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The world’s growing ever more competitive. Even if you already have a job, making sure you have access to the best opportunities means going beyond the usual. It’s not enough to stay on top of your to-do list or meet the expectations of your job description. If you want to make an impression, you have to differentiate yourself from others.

There are three things people notice that can help or hinder you in setting yourself apart: your attitude, how you treat others, and how you act when you think no one is watching.

Specifically, here are 10 ways to make a successful impression in the workplace:

1. Become a trailblazer.

One of the best ways to make an impact is by breaking ground with new ideas, spearheading new concepts, and originating new proposals. Be a trailblazer–don’t be afraid to make your own tracks. Work to always be the person who can offer a creative solution or a solid Plan B. Be resourceful enough to do a lot with a little.

2. Keep people informed.

No one likes chasing people or information. Do everyone a favor and update them often. People often think they should wait to communicate when a task is finished or they have specific information. When you let people know what’s happening–even if it means saying you don’t know–you’re saving them from speculation, distraction, and rumors. A simple status update can buy a lot of peace of mind.

3. Be the go-to person.

Become the person other people count on. Few things make a bigger impression. Don’t work to become a person of success but a person of value.

4. Become a forecaster.

Keep your thinking a step ahead of the rest. If everyone is worrying about today’s problems, think about tomorrow’s solutions. Don’t wait for things reactively; instead, be responsive to issues and trends before there’s a problem. It comes down to paying attention to the people and problems you’re dealing with and noticing patterns or potential pitfalls. We’ve all had moments when we know we could have done more. Long before you get to that moment, come up with a plan and set it in motion.

5. Have confidence to speak up.

Have you ever sat in a meeting where there were only two people doing all the talking? If you want to make an impact, be willing to speak up and speak out. Share what you know and let others know how you can be supportive and helpful. Leaders are never silent in meetings.

6. Do things without being asked.

Never ask, “Is there anything I can do?” Just look around and find something useful to do. Making an impact means seeing what needs to get done and taking the initiative to make sure it happens. Try to do something every day that no one asked you to do.

7. Be a great listener.

Most people think that making an impact is all about what you say and do. Often overlooked is another important way you can leave your mark–by becoming a great listener. Pay attention to what people say. Listen to understand and focus on the speaker instead of thinking ahead to your reply.

8. Go the extra mile.

Above all, you have to do your job and do it with excellence. But that’s where most people stop–and that means you can make an impact by going further and being more helpful, more supportive, more valuable. The extra mile is never crowded.

9. Have a positive mindset.

Whether you’re just starting out in your first job or are leading a team of your own, remember that people gravitate toward those who have a positive attitude. It’s the person who takes on every task–even the most tedious–with enthusiasm and joy who truly stands out. If you view everything through a negative lens then you’re likely to have a negative mindset, but if you cultivate a positive attitude it will take you far.

10. Take the lead.

Everyone has the choice to be a leader, to make an impact and leave their mark. Too many people back off from taking the lead in the mistaken belief that leadership and greatness are reserved for a select few. But in the many years I’ve served as an executive leadership coach, spending time with top leaders in virtually every field, I have witnessed that the only way people give away their power is by thinking they don’t have any. If you take it upon yourself to lead with the idea of serving others, you will not only stand out but will also leave a strong and lasting impression.

If you’re the kind of person whose foundation is positivity, service, and guiding and supporting others while trying to solve problems and come up new solutions, you will soon find yourself standing out–and setting yourself up to become the kind of leader others respect and want to follow.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post 10 Ways You Can Make an Impressive Impact at Work appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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If you have plans of becoming a manager or taking on any leadership position, you can help yourself tremendously by being aware of the mistakes that hurt the reputations and relationships of new bosses. Here are the ten most common that I see in my work as a leadership coach. Check in with yourself periodically throughout your first year and make sure you’re avoiding these potholes, and before you know it you’ll be a well-regarded and seasoned leader.

Trying to lead with a one-size-fits-all approach.

Don’t assume that everyone needs the same kind of communication or motivation. The best bosses make an effort to become acquainted with those they lead as individuals and tailor an equitable approach that best connects with each individual on their team. Leadership is about investing your time and energy in getting to know those you lead and giving them what they need most.

Poor communication.

