As a leader, you’re responsible for your team. You need to help your team run efficiently, and you need to make decisions that are best for your team.
Most leaders have their own way of leading. Average leaders lead by force, but great leaders lead by example, and through inspiration.
So if you dream of being a great leader, one that will increase the productivity of your team and maintain a happy work environment, the following are four essential things you must do.
1. Have a great attitude
Your team is not going to want to follow a leader that is always in a bad mood. Instead, you need to be happy when around your team and have a positive attitude. Let your team know when they do a good job, and constantly use words of encouragement to help them continue to improve. If you are positive and always have a great attitude, you’ll encourage your team to do the same.
2. Be realistic
It’s very important that a great leader is realistic with their goals. You need to remember that sometimes, there’s just no possible way that something is going to get done in a short time frame, so don’t set goals your team can’t achieve.
If you’re constantly setting your team up for failure, and then constantly getting mad at their lack of success, you’re not going to create a healthy working environment, and you’re not being a team leader. It’s very important that you truly think about the goals at hand and make them attainable for your team.
3. Delegate fairly
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to delegate responsibilities to your team. In order to be a great leader, it’s important that you delegate fairly. If you’re constantly giving the easy assignments to certain individuals, you’re going to create tension in the workplace.
Make sure that you truly think about each team member’s strengths, and then delegate the necessary responsibilities to who is best suited for that job. Doing this not only makes your team happy, but it also helps to improve productivity, which is the ultimate end goal.
When you delegate responsibilities, it’s also important that you give some of that work to yourself. Nobody likes a leader who dishes out tasks and doesn’t do any part of the project to help the team. If you truly want to be a great leader, you won’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and tackle some of that responsibility on your own.
4. Stand up for your team
A great leader has no fear, and it’s very important that you stand up for your team whenever necessary. For example, if a client is asking for something that’s impossible, you have to stand up to the client and let them know. Tell the client that this project cannot be completed in that specific time frame, at least not if they want quality work.
Your clients will be happy to receive a quality project that took longer than to receive garbage on time. Plus, your team will be happy that they’re not rushing through projects.
When you stand up for what your team needs, you’re being an accountable leader, and this is important. You need to make sure that the lines of communication are open between you and your team, and if your team is having issues with client demands, you need to step in and take care of it.
About the author
Jayman Meadows is a life coach specializing in behavioral modification for those who struggle with depression.
All entrepreneurs create businesses.
So what makes the difference?
A set of unique attributes that clearly draws the line between ordinary entrepreneurs and their extra-ordinary counterparts. Don’t be alarmed by this, in the business world, there exists two kinds of entrepreneurs; those who do business as usual and those who don’t. Obviously, they will end up creating only two kinds of businesses.
For those who do business as usual, I refer to them as average or ordinary entrepreneurs and for those who do business NOT as usual; I refer to them as unusual or extra-ordinary entrepreneurs. The average entrepreneurs don’t really deserve much explanation, their title says it all – they are just average.
Meaning, at most, they are only capable of creating “good” businesses, but rarely ever create “great” businesses like the unusual entrepreneurs do. To know the difference between a good business and a great business, download the free ebook: the entrepreneur’s journey.
An unusual breed of entrepreneurs
Ever wondered what separates great entrepreneurs from mediocre ones? Ever wondered what makes entrepreneurs like Richard Branson of Virgin, Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Sam Walton of Wal-Mart, Tony Tsei of Zappos and the legendary Steve Jobs of Apple extra-ordinary?
It has been my central focus for the past 6 years researching and studying the lives and businesses of these unusual kinds. It’s been my goal to uncover those set of qualities that distinguishes them amongst others.
As a matter of fact, I created this site [naijapreneur] to chronicle and share freely with the world my findings on how these seemingly ordinary men and women create and build truly extra-ordinary businesses from scratch.
In this unusual article, I want to share as always some of my most recent findings about what it takes to become an unusual entrepreneur.
