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Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

How to Change Your Leadership Strategy

“Innovation distinguishes between leaders and followers.” -Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder.

That’s how Steve Jobs defined leadership, and it rings true to this day.

Business practices haven’t changed much in the last 20+ years. Yet, most business leaders are mostly concerned with how to please their stockholders and increase profitability. They end up forgetting it’s the people working to help them get there they should be focusing on.

Here are the key takeaways from Simon Sinek’s talk; Most Leaders Don’t Even Know The Game They’re In, from Live2Lead on how to change leadership roles:

Qualities of a Great Leader

Two things Simon Sinek thinks successful leaders must have; empathy and perspective.

These are two things often forgotten as people seem to focus first on being in charge. Instead of their real job which is being an effective leader to the group of people they’re in charge of.

Unfortunately, most leaders were promoted because they were great at their job, not based on their leadership skills. To further complicate things they are often not even taught how to lead.

Now, instead of being responsible for completing the job, they are responsible for the people who do the job they used to do.

That’s why we have so many managers and so few leaders. They micromanage their team because they think they are better trained to do their old job because that is why they got promoted.

In reality, they need to think about their previous job differently. Just because they might be able to do it better, it doesn’t mean they should neglect the people trying to do it now.

Saying you can do it better doesn’t change the fact that the job isn’t getting done correctly.

Great managers have to make the transition from doing the job to leading the team who does the job. This means they have to take on all the responsibility and consequences positive or negative for their entire team.

Saying you could have done it better will get you and your team nowhere. Leadership skills are just like any other skill, you have to learn and practice it to become good at it.

This is where empathy and perspective come into play. Instead of yelling or blaming employees for mistakes, a good manager will step up and lead the team to the desired goal.

The Millenial Problem and Leadership

The Millenial Problem and Leadership

With millennials entering the workforce, business owners and executives have been baffled on how to deal with workers they feel are entitled and impatient.

However, if you peel back their layers, you find that there is much bigger issue leaders need to address when interacting with millennials. What is viewed as an impatient nature is really often just low self-esteem and insecurities.

A lot of this generation grew up under a failed parenting strategy. They were taught they were special by overbearing parents and coaches that handed out participation awards to make everyone feel like they were a winner.

When all it really accomplished was to make kids feel worse about not winning and not giving them any coping strategies to deal with loss and disappointment.

Social media and technology only make the situation worse because they create a false sense of reality. Cell phones and most apps even release dopamine which gives you a feeling of accomplishment.

This explains why people have become so attached to their phones. They can’t seem to ever put them down even when they are engaged in a conversation.

Technology can get in the way of forming deep, meaningful relationships and lead to depression. As a leader, it is important to set the example, by putting your phone or computer away to take the time to really listen to what your team has to say.

Maybe if there is an entire generation struggling, it’s not them but how you respond to them? Maybe it’s how they were brought up and how most companies are not equipped to handle the employee-focused atmosphere they crave and need to thrive.

Why Corporate Environments Need to Change

Corporate environments are set up to maximize shareholder value and profits. This often comes before their employee’s goals and aspirations.

It’s sad, but most managers do not care about their staff as human beings. They just view them as replaceable units when they don’t meet their yearly quotas and they put performance management before taking into account they are real people.

Good leaders also possess emotional intelligence.

How do you expect your team to perform to their fullest potential when they are in constant fear of being laid off when they don’t meet an arbitrary goal?

A great leader realizes their team needs to feel safe in order to be vulnerable and admit they need help. Great communication skills are at the heart of this, clear communication motivates people and helps them feel secure.

It all comes back to perspective and empathy. Top companies understand they are competing against themselves not their competitors.

If you treat your employees well, they will produce great work which will help your company succeed.

Instead of treating your team based solely on their output which makes them feel insignificant. Instead, focus on how to help them thrive at your company.

Ask them what they need to succeed and take the time to listen to their problems and concerns so you can all grow together as a team.

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How To Jump Into Risk To Find Success

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” – George Herbert

There are millions of quotes online to help motivate us in our different endeavors. Our Mondays are especially filled with pleasant backdrops and inspirational quotes that are used to help us start our week with a positive and productive attitude. These quotes help to lighten our mood while sipping our coffee. Let’s dive into the question of how we can actually absorb that motivation to make the decisions necessary to start that project or business idea we have been planning to start.

Starting big projects that create a difference in your life or the lives of others takes steps that includes risk. Changing aspects of your life leaves room for something to potentially go wrong. You may be afraid that failure will negatively impact your life and cause embarrassment for all to see. Regardless of the potential loss, you will need to muster up some courage to engage in risk.

There are some simple steps you can do to help you make the jump. Starting a new business, or starting a new project to grow your business can feel daunting and overwhelming. Let’s figure out how to navigate situations that include risk, but have potential for true growth.

Don’t Exaggerate The Risk

Frustration from potential risk

You have a busy life. You already have a schedule full of things that you need to accomplish each week for social and business reasons. When you actually want to implement a plan to start a business venture, it can get overwhelming. It is easy to panic when you are overwhelmed.

