Fostering Self-Discipline as a Leader

When you’re in a leadership position, not only do you set an example for all of your subordinates, but you’re also responsible for a lot more than the regular employee. It stands to reason that you should be good at disciplining yourself so that you can attain more of the goals that you have set out for yourself. In fact, fostering self-discipline will not only make you happier and help you reach your goals more quickly, but it also helps you set out some of the best examples for your employees so that they too achieve more, thereby making everyone around them more successful and helping your company thrive. Here are some ways that you can get yourself in the habit of using self-discipline.

Work on Your Weaknesses

We all have shortcomings, but developing self-discipline is about learning how to overcome them. It’s easy to do the things that are fun or come easily for us, but it’s a lot harder to develop the skills in areas where you struggle. If you want to be more productive, you should work on your weaknesses because they’re often a lot easier to overcome than what you might think. Plus, you’ll reap the rewards many times over when you show yourself and your employees that it’s possible to move past weaknesses.

Make Goals and Execute

If you want to know where you’re going, you need a road map with destinations. Making clear goals is easy for some, but you need to be able to put it into practice. Write down your goals and the steps you’ll take every day or week to accomplish them.

Don’t Cut Yourself Short

Some people think that there’s a limit to how long they can do something or how hard they can work. Those people often put limits on themselves, and then they only live up to the caps that they’ve arbitrarily placed on themselves. Give yourself plenty of room to grow by not putting caps on your willpower and ability to work.

If you’re trying to develop self-discipline as a leader, it’s a worthy goal, and you’ll probably find that you’re living a happier life when you do because you’ll achieve your goals and inspire your employees to achieve theirs.

What Failure Can Teach You About Leadership

As a leader, failure likely seems like the scariest thing to happen to you. Nobody enjoys failing but when you fail as a leader it hits harder than usual. This is probably due to the fact that you’re leading a team of people, and you may feel as if you’re letting them down. The thing is, failure is often necessary in life, whether you’re a leader or not. Failure teaches us valuable lessons about ourselves and our roles, and allows us to move forward with new insight which can ultimately shape our career and our future as a human being. No matter how hard you try, failure is ultimately inevitable and it’s important to understand what you can learn from it. Here are a few things failure can teach you about being a leader.

Don’t Get Complacent

When you’re succeeding as a leader and your business is doing well, it can be easy to put autopilot on and go with the flow. Why would you want to take a risk when things are going so well? The truth of the matter is that your complacency can be your downfall, and stop your business from ever truly growing. In this situation, a failure of some sort will end up being a slap in the face and help you realize that complacency isn’t always good. While risks can result in failure as well, they are all ultimately learning experiences, and you’re better off having that experience than letting things ride out as they are.

Appreciate Your Role

When you fail as a leader, you ultimately begin to open your eyes to what it is you do and how you make a difference not only in your business but for your team as well. This can help you get a better understanding of what your role is in the company and the difference you make everyday, which can ultimately make you want to become a more effective leader. Your team and your business rely on you to make the right decisions and realizing that will allow you to have a deeper appreciation for your role as a leader as well as the other leaders you work with in and out of work.

There’s Almost Always A Second Chance

One of the most important things you’ll learn about failing as a leader is that failure doesn’t mean it’s the end. Second chances are all around you, and you even if you fail doesn’t mean things are over. Understanding that you have a second chance will allow you to look at situations and opportunities in a new light and ultimately lead you to seizing success with those new opportunities.

Great Leadership Podcasts

Being a leader can be difficult. Not only do you have to properly lead a team of any number of individuals, but you must be prepared to lead them through difficult times as well. Problems can arise at any moment and it can be more stressful than you may believe. Luckily, there are ways to learn more about how to lead properly and oftentimes the best way to do this is by listening to other successful leaders. Many of the most successful leaders have a tendency to share their own knowledge and the stories of how they got to where they are, whether it be through books, interviews or podcasts – a very popular method nowadays. Here are a few great podcasts worth checking out hosted by successful leaders looking to help others in their own success.