The 3-way approach
The making of an unusual entrepreneur is dependent on 3 critical factors;
- Character – the will to succeed
- Competence – the will to prepare
- Results – the will to execute
An unusual entrepreneur is a person of character. An unusual entrepreneur is not your everyday individual. An unusual entrepreneur is exactly the title they bear – unusual. Perhaps one of the best descriptions ever given about an unusual entrepreneur was given by one himself, Steve Jobs;
“Here’s to the crazy one, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round peg in the square holes …because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do!”
This is where it all begins –within. Every endeavour whether in life or in business begins first within and then without. The first order of things to be changed is you, the individual. Character is about your person; what stuff are you made up of? What do you represent? What makes you thick? What drives you? What guides you?
Character is about your will to succeed. A person can only go as far as his/her character allows. The journey within outweighs the one outside; no man can rise above the limits of his own character. In other words, your character determines your success either in life as well as in business. Who you are ultimately defines what you achieve –your success or failure. Defining character is the first step to greatness.
What is character?
Character means ‘wholeness’. It is the summation of several qualities, behaviours and thoughts that reveals the totality of a person. Character is not only a question of what a person does [action] it also includes both how you do [attitude] and why you do [thought].
Character is the whole of a person; an integration of “what you do” [actions, behaviours]; “how you do” [disposition, attitude]; and “why you do” [intention, thought]. It’s the summation of these three parts that makes up the whole of a person’s character.
How is Character formed?
Why do you think the way you do? Values. Why do you behave the way you do? Values. Values are a set of deeply held beliefs, principles, qualities, standards or virtues that inspire and guides how we do (attitude) and why we do (thoughts). Values are at the core of our attitudes, thoughts and dispositions; the combination of what we believe in and how we behave.
Habits are what you do (actions) as a result of what you believe and have accepted as true. Habits are your values in action. Your values are manifested through your habits. Your values are the source of your habits. If you have the wrong values, you will exhibit the wrong habits.
Here are some highly effective habits of unusual entrepreneurs;
Character focused on the internal requirements of an unusual entrepreneur; the personal development phase. That is, who they need to become on the inside in order to lead on the outside. Competence on the other hand, is where the unusual entrepreneur develops the basic business skills needed for exceptional performance.
Competence is the business development phase of an unusual entrepreneur. It explores the external requirements of entrepreneurship. That is, what you need to know technically in order to perform externally. If character is the personal side of business [personal development] competence is the technical side of business.
Character is how the entrepreneur develops the capacity to succeed. While competence enables the entrepreneur prepare for success by developing the required skills for succeeding in business. However important character is, without competence which is the actual knowledge and skill needed to start, run and grow a business successfully, an entrepreneur will only be a dreamer.
What is competence?
Competence is the ability and skill required to carry out a particular function, activity, task or set of duties. It refers to the willingness of the entrepreneur to prepare by gathering the skill set necessary for the unusual journey embarked on.
The competencies required by an entrepreneur to exceptionally fulfill the responsibilities of his/her position are of two categories; leadership and management. Starting a business requires entrepreneurial competence, working with people requires leadership competence and growing a business requires managerial competence. An unusual entrepreneur relies on both competencies to effectively and efficiently function in business.
Competence = leadership skills + management skills
I know you are the owner of your business no doubt, but you also need to understand this fact; building a successful business takes the collective efforts of others and not just the effort of only you the owner. It is not a one man show.
Before you chose to become a business owner, success was very much all about you and the result of your personal efforts, but now that you’re building your own business; success is all about others and the result of their collective efforts.
The success or failure of an organization depends largely on how well the entrepreneur performs as a leader. As an unusual entrepreneur, your role as a leader demands that you shift your focus from yourself and begin to focus more on others and what you can collectively achieve as a team.
The focus and function of the unusual entrepreneur’s role as a leader stems from his character as an individual. Without sound character the entrepreneur cannot function exceptionally as a leader. Leadership is about inspiring and motivating people towards the fulfillment of a predetermined goal, aim or objective; this is often referred to as VISION.
