Connect with us

Success Advice

6 Key Ways to Become a Highly Respected Leader

Published

on

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.

Success Advice

3 Books to Help You Learn How to Write Better and More Effectively

Published

on

books that will teach you how to write better
Image Credit: Unsplash

“It’s been 2 years since I left writing, how would I start it again?” I cried to my friend. Telling him how I failed to generate regular income from sources other than writing, and how I am drowning in 1 million dollars of debt. I left writing because I felt it was the core reason for my depression, but I was totally wrong. It was not the writing that triggered my stress hormones, the real culprit was not knowing “how to write and grow”. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

The Incredible Journey of Steve Jobs and How Apple Revolutionised the Tech Industry

Published

on

the steve jobs story
Image Credit: Albert Watson

Steven Paul Jobs, a well-known American business magnate, and successful entrepreneur, is widely renowned as an innovator of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. By being kicked out of the company he helped create, he took it over again and created a unique image of a computer for the rest of us.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs

Blue Mail Media has neatly curated this story of how Apple was built and the man behind its creation and growth. Although it’s impossible to sum up Steve Jobs’ success in a single shot, this Infographic has taken some key points, and it helps you in discovering the lessons from his efforts along with a brief history of his successful empire.

(more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

5 Actionable Tips to Write Better Blog Posts in a Short Amount of Time

Published

on

how to write better blog posts
Image Credit: Unsplash

An article that can create value consistently is the key to building an uber-successful blog. However, many bloggers find it tough to write what readers love reading. Starting a blog is easy but maintaining it and nurturing it for months and years is a difficult task. Often, bloggers find little time to write for weeks and slowly go offline with no articles being published. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

7 Steps to Conquering the Fears That Are Holding You Back From Success

Published

on

how to conquer your fears

I remember the day in vivid detail. I was on a weekend trip visiting my girlfriend at the time in Arizona. She had decided that we should join her friends to go “cliff jumping.”  We were early on in our dating and she obviously had no idea that I was not fond of heights. So “cliffs” and jumping off of them… No thanks! (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending