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How To *Not* Be A Spineless Leader

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Until recently, I thought I wasn’t a leader. Then a few months ago it all changed.

Consistently I started to get told that I was inspiring people. I was seeing the changes that people were making as a result of the blog posts I putting up on social media. I felt good. I felt like I had a purpose that made a difference.

Then I took the opposite approach: I decided to think about how to not fall into the trap of becoming a spineless leader. I’ve met many of them. They’re like walking zombies except they stand up straight and look like they have a normal spine. They don’t.

Here’s how to *not* be a spineless leader:

1. Don’t be a “Yes Man or Yes Woman”

Saying yes because you think others will appreciate you for it is spineless. Real leaders say what they think regardless of whether it’s the popular thing to say. Say what you think. Give honest feedback in a respectful way. It’s possible to do without your ego getting in the way.

2. Do the dirty work

Quick story for you all. I met a very senior leader that refused to ever talk to a customer. Their response to the question “Can you talk to a customer?” was, “I just do strategy,”

That’s the best description I can give of a spineless leader. Real leaders want to be in the trenches to understand what their people are going through. Real leaders know the front line better than anyone. It’s this knowledge that helps them steer the team in the right direction and make it out alive.

“Real leaders know that you have to do the dirty work before you can ever become a leader”

Once you get the illustrious title, it’s then your job to never be too precious of doing the dirty work again. At the drop of a hat, you should be prepared to do whatever it takes to help the team reach its goals.

You still get to outsource, but what you don’t get to do is sit in an ivory tower, alone with your strategy documents and hold your head up high. That task is reserved for spineless leaders.

3. Avoid trying to be a people pleaser

At least a third of the people you meet are going to think you are an asshole. Deal with it. We all have different tastes and likes. Sometimes all it takes is someone to disagree with the color of your pants for them to think bad things about you.

Getting people to like you, for who you are, flaws and all, is far more important. Real people are insanely rare and they stand out in a good way.

“Kissing ass, on the other hand, is a dirty little habit that spineless leaders use to fill in the void of authenticity that is missing in their life”

Being a people pleaser will only get you so far. Then, all of a sudden, your career progress will halt and you’ll have no idea why. The reason is because you’re acting like a suck and everyone knows it.

4. Have direction, combined with determination

Having no idea where you’re heading is spineless. The people that follow you can’t be led by you unless they know where you’re heading. For all they know, you’re leading them off a cliff without even realizing it.

What makes us follow a leader is when we feel that they are determined to achieve an outcome at whatever it costs. The “never die” attitude is persuasive and motivating for anyone listening. None of us want to invest time in a leader who’s lost and could give up at any moment.

5. Have courage in spite of all the risks

It’s easy to say to know based on some unforeseen risk. The reality is everything we ever do has risk. It’s not about avoiding risk; it’s about understanding and managing it. That takes real courage to do because you could lose your position as “The Leader.”

That title you’ve worked so hard for could be taken away from you at a moments notice because of a risk you took.

At the other end of the spectrum is to take no risks. This means that nothing ever changes. The outcome of all of this risk avoidance is the following:

– No innovation
– Lack of motivation
– A lowering of team morale
– The risk that you get beaten by the opposition

Spineless leaders are asleep at the wheel because their risk avoidance leads to a lack of progress. We’re either growing or we’re dying. It takes calculated risks to grow.

6. Allow others to shine brighter

A spineless leader doesn’t like when someone takes the spotlight away from themselves. A real leader loves when their team does amazing things and likes to celebrate with them. These same leaders like to build others up so eventually they can create more leaders just like them.

“The goal is to breed more authentic leaders, not to be the only leader, therefore becoming a dictator of sorts”

7. Intentionally be a leader

Spineless leaders got their role by accident because someone asked them to try it and the title sounded good, got them more money, made them feel good or was the easy option at the time. We’ve all met someone who fell into leadership and has no passion for it.

Real leaders are intentional and have worked their entire life to serve others and make progress towards their cause. The difference between the two is the same as the difference between the person that came sixth in the Olympics at high jump and the person that won gold the last three times for the same event.

Dabbling and being unintentional, when it comes to leadership, is for amateurs. You either want to be a leader or you don’t. If you want to be a leader, then you better show up ready to do what it takes.

Otherwise, leadership will knock you flat on your face and make you a complaining victim who’s angry at the world. I don’t want that for you and neither do you.

8. Make a decision

To not make a decision is the biggest problem. Spineless leaders procrastinate on decisions in the hope that the decision is forgotten about or sidelined. Real leaders make a decision in a timely manner and back themselves regardless of the outcome.

9. Be focused on your team

The whole meaning of a leader is to be focused on the people they lead. We’ve all met spineless leaders who have the title only to exploit it and use it for vanity metrics. You have to give to your people for them to deliver you the tangible progress towards your mission that you’re seeking from them.

To do that you need to be likable. To be likable, you need to be prepared to give all of yourself and be prepared to get nothing in return. Real leaders have no guarantee of success. Real leaders still take the position because it’s the channel they use to give their experience, knowledge and selflessness to the world.

Leadership is for people who stand for a cause beyond their own. Leadership is for people who believe that they can make the world a better place which in turn gives something back of value to all of us.

You probably think this may not sound like a whole lot of fun. It may appear that way but it’s freaking amazing when you give all of yourself and get to make a difference. It’s the best thing you can ever receive. You’ll only understand this lesson when you become a real leader.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.com

Success Advice

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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Success Advice

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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