Take a step back and look at the whole situation. Make a pros and cons list to get a better idea of what your plan entails. Be honest to yourself about the potential risks and write them down. After that, imagine all of the realistic possibilities of what could happen if the risk turns out well.

This next part is crucial to get your mind in the right head space. Imagine and record what the risks are if you don’t follow through with your plan. What could get worse for you? Your future peace of mind could be at risk due to the regret you would feel if you never follow through with your dream. Would not following through with this plan be something you regret for years to come? Think about ways that your current business or life will go if you never step out of your comfort zone to start this new project.

Once you have a better idea of the position you are putting yourself in, start taking smaller risks in your life to get yourself used to the feeling of stepping out of your comfort zone. Try going to new places, try new food, clothes, or activities to train your mind to get used to doing things differently.

Choose Wisely

Choose wisely body image featuring two doors

Though taking risks is key for finding new success, you have to be smart about the risks you take. Running straight into any risk without considering what could happen could get you into a lot of bad situations. Our fear of risk can help guide us to make the right decisions. As long as we learn how to distinguish which risks are a good idea and which ones are not. A pros and cons lists will help you make these decisions.

Taking a realistic look at your timeline and when you should quit your other job or find a bigger office space are good examples of risks that should be carefully calculated before jumping in. Take your budget into account and figure out how you are going to find the funds for specific aspects of your project before taking certain actions.

Commit

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of commitment to excellence, intelligence planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer

Once you decide to follow through with your dream, go for it. Refrain from wavering on your decision from day-to-day. The only way to see real results is to jump in, knowing the risks, and work as hard as you can to achieve your goals. Once you have a good idea of the situation and what steps you need to take in the moment, you just need to fully commit and do it.

If you waste time going back and forth on an idea, you aren’t going to see the results that you will want to see a year from now. You are more likely to fail if you don’t meet that risk head on and do everything in your power to make your goal work.

Without a solid level of commitment, you haven’t truly started yet. This lack of commitment shows that you are still holding on to the fear that your idea won’t work. A lack of commitment will make you less organized and passionate about what you are doing. Once you have fully made the leap, you will be able to focus better, organize, and enjoy what you are doing without being consumed by fear.

Sometimes You Don’t Have The Answer

Question mark symbolizing not having the answers

Though your situation should be fully analyzed to see the risks and benefits, it’s okay to not have all of the answers. Sometimes you won’t know exactly what something will look like in the future, yet you should still work hard to attain a certain.

Another issue is thinking that you need to know exactly how you will accomplish everything that you would like to accomplish. Be flexible with your tactics as you continue on your path.

As times changes and you learn more, you may find new tools to make your dream work. Just take it one day at a time to meet tangible goals. Somethings will need to be figured out along the way. Taking it a day at a time will help you not feel overwhelmed despite the unknowns.

Failure Is A Tool

Inspirational quote on failure

Whether big or small, you will find some failure along the way. That may sound terrifying, but it is actually freeing. We are so scared to take risks because we are scared of failure. Once you see failure as part of life, you will be more likely to take those risks that will help you find success in your business and life.

With every failure is a lesson. Embrace those lessons and take them into your next project or the next step of the project. No one accomplishes a great goal without falling on their face a few times. The trick is to keep on going after you have failed.

Failure can do one of two things:

  1. Make you better and make it so you can meet the next similar situation with confidence.
  2. Stump you because you are too focused on your embarrassment or shortcomings.

The deciding factor for these two outcomes is your perception and how you choose to see the issue of failure. So take that failure and embrace the next risk knowing that you have learned a new lesson. With these clear steps on hand you will be able to navigate those situations that are risky but can benefit you and your business greatly.

Ready to take a risk?

If you need any help marketing your new adventure, our team at Elevare Agency would love to give you a free consultation to see how we can help. Fill out the form below so we can help you get started on this exciting new adventure!

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5 Keys to Unlock Excellent Leadership

Do you know someone in your life who is a excellent leader? Do you feel like excellent leaders are naturals, that they are made and not born? Are you having trouble figuring out if you are an excellent leader?

Well, not to worry! This article covers the main characteristics of what makes a excellent leader and hopefully, in-turn, help you become a excellent leader as well!

If you are reading this article, there’s a chance that you are currently in a leadership position or soon to be in a leadership position and you want to improve your leadership skills.

Leader vs. Manager

It’s important to know that there’s a big difference between a leader and a manager.

Managers set goals, deadlines, and demand performance quotas from team members.

Leaders inspire team members to want to do better, they encourage them and support them by investing time and training into their team. By doing this, they gain trust and love, as opposed to fear and loathing.

It is my experience that you can and will surpass the regulatory criteria that managers are adept to hold their team to by leaps and bounds. This can be done simply by changing your mindset from being a manager to being a leader.