The Go-Giver

If you’re looking for something bite size, look no further than The Go-Giver, hosted by Bob Burg. Bob Burg is a fairly popular leadership speaker who used to be a television personality and highly successful salesman, and eventually went on to write a book with the same name as this show. The main concept of both the book and the show is looking at how providing value to other people is the best way to live and work. As a leader, this means being there and doing whatever you can to enhance the lives and work of your team. Episodes are usually no more than 30 minutes in length, typically beginning with a brief thought and then a 15 minute interview with another successful leader.

Growth Think Tank

Formerly known as Leaders in the Trenches, this show is all about having conversations with leaders, for leaders. Host Gene Hammett is a leader and entrepreneur with years of experience who has seen both success and failure in life, and chose to share those experiences and his knowledge with high-performing leaders around the world so they can achieve greater success. Each episode of the show features deep-dive discussions with leaders from all over the world and each conversation is focused on helping listeners create new strategies so they can succeed and expand their own knowledge of leadership and various other skills involved in leadership.

Beyond the To-Do-List

No matter how hard a leader works, sometimes that work just doesn’t pay off. In this show, host Erik Fisher discusses all of the aspects of productivity in leadership and how to choose the right tasks and do them properly. You’ll learn all about how other leaders both fail and succeed when it comes to their daily goals in both work and life, and you’ll obtain the skills to move forward and make sure your hard work pays off both at work and in your personal life.

Using Storytelling to Build Stronger Remote Teams

After the outbreak of the coronavirus, working remotely has become the new normal and many businesses are opting to let their employees continue this practice. Communication between leaders and their teams has been extraordinarily comprehensive and, at times, creative. One of the most powerful forms of communication is storytelling, which has been a part of human culture since our beginnings. We’re all hardwired to respond positively to stories, so why not use that to build a stronger team even if they are working remotely?

Storytelling Forges Positive Connections

Most good stories involve emotions everyone can relate to. Use stories as an ice breaker or as a kickoff for a meeting. As we tell stories we become more animated and invested. The more stories the team shares, the more trust the team will build collectively. Telling stories that have an impact, even if it’s just a smile, will allow the team to trust one another, be more open, support each other, and strive to collaborate more effectively. 

Use Stories to Combat Isolation

No matter how introverted a person is, isolation gets to all of us at some point. Knowing you have a strong team that is just a click away can do wonders for a person’s mental health. Letting others share their self-isolation experiences in a safe and open environment through storytelling allows them to feel they aren’t alone and others are going through the same frustrations. After assessing everyone’s mental space in a meeting you can reach out to individuals, if needed, to assist them further. 

Always Come from a Place of Truth

Even when your team members aren’t in the same room, they can tell when something isn’t genuine. Always keep your stories as authentic as possible to build up trust and comradery even if it’s a simple “For me, a typical day looks like…”. You don’t have to go to great lengths to make your team think you have everything perfectly together. Show your team it’s okay to need help, so you can forge more positive relationships and make your team stronger than ever. 

Allow All Team Members to Contribute

Some members of your team may be excited to share their stories while others may be more shy. Create an online environment where everyone is encouraged to speak and no one person dominates the conversation. Everyone should know their input is valued within the team. Allow a different person to share a story each meeting to ensure everyone gets equal opportunity to speak. 

 

How to Stay Focused While Working From Home

Working from home can seem great at first, but it may get a bit more difficult as time goes on. Staying focused and making sure you have a productive workday from the comfort of your own home is a lot harder than it sounds. Luckily, there are a few things you can do throughout the day to help boost your productivity and keep you focused.

Take a Walk

One of the simplest ways to improve your focus at work is to just take a break and go for a walk. Take a pause from work and leave your desk for a while. After hours of staring at a laptop and sitting in one place, the body can start to wear down and your mind will easily lose focus. To make sure this doesn’t happen, stand up for a bit or take a walk around the block. It’ll improve your work and your day drastically.

Get Moving in Your Seat

When you’re not on a break or walking around, you can easily do some exercises while you are working. Engage in some seated exercises to get your blood flowing and keep your mind focused. Easy ones to try are neck flexion, upper trapezius stretch, strengthening shoulder shrug, chest bicep stretch, and more. If you’re going to spend all day at your desk, doing these exercises can make it easier and more comfortable for you.

