Tag Archives: Leadership Development
Posted on 21. Feb, 2017 by lollydaskal.
Most of us work under pressure, that is a given, but not many of us who work under pressure will have our work affect hundreds if not thousands. As a leader, CEO, boss, what we do, gets magnified, scrutinized, and maximized.
The idea that a leader can make decisions when times are under pressure, and still bring out the best in their people, is something that we can all learn from and certainly apply to our lives and leading.
As an executive coach to leading thought leaders around the world and as a business consultant I have seen qualities that leaders retain in order to become better leaders under pressure.
Here are things that they do and that we can do to emulate and echo great leaders qualities.
Manage your anxiety: Most people lose themselves in the stress of tension, but great leaders draw from their interpersonal skills to know that to lose control is not to manage well. They understand that courage is grace under pressure, so as leaders they learn to be bold, and manage their anxiety, even though their anxiety sometimes seems bolder than they are.
Maintain an optimistic attitude: Great leaders recognize that all kinds of risks and uncertainty can threaten their organization’s survival, and they know that becoming negative, and getting all critical is never going to make any stressful situation better, so they learn how to remain positive and have an optimistic attitude.
Find calm in chaos: Great leader know that if you cannot handle the pressure you cannot be successful, and therefore are all about finding clarity and coherence in times of chaos, they look for order, so they can find solutions that will make a difference not only for their company but for their people.
Look for those who can assist: Great leaders know you cannot do everything alone, you need others to help, assist, and to collaborate with, in times of stress, great leaders look for support, from those who are talented, skilled and capable, they work with them, to find solutions that will work.
Mold your own potential: Great leaders know they are only as good as what they know, they can only lead from how we are informed. Therefore, great leaders are constant learners they make the time to constantly learning new things, to up their game, what they knew yesterday, is not good enough for today, because pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what the you are doing, therefore manage pressure, they work on molding their own potential, the better they are, the better equipped they are at handling the pressure.
Stay ahead of the curve: Great leaders try to stay ahead of the curve, they need to be present in the moment, but they are always planning for the future, the greatest leaders are always thinking what is my next step forward, when pressure mounts the calm has to prevail, so they can think what will be my next step, the more you know the better you can decide what is your next move is, you truly don’t know what you need to do, until you find yourself under pressure sometimes you learn best in calm, and some in chaos.
Continue to contribute to the cause: Great leaders know that to withstand stress, you need to be able to be grounded in something bigger than yourself, they are constantly and consistently grounding themselves and dedicating themselves to pursuing the noble cause of their company, organization or institution, they know that if purpose is the driver they will be able to prevail.
Lead from within: As Winston Churchill stated. “You can measure a man’s character by the choices he makes under pressure.” Great leaders handle their pressure, and because they do, those around them will respect them and trust them.
How do you handle pressure when it’s mounting? Share your thoughts.
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Posted on 07. Feb, 2017 by lollydaskal.
Many of us aspire to great leadership. But how do we recognize what great leadership even looks like? What are the attributes that make leaders great?
Here’s one of the most important: Highly effective leaders don’t rely on what they know but constantly work to improve who they are and what they do. Success usually lies between who you are and who you want to be, what you want to do and where you want to go.
Here are seven other attributes that great leaders tend to share. Think about which you should be incorporating into your own leadership—and remember that when success is within your reach, you still have to stretch to get to it.
1. They know how to forecast. You’d think that most leaders would spend their time thinking of what needs to get done today, but truly great leaders are visionaries who spend significant time forecasting the future. Truly great leaders look ahead. They see things not through the lens of current realities but in light of future possibilities. They know that present circumstances don’t determine how far they can go, only where they need to start.
2. They know how to formulate. Effective leaders can take a vision and formulate it into a well-organized plan that others can manage and follow. They know where they want to take others, and the plan articulates how they’ll get there. The best leaders keep in mind the importance of translating their vision into a reality.
3. They know how to present. Successful leaders are able to communicate and demonstrate a plan for action. They know how to get the right people in the right roles to get the job done well. They’re great at communicating complex problems in simple terms that people can understand. They’re able to share information in a way that people get it. For truly great leaders, communication must be HOT: Honest, Open and Two-way.
4. They know how to trust. Even the most talented, skilled leaders know that they cannot accomplish everything on their own, and they know how to trust others to get the job done. Confidence in your people is crucial; it allows you to focus on the things that only you can do, without feeling the need to micromanage others. Truly great leaders know this and because they trust their people, their people in turn trust them.
5. They know how to manage. A successful leader is someone who can not only lead but also manage. They know how to manage themselves before managing When they set goals for others—when they decide what work needs to be done and how to facilitate those goals so they get done—they are setting an example of effective management themselves by focusing on others to get things done.
6. They know how to expedite: Truly great leaders know how to facilitate and promote and stimulate their people by making what needs to happen a priority. They’re good at following through on plans and making sure everyone knows their role, serving as a catalyst and allowing their team to work together to get things done.
7. They know how to motivate. The best leaders are able to inspire and motivate people into taking action. They have the charisma and the character that inspire others to follow them. They’re able to lead by example, because they refuse to ask others to do what they can do for themselves. In setting a strong example, they motivate their people to do the same.
Lead from Within: The best leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.
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Posted on 17. Jan, 2017 by lollydaskal.
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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Posted on 13. Dec, 2016 by lollydaskal.
Whether 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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Posted on 06. Dec, 2016 by lollydaskal.
When 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.
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Photo Credit: Getty Images
Posted on 29. Nov, 2016 by lollydaskal.
Some 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.
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Photo Credit: Getty Images
Posted on 22. Nov, 2016 by lollydaskal.
As 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.
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Photo Credit: Getty Images
Posted on 15. Nov, 2016 by lollydaskal.
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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- The Truth About Courageous Leadership
- Courage Is The Key To Fearless Leadership
- Leadership Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Posted on 08. Nov, 2016 by lollydaskal.
If 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.
- How to Become A Leader You Admire
- Let Your Leadership Speak For Itself
- The Leaders We Remember Most
- There Is No Significance Without Character
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Posted on 01. Nov, 2016 by lollydaskal.
Mindset is extremely important when it comes to great leadership.
Mindset is the set of beliefs or way of thinking that determines your behavior, outlook and mental attitude. If your mindset is negative, your attitude (and likely your behavior) is negative.
Mindset is everything, and learning to control it is a key to fulfilling your potential.
Here are some of the damaging mindsets I have seen in leaders. Don’t let them stand in your way:
1. Seeing the glass as half empty. Many leaders are guilty of this mindset. Some think that if they point out the bad, that will get people to improve—but we know a negative attitude will never lead to positive results. Nothing will slow your progress like a negative mindset.
2. Thinking you know people better than you do. There is a danger in labeling people and putting them into a box when you haven’t had a chance to take in their complexity. How can you truly get to know people if your mindset has already told you who they are? Give people a chance to reveal, and sometimes surprise you with, who they are really are.
3. Believing that perfect is a goal. Perfection doesn’t exist and perfect can never be a goal. When you aim to be perfect, you’re setting yourself up for failure—either by paralyzing yourself into inaction or by endlessly trying to reach an unreachable goal. Set perfectionism aside and focus on excellence.
4. Thinking that you never need to rest. I know leaders who take pride in being constantly on. But we all need some time off, opportunities to shut down for a while. It is impossible to keep going 24/7 and still be the best you can be. You may think you can do everything and be everywhere, but really you can’t. Get some rest.
5. Assuming that you accomplished great things alone. Anytime you think you’ve achieved something by yourself, you’re failing to give someone else the credit they deserve. There is no success on a team without the efforts of others, and when you as the leader take all the credit, it costs you respect. Make your language always US and WE, not ME and I.
6. Not staying present in the moment. If you’re always thinking of where you need to be next instead of staying in the moment, you lose out on precious time and valuable lessons. A constant forward push isn’t sustainable in the long term. It burns people out and will lead to low morale and low energy. Give everyone a chance to slow down and experience what’s happening now.
7. Expecting others to do what you’re unwilling to do. How many of us have encountered leaders with a mindset of entitlement—that things need to be about what others can do for them rather than how they can serve others? Entitlement is a dangerous mindset, one that disempowers and alienates people. If you want great people to stick around to serve you, you need to serve them.
8. Becoming so obsessed with details that you lose the big picture. There are always details that need legitimate attention. But great leaders know that to get bogged down in all the details and minutia is a waste of time, energy and productivity. Getting stuck in the details will cost you big-picture success.
9. Isolating yourself from others. Some leaders actually believe that leadership means immersing yourself in process and procedures instead of being among people. The mindset that a leader can’t let others too close is one of the most dangerous I have observed. Leadership is all about engagement and empowering others, and you simply cannot do it in isolation. Leaders need people and people need leaders.
10. Having different sets of rules. The mindset that you can have one set of rules for yourself and another set for everyone else is disturbing and goes against the principles of service and recognition that leadership should be based on. It leads to disdain and disrespect.
11. Holding an all-or-nothing orientation. Failing to recognize nuance and shades of gray leads to bias and distorted thinking. We need leaders who are flexible and agile, unafraid of what might go wrong and positive about what could go right. All or nothing is a dangerous and damaging proposition.
12. Believing that you have to do everything yourself. You probably became a leader because you’re really good at what you do, but the truth is you never have to do everything alone. Great leaders delegate—which not only helps them but involves other people. If you want things done your own way, teach others how it’s done, but bring them in.
Lead From Within: You are only going to be as good as you think you are. To create something exceptional, keep your mindset focused on greatness.
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- 6 Lessons Every Great Leader Learns on the Job
- 7 Things You Need To Stop Doing If You Want to Be Leading
- 90 Powerful Ways to Become a Highly Successful Leader
Photo Credit: Getty Images