The Least Known Leadership Discipline You Need to Know


What is the most important leadership discipline for you? Is it decisiveness, creative thinking, or effective persuasion?

I’m not choosing any of the above. I have my own point-of-view when it comes to leadership.

So for me, the most important leadership discipline is accountability.

Define accountability and why it is important

Let me be clear. Real leaders should accept accountability.

I define accountability as the ability to accept blame for your decisions. Leadership is followed by praise and blame. A leader who can accept both praise and criticism is a good leader.

A great leader will not just accept blame. He will own it. Bear it and will rectify any mistakes.

Great leaders will take criticisms to improve his work. There is no room for drama. This means the leader will not hate his critics, nor will he change the way he deals with subordinates.

Productivity and accountability go together

When a leader accepts responsibility for his mistakes fewer errors will be made. Subordinates will see the leader’s actions and follow suit.

When everyone in your organization accepts responsibility, everyone will work with efficiency. No more half-measures. No more screw ups.

Why? Because people who are accountable will always actively seek to improve their work.

The results your team will produce will be your identification in the company.

How you can implement practical accountability

responsible leader

Rise up to the challenge

Is there a way to implement accountability into your system?

Yes.

1. The best way to implement accountability is to require you and your team to write a report ever so frequently.

Just a simple progress report for your projects or simply the list of tasks done and mistakes made.

2. Let your team sign a letter of commitment. A simple “contract” which says that they will do their best job with you.

Write the contract using pronouns like “I” and “me” to make it personal and close to home.

3. Alway lead by example. If you have a mistake as a leader, own it.

Your subordinates will surely respect you for braving any criticism. But most of all, when you own the mistakes you also own the glory of fixing it.

Responsibility and saying sorry

Accepting the responsibility makes you a proactive leader. People will see you as an action man.

Your actions will define you and your position in the company.

The first step in accepting responsibility is to apologize for the mistake made. Owning the mistake means you will face the consequences no matter what.

This means firing under-performing managers. This means facing the music yourself.

Leadership means you are willing to do what is necessary to move your organization forward.

Even if it means steeping down. You will step down out of principle.

But the most important thing to do is to correct the mistakes. That is why it is important to own the mistake by saying you’re sorry.

Believe me, covering up your mess will magnify it a hundred fold. Plus, if no one admits the mistake, who will fix it?

Act Effectively – Leadership with Courage and Wisdom

face your fear

I read this somewhere: Face your fears live your dreams

Decisiveness is a business leadership trait that any head should have.

Employee morale is improved when you act quickly on any problem. But more than that, the problem is addressed or even eliminated quickly.

The basic question always asked of me – How can a leader act effectively? My usual answer is: develop courage and wisdom.

This is, of course, easier said than done. Some are born courageous and wise, some are not. However, I believe in my heart of hearts that courage can be developed and wisdom will come through experience.

What is courage in leadership

For the most part courage is defined as being afraid of something but doing it anyway. This for me is the best definition of courage.

Entrepreneurs are not immune to fear and sleepless nights. Most of them even develop anxiety attacks the day they go independent.

That said, they launch anyway. Regardless of their fears and anxiety, they still launch their product.

The key here is the courage to persevere. I’m not saying that every persistent entrepreneur out there succeed, but again, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Taking this basketball metaphor even further, a smaller guard should always go hard to the hard rack even if there’s a possibility he will be blocked. Why?

Because as entrepreneurs you should be a triple threat which means he should be flexible and versatile.

Here is a guard’s (also a good entrepreneur) possible scenario when he goes hard to the basket.

1. He can shoot with a pull up jumper and score
2. He can pass off to an open team mate and score
3. Go hard and get a foul with a chance for charity baskets
4. Go hard and get an and 1 situation
5. He can get blocked, fumble and get the ball stolen then the opposition scores on the other end

Notice that when you go hard towards your goal that there is only one scenario where you fail. If you don’t have the courage to go hard towards your goal you open up another fail scenario – not trying hard enough.

However, courage is just one element of decisiveness that you need to master.

Courage is garbage if you don’t have wisdom

It will not work if all you have is courage and you don’t have wisdom. What is wisdom?

I define wisdom as good judgment.

Courage needs to stand on good judgment for it to matter. If you look at the basketball scenario I enumerated above, you must’ve seen in a professional basketball game that not all guards have enough experience to make these scenarios into reality.

And that’s my main point with wisdom. Some people are born with it and some needs to experience life a little bit more before they develop it.

Experience is a great teacher. The more we age, the more we gain knowledge.

But if you want to gain knowledge more quickly as a youngster there are two things I know that can accelerate learning.

1. Do not repeat your mistakes
2. Do not repeat the mistakes of others

The first one is self-explanatory. I’ll go a little bit in depth regarding the second one.