Even some experienced leaders have a hard time communicating well with their team. Good news is easy, but difficulties and problems are more challenging to communicate effectively. In my new book, The Leadership Gap, I talk about great leaders as great communicators and truth tellers. They’re honest and transparent with their team, even if the news is bad. Whatever’s going on, share it openly and involve others to come up with a solution. Honest communication builds trust and shuts down harmful rumor mills and gossip.

Thinking that what got you here will keep you here.

Many people are promoted to management because they’re rock stars in their field–but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the managerial or leadership skills they need in their new role. Find a coach or mentor who can help you excel in the transition and teach you what you need to know to succeed and keep advancing.

Trying to change everything right away.

Making rapid wholesale changes is among the worst mistakes you can make in any position of authority. To earn respect, start by taking some time to understand the workplace culture and dynamics, then make any changes incrementally and with as much participation and buy-in from the team as possible. Listen and learn, and don’t change things that work well just because you can.

Abusing power.

Leadership is not about flexing your personal power but empowering others. That means you stand alongside those you lead and develop relationships that are collegial and mutually respectful. When you do, you’re more likely to discover a team of followers–not just subordinates–who work effectively, efficiently and happily.

Failing to deliver difficult feedback.

It’s natural to want to be liked, so too often new bosses avoid giving feedback–especially the difficult kind. But here’s the irony: if your leadership style is based on pleasing people and being liked, over time you’ll be seen as insecure, and you’ll become disliked and disrespected. If problems persist and challenges go unaddressed, your best people will grow frustrated, which in turn will lead to low morale and high employee turnover. Better to face up to what needs to be done.

Staying isolated in the office.

To be in a new position can be daunting, and wanting to make sure all goes well can keep you working long hours isolated behind closed doors. But that isolation is a big mistake. New leaders need to be visible, available and accessible. Your presence helps convey the message that you’re there to serve others and they can count on you.

Not learning to delegate effectively.

As a leadership coach I can’t count how many times I’ve heard this: “I’m new, I want to do things right, and if it’s going to be done right, then I have to do it myself.” Wrong! if you cannot delegate, you are not leading effectively. The only message you’re sending is that you’re a micromanager who doesn’t trust your people to do their jobs, and that reputation never leads to good results. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do everything all by yourself. Learn to trust those who have been hired to do their work–stand beside them but don’t control them. Give them the freedom they need to excel.

Not knowing how to motivate others.

It can be intimidating to be the new boss, but it’s imperative that you start by working to understand the motivation of your people–what drives them, compels them, excites them. From there you can fulfill your responsibility to nourish them into doing things they didn’t even know were possible. As I tell my clients, great leaders inspire those around them to do great things, and they do it by knowing what motivates others to excel.

Failing to show appreciation.

In their desire to hit the ground running and start racking up impressive accomplishments, new leaders often fail to recognize the contributions of others. When you focus only on results, you forget to acknowledge the effort, the talent and the performance. And when that happens, you team becomes less imaginative, less productive, and more likely to play it safe and just put in their hours.

Every new role carries a need for new skills, and being a new boss is no different. Avoid these costly rookie mistakes and you’ll have a great start toward becoming the leader you are meant to be.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post 10 Bad Mistakes You Can Make as A New Boss appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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Hate is a strong word. But sometimes you will likely have to work with people you have a hard time getting along with, and over time those feelings can grow into something strong enough to warrant the word.

Maybe they’re untrustworthy, or lazy, or self-aggrandizing, or unaware of how their habits affect others. Maybe they just rub you the wrong way. Whatever the issue,  you may be feeling that the only way to make it better is to leave.

But if leaving isn’t an option–or if you like your job and don’t want to give it up–there are things you can do to cope.

Here are seven ways you can make life more bearable with a co-worker you despise:

If you can’t change the situation, you have to learn to change yourself.

If you can’t change the other person–and the odds are high that you can’t–what you can do is to change yourself. Work to adopt a different attitude and mindset. Remember that leadership begins from within, and by developing the resources to deal with your frustration, you’re building a valuable skill.

To get a solution you must first reframe the problem.

It’s easy to recall all the things you dislike about your coworker, but instead work to reframe them by focusing on their good qualities. As a coach, when I help people navigate conflicts, I always have each person state a few things that they appreciate about the other. If you can come from a positive side and find something, however small, to feel good about, you’ll be much better off.

