Category Archives: Inspiration

10 ways to improve your leadership skills

Top 10 leadership tips

There is no doubt that some people just have something about them which makes others listen, feel inspired and want to be part of whatever they are doing. But leadership is a skill that can be developed.

Defining ‘leadership skills’ is an almost an impossible task, as the skills and characteristics of one successful leader may be completely different to those of another. Working with leaders and followers from diverse industries, businesses, and in diverse locations has led us to identify 10 ways in which you can develop your leadership skills:

  1. Passion

The more authentically passionate you are, the more contagious that passion is. The person who feels inspired by something usually unable to stop their enthusiasm from bubbling out of them, and often it is purely that pleasure that others want to be part of. Let your passion expand and be free.

  1. Achieve

People who have accomplished something are admired. Obviously the level of achievement and difficulty in attaining it both factor into things, but people in general will be impressed by a human being who had the ability, discipline and drive to achieve something.

  1. Set goals

There is nothing more inspirational that someone who defines where they are going, and then take action to get there. Setting and attaining goals builds credibility and confidence, and it shows the world that you know where you want to go, what you want to do, and how you plan to do it.

 

  1. Communicate

Talk to people. Tell them about your goals and your passion. Let them know that you have ambition and are inspired to move forward. By talking others, you are not only sharing your ideas, you are gaining followers, collaborators and partners; people who can help you along your journey and make a journey for themselves.

  1. Tell

Often achievers expect others to know of their achievements, and more often than not, most of us have been brought up not to brag. There is a delicate balance between humility and self-defeating behaviour. People who tell others of their achievements, in a subtle and modest way, build their following on an ongoing basis.

  1. Focus on your strengths

There is a philosophy that says if you focus on your weaknesses, and never your strengths, you build a world of mediocrity for yourself. Your core focus should always be to do what you do well most of the time. Strengths build strengths, and great leaders focus on their strengths.

  1. Build your brand

We all have ways in which we do things, and mannerisms or accomplishments that others identify with us. Part of working with your strengths and building your credibility is knowing what people know about you, think of you, and how they see you. Use this information to further embed that image of yourself – this becomes your brand.

  1. Accept your failures

No one is good at everything and no one succeeds at everything. Leaders have the ability to lift themselves back up after setbacks. Some of the greatest leaders, such as Abraham Lincoln, led lives of numerous failures until the final break, which led them onto the path to success. Failures are inevitable, but they don’t need to define you.

  1. Build up others

One of the most defining characteristics of leaders is that they continually grow and develop others. For some, there is joy in developing another person, or in sharing knowledge. Yet for leaders, the more they build up others and share their knowledge, the more successful they themselves seem to be. Great leaders proactively grow and develop other people.

  1. Celebrate success

All too often we spend our life chasing the next objective, putting out the next fire, trying to fit something else in. Leaders stop after they’ve achieved something meaningful and then they celebrate. They reward themselves and acknowledge their own milestones. For a leader, the path is as important as the final destination. Enjoying the road to success as part of the success.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

John Quincey Adams


Need help developing your leadership skills?  Speak to a business coach today!  Your first session is free.

Deep Listening

 

Deep Listening

A client speaking to his Rogerian therapist says: “I’m so depressed, I just don’t feel like is worth living.”

The therapist replies: “I hear you saying that you’re in pain and that you’re not sure how you will ever feel better.”

The client replies by saying: “I really feel I would be better off dead.”

To which the therapist comments: “You really are at your wits’ end about what to do.”

The client stands and moves to the window of the office and opening it up, the therapist observes, “You’re showing me how much pain you are in, how desperate you are.”

The client then jumps out the window

The therapist says, “Splat” (Rosenbaum, 2009).

The point of the above story is that reflective listening serves no purpose. It is parroting what someone has said, and simply repeating back to someone what they have said is pointless.

Deep listening takes a different perspective on listening. It adds empathy to the equation. Empathetic, deep listening happens when the listener silences their own internal chatter and own opinions, and completely stills their mind so that they can absorb everything that the person in front of them is saying.

The principle behind deep listening is that the person listening listens absolutely. They are completely present in the moment, they take in everything about the person in front of them in terms of their body language, facial expressions, voice intonation and use of language. They integrate everything that they witness to build a sincere trust with the communicator, so that the person speaking feels no judgment, and that the speaker feels like they have the listener’s undivided attention.

Deep listening is a practiced skill that takes years to perfect. Once it is perfected, it is an art, and a skilled practitioner can slip into deep listening easily.

“We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know.”

Carl Rogers

The Traits of Entrepreneurs

Traits of entrepreneurs
Compare Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Steve Jobs.

It’s obvious that they’re all entrepreneurs, all successful, and all very famous. What other commonalities do they have? Very little actually.

So how did three so diverse men all come to be successful entrepreneurs? Passion and drive. All their all personality characteristics, backgrounds, and leadership approaches become completely secondary. They are first and foremost passionate about what they do, and secondly they have an unparalleled drive to achieve what they want to in their businesses.

After the passion and drive we can start listing hard work, motivation, commitment, sacrifice and all other behaviours which enabled their success. Their traits include relentlessly pursuing what they want, never accepting rejection as a final answer, and thriving on change.

The traits of an entrepreneur are diverse and yet incredibly alike. All pursued their passion as if there was nothing else in the world that mattered. By creating their own possibilities and luck, each successful entrepreneur created their own reality, and thus impacted our reality in such a way that their products colour our world.

 

“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”
Nolan Bushnell

Must-read books for your career

pablo-4

With the wealth of amazing career-orientated books out there, it’s hard to narrow the list of impactful and inspiring books down to five (there are many more!).  The below books however are a really great place to start (there’s a reason why many of them are bestsellers!).

  1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki

Probably one of the most influential career books of all time. The message that this book sends goes beyond the principle of earning money with or without an education. The message is fundamental – career and life do not always g according to plan. Sometimes there is a need to take risks, craft your own path, and be present in your own moments.

  1. 100 Conversations for Career Success: Learn to Network, Cold Call, and Tweet Your Way to Your Dream Job, by Laura Labovich and Miriam Salpeter

A down-to-earth and realistic guide to doing the things that do not come naturally to most of us. This book includes many of the difficult and uncomfortable aspects of building your career – often the very things that can make or break you.

  1. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? By Seth Godin

This essential read takes a look at business, society and personal development. It also takes a look at how to promote your skills and abilities, so that you not only establish yourself, but make yourself indispensable.

  1. The Black Swan, by Nassim Taleb

When crafting a career there is often the desire to have some level of predictability. In this book, Taleb unpacks the way in which people erroneously depend on the ability to predict as a method of decision making. He demonstrates how it is the most structured systems that are the ones most vulnerable to collapse.

  1. The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

Entertaining, stimulating and a fantastic read for a happy and balanced lifestyle, The Power of Habit has great behaviour tips, which you can start implementing immediately.


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