The combination of character mixed with vision is what makes an ordinary person become an extra-ordinary leader. You cannot be in front if you don’t have a firm idea of where you’re going [vision] and you cannot inspire others to follow if you haven’t first led yourself [character].
Character makes you a leader, but you need vision to lead others. Inspiring them to fulfill that vision is the job of a leader and the essence of leadership.
Every business has a way of operating that makes it completely different from any other business in the world. Ever wondered how some companies keep attracting and retaining high performing workers while others struggle to keep just a handful?
Have you ever walked into some business premises and without being told, you could feel a sense of intense energy in the air? How come some workers find fulfillment at their place of work and others don’t? How is it that some businesses in the same industries do better than others?
The answer to all these and so many more is management. As individuals are unique such that there are never any two people one hundred percent alike, the same is true of businesses regardless of whether they produce similar products or serve similar markets.
What makes the difference? Management.
After all is said and done, the day-to-day activities of a business purely rest on the competence of management. It’s possible for a business to have a great leader and a great product, but without great management practices in place, the business cannot exist for long.
Business is like a puzzle, the entrepreneur paints the whole picture but management is the one who begins to arrange them one after the other, putting each piece in its rightful place. Management puts the whole pieces together and brings everything into proper perspective by creating an organization.
Management takes everything the business is about and weaves it into one big and integrated whole known as organization. The creation of an organization is management’s core task. The fact that people congregate everyday to work in a particular business doesn’t necessarily make it an organization.
Management through the creation of an organization is the binding force that unites all the resources of a business; human, financial, material etc. together towards the achievement of a corporate end. To make a business into an organization is what management stands for. This is the essence of the unusual entrepreneur’s competence as a manager.
Result is the unusual entrepreneur’s ability to stimulate progress in the organization by creating an environment where change can thrive. He/she must inspire the whole organization to keep asking and answering this critical question; “what is our business and how well are we doing?”
Asking this question draws the entire organization back to the fundamental purpose of a business enterprise; to create customers by offering innovative products/services that meets their needs and solves their problems better. Making the organization capable of creating consistent change through innovation is the result the unusual entrepreneur must pursue. How is he/she able to achieve this? What are the tools for creating change?
Creation is the essence of entrepreneurship. The unusual entrepreneur is nothing without creation. He/she must be involved in a never ending process of creation by forming a creative habit. It is only through the habit of creating that the entrepreneur masters the art of creation.
I wouldn’t dwell much on this because there’s an unusual article that covers this subject of creativity, you can read it here –harnessing creativity for business success.
Creativity is about the unusual entrepreneur’s ability to see opportunities and generate ideas; risk is about the willingness to explore and exploit them. It’s one thing to be able to imagine innovation; it’s another thing to actually deliver it. The difference is risk.
Risk is the entrepreneur’s willingness to consistently invest time, effort and resources in the pursuit of change [ideas and opportunities]. Besides seeing opportunities, the entrepreneur must be willing to accept a high level of personal, professional or financial risk to pursue them.
Risk is the sacrifice the entrepreneur is prepared to pay in order to create change. The entrepreneur must never be afraid of sacrificing immediate gains for the pursuit of better ways of doing things and satisfying the customer.
Risk is the entrepreneur’s willingness to step out of his/her comfort zone in pursuit of change even though the outcome is not certain and unknown. It refers to the willingness of the entrepreneur to experiment with the idea generated and opportunity discovered. The entrepreneur must be willing to confront every uncertainty, fear and doubt and commit all that he/she is and has in pursuit of ideas and opportunities.
Over to you
Which of these qualities do you currently posses and which are you working on presently?
How have any of these qualities helped your entrepreneurial development?
What other defining qualities do unusual entrepreneurs possess besides those mentioned in the article?
Well, here’s the thing, the golden rule of business is no different;
do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Not only is this mindset towards business wrong, it is a losing strategy.
You see, there’s no way you are going to succeed in business if you keep ignoring the fact that business is not different from life, but rather an extension of life.
I cannot over emphasize this enough.