Let the things that irritate you lead to a better understanding of yourself.

When you have a strong reaction to someone else, psychology says that it might be projection or envy. When you realize you’re totally irritated by something, take a moment to consider whether it might relate to something you dislike within yourself. What we hate in others is likely to be a reflection of our own worst qualities.

Remember that whatever you resist will follow you.

If you can’t find a way to work through what you’re feeling, chances are that you’ll have to face the same issue down the road. The lessons we encounter in life tend to be repeated until we manage to truly learn and internalize them. It’s human nature to resist these patterns–and the more important the issue, the more resistance we throw at it. But if you work through it now, you can save yourself a lot of trouble.

Be radically honest no matter how much you want to hide the truth.

Hating anyone burns up your emotional bandwidth and energy, keeping you from the things you need to do. Be honest and have a courageous conversation by being vulnerable about voicing your opinions. Much of the time, people are completely oblivious to how their behavior makes other people feel. Bringing their lousy behavior to their attention may open the door and change things for the better.

Treat feedback as a gift that you are given in the present.

When you confront someone, you also have to be prepared to listen to their side. Seek first to understand-pay attention to what is being said, taking in body language and tone as well as what’s spoken, then respond, don’t react.

Focus on inclusion because segregation has never brought anyone but trouble. 

When you really can’t stand someone, don’t think of segregating yourself from that person. Instead, find ways to include them in what you do. Find out more about the person, learn their story, and try to understand what drives them. You may find out you’ve been reading them all wrong.

These things are not easy to do–trust me, I know. When people come to me as a coach and ask how to handle a person they hate, they want a quick fix, but quick fixes aren’t really fixes at all. If it’s going to get better, we have to work harder.

In a perfect world, we’d get along perfectly in good relationships with all our co-workers. In reality, most of us spend at least some time working with someone we can’t stand– but there are always options to try and make things a little better.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post How to Get Along with a Co-worker You Hate appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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No matter what position you have, leadership skills are valuable. Smart people know that to survive you have to lead, even if you don’t have the title (yet). The truth is, during the span of your career, you will not always have the title, but if you learn and acquire the following skills, they should give your leadership career the jump start it needs:

Cultivate a great mindset.

Having a good attitude is a great skill. If you can show enthusiasm and positivity no matter what your job is, people will notice. On any given day, many things can go wrong, but it’s the person who stays above the fray that is appreciated and respected.

Consistently be supportive.

When it comes to showcasing your inner leadership, teamwork is essential. if you insist on having your own way or controlling others, your career will run into a wall. The people who are supportive, adding value, always looking to serve others, those are the leaders who are indispensable. Always try to have the attitude of, “What can I do for you?”

Learn to be flexible.

If you want to stand out, make a great impression and work to become a person who is agile and flexible. It’s often the stubborn individuals who cost themselves advancement. If you want to succeed, be influential, but learn to be flexible.

Let people know they can count on you.

When people know you are accountable, it will give you credibility. When they know you stand by others, they respect you. Letting others know you trust them and showing them they can trust you back makes for a very impressive reputation.

Be the creative one.

In your current position, what process can be improved? What best practice can be tweaked? What can you do to make things easier for your customers or clients? Use your creativity to continuously improve processes, and you will always stand out.

Give credit where credit is due.

How many times have you seen your colleague or peers, or even your boss, taking the credit when the credit wasn’t theirs to be taken? The way to stand out is to stand together, to acknowledge others for their contribution, and give credit where credit is due. The way to be striking is to shine the light on others.

If you start cultivating your leadership skills, moving up will be much easier. If you focus on being supportive, having a great attitude, being flexible and creative, and letting people know they can count on you, it will become much much easier for others to see you as a leader, no matter what your current position is.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post 6 Impressive Ways to Lead Without the Title appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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Most people hate saying no. Nobody likes the idea of disappointing others, but knowing when and how to say no is one of the most important skills you can cultivate. Done right, “no” can help you build better relationships and free you up to do the things that are important to you.

Here are some ways to start building your ability to say that difficult word:

Acknowledge that you can’t do everything.

Trying to say yes to everything is likely to leave you trapped with no time or energy for yourself–and unable to give your best to any of your commitments. Start by selecting the things you genuinely want to say yes to–the things that build relationships with important people in your life, that align with your values, that bring you joy–and stop accepting responsibilities that don’t meet those criteria.

Define your personal boundaries.

Boundaries define the emotional and mental space between yourself and another person. Think of them as the gatekeepers of your personal space, and make sure that you’re clear about how much you’re able to take on. Setting boundaries, especially with people you care about, can be difficult and may make you feel guilty at first, but remember that caring for yourself helps assure that you have the energy to be there for others.

Identify your priorities.

To make good decisions about what to say no to, you need a clear idea of your own priorities. If you’ve left them undefined, sit down and spend some time thinking about what’s most important to you. Learning to prioritize effectively can help you become more efficient, save time, and decrease stress. Once you know what’s most important, it’s easier to decide where to focus your energy .

Practice saying the words.

Whether you’re declining an invitation to a party or turning down a new project at work, you can say no while still being friendly and respectful. Give yourself some ground rules and practice what you’ll say. Give a brief reason if you wish to, but don’t falter or back down. Be direct: “I’m sorry, but that’s not something I can take on now.”

Never compromise on your integrity.

Your integrity sets your standards and gives you a code of morality and ethics. Use it to guide you in saying no and you’ll always make consistent choices that are grounded in your beliefs.

Know that you can’t please everyone.

Trying to make everyone happy is a recipe for stress and frustration–and it’s literally impossible to do. You may fear that people will disrespect you or be disappointed if you say no, but most people won’t think any less of you. Remember too that in saying no you’re modeling good self-care to those around you.

Here’s the bottom line: Knowing when to say no takes learning. Hone your skills so that you’re able to more easily recognize and deal with the situations where it’s your best response.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post Stop Saying Yes When You Want to Say No appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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If there’s one thing we all have in common, it’s that we all make mistakes–some because of inexperience, some because we don’t yet know what we know, and some, unfortunately, that we repeat again and again until we finally learn better. Mistakes are a natural part of learning, living, and leadership. But some mistakes can seriously sabotage your future. Here are a few to make sure you steer clear of:

Mistake #1: Believing you have to know everything and do everything to be successful.

To build a successful career, you definitely need to develop expertise in your field. But when you allow yourself to think you have to know everything and do everything, you’re setting yourself up to fail–plus you come across as a micromanager who doesn’t trust your team. Don’t sabotage your success by trying to know and do it all. Remember instead that the most successful people are those who are good at getting out of their people’s way and giving their team space to collaborate and get things done.

Mistake #2: Thinking your leadership skills will develop naturally with time.

You may be extremely competent in what you do, but if you don’t have any leadership coaching, mentoring, or guidance, don’t expect that whatever got you to your position will keep you there. If you’re in a leadership role, you need to be constantly honing your skills. As a leadership coach for top executives, I see this all the time–those who get promoted to prestige jobs don’t think they need any coaching. But leadership is a skill that requires constant nurturing and development. That may mean devoting some time each day to sharpening your skills, or taking a class, or hiring a coach to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses and build your confidence.

Mistake #3: Falling prey to SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome).

An ailment of distraction, Shiny Object Syndrome most commonly affects business people with an entrepreneurial mindset precisely because of the qualities that make them unique: They tend to be highly motivated, they crave new technology and new developments, and they aren’t afraid to start new projects and create new things. But if you’re constantly chasing after something, only to lose interest and start in on the next thing, you’re in danger of derailing your career. Once you reach a certain level, success isn’t about getting new opportunities but about getting the right opportunities. The more time you spend looking for something new, the less time you have to devote to becoming your best.

Mistake #4: Putting your life on hold while you chase success.

If you don’t have a life, you don’t have a career. Thinking that longer hours will make you more successful is a big mistake. It’s not the hours you put in but the quality of what happens in those hours that matters. I have seen talented individuals who work all day and all night, and they’re still not as effective as those who come in early and leave early so they can have time with their family, preserving their health and maintaining their balance. Science shows that you’re at your most effective when you take breaks, nourish your body, exercise, meditate–whatever feeds your body and spirit makes you better at work. Don’t run yourself ragged, neglecting your family, friends and health. You’ll end up with nothing.

Mistake #5: Going after a title instead of preparing to fill a role.

Those who are average go after titles instead of working to get the best results and become as effective as they can be. If you’re more concerned with titles and status than with substance, you could be sabotaging your success. Sometimes you have to take a step back to position yourself to take two steps forward. Focus on building the skills you’ll need for your next steps forward.

Mistake #6: Burning bridges.

This may be the biggest mistake of all. You never want to become that person of whom the HR person says, “Here’s a good example of how not to leave a job.” When you’re on your way out, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of wanting to tell everyone what you see as wrong and dysfunctional. But that short-term satisfaction can cost you in reputation. Most fields are a fairly small world, and there’s a good chance you’ll run into some of these people again. As the old saying goes, leave nothing behind but golden footprints.

We all make mistakes. But be mindful of your mistakes, especially those that can harm your career. Pay attention to their patterns, and to what I call as a coach your leadership gaps. You can leverage them to your benefit, or you can let them damage your career and slow down your life’s work.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post 6 Big Career Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Future appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, the odds are good that you long to be your own boss. It’s a sound aspiration, but there are few things you need to know going in. The key to doing well in the long term is to set yourself up for success right from the start, and these six principles can help you get there:

Be determined. According to the US Small Business Administration, more than half of small business fail within the first five years. They fail for many reasons–most often not for a lack of desire, but because people shut down and leave when things go wrong. A determined person stays the course no matter what happens or what gets them down. Some people succeed because they are destined, but many more succeed because they are determined.

Be disciplined. If you worked for someone else before working for yourself, you may have needed to be motivated and inspired by others. Now that you’re your own boss, you to learn to be a disciplined person with the right emotional state and mindset. Self-discipline is at the core of every successful person, the key to building a positive attitude toward time and personal management. Self-discipline is the most important quality you need to develop if you want to achieve success as your own boss.

Become an expert. To become a boss you need experience, and becoming the expert in the company you are starting means that you need to be able to rely on your own knowledge and wisdom as you grow and run your business. Becoming an expert is making an investment in knowledge–the kind of investment that ends up paying the best interest.

Be decisive. If you’re serious about being your own boss, you need to develop decisiveness. That means being specific and concise and timely when there’s a decision to be made. I believe it’s our decisions, not the condition of our lives, that determine how successful we will be. A true leader and great boss has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the insight to realize that they are a product not of their circumstances but of their decisions.

Build your network. It’s all but impossible to build a business on your own. That’s why you need to connect with as many influencers you can within your industry and field. You never know where business will come from, so it’s important that you continually engage in networking and make the right connections to excel and succeed.

Build financial security. Great ideas are important, but to make those ideas successful, you need to be financially secure. A solid nest egg makes a big difference between starting a business and staying in business. There are many ways to build your financial security–saving your own money, seeking out investors, or even getting a loan. A successful entrepreneurial boss needs a financial cushion they can rely on. If you’re not realistic about your financial needs, your business won’t have a realistic chance of succeeding.

The best part of being your boss is that the more you put in the more you get out. It may not always to be easy, but your success is right there in your own hands. There’s no other feeling like it.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post Want to Be Your Own Boss? Here’s What You Need to Know appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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Effective leadership can be thought of as a set of qualities and skills. Different leaders may have different makeups, different strengths and challenges. But there are certain traits that lie at the core of leadership–the qualities that all great leaders share.

Developing the elements that make up leadership is a lifelong process. Start with these fundamentals and, as you grow into your personal leadership style, add others that fit. Then check in from time to time and see how well you’re progressing in each area so you can make a plan to keep growing and improving.

Here are 16 traits and skills that are central to great leadership:

1.    Clarity of purpose.

The best leaders have to show all those they lead how their decisions align with the organization’s vision, goals, targets and ethics. Success demands singleness of purpose, and great leaders not only pursue it themselves but empower others to do the same.

2.    Define tasks.

Express what needs to be done with clarity and coherence. Once tasks are defined, give autonomy to the talented people you’ve hired and trust that the job can be done. The worst thing a leader can do is to micromanage the talented people they have hired. Allow people to do their job and excel at it.

3.    Focus on goals and getting results.

Understand the vision of the business or project and keep it at the forefront at all times. As a leader, you need to stay focused, prioritize and keep moving toward your goals. Commit everything you do to excellence.

4. Act decisively.

Decisive leadership avoids stagnation and vacillation. Know how to keep everyone moving forward on task with motivation and inspiration while also being responsible and adaptable to change and new information.

5. Display confidence.

The best leaders–the ones people truly respect–know how to lead with confidence. They take on new challenges while showing others that they’re not afraid of new roles or projects.

6.  Have a positive mental attitude.

A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of the other way around. Being a leader can be tough, and a positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts and events. It’s a catalyst that fuels extraordinary outcomes. The best leaders know how to control how they feel and think. They understand that negativity exists within each of us but it’s our choice whether to foster it or not.

7.    Are solution oriented.

Every business, market and industry comes with its own set of problems and challenges. The best leaders are focused on solutions. They don’t get caught up on the details or blame others. When things don’t work out, they concentrate on the task at hand and do what is required to keep moving forward.

8.    Demonstrate accountability.

With great power comes great responsibility. The best leaders understand that there will always be failures and mistakes, and they take full responsibility for theirs and their team’s. The moment you take responsibility for everything is the moment you can change anything.

9.  Invite genuine feedback.

People need to be able to speak up and let their leaders know what they think. The best leaders don’t belittle those who disagree with them; they understand the importance of engagement, of speaking up and making a contribution.

10.    Cultivate humility.

Being a humble leader doesn’t mean you should hide your accomplishments. Humility is simply a willingness to be human, to admit to your inevitable mistakes and failings and encourage others to do the same.

11.    Employ effective communication.

When a leader is open and transparent in their alignment with company’s values, it ensures that communication–whether it’s upward to senior management or down the hierarchy to managed employees–is always consistent and without contradiction.

12.    Take risks.

Great leaders don’t allow their fear of consequences to prevent them from following their deepest instincts. They know creativity is about inventing, experimenting, growing, making mistakes and leading others forward.

13.    Are willing to broadcast praise.

It’s important to demonstrate that you care about your team and their success as a group. When employees perform well, recognize and acknowledge their achievements. Announce these achievements to the rest of the team, to senior management and, if possible, to your clients or customers, offering opportunities for positive reinforcement and role modeling.

14.    Engage in active listening.

Most leaders love to hear themselves speak, but great leaders show respect for others by paying attention to the person talking. They listen actively by restating information, and they offer subtle encouragement by nodding, smiling or leaning in to prompt the person talking to continue and elaborate on their ideas.

15.    Motivate others.

To motivate people, you have to engage them–not only their minds but also their hearts. Great leaders know that success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life, it’s about what you inspire others to do.

16.    Are constantly role modeling.

Great leaders are great role models. They understand that if they want to achieve greatness, they have to first seek it in themselves and then set the example through the things they say and do–and when their words and deeds are aligned, others will want to emulate them.

Leadership, at its best, is about relationships, teams, partnerships and motivating people to contribute. Cultivate creativity and excellence. Listen; seek new ideas and advice. That is the essence of great leadership.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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The post Everything You Need to Know About Great Leadership appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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All leaders make mistakes. To be human means to mess up once in a while. But the difference between good leaders and great ones lies in how they handle those mistakes.

What are you modeling to those around you when you make a mistake? Your team will be watching, and what they see will affect their relationship with you and the level of trust they hold for you, so it’s important to get it right. Here are four simple but impressive ways you can demonstrate great leadership when you make a mistake:

1. Acknowledge your mistakes.

Never try to cover up or blame others for what went wrong. If you messed up, admit it and own it. It doesn’t have to be a big deal–simply acknowledge your responsibility and move on. Insecure leaders may be afraid of looking weak, but not admitting their mistake makes them look worse and costs them respect. I believe that in leadership, vulnerability is the ultimate strength. Admitting your mistakes earns you the respect of those you lead and makes your leadership human.

2. Learn from your mistakes.

Once you learn from your mistakes, don’t repeat them. As the old saying goes, when you repeat a mistake it is not a mistake anymore but a decision. The nature of great leadership lies in accepting risks, trying new things, and taking big chances, looking for the limits of what’s possible. And the best leaders know creativity often means breaking rules, making mistakes and learning along the way. Mistakes are among the greatest teachers, and working to understand your mistakes is one of the best forms of self-education. Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes; leadership is learning from them.

3. Teach others from your mistakes.

The times in our lives when we feel we have the least power can actually be the times we have the most–when we can affirm or redefine who we are and what we believe, and make choices that help others benefit from our experiences, good and bad. When you make mistakes, make a point of teaching others what you’ve learned. Doing so builds connection and trust. The best leaders are the great teachers, coaches, and guides who show us the way after they have been down that path.

4. Move beyond your mistakes.

Success is connected with action. Successful people keep moving; they make mistakes but don’t quit. Learn to use failure as a stepping stone away from the past. You don’t forget your mistake, but you don’t dwell on it or let it get you down. Get up and keep moving.

Like all of us, you’re bound to make mistakes. But when you handle them well, they can help you be a better leader and a better person.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post 4 Impressive Ways Great Leaders Handle Their Mistakes appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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It is a sad truth that you never have to look far to find someone working for a leader they don’t believe in. (It may even be you.) People lose faith in leaders for lots of reasons: broken trust, lack of confidence, or just plain disagreement.

If you’re working for a leader you don’t believe in, you’re probably feeling that your path to success will be especially difficult. Most people will tell you to get a different job–and if that option’s open to you, it’s worth thinking about. But sometimes you don’t have a choice but to stay where you are, at least for the short term.

That doesn’t mean you have to lose hope, however. I believe our most difficult struggles and challenging times are when we grow the most. When you’re stuck in a bad situation, you can always commit to learning as much as possible from it. And it’s possible to survive, and even excel, under incompatible leadership.

Here are some actions you can take if you find yourself not believing in your leader and you still want to succeed:

Think about your own purpose.

In a difficult situation, it’s natural to want to complain about others–especially the person whose leadership you hold responsible. But when you focus on others, you lose sight of yourself. When times get tough, go within–be very clear in defining for yourself what you want to accomplish and how you want to succeed. Concentrate on yourself instead of looking at what is wrong with others.

Don’t let it get personal.

It’s hard not to get emotional when situations are difficult, but you don’t have to let them get personal. Manage your emotions is an especially important skill when you’re constantly challenged. It is important not to gossip, attack, or speak badly about your boss–it reflects poorly on you, and if anything makes them a more sympathetic figure. If you’re in a situation where you need to speak up, keep it factual. Attack only ideas, never people.
Become a sponge. Learn as much as you can. I believe that we can learn something from everyone we meet, and the more stressful and challenging the times, the more we can gain from them. Remain open and see what you can soak up. You may or may not gain great wisdom, but you’ll certainly learn something.

Take control where you can.

When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control he way you respond; that is where your power is.

Practice empathy.

Remember that behind every bad behavior is a person with specific motivations for what they do and a story leading to who they are. When you can understand the “why” behind bad leadership, it can reduce your frustration. Allow the fact that there might be a very human reason for malfunctioning leadership to elicit your empathy.

Do your best no matter what.

While you may be dreaming of your next job every day, getting out depends largely on the results you can show from the job you have now. Even if your boss makes you miserable, your leader sabotages you, or your manager frustrates you, your self-interest still lies in doing your best in the situation you’re in. Learn to push yourself; work hard to be the best. Will it be easy? No. Worthwhile? Definitely

Be discreet.

Resist the impulse to say or do something you can’t take back. Once you are seen as a negative influence it’s very difficult to change that perception. Become a diplomat, because discretion keeps everyone’s integrity intact. Tactful action and thoughtful behavior are paramount.

Raise your standards.

You earn the right to hold others to high standards by meeting them yourself. If you want to live up to your potential, you have to raise your standards. Where bad leadership goes low, learn to go high–raise the bar and do everything to reach it daily.

Lead from where you are.

No matter what position you have, you are always a leader. Lead from where you are and do it with grace and effectiveness. Set out to lead by example and always rise above the dysfunction. This is invaluable.

If you are working with a leader you don’t believe in, there are times that will be difficult and frustrating. But remember, the challenges you face today could end up being the most important lessons of your life.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The post How to Work for a Leader You Don’t Believe In appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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