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If you want to be a leader you have to be prepared to lead. It does require self-confidence. You have to be able to judge when to listen, when to think and when to decide. When you make decisions you need to stick with them through adversity if you are sure they are right, and to see them through. People like continuity. If at some point you conclude that you were wrong, you need to be big enough to change and to explain why. The best solution is to make the right decisions! It is more important to make good decisions than fast decisions.
Traditional leadership logic (leader-follower) says that organizations need a strong leader to take command and control over an organization in order for it to succeed. This model worked exceptionally well in the past, when workers were performing tasks that are more physical in nature like construction or building widgets on an assembly line.
The Law of Respect states that people naturally respect and follow leaders who rank higher than them on the leadership scale. So, if a 7, you’ll be the leader in a room of 6s and below but as soon as an 8 walks in, you’ll look to them.
Apart from the 14 other companies he has founded, Diamandis presides over X Prize Foundation, which hosts $10 million competitions to solve global problems. “He has an infectious optimism, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” says futurist Ray Kurzweil. He makes “each person understand that their role is critical to the success of their organization and in turn that the overall project is critical to transforming the world.”
While Peter Economy has spent the better part of two decades of his life slugging it out mano a mano in the management trenches, he is now a full-time ghostwriter and best-selling author of more than 85 books — including Managing for Dummies, Everything I Learned About Life I Learned in Dance Class, and User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product — with total sales in excess of two million copies. He has also served as associate editor for Leader to Leader for more than 12 years, where he has worked on projects with the likes of Jim Collins, Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, and many other top management and leadership thinkers. Visit him anytime at petereconomy.com.
In the 13 years since he left office, President Clinton has been a relentless and forceful advocate for a number of causes: the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, and the need to stem greenhouse gas emissions. Through his Clinton Global Initiative, he persuades billionaires, heads of state, and others to declare commitments (2,300 so far) to specific projects. (For more, see our interview with President Clinton in this package.)
Hit singles and doubles, not home runs. Of course, hitting a home run isn’t a bad thing at all! It’s just that you can’t rely on them to win the game every single time. Try letting singles and doubles add up to the same value as home runs.
“Humility simply means you have a burning, driving, relentless ambition to serve and to win,” Collins told me, “Without the arrogance to delude yourself into believing that you are all knowing or always right.”
At the time, I convinced myself I had to communicate more with my team leads about “best practices” and “company direction” but the truth is, I should have demonstrated the ideas instead. I should have helped team members reach goals and paved the way for them by my example. It’s the difference between just giving information versus nurturing growth.
Luckily for most of us, personal success is not a matter of background, intelligence, or native ability. It’s not our family, friends, or contacts who enable us to do extraordinary things. Instead, the keys to success are our ability to get the very best out of ourselves under almost all conditions and circumstances. It is your ability to adapt and change your life.
This is called disproportionate impact — and it’s not simple. Most people have an ordinary impact in the world. They lead ordinary jobs, spend and save ordinary amounts of money, and when they work they affect an ordinary number of people.
“A leader places the people around him or her in a position that sets them up for success,” said Andor Kovacs, CEO and founder of property restoration brand Restoration 1. “This is a difficult task, because a leader must have an in-depth understanding of each individual, such as understanding their career goals and knowing what motivates them. By being committed to helping each person achieve their own personal goals, the leader sets the organization up for greatness.”
Stick to your commitments. Planning is not sufficient; keeping your word is also important. If you tell someone you will do something, do it. Similarly, don’t tell someone you will do something if you’re not sure you can. Be honest about your limits.
People with a fixed mindset think their intelligence or talents are pre-determined traits that cannot be changed. They also believe that talent alone leads to success — without hard work. But they’re wrong.
Discover what your talents are, develop them, and focus on applying them towards making a difference. What problems would your talents be best suited for? Think of problems in the broader sense – they’re not always easy to define.
Having the team understand their objectives is also crucial to their performance and success. Being able to communication the How, What, Where and Why of an organization’s objective to the team ensures that they are all moving harmoniously in one single direction. Leaders with good communication skills are also viewed as being more credible. Their charismatic nature increases the trust and confidence that the team has in their leader’s abilities.
You can not handle bad people. You need to focus on what you want and walk away from them. You can also talk to them and let them know that you are there, but your success comes before anything. Just remember that and just stay focused.
Try new things. Take some risk. Make yourself uncomfortable. Do the things that may risk making you look foolish – what do you have to lose? Leaders take risks. They are not afraid of doing what they believe.
The most successful organizations often have a mix of these leadership styles for teams and deliverables. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. The important thing is to understand where you fall, what your achievements and drawbacks are, and how you can grow or most benefit your team by considering adapting a slightly different leadership style.
Be educated. Education gives you the knowledge, skills, and credibility to achieve your maximum potential. In terms of financial success, statistics have shown that the more education you have (i.e. the higher degree you achieve), the more money you are likely to make.
Great leaders are who they say they are, and they have integrity beyond compare. Vulnerability and humility are hallmarks of the authentic leader and create a positive, attractive energy. Customers, employees, and media all want to help an authentic person to succeed. There used to be a divide between one’s public self and private self, but the social internet has blurred that line. Tomorrow’s leaders are transparent about who they are online, merging their personal and professional lives together.
Prioritize things. List the things you want to do and those you have to do. Include the time you spend eating, showering, etc. Start your day with something productive, maybe slow things down in the afternoon, and then get back to work or take care of chores in the evening. Leave the night open for relaxing. Cross off the things you accomplished and make a list for the next day of anything you didn’t finish.
If I asked you to define a leader, what would you say? If you’re like most people, you’d probably mention people like managers, politicians or maybe even trendsetters. Maxwell argues that all of the labels to determine who’s a leader and who’s not are wrong. He believes that a leader is someone who influences others. It’s that simple.
“A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter — or to others — is not a nice person. Watch out for those with situational value systems — people who turn the charm on and off depending on the status of the person with whom they’re interacting. Those people may be good actors, but they don’t become good leaders.”
Balance your life. It is important to remember that even as you work hard you should take some time to have fun. There is time for everything; set a time to have fun and never neglect your family and friends. It is also important to remember that you should get the work done first, and then have fun.
There’s no such thing as a fleeting cause célèbre for Jolie; since joining forces with the UN’s refugee agency in 2001, first as a goodwill ambassador and now as special envoy, she’s undertaken 50 field missions to countries including Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan. Her decision to explain her preemptive double mastectomy in a New York Times editorial, though controversial in some health circles, underscored her willingness to foster hard conversations by taking a public stand. “Angelina Jolie represents a new type of leadership in the 21st century,” says U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague, who has worked with Jolie on efforts to end a plague of rape in war-torn regions. “Her strength lies in the fact that she is able to influence governments and move public opinion at the same time.” That Jolie chooses to use her global influence to highlight neglected human rights and humanitarian issues, adds Hague, “is in keeping with the finest traditions of leadership.”