Many businesses fail because they ignore this universal truth. What they have failed to realize is that the same principles that govern life are the same principles that govern business.
The fact is, you cannot separate life from business or business from life. To succeed therefore, your task as an entrepreneur is to create a balance between the two.
This unusual article is about helping you achieve this balance. Read on …
The Golden Rule of Business: It’s never about you!
The secret to creating this balance lies in understanding that success both in life and in business is all about people. People are at the crux of all that we do here on earth. Everything we do, we do because of people.
The products/services you create and hope to sell is not meant for you, but for other people. I have never met a business owner who is in business just to create products/services useful for only him/herself.
The reason people patronize a particular business is because that business is offering something that is both unique and useful to them.
A business that cares about the well being of others ultimately becomes the most profitable. The moment you start putting your needs above that of others, your business begins a downward spin.
The golden path to profitability is putting people first!
Profitability is a function of meeting other people’s needs just as you would have wanted yours to be met.
This fact alone clearly indicates that business as an institution exist for the advancement of life here on earth.
You are in the happiness business
Your customers are people.
Your suppliers are people.
Your employees are people.
Your shareholders are people.
The government is people.
The society is people.
All that you need to succeed in business revolves around people, isn’t it obvious why there’s only one golden rule of business?
When people are the focus, happiness becomes the goal.
At the core of everything people do is the desire to derive some form of happiness.
Products/services are purchased because of their inherent capacity to make people happy.
Workers come to work because of the inherent capacity of the work to produce certain rewards; financial, mental or psychological that makes them happy.
In essence, your success in business and in life is tied to how you treat people.
The question then is this;
“How would you like to be treated if you were an intending customer of your business?”
“What kind of treatment would you desire if you were an employee working in your business?”
Always asking and answering these questions is all that the golden rule of business represents. The moment you start putting yourself in other people’s shoe, the golden rule is at work in your life and in your business.
Every other rule or principle of life and business derives their meaning from it.
Applying the Golden Rule of Business
Business must be undertaken not only as a commercial activity, but much more. It must be seen also as a spiritual, emotional, psychological and relational activity.
Business as it turns out is much more than just the bottom line –profit. To really succeed, you’ve got to look past the obvious –money, to the not so obvious –people.
You have to constantly remind yourself that everything you do in this life leaves an impact on others. This could either be positive or negative, the choice is yours to make.
Don’t see people as a means unto an end; rather see them as the end in themselves. Everything you do is because of them, helping them invariably means helping yourself.
In my company and the others I co-founded, we have a simple rule for dealing with people and that is;
Consider first what’s in it for the other person”
It’s an outside–in kind of thinking and it is a simple way of living and doing business by the golden rule.
Over to you
How has following the golden rule helped you to build a better business?
Do you think life and business are different sides of the same coin or totally different from one another?
How have you been putting others first in your business and life?
EAGLE EYE LEADERSHIP: What do you focus on and prioritize as the leader of your business?
Activity is not the same as productivity. Motion does not always signify progress. Activity is not necessarily accomplishment. Diligence is not necessarily effectiveness. Faithfulness is never the same as fruitfulness.
Not all efforts bring about results. There is a world of difference between getting things done (busy) and getting results (progress). Telling the difference is what this article is all about. Knowing the difference is what really makes some leaders more successful than others.
Making a to-do list for all your task will give you a boost on your productivity. You will be able to focus on one task, plus, it will help you organize from the least priority up to the top priority. This will give you great result as you move on your work.
Successful leaders are leaders with an eagle’s eye: they practice and live by the principle of focus and priority. They are not activity driven (busy), they are result driven (progress). They don’t care about knowing or doing everything; they are mostly concerned about knowing and doing the main things.
Great leaders are not a repository of everything or anything; they are repositories of only what matters. They don’t see everything, they only see what matters. They don’t go after everything; they only pursue the main things. They see, not as we see; they see through the eyes of the eagle; they see based on priority and they focus only on their vision.
