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8 (More) Things Real Leaders Do Last

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Leadership leaders eat last simon sinek

Leadership expert Simon Sinek’s most recent work, Leaders Eat Last, had it’s title inspired by the powerful culture and ethos of the Marines whose leaders literally eat last. A simple act, but profound effects; it carries with it a powerful message that trickles from the top–down, and ultimately becomes the DNA of the whole organisation.

It’s a paradoxical flip when compared with the typical image of an ambitious person crushing everything in their path—first in, best dressed, right? But it wasn’t what the Officers did first, it was what they did last.

Leadership is contagious. What is modelled by leaders is mimicked by others. As you build strong leadership habits, rather than thinking what could you do first, consider the effects of what you do last.

In honour of Simon Sinek’s great work, here are 8 (more) things that real leaders do last:

 

1. Leaders Battle Last

“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.” – Sun Tzu

Leaders navigate through conflicts and trials as though no such thing ever took place. They have developed a keen foresight—seeing problems on the horizon and handling them well before they hit the shore and do any damage. They prefer the prevention rather than the cure.

If you see sparks setting off in your life, put them out before they turn into an inferno. It’s easy to let a crack turn into a canyon. Don’t just focus on where things are currently at, but where things may be heading. You may need to change your trajectory.

 

2. Leaders Speak Last

They allow others the freedom to express their opinion. They understand that happy employees are those given a voice, and feel part of the company. But leaders don’t just take everything on board, they assess and weigh up all contributions. Then, they speak last and tie everything together with their expertise.

Leaders know they can learn from anyone, but they excel in making the right decisions and choosing the best options. It is neither a dictatorship, nor is it a democracy. Good leadership is striking that perfect balance in between.

 

3. Leaders Celebrate Last

Because it’s not over till the fat lady sings. Leaders don’t take the pedal off the metal until they’ve well and truly crossed the finish line. The job is not done once it’s signed, sealed, and delivered; it’s done once it’s received, unpacked, and performed. Leaders see things through a panoramic lens.

Getting the product out there is one thing, making sure it performs with great satisfaction is another. You may make some sales in the short run, but you’ll never sustain a healthy career.

A sub-10 second sprint is pointless if you are trying to run a marathon.

 

4. Leaders Hire Last

The popular business mantra is to hire slow and fire fast. Leaders know that anyone can look like a superstar on paper. It’s easy to dazzle in a dress but not on the dance-floor. The leader says to the potential person:

“Don’t tell me, show me.”

Because quality will beat qualifications every single time.

It’s so easy to get excited during the previews. But you can’t get a refund once you’ve watched the whole thing—enough damage has already been done. Leaders let initial excitements die down before signing the dotted line. A great honeymoon doesn’t guarantee a great marriage.

 

Leadership Picture Quote

 

5. Leaders Sweat Last

You’ve heard it said:

“Work smart, not hard.”

Leaders do both. But they work smart, before they work hard.

They push for productivity, and efficiency. They’re by no means shy about hard work, but they look for potent strategies before applying the elbow grease. They understand the 80/20 rule and create habits that kill ten birds with one stone. Leaders know how to maximise their strengths and outsource their weaknesses.

Are you spending more time labouring over your weaknesses rather than building on your strengths? Know when to be smart and delegate and when to be efficient and get your hands dirty.

 

6. Leaders Sleep Last

Before they nod off, leaders ask themselves:

“What did I do well today? And what do I need to improve upon?”

They know that mistakes are only failures when you don’t learn from them. And much learning comes from reflecting on the events of each day—to build on the positives and cut out the negatives.

As Earl Nightingale said:

“Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy goal or ideal.”

Remember that the progressive realisation comes from the progressive practice of your successful habits. Hindsight is always 20/20 and crucial for building the foresight and future for successful leadership. Reflect before you sleep.

 

7. Leaders Ask “How” Last

They ask the more important “Why” question first. Friedrich Nietzsche said:

“He who has a why can endure any how.”

Before a leader engages in building anything, they know that a successful endeavour will depend upon building a foundation of a deeper meaning and deeper “Why.” They know that difficulties and obstacles will certainly arise. At that point, though they possess all the how knowledge to finish a project, it is the why knowledge that brings it to completion.

We have enough information available to learn how to do just about anything. The reason anything gets accomplished is because there’s a powerful enough reason and purpose behind it. Consequently, the reason why you may not be getting anything accomplished is because you haven’t thought enough about why you would like to accomplish your goal.

What’s your why?

 

8. Leaders Get Off The Ship Last

It is an unspoken, but unbreakable rule—the captain is the last to leave a ship. A former P&O captain said:

“At sea, you have a great sense of responsibility for the people who are beneath you—you need to stay as long as anyone else remains.”

The most tragic ship wrecks are the ones where the captain is the first to abandon the crew.

A leader does not step into a role without accepting the significant responsibilities. They know that every decision they make affects a multitude of lives. If they steer the ship south, everyone on board is going south. If the ship sinks, they were the one behind the wheel.

Being the last to leave means honouring your responsibilities. Being a leader entails having followers. Peter Parker was told:

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

If you’re a leader that’s ignorant of your responsibilities, your ship is headed toward an iceberg.

 

If you haven’t already make sure you watch Simon Sinek’s speech about “Why Leaders Eat Last”

A refugee from Vietnam, raised in Australia, with a BA from Texas, Thai writes for many publications including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Addicted2Success. A professional chef, international kickboxer, and spiritual teacher, Thai is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. Signup for his free weekly Infographics at TheUtopianLife.com | Connect @ThaiWins | On Facebook 

Success Advice

7 Ways to Share Your Story on Social Media

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Content marketing is “A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services”. In other words, explicit marketing is simply saying “buy my stuff!” whereas content marketing is the art of persuading people to do so through storytelling. (more…)

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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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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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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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