They think about where they are going rather than where they have been. They maintain a positive attitude and think about the opportunities of tomorrow rather than focusing on the problems of the past.
However, across those thousands of books and articles, among the countless legends and stories, you’ll find some common themes woven throughout. You’ll find principles about us as human beings that many of us think about but never try hard enough to achieve. You’ll hear about ideals and decisions that we all wish we could aspire to but often fail to understand. Here are ten of those things you’ll find among the tales of those who achieved success in business (and in life) – which ones do you currently have and which do you need to obtain?
Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.
“Real leadership is when everyone else feels in charge,” Bono tells Fortune. And he has lived by this maxim. He helped persuade global leaders to write off debt owed by the poorest countries and encouraged the Bush administration and others to vastly increase AIDS relief. Now, through his ONE and (RED) campaigns, he is enlisting major companies and millions of people to combat AIDS, poverty, and preventable diseases.
The winning formula for business success will have been created many years ago – but it’s important to remember how the business started. Honour those early pioneers and instil a sense of pride across the organisation. J Sainsbury is a great example of this. The legacy of the supermarket chain is of a small high street delicatessen store. If Sainsbury’s wants to promote quality, then it has historical proof to fall back.
Above all, leadership is a people job. When an employee needs to talk with you–whatever the reason–make sure that you set aside the time to do so. Put your work aside for a moment, put down your smartphone, and focus on the person standing in front of you.
This ties in closely to the above point. In order to be a better leader, you must be sure to remember that the people you are leading are not simply a means to your own end. No one wants to follow a leader that does not see them as an integral part of the cause, company, or team’s development. To be a great leader, you should abandon the idea that the maintenance of your authority is one of the most important tasks at hand. You must allow the people that you lead to develop alongside you.
Of course, as people move into more senior positions, their specific domain expertise tends to go down as they develop the ability to communicate across a broader set of company disciplines. Their soft skills actually improve. They begin to spend less time “in the trenches” and more time looking for overarching solutions—which is great. Which means, at this point that, assuming specific, deep domain expertise becomes slightly less of a priority, motivational and organization skills should increase respectively.
We don’t need to look far to find evidence of the overwhelming tendency to equate strong leadership with good leadership. As Brown puts it, think about the last time you heard someone say, “What we need is a weak leader.”
Finally, accept that we all make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. When you do, try to learn the lessons, but don’t be destabilised. Someone told me once: “don’t chew the cud”. Keep moving forward, be resilient, remember that things will get better. And smile.
This is critical because the longer you or an employee withholds key information, the more it hurts your organization. It prevents you from building trust and an open environment that will develop your team. You’ll earn credibility when you are open to feedback and work toward making changes to fix issues as they arise.
The relationship between assertiveness and leadership emergence is curvilinear; individuals who are either low in assertiveness or very high in assertiveness are less likely to be identified as leaders.
Good leaders develop productive teams, efficient systems and a positive corporate culture. But good leadership doesn’t just happen. Good leaders possess positive personal characteristics, such as integrity, dedication, a sense of fairness and creativity. And good leaders know how to inspire the best in others by being good listeners and motivators. Although many leadership qualities are innate, born into a person, other qualities can be learned.
Great leaders have a remarkable impact on the people they encounter. They’re motivated to achieve big things and they do it by guiding, challenging and supporting others. The work is difficult and sometimes vexing, but it’s remarkably rewarding.
However, this is only the beginning of the road for those who want to be truly successful in business. Overcoming your fears and getting started is noble, but the true tests of a fearless entrepreneur will be constant, from initiating a conversation at a networking mixer, asking for the sale on a major deal, severing ties with a partner who is causing harm to the venture, and perhaps the most frightening of all situations – watching a business fail (it happened to Henry Ford twice before he designed his famous assembly line!) One who can fail miserably and not be scared to dust themselves off and try again and again until they are successful is truly fearless.
Regardless of how old you are, where you live, or what your career goals are, it’s likely your ultimate goals in life are to be happy and successful. To be successful means more than just having money and making your mark. It means following your passions, living purposefully, and enjoying the present moment.
Follow up on opportunities. If you have a chance to shine, take it. If you are worried you won’t have time and energy for a good opportunity, ask yourself: would this contribute to my end goals? If it would, then get rid of other commitments in order to pursue this opportunity.
There is a collective sigh from leaders for the first time in recent history as the slow tide of economic recovery washes in. For some, the sigh may be more or less audible. Nevertheless, leaders are moving away from expending energy on preventing failure or avoiding crisis and shifting their energy toward creating new growth opportunities and seeking fresh success strategies.
Zdravko Cvijetic is an educator, and an entrepreneur, with a B.A. in Adult Education & Lifelong Learning. He is the founder of Zero To Skill, a platform which provides useful content on how to become a top-performer in life by mastering your habits and productivity and use it to build a personal brand. If you enjoyed his article, don’t forget to get his free e-book: “The Ultimate Productivity Cheat Sheet.”
