You just finished your umpteenth leadership book, and you want to hurl it across the room.
The advice isn’t bad, in fact, it’s flawless. You absolutely get what you have to do.
You’re supposed to serve the people you lead. Even love them, celebrate with them, and mourn with them.
Remember what they share about their personal lives. Listen deeply to them.
Show them you set high standards and expect at least as much from yourself as you do from them.
When witless policies and procedures threaten to demotivate your team, you should absorb the shock so they can get on with their excellent work.
Yeah, you get what you should do. What’s missing is how to become such a leader.
Follow these tips to become a leader, who talented people, will knock down doors to work for.
1. Prepare Yourself To Lead
You’re there to serve the people you lead, so it’s not really all about you.
Paradoxically, you can’t wholeheartedly serve them unless you’ve prepared yourself. And not by taking another class or workshop.
Instead, establish a regular contemplative practice.
Set aside a quiet, peaceful corner in your home, and start your day with meditation.
As you calm down, you’ll be more present to yourself and others, which will support your team’s well-being.
You’ll also have more energy to ride smoothly through your workplace chaos.
Next, try these tips to polish your leadership qualities:
- Accept that being a leader means you’ll be regularly interrupted, so you’ll need to shift seamlessly between fine-pointed concentration and more expansive awareness.
- Use the power of your calendar to set and stick to a schedule so your work doesn’t constantly spill over into your personal life.
- Get and preserve clarity about your business priorities. While this sounds like a no-brainer, you can lose track of them easily when work gets frantic.
Leadership is a tough gig and needs the same dedicated approach to excellence as any other demanding profession.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. ” – John Maxwell
2. Regularly Replenish Your Leadership Reserves
No matter how well you prepare yourself, you know how it goes when you’re in a leadership role.
You’re often on the run, and time flashes by.
Suddenly, you snap the head off the next person who strolls into your office.
You regret their shocked expression as they back away slowly. Surely they’ll forgive you.
You scrabble through your desk drawers for that stash of chocolate you’re certain you hadn’t yet finished. “Please, God, let there be at least a bite left!”
Then all you want to do is put your head down on your desk for just one minute and, bam! For the next few minutes, you’re lights out.
Not so fun, right?
To keep yourself in top leadership form, do the following throughout your workday to “sharpen the saw,” as Stephen Covey put it:
- Pause for a few minutes, especially when everything’s frantic. Lean back in your chair and dial down your brain. Close your eyes, put up your feet, and cross your arms behind your head. But tell your boss and team what you’re doing so they don’t think you’re slacking off! Encourage them to do the same.
- Build personal time into your calendar, 15 minutes here and there, especially right after an event that you know drains your energy. Mark the time private. Go for a walk, shut your door, and do some jumping jacks or yoga stretches. Get your body moving and rejuvenate your mind at the same time.
- Honor your intuition. Bring it into the mix of factors you consider when making a decision. Research shows that intuition is a powerful addition to your capabilities. And when you repress or ignore it, you may actually harm yourself over time.
3. Have The Heart Of A Lion
You’re there to buffer your team and absorb the inevitable workplace ridiculousness so they can get on with their excellent work.
Like pushing back against absurd policies that seem deliberately crafted to demoralize talented people.
Or taking a cue from the most successful sports coaches and spending most of your time with your top performers, which is opposite from what most of us are exhorted to do.
Even banishing group-speaking by creating an environment where everyone can speak up and contribute their ideas safely — yet being fiercely compassionate and calling out detrimental behavior when it occurs, rather than leaving it to fester.
If you’ve ever been in a workplace where someone was behaving badly, but the managers lacked the courage to address the poor behavior, you know how damaging it can be.
Being fearful of confrontation is natural. But as John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
As a leader, you are always on stage. People will take their cues from you.
Model the behavior you’d like them to emulate.
4. Be Relentlessly Humble
Authentic servant leadership isn’t, in the end, all about you. If you think you’re all that and a bag of chips, it’s time to recalibrate!
Be willing to re-consider every detail about who you firmly believe yourself to be. Letting go of your idea of a fixed persona is one of the fastest ways to hone yourself as a leader and adapt your style to suit the circumstances.
Challenge yourself to examine your assumptions.
Although ongoing questioning of yourself seems like the behavior of an insecure person, it’s not. You’ll need robust self-confidence.
Seek your team’s opinion, especially when you’re stumped on a problem. You hired excellent people, right? Don’t be afraid to crowd-source a solution.