“Unfortunately, most leaders are promoted because they are excellent at their job, not based on their leadership skills. To further complicate things they are often not trained to be a leader in their role. Instead of being responsible for completing the job, they are responsible for the people who do the job they used to do.” – Simon Sinek

That’s why there are so many managers and so few leaders. They micromanage their team because they think they are better trained to do their old job because that is why they got promoted. Do you know someone in this position? Are they stuck in manager mode? How did it feel to work with them?

A excellent Leader Actively Builds excellent Habits

In reality, leaders need to think of their previous job differently. Just because someone might be able to do it better doesn’t mean they should neglect the people trying to do it now. Saying you can do it better doesn’t change the fact that the job isn’t getting done correctly. Here are 5 steps you can do to improve your leadership skills and motivate your team. As you build these positive habits, I promise that you will find a change in yourself and your team.

Have Empathy and Perspective

Top companies understand they are competing against themselves not their competitors. If you treat your employees well, they will produce excellent work which will help your company succeed. Instead of treating your team based solely on their output which makes them feel insignificant, focus on how to help them thrive at your company.

Ask them what they need to succeed and take the time to listen to their problems and concerns so you can all grow together as a team.

This does not mean hand-holding your team members, however, it does mean being there to teach them to grow on their own.

The goal isn’t to make your team members dependent on your input, rather to give them the tools to figure it out on their own. At Elevare, we teach people at all skill levels how to research and how to figure out the best solution for our clients. Then, every team member becomes equipped to handle whatever comes their way. If they fail, our leaders are here not to punish, but to help them fix the issues and create a positive outcome.

Build Meaningful Connections

This leads us to the second point: Building meaningful connections. You might say this is the communication segment of being a leader.

How will you know what your team needs if you don’t know anything about them?

excellent leaders need to put in the time and effort in creating real and meaningful connections. It is said that Millennial team members in particular like to feel valued and appreciated. We believe all team members want to feel and should feel valued and appreciated.

In order to gain confidence and trust from your team, don’t just give them orders. Ask them for their input and work with them instead of above them. Learning about their personal lives, work history, and business goals will help you understand what motivates them and make you both feel more connected as a team.

You might discover you have a excellent leader in your team that will help launch your company to success! How will you know unless you get to know your team?

Motivate More Than You Delegate

A leader needs to take off the nametag of supervisor and envision themselves as a coach motivating their team to the finish line.

This is where the time you spend focusing on each of your team members one on one comes in handy. Now you can work with each member individually to design a career path based on their strengths, goals, and weaknesses.

You will also be able to ensure your team succeeds by pairing teammates together with varied skill sets so they can help and learn from each other.

In every person you hire, you have an opportunity to learn from them, just as they learn from you. Motivating people stimulates learning and collaboration at a much higher degree than demanding and punishing them.

This is not to say that deadlines are not important. They are called deadlines for a reason. I’ve found that a excellent leader meets deadlines more often by motivation than by fear of consequence.

Excellent Leaders Practice Accountability

Doing what they say they will and accepting responsibility for the team’s direction and success. Saying you could have done it better will get you and your team nowhere. Communicating accountability and hiring people who are responsible is also very important. Make sure to interview your potential team members well and establish ground rules and examples for accountability in your organization.

Leadership skills are just like any other skill, you have to learn and practice it every day to become excellent leader. It won’t be an overnight switch. It takes time and dedication.

This is where empathy and prospective come into play. Instead of yelling or blaming employees for mistakes, a good manager will step up and lead the team to the desired goal.

If your team is struggling to finish a project on time, or in the way you expected, work with them. Teach them. Most of all, get in the trenches with them if you know a project isn’t going the right way and show them what you are looking for. This will lead the project to a better path and help them understand future expectations.

Build Trust With Your Peers

Your team needs to trust you and in their job security in order to reach their full potential. It’s hard to expect expect your team to perform to their fullest potential when they are in constant fear of being laid off when they don’t meet an arbitrary goal.

A excellent leader realizes their team needs to feel safe in order to be vulnerable and admit they need help or communicate when they made a mistake. Only then can they learn how to fix the problem and grow from the experience.

Would you like going to work every day if you felt like at any moment, you would be on the chopping block?

People are inspired by leaders. Even leaders are inspired by other leaders. We were inspired to write this blog by Simon Sinek, one of the most compassionate leaders of our time. Watch his video below to learn more about what it takes to be a better leader.

Now that you’ve learned 5 steps of being a excellent leader, it’s time to put these tips into practice. Your team will perform better under a leader that they trust and feel comfortable working with. Practice empathy and perspective. Put in the time to learn more about your team and take accountability when mistakes are made. Be an active team player and support your team whenever they need.

Finally, remember this: Being a leader does not always mean you are the boss, it means that you are a role model in guiding your peers in a positive direction. You are part of the team, not better than the rest. Leaders are a very important part of building success within a company. They can affect culture, employee retention and fulfillment, company revenues and processes, client retention and more! Take it one step at a time, build excellent habits, and go make a positive difference in the lives of those around you!