An organization that is established as an instrument or means for achieving defined objectives has been referred to as a formal organization. Its design specifies how goals are subdivided and reflected in subdivisions of the organization. Divisions, departments, sections, positions, jobs, and tasks make up this work structure. Thus, the formal organization is expected to behave impersonally in regard to relationships with clients or with its members. According to Weber’s definition, entry and subsequent advancement is by merit or seniority. Employees receive a salary and enjoy a degree of tenure that safeguards them from the arbitrary influence of superiors or of powerful clients. The higher one’s position in the hierarchy, the greater one’s presumed expertise in adjudicating problems that may arise in the course of the work carried out at lower levels of the organization. It is this bureaucratic structure that forms the basis for the appointment of heads or chiefs of administrative subdivisions in the organization and endows them with the authority attached to their position.
Jump up ^ Matthews, Michael D.; Eid, Jarle; Kelly, Dennis; Bailey, Jennifer K. S.; Peterson, Christopher. “Character strengths and virtues of developing military leaders: An international comparison”. Military Psychology. 18 (Suppl): S57–S68. doi:10.1207/s15327876mp1803s_5.
Ma became a billionaire not just through brilliant management but also by leading his company in a big, brash way. From the day in 1999 when he founded Alibaba in a Hangzhou apartment, he has exhorted employees to “think big” and “work for their dreams!” He did that himself and built Alibaba into the world’s largest online business, with some 100 million shoppers a day and higher revenues than Amazon and eBay combined.
2. Lead from the Front: Gone are the days when the leaders would be cooped up in administrative rooms while the real action would take place at the battle front. In the corporate world, unless the leader gets down to the brass tacks with the team members, the leader would not be respected.
4.3.1. “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.” –Thomas J. Watson
Those who are happy in both business and if life are those who are grateful for the world they live in. These are the people who make sure to thank the barista for their coffee in the mornings, who open the door for others, who actually listen to those who they have conversations with. Successful entrepreneurs should never forget all the people, places and things that have played a role in their lives that helped them get from their humble beginnings to where they are today. The next time you’re flying on a plane, remember the comedian Louis CK’s amazing observation that you’re “sitting in a chair in the sky”, and be grateful for all the wonderful things we get to experience every day.
Leaders emerge from within the structure of the informal organization. Their personal qualities, the demands of the situation, or a combination of these and other factors attract followers who accept their leadership within one or several overlay structures. Instead of the authority of position held by an appointed head or chief, the emergent leader wields influence or power. Influence is the ability of a person to gain co-operation from others by means of persuasion or control over rewards. Power is a stronger form of influence because it reflects a person’s ability to enforce action through the control of a means of punishment.
He’s the most accomplished leader in global finance. Operating in the economy’s most hobbled and reviled sector since the 2008 meltdown, Chenault has kept AmEx (AXP) noncontroversial, strong, stable, and admired. At least twice during the crisis he declined offers to lead even larger institutions, insiders say. Chenault previously led the company through the 9/11 attacks, which decimated travel, the basis of its business.
Some theorists started to synthesize the trait and situational approaches. Building upon the research of Lewin et al., academics began to normalize the descriptive models of leadership climates, defining three leadership styles and identifying which situations each style works better in. The authoritarian leadership style, for example, is approved in periods of crisis but fails to win the “hearts and minds” of followers in day-to-day management; the democratic leadership style is more adequate in situations that require consensus building; finally, the laissez-faire leadership style is appreciated for the degree of freedom it provides, but as the leaders do not “take charge”, they can be perceived as a failure in protracted or thorny organizational problems. Thus, theorists defined the style of leadership as contingent to the situation, which is sometimes classified as contingency theory. Four contingency leadership theories appear more prominently in recent years: Fiedler contingency model, Vroom-Yetton decision model, the path-goal theory, and the Hersey-Blanchard situational theory.
In fact, in organizations, one of the reasons employees are promoted to positions such as team leader, supervisor, or department manager, is that they have demonstrated over time that people will follow them.
Efficient leaders are those who can’t only work tactically and strategically, but can also be able to lead their team towards a specific goal. Because their efforts are not directed at gaining personal benefits or control, the good leader’s aim is to make sure things happen.
5. Excellent persuasion abilities. People have to believe in you and your credibility. Image is everything and the belief people have in you, your product, your mission, your facts or your reputation are key to being a great leader. You have to persuade people of this — it doesn’t just happen.
But some of the most fascinating profiles in the book are of leaders on the other end of the spectrum—the ones you probably didn’t dwell on in history class. These leaders didn’t insist on their own infallibility or claim exclusive power over policy decisions. And yet they pulled off incredible feats of leadership simply by working with others and seeking advice when they needed it.
Personal Story: I believe that creativity in business comes from outside inspiration. For example, I enjoy cooking/grilling, interior design and graphic design (it helps that I have interior design and BBQ retail clients). But I make a point to find time for these creative activities which are not only therapeutic but they can also ignite my professional creativity. What are your creative outlets?
The ability to render that judgment can sometimes make or break a company. “The phrase ‘public confidence, private doubt’ comes to mind,” observes Joe Badaracco. “If leaders disclosed all their concerns and doubts, stock prices would plummet, their competitors would be all over them, and employees would be jumping ship. But even if you can’t be absolutely open with everyone, leaders have to confront their companies’ problems and, of course, share them with top management.”