They practice a different kind of leadership; not one based on execution (activity), but one based on contribution (productivity). This is a leadership built on focus and priority; a leadership driven by vision and purpose. This kind of leadership is what I call ‘eagle eye leadership’.
What is eagle eye leadership?
Eagle eye leadership is a kind of leadership practiced mostly by successful leaders in any work of life. It is a kind of leadership based on focus and priority. In other words, eagle eye leadership is a kind of leadership based on focus and priority and is mostly practiced by successful leaders in all works of life.
Eagle eye leadership refers to a leadership hinged upon vision and purpose. It is leadership focused on vision and following a purpose. It’s a leadership pursuing a vision and obeying a purpose. It’s not a survival driven kind of leadership, but a significance driven kind of leadership. It’s not a kind of leadership built on diligence alone (hard work) but also essence (designed work).
This kind of leadership doesn’t just ask “what is to be done?”, but also asks, “Why must it be done?” This kind of leadership doesn’t just work hard (diligence) but only works based on the vision it’s pursuing and a purpose it’s obeying (essence).
Eagle eye leadership is not a reactive kind of leadership that is based on just doing (movement or motion), but a proactive leadership based on improving (progress or contribution). Eagle eye leadership weighs every decision, situation and action against its original vision, destination and intention.
“how does this decision, situation or action play out and affect my initial vision, destination or intention?”
“what is the place or role of this decision, situation or action in my overall intention, destination or vision?”
It doesn’t just do, but does only when it finds a purpose, a place or reason for what needs to be done in the overall scheme of things. Every move, decision and action is tied to a predetermined end, purpose or vision. It is interested in doing only what matters; such things that would significantly affect the bottom-line. That is; the original vision, purpose and objective initially agreed upon. It weighs every action, decision or situation against the ultimate goal, vision or purpose in mind.
Eagle eye leadership is all about focus; a concentrated effort or attention on a particular thing (in this case, a vision) and priority; following or doing only the things with the greatest returns and of the greatest importance (in this case, purpose). Therefore, eagle eye leadership is all about focusing on the vision only and making the fulfillment of the purpose your priority.
In other words,you focus the vision and prioritize the purpose. That is to say, you make the vision your main emphasis and then you put the purpose above in front of all you do. This is what I mean; your task as the leader is to make the vision of the business your destination (focus) and make the purpose why you are in business your number one goal or objective (priority).
Focus the vision
The vision is the mental picture of the business in the mind of the leader, it could be an image or concept conceived through imagination. The vision often refers to where or what the leader perceives and sees the business to be in the nearest future.
The vision is a mental projection of the business, a mental destination for the business. It is usually future–bound. What tomorrow will look like, where we want to be in some year’s time, how big we hope to be.
The vision is the mental picture of a better or preferable future for the business. This is what the leader must emphasize on. A business without a vision is a business without direction. There’s only one place such a business will end up; nowhere!
Prioritize the Purpose
The purpose is the original reason why the business was created. It is the initial intent of the founder of the business. The purpose is why the business exists; why they open up for business everyday, and why they ever considered starting up such a business in the first place.
The purpose usually is determined in the past long before the business came into existence. It is the foundation on which the business was built; this is why it’s seldom changed. The purpose dwells on the outcome of the business, it doesn’t focus on outputs.
Outputs are the exact goods or services offered by the business to the market, while outcomes are those needs being met by the goods and services produced. While the vision of a business can always be changed since it’s something you project, the purpose most times remains unchanging unless it’s no longer of relevance to the market. The purpose is not something the leader sees and decides to obey or follow. The purpose of a business is often the need the business was created to meet or fulfill.
Creating a compelling vision is the ONE thing that separates leaders from all other people!
This is a continuation of the series on the 3 essential roles of every CEO (leadership, management and entrepreneurship) where I began with the role of the CEO as a Leader and talked about the 3 essential qualities of effective leadership; character, vision and competence.
Character is about who you are as a person. It describes what kind of a person you are and what earns you the privilege to lead others since people naturally like to follow those they respect and those whose life they want to emulate.
