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6 Key Ways to Become a Highly Respected Leader

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Becoming a leader

Although it is often said that leaders are born and not made, this is incorrect and should be ignored. Most people have the ability to become a leader. However few have the steely determination that is required to learn leadership.

There are many articles on how to develop and hone leadership skills, but it’s very unlikely you’ll adopt them. To become an effective leader involves a lot of hard work and practice.  If you have that mindset, you are ready to learn leadership skills. It is important to prioritise leadership skills in order to maximise the return on all your hard work. 

I have laid out the 6 key elements below. Master these skills and you will have laid the foundation to become a great leader:

1. Know your field

Gary Vaynerchuk, is a hugely successful entrepreneur with over 800 employees. He has often said that he is a practitioner. He uses a metaphor ‘Clouds and dirt’ to represent his dream (the clouds) and learning all the details of his craft (dirt). Everything in-between such as office politics, ego, etc are not important. Watch the video here: 

Knowing the ins and outs of your company at the most basic level allows you to make informed decisions. A leader earns respect by making the right decisions. Even the most charismatic leader will eventually lose credibility if they don’t know what they are doing. Poor decisions will also impact the company’s performance. Leaders can inspire and motivate a team but without a good understanding of their company they will lead their team in the wrong direction.

“If you spend an extra hour each day of study in your chosen field you will be a national expert in that field in five years or less.” – Earl Nightingale 

2. Learn how to be confident

Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher once said, ‘In the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.’ Confident individuals often gain respect without being the brightest spark. A study by David Dunning and Justin Kruger showed that the unintelligent get confident while the smart get modest. Does this sound familiar?

Although we may like to think leaders are the ones that know best, it is often not true. Once you know your field well, it’s important to learn the skill of being confident. Without it you’ll be another intelligent voice that falls on deaf ears. Like it or not, it is human nature to follow and respect confident individuals. To be a leader you need to be confident.

3. Listen to and understand your employees 

It is often the perception that the boss knows what needs to be done and spends most of their time telling people how to do it. It is important to understand that the most effective leaders listen the most and only exercise their authority when it is needed. The strongest person in the room is usually the quietest. 

Richard Branson once said “Great leaders are great listeners, who know their best asset is the people they work with”. When you understand and support your employees you make the transition from a manager to a leader. 

4. Take full responsibility

Harold J. Smith once said “more people would learn from their mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them”. People prefer to pass on blame than accept responsibility. Although it may get you off the hook, you will slowly lose credibility. Taking responsibility earns you respect. Everyone makes mistakes. It is how you deal with them that defines you.  

In the years I have built my company, I have learnt the first step in learning from your mistakes is to take responsibility for them. Denying responsibility may be an easy option but you are missing out on the chance to improve. To be a true leader it is mandatory to improve yourself. If you are not prepared to better yourself how can you expect your team to improve? To be successful requires continuous self-improvement; true leaders know this.

5. Delegate properly

There are right ways to delegate and there are wrong ways. Firstly, you need to prioritise tasks. Typically the leader should deal with the most important tasks. The least important tasks should be delegated to employees low in the hierarchy. It sounds so simple but when you are in a position of power it’s tempting to shy away from those hard tasks that are often the most important.

Some leaders can be perfectionists such as Steve Jobs. Perfectionism may allow you to climb the ranks but it can lead to micromanagement. A leader that micromanages is fighting a losing battle. The aim of a company is to grow, that means more tasks and more responsibility. 

Eventually there comes a point where micromanagement significantly reduces productivity. True leaders learn not to manage everything. Instead they focus on understanding their team so that they can delegate tasks to the most suitable employees.

“The inability to delegate is one of the biggest problems I see with managers at all levels.” – Eli Broad

6. Think of the big picture

Leaders have a vision for the company and have a strategy to achieve it. It’s common for employees to implement tasks and leave the strategy as an afterthought. Therefore a leader always needs to be thinking of the bigger picture. 

Without a common vision a company can quickly lose direction. Leaders often have to make tough decisions that sacrifice short term profitability in order to achieve their long term vision.

Ultimately, leaders think on a different level to the rest of us. To become one you need to learn these six leadership skills.

What other ways do you lead in your business? Please leave your thoughts below!

My name is Andy Margison I am the founder and director of ZZap Ltd. From an early age I have had a burning passion to run my own business. At the age of 9 I started my first car washing business, at 11 my own gardening business and at 14 I sold confectionary from my school locker. I have always loved entrepreneurism. I believe work ethic is the foundation to being successful. If you truly want something bad enough you can achieve it.

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How Your Friends Determine Whether You Succeed or Not

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Can anyone do without having friends? We all have our friends, we share ideas with them, talk together, have fun, and fight. Yes, that’s the baseline of friendship. But, do you know that aside from you, your friends can determine whether you achieve success or not?

There are two things in friendship which are the ability to ”love” and the ability to “influence”. This means you are loved and you are influenced. How do your friends affect your success in life? How are they one of the biggest deciding factors of your success? Let’s find out.

What type of friends do you keep? 

First, what type of friends do you keep? Who do you call your best friend? There are two different kinds of friends, good friends, and bad ones. A lot of people have lost their pathway to success and some have also found their road to success all because of the friends they keep, the people they mingle with. 

Who is your best friend? Answer carefully. Having a best friend means you find each other compatible and understanding. Analyze who your best friend is. If your best friend has not motivated you to do something positive, if who you call your bestie has never given you positive advice, lastly if your best friend has never informed and advised you on your shortcomings, then you don’t have a best friend.

This quote tells us “birds of the same feather flock together”. Countless people have changed from their good nature into a bad one all because of friends. One thing to note is, “negative people move with negative aura”. If your best friend is filled with negativity inside-out then you will surely be affected by his/her negative aura.

They influence your success with positivity or negativity 

The friends you keep can either influence you with positivity or negativity because your friends have the power to change your kind of person completely. 

This is how your friends influence you:

  1. They influence you indirectly with what they do
  2. They influence you directly by teaching and giving you advice 

Yes, that is how they influence you. For instance, you watch a movie and you like the way the actor walks. The question is if you truly like the way the actor walks, won’t you try to imitate the actor? Of course, you will.

Just the way you imitate the actor is the same way your friends can influence you with their character. However, the funny part is, they don’t have to teach you to do things like them. You just find yourself imitating and copying them gradually.

An important question to ask is, are you imitating a good friend or a bad one? If you imitate a good friend then you will be good, but if you imitate a bad person, you will surely become a bad person.

Everyone wants to succeed, a good friend will always teach, enlighten, and motivate you for success. A bad friend will only motivate you to do evil things (smoking, drinking, fight, envy,).

And you should know that things like that are a great enemy of success and even of God. So, if you have these bad elements in your life, how will you achieve success? There is no way!

And also, they can teach and advise you directly. But, what do your friends teach you? When you ask them for advice do they inspire you positively or teach you the bad stuff.? A lot of people have regretted lifelong decisions just by listening to the advice of friends. 

The company you keep has the power to influence and change you. Never forget that a positive influence will teach, motivate, and brush you up for success. While a negative influence will inspire you to become a bad person, change your good nature, and leave you with regrets in the end.

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The 3 Step Process to Building a Profitable Pitch

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As a communication coach, one of the top questions entrepreneurs ask me is how to deliver a winning pitch to potential investors. They want to know if there’s a magic formula to get an investor to say yes and buy into their dream and their business. (more…)

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The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance

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Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

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Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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why you should have a podcast
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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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