what it is too.

6. Speak well of everyone. As a new leader, don’t badmouth upper management to your team or your team to upper management. It won’t score points with either side.

7. Protect and shield. As a new leader guard your people from unnecessary hassles from upstairs or outside, and from any unnecessary drama.

8. Ground yourself in trust. As a new leader make sure your people know that trust—giving it, earning it and building it together—is a top priority for the team.

9. Gain a sixth sense. As a new leader tune into your perceptions enough to be able to walk into a room and sense the morale of the occupants.

10. Know what is and isn’t important. As a new leader ignore trivial infractions and let them go unless they are linked to something bigger. Never ignore major violations.

11. Be the meditator, the coach, the mentor: As a new leader act promptly to squelch dissension, disputes, discord and disagreements.

12. Speak with candor. As a new leader avoid sarcasm, dishonesty, or gossip. Don’t let anything you say in the moment interfere with your reputation as someone who’s unfailingly candid, honest, and kind.

13. Strive to build a workplace in which respect is the centerpiece. As a new leader it requires that you and everyone on your team focus on both giving respect and earning it.

14. Make character matter. As a new leader make integrity and character the foundation of your leadership. Remember that you’re always leading by example.

15. Measure your actions. As a new leader evaluate everything you do to determine whether you’re having the effect you want to. If you don’t already know, learn how to use data to better understand your wins and misses.

16. Know what is urgent and what is not. As a new leader give a sense of urgency to tasks that are truly important. If you don’t convey it, how will they know?

17. Be willing to admit you don’t know. As a new leader just because you are the leader doesn’t mean you have all the answers. When you don’t know, say so—then make it a point to inquire, study and learn.

18. Treat everyone with courtesy. As a new leader treat people as you want to be treated.

19. Stay focused on mission. As a new leader keep your mission at the front of everything you do, no matter what distractions and outside influences enter the picture.

20. Have a low tolerance level for intolerance. As a new leader don’t EVER put up with bigots, bullies, bastards, weasels, snakes, swine, slimeballs or sleaze balls.

21. Lead by example. As a new leader this is where your leadership will ultimately be measured. So lead by example always.

Lead From Within: Before you are a leader success is all about growing yourself, when you become a leader success is all about growing others.

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5 Leadership Habits That Make You Look Unprofessional

Posted on 10. Jan, 2017 by .

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screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-11-09-05-pmHave you ever seen a colleague, a boss, or a leader display unprofessional behavior and wonder how they maintain their position?

It might make you wonder whether anything you do comes across that way.

No matter how much education and self-awareness you may have, it’s possible that your professionalism is being undermined by unconscious behavior.

If you’re not doing as well as you’d like, if your career hasn’t scaled to the heights you’ve always expected of yourself, it may be that unprofessional habits—even subtle ones—are limiting your success.

Pay close attention to your own behavior and analyze it as you would someone else’s.

Here are five of the most common unprofessional habits that damage promising careers:

1. Wandering eyes. It’s one of those little cues that can happen to the best of us without our even noticing. When someone is speaking to you and going on a bit long, or when you disagree with someone you subtly avert your eyes, looking across the room, maybe glancing at a clock or watch or paying attention to something else going on in the background. Letting your eyes wander sends a unspoken message that your mind is wandering as well and clearly signals your disengagement, no matter what you say. Stay focused on the person who’s speaking to show you’re paying attention.

2. Always being the expert. We all know someone who considers themselves an expert on every subject—even though it’s often clear to everyone that they don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s a great way to make sure your ideas are never taken seriously and you’re dismissed as someone who likes the sound of their own voice. It’s damaging in another way as well: if you’re always speaking, you’re never learning. Listen to what others have to say and acknowledge when you’re outside your range of knowledge.

3. Talking down to others. There is no quicker way to earn mistrust and ill will than talking down to someone. In trying to elevate yourself, you instead create a huge divide between you and the person you’re talking with (and everybody else within range). Making others feel small goes beyond being unprofessional, it’s rude and morally questionable. Especially when you’re explaining a new concept to someone, take great care to keep your tone and word choice respectful and even.

4. Always being late. Life is busy and time is fleeting. Few of us can honestly say we’ve never been late. But being known as someone who’s habitually late tells others that you respect only your own time, and not the time of others. Being on time, is a courtesy you give to others, and it says,  I respect you.  Being late is not a bad habit, it’s a choice one makes. if you are chronically late, you are chronically rude.

