Leadership by the Numbers

It is said that Leaders are made not born. Nature may play a role in planting that seed of leadership skill but nurturing this skill is equally important. Developing your leadership skill isn’t overnight. It takes a lot of effort on ones part to hone it.

Anyone who wants to develop their leadership skill need to embrace certain characteristics like assertiveness, adaptability, flexibility, resilience, and conscientiousness among others.

More so, you must know how to inspire and empower the people that you lead.

How will you be able to do this? Here are some tips to improving your leadership skills and becoming a better leader.

Learn to communicate and listen effectively

get the message

In any kind of relationship communication is important. Effective leadership entails knowing when to communicate. You must know when to talk and when to listen. An effective leader sees that when he talks people listen.

This stems from respect because his community, group, or subordinate sees a person who genuinely cares and who’s willing to help them achieve.

A good practice on communication is maintaining eye contact when talking to another person. Another is giving feedback and responding appropriately to another.

Take Initiative

initiative

Taking initiative is a sign of readiness to take on responsibilities. Don’t wait for someone to dictate what you need to do. A true leader steps up without being asked to.

If you take on projects for example, go beyond what the project needs. If you can add value, do so without being asked to.

Enhance Creativity and Learn Consistently

learn lead

Nowadays rapid changes occur in the workplace and everywhere else. A true leader can keep up with these changes if he is consistently learning and trying out new things.

One of the hallmarks of having great leadership skill is creativity and this can be enhance if we educate ourselves, hone our skills, and in the process learn to make intelligent decisions for ourselves and the people we are dealing with.

A good exercise on learning and enhancing creativity is immersing oneself in activities outside your usual circle. An example is enroll in classes not related to your regular work.

This will give you a fresh perspective about what you are doing and where you would eventually want to end up.

Be a Role Model

role model

Walk the walk and talk the talk. Leaders who do what they preach are trustworthy than those who do not practice what they preach.

If you want to become a great leader, learn to show character that people would want to imitate or emulate. Inspire others through your action.

Be Passionate

passion motivation

Passion is the desire to achieve an objective. People with passion tends to infect others with it.

Passion shows in doing things with enthusiasm. If you are enthusiastic about a goal and you focus on achieving it, nothing can stop you.

Everyone who works with you will see this dedication and passion and they’ll know that you, their leader, is someone that they can look up to and rely on.

These are just a few of the things that you can do and enhance to become a better leader. The key takeaway is that there are many ways to develop and hone a leadership skill.

Don’t stop with a few ones and keep on learning and improving yourself.

Giving Gifts to Employees from Owners and Leaders

Giving gifts is very important not only for morale for your employees but also for motivation.

With the daily grind of having to go about and get things done, it’s easy to forget or push back on the idea of rewarding and giving gifts to employees and other people you work with.

For the past few years, for excellent performing employees, I’ve personally given them very unique items that they treasure. One of my best examples are this fantastic ceramic mugs by Soulful Ceramics.

They’ve told me themselves.

However, there are many benefits for why you should put this at the top of your list.

  1. The obvious is that it improves morale. For a small amount, you can double or triple the work from somebody that works for you.
  2. They look up to you. People feel valued and they want to be recognized. Even if it’s just a $5 gift card, a small gift goes a long way.
  3. Increases loyalty. Rather than giving money, a gift is 100x better. Money only lasts the day they get it. However, if you are able to provide a unique gift that is useful, your people will use for it for a long time, and even when they leave their current job.

Don’t Just Gift Random Things Though

Horrible Random Gift

Horrible Random Gift

Beware of just gifting anything though.

A workplace, or business relationship is a tricky one because it requires finesse.

It’s not a family relationship where everyone will understand each other.

A book sounds like a good gift, but not always.

Unless you share common values, you may end up offending someone if you give them a book that opposes their ideals.

Religious, political, gender based. Even hobbies may be interpreted as you trying to get them to do something without explicitly asking.

Don’t give expensive gifts.

That’s obvious, but still common. Especially if you have an attachment to a particular person. All people must be treated equally.

It’s easiest to give the same gift to everybody as opposed to trying to be unique and giving everybody a unique gift.

Simple Ideas for Team Building

If you are aiming for team building, then why not an outing?

A single day off work may sound unproductive, but it is actually the opposite.

You’ll be amazed at how rejuvenated people will be and the energy it will bring to the office or project. People don’t want to be stuck into a single setting all day every day.

By mixing things up and bringing change, your people will be happier and ultimately perform better.

Here are some ideas

  • BBQ at a nearby park
  • Dinner at a nice restaurant
  • A cruise or if you have a small team, go on a fun tour
  • Or even a competitive team A vs team B at bowling

Christmas Gifts

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas Gift Ideas

This is something that people expect so you don’t want to let them down.