Until there’s something commendable and worth emulating from you as a person, attempting to lead the right people will be an exercise in futility irrespective of the position you might occupy.
Character is therefore the foundation of effective leadership. In case you missed out on last week’s article where I shared some insights about what it takes to develop the right character necessary for effective leadership, you can read it here; developing the right character for effective leadership. Let’s now go over to the second essential quality of effective leadership – Vision.
Vision is the Second Essential Quality of Effective Leadership
Vision –an idea to die for– is the ONE thing that separates leaders from all other people. Your ability to constantly attract and lead the right people depends on the quality of your vision as a leader. You see, leadership does truly begin with you as a person (character) but it is never all about you (self-centeredness).
Leadership is about others; what you want to do for them, with them and in them. Leadership is a stewardship role; you are in charge of making something positive happen. It’s not just about being good (character) it’s also about doing good (vision).
It is one thing to have the right character that inspires others to look up to you and willingly want to follow you, the other thing is to ask yourself; “where are they following me to?” or “where am I leading them to?”
The answer to this question is what is called Vision and it’s your differentiating mark as a leader.
Vision is the yardstick against which your success or failure as a leader is measured. Your effectiveness as a leader is determined by how well you are able to lead others towards the fulfillment of a vision. Without a vision you cannot unify the collective efforts of the right people.
People like to know what they are working towards. The right people don’t just gather around or follow leaders who are only ‘good people’ (character); they want to gather around and follow leaders who are passionate about ‘doing good’ (vision).
So it’s your responsibility as a leader to create a compelling vision that can unify the collective efforts of your people. What is the positive thing that you want to make happen? What is that idea that you’re betting your life on and is worth dying for? What did you create your company to accomplish? What did you go into business to make happen? To what end do you need a team of the right people for?
Creating A Compelling Vision For Your Organization
In answering these questions, here are 5 factors to consider in creating a compelling vision;
- People oriented: creating a compelling vision begins and ends with people in mind. Why? Because people don’t gather for a leader (person), they gather for a reason (vision). Creating a compelling vision shouldn’t be about what you will get but rather, what you will give as an organization. Make your vision externally rather than internally focused. The more externally focused your vision is, the more commitment it will attract from the right people needed to make it happen.
- Clarity: the essence of a compelling vision is to unify the collective efforts of people and give direction to the entire organization. In order to achieve this, the vision must be clear and shouldn’t be ambiguous. See it big, but keep it short and simple. (SIBKISS)
- Timed: every vision has a specific time line (expiration date). When do you want to accomplish your vision? In creating a compelling vision, always remember that a vision without a time line is just a wish and therefore lacks the much needed sense of urgency that brings about the motivation required to make it happen.
- Measurable: what good is a compelling vision if you can’t determine how well you are doing? In creating a compelling vision, make sure there are specific milestones along the way that indicates how close or how far you are in relation to your vision.
- Achievable: don’t create a lofty vision which you don’t have the required resources (people, knowledge, finance, time etc) to make happen. Always create a compelling vision around your passion and core areas of competence.
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Thanks for reading!
Does your business have a compelling vision? How were you able to create it?
Do you have the RIGHT character for effective leadership?
Truth be told; developing ones character for effective leadership is not an easy task, it’s a lifelong task, but its benefits outweighs any pain suffered along the way.
Character is not a destination that is reached; it’s a continuous process that must be perpetually worked on. Just as Eleanor Roosevelt rightly said,
“Character building begins in our infancy, and continues until death”.
Although character is related to personality, it is not the same thing. Personality is primarily inborn traits, while character consists of learned behaviour. Personality is what comes with you from birth; character is what you build all through your life.
Developing Your Character For Effective Leadership
As a CEO in playing your leadership role, developing the right character for effective leadership must be an ongoing process. This lifetime journey revolves around two key things that you must constantly focus on and always strive to improve. What are they?
- Your Values
- Your Habits
VALUES for Developing the Right Character for Effective Leadership
- Why do you think the way you do? Values.