5. Using ”&*#$@!” language: While this should be common sense, its surprising  how many professionals also believe that the use of profanities is acceptable in a professional setting.  the tongue has no bones, but is strong enough to break a heart, so we always must be careful of our words. Regardless of what line of work you do, who your colleagues are, it is never a good habit to use language that is inappropriate, and that is true in professional or personal life. sometimes the sheer use of a exploit language will take away from the essence of what you want to say. Speak with conviction then deliver what you have to say with passion, this has the same effect.

Lead From Within: As leaders it’s important to remember that your behavior is the mirror in which you either come across as professional or unprofessional.

 

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The Best Leaders Are Great Coaches

Posted on 03. Jan, 2017 by .

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screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-6-54-24-amGreat leadership is made up of numerous different elements and roles, which come together differently in different leadership styles. One role that’s often overlooked is that of serving as a coach.

If you’ve ever played or trained under a great coach, you already understand how vast their influence can be.

The best leaders, like the best coaches, give those around them permission to succeed and know how to help them reach their potential.

Here are some of the most important coaching ideas shared by great leaders—ideas that can benefit anyone’s leadership in any field:

Communicate with wisdom. As a coach and leader, you need exceptional communication skills. Your words should make people sit up, listen and feel inspired to act.

Challenge the unchallenged. It’s important to know how to challenge others without making them feel criticized or scorned.

Raise the bar. Set and maintain high personal standards. Keep raising the bar so others can follow suit.

Invest in teamwork. Teach those around you to value great collaboration even more than individual achievement. Demonstrate the truth of TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More

Encourage boldness. Encourage others to make mistakes and take bold moves. Nothing great was ever achieved by not being courageous.

Embrace diversity. Understand and take to heart the value of diversity and take advantage of every opportunity to demonstrate and attest to its importance.

View people in terms of their potential. Recognize the unrealized potential in those around you. Even more important, help them see it for themselves.

Be available. Whatever your position, build a reputation as someone who’s approachable and quick to help.

Accumulate resources. Develop an extensive network both within and outside your organization. Make it available as a resource for others, not just yourself.

Provide solutions. Learn to seek out and develop win-win solutions and teach those skills to others.

Be an optimist. Cultivate an optimistic outlook that guides you to focus on the possibilities and connections that others might miss.

Create a compelling vision. Have a well-developed personal vision that you can communicate clearly and with inspiration. Present your vision in a way that encourages others to do the same.

Coaches are great leaders because they know how to unlock potential and motivate people to maximize their performance. In short, they help others learn to be their best. And that’s what leadership is all about.

Lead from within: Great leadership isn’t about what you accomplish yourself; it’s about what you inspire others to do.

For coaching, consulting, workshops, and speaking. Please feel free to contact us.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

 

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How to Build a Business That’s Good for Everyone

Posted on 20. Dec, 2016 by .

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screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-7-38-14-amWith so many businesses barely getting by, everyone wants to know the secret to make their business good for everyone, and how they can build a company that can thrive.

At the core of every business success it’s important to make sure that your employees are engaged and your customers are satisfied.

As a leadership coach and business consultant, I’ve seen lots of companies make it and lots of companies struggle. And from my experience, the ones that truly thrive share some key principles.

Here are the most important:

Make it personal. There’s a misconception that business and the personal should never mix—but the most successful companies create a personal culture, one where both employees and customers know they matter. That means getting to know them and creating mutually beneficial relationships with meaningful connection and engagement.

Good communication connects everyone. If you want an organizational culture where people are working hard to achieve the same goals, communication is key—team to team, team to board, customers to leadership—in every direction and at every level.

Surround yourself with A+ players. Steve Jobs always used to say to surround yourself with A+ players, because the best players always surround themselves with better players than themselves. The same is true for companies. Make sure your organization has highly talented people and treat them well so they will remain loyal and dedicated to the purpose and mission. When you surround yourself with the best you thrive on excellence.

Under promise- over deliver. Whatever you do, whatever product or service you are providing, make it the best out there. Do it better than anyone else to a ridiculous degree. Build and maintain the best relationship with those you serve. Deliver more than you promise to keep them with you.

Grow your team. Once you have a team of excellent people in place, the smart thing is to keep them there. The best companies make sure they have training and development programs that help people grow and move forward in their career path, because that’s how you retain a great team.

Make your company a great place to work. Work is where people spend most of their time, so make your company a place where people feel motivated and inspired and they can have fun. Create an environment where people enjoy coming to work. A culture build on fun and excitement gives people the energy to outperform their own potential.

