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5 Small Changes You Can Make to Be a More Inspiring Leader




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Many of you reading this aren’t CEOs of billion-dollar corporations. Well, maybe not yet. As much as you aren’t the leader for such a large organisation, you may be a leader in some way. Perhaps a project manager, or a manager in your company. And you are facing a problem. Your team isn’t motivated. Because of that, you start to question your leadership potential.

Believe it or not, being a better leader isn’t far from you. Here are 5 small, yet significant actions you can take to become a more inspiring leader:

1. Care for those you lead, instead of criticising them

When you see an employee whose productivity is below average, the most natural thing to do is to criticise them. In fact, I have been on the receiving end of such treatment before. I realised that my respect for those kinds of people quickly deteriorate. On the other hand, there is a group of leaders whom I look up to and respect. This group of leaders are those who have empathy.

Instead of criticising someone who is not productive, they ask a simple yet powerful question, “Are you okay?” What I often realise among people is that they tend to have underlying issues that result in their drop in productivity.

By caring for your followers, you build trust with them. Although your team’s productivity may fall in the short-term, in the long run your team will perform exceedingly well because they trust you to lead them.

2. Listen before preaching

I know you are a pretty smart person. You may know a lot about your business and how things work. However, that does not mean that you don’t have to listen to others.

One of the greatest tech titans of all time, Steve Jobs, is a person who is known to change his mind. He has a great intellect and talent for innovation, yet he still chooses to listen to people. Through listening to others, he questions his current ideas and refines them.

As Stephen Covey wrote in his book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,’ highly effective people seek first to understand. They don’t listen simply out of respect. What you can do is to forget what you want to say and listen to others when they are speaking.

When you do so, you will realise that many of your ideas have great room for improvement. Just this simple act of listening before preaching can cause you to be viewed as empathetic and innovative.

“To say that a person feels listened to means a lot more than just their ideas get heard. It’s a sign of respect. It makes people feel valued.” – Deborah Tannen

3. Think in terms of the team, and not self

One of the greatest challenges leaders face is when they meet someone who is smarter than them. If you were to recall honestly, I am sure you have met many of such people before right? A natural tendency is to shut them out so that you can be viewed as superior.

That may prove to be counterproductive for you. As leadership guru John Maxwell wrote in his book ‘21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,’ secure people are the ones who give away power. These are the ones who encourage rising leaders to step up.

He mentions that by doing so, leaders don’t lose their jobs. In fact, they become even more irreplaceable to the company because of the impact they create.

Should you be facing a similar situation currently, I want to challenge you to work towards the benefit of your team instead. Sorry to say, but your ego isn’t the most important thing. In the end, it is about how well the team performs.

When you think that way, you will, as ironic as it may seem, be seen as an inspirational and confident leader.

4. Have tough conversations, instead of taking the easy way out

In the book ‘The Trillion Dollar Coach’, former Google executives Alan Eagle, Eric Schmidt, and Jonathan Rosenberg wrote a biography on the life of Bill Campbell. Bill Campbell was known for his exemplary coaching abilities, where he mentored many of today’s multi-billion dollar companies before they became wildly successful, one of them being Google.

One characteristic about Bill was that he never ignored the elephant in the room. There was once in Google where two different product leaders were arguing about which team should manage a particular group of products. The argument was heated and no one wanted to step in.

However, Bill got involved and he made the difficult meeting happen, where one executive won and the other lost. It may seem tempting to ignore these situations, but they can come back to bite you in the future. To lead a high-performing team, it is imperative to resolve such underlying tension as soon as possible.

“Leadership is about recognizing that there’s a greatness in everyone, and your job is to create an environment where that greatness can emerge.” – Bill Campbell

5. Instead of simply explaining, add in useful analogies

When it comes to leadership, the leaders that strike you may be loud and charismatic leaders. Sure, it helps to be charismatic, but not everyone has charisma. Yet, you still have the ability to influence those around you.

In Barry Posner and James Kouzes’s book ‘The Leadership Challenge,’ they describe how great leaders communicate their vision through studies of thousands of leaders. This is what they concluded. Inspiring leaders “use metaphors and analogies; they give us examples, tell stories, and relate anecdotes.”

By using analogies, you can explain abstract concepts in a simple way. You will thus be able to relate to the people whom you are leading.

Leadership may seem difficult at first glance. Fret not, there are 5 simple but powerful steps you can take to become a more inspiring leader. These 5 ways don’t take a whole lot of effort to put into practice, yet the only question is, “Are you willing to become a better leader?”

What do you think is the best quality of a great leader? Share your thoughts with us below!

Nathanael Siew is the founder of the personal development website Wise Living Today, a website aimed at inspiring people to see the world through a lens of hope. With in-depth content and fresh insights, his articles empower readers to live a more meaningful and effective life. Get your FREE handbook + checklist on “The 9-Step Guide to Applying ANY Advice in your Life”!

Success Advice

10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business




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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Success Advice

Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide




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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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Success Advice

5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success




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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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Success Advice

5 Changes in Your Habits That Will Help You Thrive




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We’ve all found ourselves at the bottom at least once in our lives. We thought that everything’s ruined and there’s no going back. The truth is – there’s always going back. Moreover, it takes one to fall many times and feel like everything’s ruined to succeed in life. (more…)

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