Christmas is a time for giving, so how about creating a culture where you play secret santa.

That way, you don’t have to bear the burden of all the financial gifting.

Gifting others, or working for a charity.

Find a cause that everyone likes and put up an event.

Or make a fun holiday tradition like how this company makes a video and then display it on your website or send to your clients.

It makes it more personal and your clients will appreciate the laugh too.

Resources

Why You Need to Attend Leadership Seminars

leadership skill

Leaders are not born, they are forged

A positive and balanced self-image is one thing that sets a great leader apart from others. Balanced self-esteem means you think highly of yourself and the people you surround yourself with.

Leadership seminars attract people who aspire to be more than they currently are. This is a good thing because most people want to improve their current condition.

Having the opportunity to surround yourself with people like this is reason enough to join leadership summits. Being with like-minded individuals and throwing ideas at each other is a great experience.

More than the social interactions, there are a whole bunch of reasons that a leadership summit can benefit you.

There are still many skills you need to develop

I know a lot of vocal leaders succeed. There are also “lead-by-example” leaders that do great work.

Imagine if you can combine both skills. How many awesome things can get accomplished if you have a leader with both skill?

If you are a “lead-by-example” leader then it will not hurt to learn more about public speaking. Leadership summits have panels that offers a basic overview about it.

You’ll learn a whole lot in panels about improving speech and social interactions.

You can take a break from work while learning


The most important thing is you are away from work for a short time. This will refresh you and re-energize you when you return.

Sometimes it is so hard to find motivation to work. If you have no intrinsic motivation to work then you need to find an external reason.

Taking a break will help you fend off burnout for at least a few more days. So why not hit two birds with one stone?

There are some of the best panelists attending leadership summits. Sure, you are paying for a badge to see them and all that, but it’s all worth it.

Make a lasting impression for future work

Since leadership summits have attendees from different fields, you can interact with people who can have a significant impact on your career. The truth is, there are numerous people who actually make their fortune in these conventions.

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that a job offer can jump straight out of these summits. I’m not sure if there are recruiters attending these cons but they might as well be with how things are going.

The people you meet can give you insight

There is merit to having great insight. But sometimes you need the opinion of an outsider to really set you straight.

Leadership is not about being stubborn with your decisions and preconceived notions. Outsiders will have a different perspective you have never thought of that you can use to develop your insights even more.

Sometimes when someone outside is looking in, they see defects in systems that you are implementing. So listen to other people.

The best approach is to accept all opinions but form your own. There is a wealth of experienced and knowledgeable people you can meet out there.

The Human Side of Business Leadership

When we think of business leadership we often associate it with good business acumen – getting more clients, or getting more exposure, or more sales and profit for the company. We often fail to consider its human side.

Our perspective has become focused on delivering results rather than empowering the people who are implementing the process and delivering the outcomes.

This kind of perspective, albeit can guide a leader in delivering an exemplary result, can be detrimental for the business in the long run. What suffers in effect are the skills of people necessary to carry out the intended results.

star leader

You know what’s better than a star player? Why, a star leader, of course

Leadership and the common vision

As someone considered to be a leader, it is necessary that the center of your focus should be leading people towards achieving a common vision. But how will you be able to do this? For that matter, what makes a good leader?

As mentioned, we do have a preconceived notion of what a business leader is. Objectively, we can look at certain characteristics and manner of management.

Take into consideration the leadership characteristics stated by HLC. A leader is proactive instead of reactive. He thinks ahead in order to avoid future issues. However, it doesn’t stop there. As a proactive leader, you need to be respectful, a good communicator, and most of all adaptable.

As the head of your organization, you must lead your team to a common vision where all of you are unified towards a single goal. The only way your team will follow you to battle is to display skill and quiet confidence.

Leading by example is a great instance of skill and confidence mixing together well. In sports, skill and quiet confidence is regarded highly. Great athletes who are not so vocal lead by example. Notice how they are the first to arrive in the gym and they are also the last one to leave.

The human element of leadership

Your team members are just as human as you are. Problems happen at home and not just in the workplace.

Even professionals falter when faced with marital problems or domestic abuse. This is where virtue will come in for a leader.

Compassion given in small doses will help temporarily alleviate emotional pains. So much so that it is enough to make an emotional team member functional at work.

Just talking to this person for a minute or two is all there is to it. No need to escalate personal problems into office drama.

That said, as head of the team you need to be evaluative. You have to “grade” your team’s performance in order to optimize policies.

Be sure to consider personal problems when evaluating team members. As the boss, you are not their best friend, but you need to communicate your personal feelings over their performance effectively.

In any case, a level headed approach is always the best way when dealing with team members. Anger is not really ideal in the office because it will definitely result to a lot of resentment. With resentful people in the office you’ll always find it a pain to work with them.

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.