I’m not telling you to be nosy with other people’s affairs. The best way to learn from other people’s mistakes is to read relevant literature or publications.

For example, if you are an investor, reading investment and business books will accelerate your knowledge and wisdom to a great magnitude more than spending your time playing video games.

Last tip that I want to impart

How do you develop courage?

Developing courage is not easy but it is possible.

1. If you are avoiding doing something that will help take you closer to your goal – that is fear.

2. Doing that thing you are afraid of to take yourself one more step closer to your goal is courage.

The best thing to develop courage is to do something you are afraid of. If you are afraid of social situations, going to a social gathering a few times a week will make the fear less intense.

Do this to all your fears – slowly but surely. Your fear will slowly fade away in time.

Leadership Skill – Delegation is For You

delegation business

Grow your business by letting go of tasks

Growing a business is tough. It is even tougher to let go and assign responsibilities to other people.

Entrepreneurs are do-it-yourselfers. This is the type of personality that will find it hard to delegate tasks to a staff.

I’m not talking about delegating tasks to people abroad. There’s nothing wrong about that, but I’m talking about delegating tasks in general.

When you are a leader, you should learn delegation skills in order to be successful in growing your business. This article will tackle techniques and methods in delegation that I have found useful for me and my own business.

Delegation 101 – basics of delegation

1. What is your time worth to you? Ask yourself this if you are still apprehensive of delegating tasks to other people.

Time is important during work. But time with your family is also important.

Calculate the opportunity cost of delegating as opposed to doing everything yourself.

2. Do the things you are good at and delegate tasks to experts. I recently listened to Pat Flynn’s podcast of Smart Passive Income fame. He talked about how he hated delegating tasks that he can do. So one time when he needed some voice overs for an audio product, he recorded the VO’s himself.

As expected it turned out horrible.

He said that he wasted so much time doing a bad job. He turned to a freelancer and got an awesome voice over for his product.

If only he realized earlier that some stuff just needs to be handed off to experts, he would’ve saved so much time.

3. Delegate tasks that are repetitive. If you hate writing copy for press releases or if you think your writing needs to improve, you can delegate these tasks to other people.

I heard of this web copy and book editor company called Sweating Commas. His job is basically edit and improve your book or article. If you love writing but hate editing, think of the time you can save just by delegating your work.

Now for people with an aversion to writing, there are tons of freelancers out there that can help you. I know for a fact that there are some inexpensive ESL freelancers that can produce great work.

4. Not all entrepreneurs are technical. I know that if you can learn programming, HTML/CSS, and PHP you can be a better entrepreneur. However, if you just don’t have the time right now, learning the basics and then delegating to much more accomplished coders will really save you time.

I have to repeat that you should learn the basics so you will not be in the dark just in case there are shenanigans. That said, as long as you are careful in your screening you won’t have to deal with scams.

These are just the most important things you need to know about delegation. If ever you need more help and other methods, you can listen to this awesome Fizzle Show podcast episode all about it.

Inside the Mind of a Leader

leadership spirit

What is it about great leaders?

What is it about great leaders?

Is it their ability to take chances? Is it their decisiveness? Is it their charisma?

Maybe none of these but maybe a little bit of everything at the same time. But the important thing about leadership is the result.

The leader’s ability to produce positive results in a team environment must be the most valuable thing that he or she can bring to the table. In this article, we will look at why a leader is a leader.

Is it what a leader does?

The thing about leadership books and articles is the fact that they focus more on what a leader does. This information has been greatly overblown and overrated.

It is not good to focus on actions and choices of a particular leader because Alexander the Great’s choices may work back then, will not necessarily work for Thomas Jefferson.

The best thing one can focus on when it comes to leadership is how a leader thinks. A leader’s thought process is a bigger deal than his choices.

looking at how he or she arrived in those choices is more enlightening than the actual choice itself.

integrative thinking

If you want to be a leader, think like a leader

Having two minds and deciding

Roger Martin of the Harvard Business Review studied leadership for more than 15 years. He looks at how a person can have conflicting ideas in his or her head during times when important decisions are going to be made.

Experts call this process of consideration and synthesis as integrative thinking. This is not the be all, end all of successful leadership, and not all leaders have this, but it does improve success.

What is integrative thinking

We all have divergent thoughts in any given decision we face. The thing with integrative thinkers according to Martin is the fact that they don’t settle for lopsided trade-offs.

Martin expounds that leaders like this develop a whole set of solution that integrates the best of these two choices, thus making his decision superior than just settling for one choice over the other.

Though this sounds incredible and super human for people, Martin emphasized that integrative thinking is something that can be trained in an individual. It is, for all intents and purposes, a skill that can be learned from a young age.