Make a difference. If the aim of your company is to make money, that’s great, but it won’t speak to the hearts and souls of your people. It doesn’t give people anything to be inspired by. But if your business improves the lives of others—if you’re providing solutions that make selling and service the same thing—your team and your customers will be far more engaged. The results? A stable, energized team, loyal customers, and great grassroots advertising through word of mouth and social media.

To create a business that thrives you have to make it a company that is good for everyone.

Lead From Within: Bottom line: When people are happy- when customers are satisfied companies succeed.

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7 Habits That Are Destroying Your Ability to Lead

Posted on 13. Dec, 2016 by .

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screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-7-38-51-amWhether you are a manager, supervisor, entrepreneur or leader, it is your leadership abilities that will ultimately dictate your professional success or failure.

That means you need to identify which habits are working for you and which aren’t, and eliminate anything that may be keeping you from your goals.

Here are seven of the most destructive habits leaders can maintain:

1. Surrounding yourself with clones.  Strength lies in diversity and difference and challenge; being around people who are just like you may be comfortable, but it keeps you playing small.

2. Speaking without listening.  The best leaders listen more than they speak, and they know the importance of hearing and gathering information from all.

3.  Confusing activity with productivity. It’s easy to fall into the trap of keeping busy without actually being productive. There is always so much to do, but the tasks you naturally reach for are not necessarily the ones that should be at the top of your list of priorities. Instead of plowing through a to-do list, ask yourself what you should be doing to attain the results you want to see—to move you closer to your goals.

4. Flying solo. One of the biggest challenges for many people, especially leaders, is the belief in the power of one—the idea that you can do everything by yourself. Trying to do everything alone will end up exhausting and taxing you, and in time it will destroy your ability to lead.

5. Thinking you know it all. As a leader you need to always be willing to listen to others and be teachable. Sometimes people don’t want to have the answers handed to them but to brainstorm together and come up with a range of solutions. Other times people just want to vent.

6: Being unavailable and inaccessible. Being an unavailable and inaccessible leader, is the worst kind of leadership and management style, because it sends the message that your people are not important.

7. Constantly micromanaging. Saving the worst for last: Micromanagement is the flip side of leadership. The leader thinks no one can do the job as well as they can so they hover over you and make demands instead of allowing you to do your job. The message sent by micromanager leaders is “I don’t trust you.”

Lead From Within: Bad habits are destroying our leadership because they are hindering us from being the leader we want to be.

 

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The Best Leaders Are Humble Leaders

Posted on 06. Dec, 2016 by .

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screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-7-28-00-amWhen we think of great qualities of leaders, the first things that come to mind are traits like charisma, bravado and vision.

You wouldn’t expect to see humility on that list—but you should.

Research shows the effectiveness of humble leadership: Humble leaders have more influence, they attract better people, and they earn more confidence, respect and loyalty than those who rely upon ego and power.

In my work as a coach, I emphasize not just the importance of humility but also the fact that it’s a skill.

Here are some key skills of humble leaders. Look through and see which you already have and which you need to develop:

They lead to serve. Humble leaders shift attention away from themselves and focus on the contributions and needs of those around them.

They have reserves of inner strength. Being a humble leader isn’t a sign of meekness or powerlessness but of great inner strength. The best leaders are humble on the outside and confident on the inside.

They admit to their mistakes. All leaders are human, which means they all make mistakes from time to time. When you are willing to share your own missteps and mistakes, it allows others to connect to you in a deeper way. Humility is a quality that lets others see your humanity.

They seek input from others. The first step of turning to others for input is being vulnerable enough to admit that you need the help and insight of others—which is a sign of great character on its own.

They know themselves. Humble leaders know who they are and behave in a way that’s consistent with that knowledge. They also recognize where there’s room for improvement.

They are genuine. Humble leaders know the importance of being authentic. They are the same person in private, in public, and in personal life, in every situation and with every kind of people.

They invite trust. Humble leaders know that trust—earning it, giving it and building it—is the foundation of great leadership.

They treat others with respect. Humble leaders are consistent and disciplined in their treatment of others. They treat everyone with respect regardless of their position, role or title.

They understand their limitations. Humble leaders have the confidence to recognize their own weaknesses. Rather than viewing their limits as a threat or a sign of frailty, they surround themselves with others who have complementary skills.

They model the way. Humble leaders lead by example. Their leadership isn’t expressed as “because I’m the boss” authority but in every one of their actions and words.