Designate a Working Space

Be sure to pick a spot in your home and make it your designated working area. Even if you don’t have a desk, use the kitchen table, a chair in the living room, or even sitting on your bed. Just make sure to set it up in a way to assign it as your work area. And use it for only that If it feels too much like home, it can make staying focused a lot harder. By having a designated area, you are more likely to stay in the workflow and keep up your focus. 

Set Up a Schedule

As you work from home, keep a detailed schedule for your day and make sure to follow it. Don’t just wake up, roll out of bed, and get to work two n=minutes after your alarm goes off. Set up your morning routine just as you would if you were heading out to work instead of working from home. Schedule in your breaks and write down goals for the day so you know what needs to be done and how much time you have to do it. This will allow you to have a more productive day. 

Helpful Podcasts for Small Business Owners

Being a small business owner has its benefits and challenges. As a leader, it’s important to always brush up on your skills and learn new ways to run your business. By being open to new strategies and influences, you can greatly improve how your small business operates and functions. Podcasts have become a great outlet for small business owners. Take a look at the most helpful ones:

 

Entrepreneur on Fire

This entrepreneurially driven podcast is hosted by John Lee Dumas. Each episode of Entrepreneur on Fire runs about 30 minutes and focuses on subjects such as operating a business and becoming successful. Many of the episodes listeners have the chance to hear Mr. Dumas interview successful small business owners. With everyone from tech start-up founders to solopreneurs, listeners are able to hear about their journey to success. 

 

Online Marketing Made Easy

Marketing is a huge factor when running a small business and an incredibly imperative skill to have. The podcast Online Marketing Made Easy is hosted by Amy Porterfield who discusses the ins and outs of online marketing. The topics of each episode Amy Porterfield give advice for marketing an eCommerce business or blogging for business and brings on guests to joining the discussion to lend their helpful knowledge. 

 

Real Money Talks

A great podcast for empowering entrepreneurs is Real Money Talks. The host Loral Langmeyer uses each informative and entertaining episode to educate and empower entrepreneurs. This podcast’s main focus is to teach how to have important money talks that are straight, to the point. Not only is this great for entrepreneurs, but it can also be applied to everyday life. If your main concern as a small business owner is money, this is the podcast for you.

 

The EntreLeadership Podcast

As a business owner, it’s always important to brush up on your leadership skills. The EntreLeadership Podcast is the perfect resource for lessons on becoming a stronger and more effective leader. This show is hosted by Ken Coleman who uses each episode as an opportunity to provide listeners with new leadership and business strategies to help a business grow and flourish. This podcast also features celebrity business owners as guests to offer their tried and true business advice.

How to Spot a Bad Leader

Having a strong leader to effectively run a team or business can make or break success. Leaders are what drives a business forward, but they can also be what holds it back. This is why it is so important to know how to spot a bad leader. While there are definitely obvious ways to know when someone is a bad leader, there also characteristics or habits that can fly under the radar. Here are the best ways to spot a bad leader:

 

Without Vision

An effective leader will always have their mission in mind and know exactly how they want to portray that to their team. Bad and ineffective leaders often lack vision. Without vision, there is nothing driving them forward. A leader without a vision is often aimless and will ultimately fail. In order fo the team and the business to be successful, it’s important to have a clear vision or purpose in a place that everyone is aware of.

 

Too Fearful

In business, you have to know when to take a risk. Without taking any risks, there is no way to ultimately find success. A leader who fears too much is not going to be able to lead the business. There are certain decisions that need to be made by a leader and if they are lead by fear, nothing will ever move forward. While a leader shouldn’t be completely fearless, it’s important to sometimes take a risk to reap the rewards.

 

The Know-It-All

One of the worst things a leader can do is thinking they know everything. No matter how high you are up in the business, there is always something that needs to be learned. Whether it is a new leadership strategy and a business theory, it’s important for a leader to recognize they do not know everything. A know-it-all leader will never be willing to learn which can lead to their ultimate failure. 

How to Build a Successful Team

Being put into a leadership role comes with a lot of responsibility, especially if you do not even have a team first. When building a team as a leader, it’s up to you to find the most qualified individuals to be successful. Even though there is a lot of pressure and the task may seem daunting, there are a few tips you can follow to help build your team:

Letting Others Lead

This may sound counterproductive but, this is a great way to build a strong and successful team. If you already have one or more members on your team, let employees make their own decisions and take the lead on projects. By doing this, you are encouraging them to become more self-sufficient and productive. Giving them the independence to develop their own problem-solving and analytical skills helps you as a leader take on the bigger tasks and trust them to carry out their work. 