- Why do you behave the way you do? Values.
Values are a set of deeply held beliefs, principles, qualities, standards or virtues that inspire and guides how we do (attitude) and why we do (thoughts).
Values are at the core of our attitudes, thoughts and dispositions; the combination of what we believe in and how we behave. They are what constitute what we think about (thoughts/intents) and form the basis of our attitude and dispositions.
In other words, they are the unseen source from which all our thoughts and attitudes originate. They determine what we believe and don’t believe; what we hold to be true; what’s important; what we respect and don’t respect; and what we are willing and not willing to do to achieve our goals.
They are the inner rules or principles we use to make choices and run our lives. They are those things we believe to be right in relationship to how we behave and why we do the things we do.
We all have values, whether implied or explicit; no human exists without one. We are all driven by something within; some are driven by money, sex, greed, pain, anger, change, purpose, etc. There are both positive and negative values, we can either choose to acknowledge our values and make necessary corrections or choose to ignore their existence and enslave ourselves. Whichever way we choose to look at it, the fact remains true; we’re all driven by one value or another, good or bad.
The difference between exceptional leaders and ordinary men and women is the simple fact that exceptional leaders consciously identify and adopt certain enduring values of life and greatness. While ordinary people simply go about their lives without being aware of the values they have unconsciously adopted. The truth is that there’s no vacuum in life, we must either choose our own values deliberately or allow our subconscious to adopt whatever value it picks from those around us.
This is the case with most people; they find themselves being driven by values they didn’t remember adopting and these values often times run contrary to their character. Because it’s your life and you’re ultimately responsible for how it turns out, why not take the pain to identify, choose and adopt the right values on which to build your life?
You’re probably asking yourself right now one of these questions; “what has being an effective leader got to do with my personal values in life?” Or “are we talking about life here or business?”
To both questions, the answers are the same;
life is a business, business is life.
Both are not two independent things, they are only two sides of the same coin. When it comes to success or greatness in life or in business, the rules are the same. Just as you cannot separate your body from your spirit, you cannot also draw a line between life and business. Why? Because both revolve around you as a person.
You are responsible for running your life and your business; neither will change until you do. If you cannot see the relationship between your behaviour and the results you’re not achieving in your life or in your business, then there’s nothing to change.
The way you live your personal life will reflect in your business and vice versa. People fail in business often times because they try to live a dual life by separating their business from their life. This is only insane. Every successful CEO or business executive knows that business is not another entity away from life, but rather an extension of life. Where do you think the whole idea of doing what you love and bringing your passion to work originated from?
Business at its very core simply means doing something about what you’re most concerned–passion. It means taking your passion and making it an enterprise. How on earth do you intend to do this independently without involving your life? Therefore, your personal values as well as your business values must be one. Duplicity will never lead to authenticity. Remember our definition of character; wholeness whether in business or life or wherever you find yourself.
Now let’s take a look at some of the enduring values of effective leaders both present and past. Each of these values have been personalized so as to make them memorable and applicable for you.
HABITS for Developing the Right Character for Effective Leadership
Habits are what you do (actions) as a result of what you believe and have accepted as true. Habits are your values in action. Your values are manifested through your habits.
As John C. Maxwell said;
“Habits are not instincts. They are acquired reactions. They don’t just happen; they are caused. First we form habits, then our habits form us.”
Your values are the source of your habits. If you have the wrong values, you will exhibit the wrong habits.
For example, someone who deeply values pleasure will form the habit of always shying away from work. Likewise, someone who believes so much in material possession will form the habit of acquiring luxuries. Also, a person who values knowledge will always be found reading and learning.
Habits are often considered dangerous because once they are formed; they can be very hard to break.
So what are some of the habits of effective leaders?
Generally, values and habits for developing the right character for effective leadership are unlimited and are based on personal preferences.
I’ve only tried to an extent to provide a head start for you as it’s essential you continue to search for more enduring values and habits of greatness in life. Remember, character development is a lifelong journey.
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