Lead From Within: There is always room to be a better person and leader. If you can cultivate humility as a skill, you will be strong when you are weak and brave when you are scared.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

 

 

 

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What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

Posted on 29. Nov, 2016 by .

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screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-6-10-01-amSome people are fine skating through uncertainty by the seat of their pants, but most of us in leadership prefer to feel in control.

We like having all the answers (or most of them, anyway), and seeing a clear path ahead. And in time, people come to expect those things of us, and we come to expect them of ourselves.

So for a leader to admit they don’t know is a big deal.

For some it feels like an uncomfortable vulnerability; for others, worry. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are some things you can do when you just don’t know:

Trust your intuition. Whether you call it intuition, your sixth sense or following our gut, sometimes when intellect fails you it’s time to rely on your subconscious. It’s a realm where you don’t need to explain or justify your actions or feelings. Just trust your inner guidance to know what’s best.

Make a bold move. In uncertain times we all feel tentative, but if you don’t take bold moves your leadership can’t move forward. Boldness inspires creativity, innovation, vision—exactly the things you need at such times. Let go of fear and remember that most people aren’t hoping to catch you in trouble but want to see you succeed. Whatever you send out always comes back to you, so let your actions set the direction of your leadership.

Let worry go. Worry won’t stop the bad stuff from happening; it just stops you from enjoying the good. The best thing you can do is let worry go and allow yourself to learn in the moment from the experience. Do the best you can do with what you have—beyond that, it’s outside your control.

Hire a coach. A great coach can ask the questions that can lead you to genuinely helpful answers, tell you the things you don’t want to hear and help you transcend your own point of view. The best coaches lead you past what you don’t know into possibility, and help you become the leader you’ve always known you can be.

Remember, feeling worried accomplishes nothing it only prevents you from moving forward, and stagnation is not an option for a leader.

Whatever the situation, do everything you can to keep yourself moving forward, either alone or with the help of a trusted advisor.

Make use of the wisdom you have within, and solicit as much knowledge as you can from those you trust.

Lead from within:  What you don’t know today will be something you can learn from tomorrow.

Additional articles you might enjoy:

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7 Superpowers That Will Make You a Great Leader

Posted on 22. Nov, 2016 by .

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screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-6-54-15-amAs leaders, we all wield significant power—but not the old-model version of bossing people around and yelling “you’re fired!” if they don’t make the grade.

True power calls us to connect with others and to connect them with their own strengths, encourage them and lead them toward places they wouldn’t normally go to on their own.

That’s the best kind of power, but it can easily fall through the cracks of day-to-day leadership.

As an executive leadership coach, I sometimes find myself having to remind my clients of how powerful they really are, and the ways in which they can exercise that power.

Here are 7 types of power so effective that they’re practically superpowers:

1. Persuasion. Your ability to persuade others—to win them over to your point of view and inspire them to action—is grounded in your relationship with that person and in your own integrity. When you carry out your own role with excellence and a commitment to serving others, you can persuade others with genuine authority.

2. Positivity. To stay positive in the worst times, when everyone around you has given in to negativity, automatically elevates your work and message. Positivity gives hope and purpose to others when they need it most and leads your team to the highest level of accomplishment.

3. Observation. Many people are too busy to even notice their surroundings or their circumstances. Sometimes the power of a great leader comes from the simple act of slowing down enough to take a look around and assess what you see. Observation allows you to pinpoint problems and issues—and their solutions—early on.

4. Decisiveness. While others pride themselves on being a great thinkers, great leaders understand the power of decisiveness. They observe and assess, then act quickly and confidently without second-guessing their conclusions. Even if you get it wrong once in a while, you’ll still outperform those who are slow to act.

5. Modesty. It may go against intuition, but modesty is a secret weapon of some of the greatest leaders. When you’re modest you stay teachable and humble, no matter how much you already know. You see yourself as a servant and a student more than a master, and you exhibit a willingness to engage with others that leads to respect.

6. Tenacity.  If you could have only one leadership superpower, this is the one you’d want. In many situations it’s the factor that determines your chances for success. When everything around you is falling apart and you respond with determination, courage, persistence, and strength, that’s character. And genuine character is the highest form of power.

7.  Insight. Vision is one of the most important factors in leadership, and insight is the highest form of vision. With insight you really can see around corners and through walls to know what’s really going on and gain a feel for the underlying issues. A single moment of insight can be as powerful as a lifetime of experience—but it’s a skill that has to be built and nurtured.