Apologize to your team and the rest of your colleagues when you’ve stepped in it. Offer up an apology, take your licks, and tell them how you’ll make amends.
And take what you do seriously but don’t take yourself seriously.
“Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.” – Brian Tracy
Are You Ready To Be A Crackerjack Leader?
No matter the size or scope of your organization, you can become an excellent leader.
When you do, your exceptional qualities will draw exceptionally talented people to you.
They’ll call and ask if you have any job openings because they heard you were great to work for.
Even if you don’t have a job coming up, they’ll ask you to please keep them in mind the next time you have something suitable.
They will also be selling themselves to you, making it easier for you to build an outstanding team.
People who already work for you will turn down transfers, and sometimes even promotions, to keep you as their leader. They’ll brag to their colleagues about the fantastic place they work for, and the great boss they have.
Your team will deliver excellent results.
When you’re a stand-out leader, talented people will crawl over broken glass to work for you.
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5 Hacks to Improve Your Writing Skills in English for ESL Learners
Studying in college is hard for everyone, but ESL learners arguably suffer the most. Moving to a foreign country, learning a new language, and keeping pace with the rest of the class may seem like an unbearable burden. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but you have to pull through and not give up.
In moments like this, it’s always a good idea to seek help. Whether you go to WriteMyPaper to order an essay or just talk to a friend, admitting vulnerability is an important step towards improvement. In this article, you will find some tips on how to get better at essay writing, even if English is not your native language.
Control Your Environment
Improving your language skills is all about constant practice. Living in an English-speaking community is the first thing you should do to start your practice. It might be tempting to surround yourself with people who already speak a familiar language. However, this way, you won’t be practicing English on a daily basis.
You need to make those lessons almost intuitive in a way that you don’t have to do anything to learn the language. If you live in an English-speaking community, for example, if your roommate speaks English, you will have to practice the language, whether you want it or not.
Still, make sure you don’t take it too far. Taking care of yourself is still as important as ever. Feeling like an alien for the sake of education is not worth it. Remember to keep in touch with your friends and family, talk to them as often as necessary.
Practicing language is not just about doing your homework. You can make practicing English a normal part of your daily routine by watching TV, listening to music, and reading books in this language.
Yet, this is a bit tricky. When being surrounded by white noise, people tend to learn not to notice it. You need to ensure this doesn’t happen. As you watch movies or read books, maintain your attention on what you’re doing. If you hear or see a word that you don’t understand – translate it and write it down. Be mindful and remember what you’re doing this for.
Writing Is The Answer
If you want to specifically learn to write, you need to do one thing, and that is to write. Continuous practice will help you understand what mistakes you often make and, in time, eliminate them. Focus on your goal, and don’t get discouraged when something’s not working. After all, even Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Get a journal and write in it daily. Pick a new topic every time and note everything you can think of. It’s also important that you write by hand, a spelling checker in your computer is tempting, but it will not help you remember how to spell words correctly.
Besides, journaling as a habit has multiple health benefits, and it can be therapeutic. It can help you get in touch with yourself and process your emotions better.
Learn In a Group
It’s proven that learning in a group is more efficient due to the sense of competition. Find a bunch of like-minded people who want to study with you or join an already existing one, like a speaking club.
The benefit of such activities is that you get all these people from entirely different backgrounds who are all good at various things. This will help you exchange experiences, which is impossible if you’re alone.
Schedule regular meetings, come up with topics to discuss and activities to do. You could watch videos or movies together, or talk about common things. Having assignments like describing an event can also be beneficial for the entire group. This way, while one person speaks, the rest think about how they would say the same things differently.
This will help you feel more confident in your skills and, consequently, speak and write better.
The most important thing about learning a language is not to be afraid of making mistakes. It’s inevitable; you just have to take it as a natural part of a learning process.
A child that is learning how to walk doesn’t give up after falling once, and you shouldn’t either. It’s most likely that your friends understand that you’re just learning a language, and they won’t laugh at you for misusing a word or a few.
Get over that fear of error and make as many mistakes as it will take. Treat it lightly, and don’t beat yourself up for it. On the other hand, try to attend as many events as you can that will expose you to the foreign language. Not only will it boost your English skills, but also improve your social confidence!
Learning a language is hard; there’s no arguing about that. However, it’s going to get easier with time. Take every hard thing that life throws at you and turn it into a lesson.
Watch your favorite movies in English, converse with native speakers, and you’ll see the improvement very soon!
Remember to be patient about it. Don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up over something that you have so little control of. Good luck!
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