Determine The Leader in You

Think about what type of leader you are while developing your team. Try to really look into yourself to determine whether you are empathetic, kind, strict, laid back, or anything else that affects the way you lead. Once you know the type of leader you are, you will have a better chance of understanding the type of team members that will thrive under your leadership. 

Establish Team Values

When building a team, it’s important to remember what your core values and goals are. Think about the purpose of why you are building this team and what you want to accomplish. Hire members that share the same values and who will work hard to see the team’s goals fulfilled. As your team builds, make sure they are staying true to these values and how they’re job performance effects this.

Focus on Communication

Once you have your team assembled, it’s important to do all you can to keep it functioning like a well-oiled machine. The best way of doing this is through effective communication. Make sure there questions, comments, and concerns are always heard, welcomed, and honored. When a team feels that they are heard, they work much better, On your end, don’t be afraid to voice what needs improvement or to give credit where credit is due. Effective communication can make or break a team’s strength.

Master Your EQ to Enhance Your Leadership Capabilities

EQ, or emotional intelligence, has become a popular topic among leaders and managers in recent years for good reason. While this skill was largely overlooked throughout the past several decades, it’s getting a much-needed resurgence while propelling effective leaders to new heights and creating unstoppable teams. 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage yourself and your relationships effectively and is closely linked with performance and success. Use the following tips to enhance your skills to more effectively lead your team to success. 

Be Self-Aware

Self-awareness is a crucial skill to have as a leader. You must be aware of your actions, how you come across to your team, and how you express yourself in certain situations. In addition to knowing how you will react to situations, you must be aware of what triggers your emotional responses. These aspects together can give you a clear picture of how to best control these actions to lead your team towards a healthier future instead of regressing. Be open to criticisms and use them as a basis to improve and develop your skills. 

Be Socially Aware

Social awareness involves a sensitivity to another person’s feelings and emotions as well as your own willingness to be respectful. With more knowledge about how other people may react, you can compose a professional response without batting an eye. If your company implements a new policy that may trigger a negative reaction within your team, you can prepare them in a way that is respectful, ensures their concerns are heard, and you can make the proper adjustments to maintain efficiency. 

Facilitate Collaboration

With a higher emotional intelligence, it’s possible to improve day-to-day interactions amongst those on your team. A higher EQ means you can manage larger teams more effectively by helping others work together and to motivate them to work harder in a way that inspires instead of threatens. The happier your team is the more it will show in their work. Once you prove the worth of your EQ to the team as a whole you can teach others to do the same to create a positive and productive workforce that truly values its employees. 

Leadership Strategies to Grow a Small Business

A leader’s work is never done, especially in a small. There are always new and undiscovered ways to improve your team and your business. As a leader, it’s important to always be open to new strategies that can boost productivity. If you stick to the same ways and routine, it can quickly lead to unengaged and unmotivated. Here are the greatest leadership strategies to grow a small business:

Honest Vision and Communications

Honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to improving the performance of your team. When you start a business or are helping to lead one, there is always a vision in mind. To be a great leader, you have to express that vision every day through your work and how you communicate with your team. This means always staying on message and communicating with your how their work is a crucial part of this vision. Be honest when they have questions about their work and always stay on message.

Always Be Realistic 

Some leaders will make the detrimental mistake of setting very unrealistic goals for their team. They think shooting for such high standards will motivate them to try harder. It can actually have the opposite effect and lead to employee burnout which can have a negative impact on performance and productivity. Instead, keep the goals achievable, but also a bit challenging. When your team knows the goal will take hard work but isn’t impossible to achieve, they will work harder and improve their performance to help grow your small business.

Give Them Space

The last thing your team needs is a micromanager. Instead of delegating every detail down to the very last memo, give them the chance to prove their work on their own. Your team is not incompetent and they know how to do their work. By giving them space to perform their job, you are empowering them to be great. Of course, always be there for help, questions, comments, and concerns, but at a safe distance to help them flourish on their own. In the end, it can lead to better workflow and a stronger business.