Lead from within: It may feel vain to consider your sources of power, but they’re the things you need to fulfill the responsibilities of leadership—and the more you understand them, the stronger they become.

Additional articles you may enjoy:

  1. Your Leadership Requires You to Have Guts
For coaching, consulting, workshops and speaking. Please feel free to contact us.

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Your Leadership Requires You to Have Guts

Posted on 15. Nov, 2016 by .

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screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-6-37-50-am

Leadership is hard. It means making difficult decisions, stepping out of your comfort zone, and standing on the edge of your greatness.

Leadership requires that you have guts.

There are many who have the title of leader. But the only ones who truly deserve the title are those who can weather the storms and stand in their struggles.

Because true leadership requires great men and women to bring all the courage, boldness, toughness, determination and audacity they can summon.
Here are some of the qualities of a gutsy leader. Cultivate them now to become everything you can be:

The COURAGE to change direction when things are on the wrong track. When something isn’t working, you need a leader who has the courage to see the need for change and bring up the benefits of going in another direction. It’s the kind of courage that shows up when you most need to shake things up and get back on the path toward something great. You’ll never do anything worthwhile in this world without courage.

The BOLDNESS to face reality when resources are strained. When money or another vital resource is dwindling, you need to be bold enough not to hide in the spreadsheets but to come out and share the hard truth. You can admit that things are not as they should be, but in a way that is unafraid and focused on solutions, with faith in your team’s ability to rally even at the last minute to turn things around. To be bold is to always be facing forward.

The TOUGHNESS to be more stubborn than your difficulties. When you’re facing obstruction and obstacles, handicaps and complications, you need to be the leader who says “Times are tough but we are tougher.”

The DETERMINATION to pursue new opportunities in the face of opposition. People don’t generally like change, so it’s up to the leader to push past the status quo and make things happen. It’s a job that takes tenacity and spirit. Some leaders succeed because they are destined, but most because they are determined.

 The AUDACITY to say no unapologetically. Some leaders want to say yes to everything—but when they do, they take away their ability to set priorities. Every great advance in leadership came from someone who found the nerve to simply say “no”—as a complete sentence, without any justification or explanation or apology. When you make judicious use of “no,” you set the priorities that allow you to say a bigger “yes” to the most compelling ideas and vision.

 If you’re serious about leadership, always remember that it has to come from deep inside. It takes courage, boldness, toughness, determination and audacity, as the saying goes: no guts, no glory.

Lead From Within: Great leaders aren’t always the ones who win, but those with the most guts.

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This Is Your Starting Point for Leadership Growth

Posted on 08. Nov, 2016 by .

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screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-6-08-16-amIf you aspire to become a great leader, it’s important to remember that your leadership begins far before you have a leader’s title. The starting point of your leadership growth starts where you are today.

Great leadership is learned on the job; it is cultivated in the trenches of everyday experiences, and it comes from learning the ropes under every circumstance.

Who we are today will help us become better leaders tomorrow. There are always people who want the title just for showing up, but the rest of us know leadership is earned with hard work and dedication to the craft. It’s a lifelong process, one that we begin again every day. We have to develop from where we are to get to where we want to go.

Here are six ways to make it happen:

Learn from every experience. Take advantage of whatever surrounds you right now. Whether it’s positive or negative, every circumstance, conversation and connection holds lessons and principles and wisdom if you’re willing to learn. Never allow an opportunity to pass you by.

Focus on the collective. Don’t think only about your own advancement but consider how you can best interact with the others around you and how you can give credit to those who have put in great effort. Leadership means honoring others, and it is important to understand the value of the collective and learn that two is greater than one.

Make it a priority to get along with people. It is imperative that you learn to get along with people—those who are above you, those who stand beside you and those who look up to you. Make it a goal to build strong relationships of mutual learning and respect in every direction.

Work on communication every day. As you interact with people, learn to communicate concisely and clearly. When you speak, think of ways you can contribute that add real value, not just more noise. Ask questions, get feedback and let others know that you are open to dialogue. If you can remain curious there’s almost nothing you can’t learn.

Take on more responsibility. Even if the everyday requirements of your job keep you busy, the best way to truly stand out and learn from every experience is to take on more responsibility than most. Be the person who steps up and comes through as accountable and dependable.

Give your personal best. It’s not enough to speak if you don’t deliver, or take on a task if you don’t do it with excellence. In everything you do, give your personal best. Not only will it help your reputation but it will build your character.

Lead from within: Leadership growth begin with leading at your best today, wherever you are, is what prepares you to be a great leader for tomorrow.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

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