Self-Improvement and Interesting Knowledge

Category Archives: How to Become a Great Leader

Good Leaders Must be Able to Laugh at Themselves

Being in a leadership position can be quite difficult if you are too stiff. I have personally seen people in leadership positions that seem to be stuck in a fight or flight state continually. What I mean by this is that I have seen people in leadership positions that seem to be in an incredibly nervous and apprehensive state all the time. If you look at these people, they tend to shiver like a nervous poodle and they take any small thing as an affront to them personally.

A person in this kind of tense nervous state, creates bad feeling in any area that they find themselves in. If a person like this is put in a leadership position, they tend to overreact and take their job far too seriously. While it is true that a leadership position requires a serious attitude, an overtly serious attitude can cause many difficulties which will not allow for good group functioning. I leader needs to be far more flexible and must have the ability to not take him or herself so seriously.

A good leader must always be able to laugh at himself. If a leader is not able to laugh at himself, then he will come off as being overtly serious to those that must follow him. Self-importance is an incredibly debilitating mannerism, and this is especially the case if you are a leader of a group of people. If you cannot take your ‘SELF’ lightly, you are essentially creating a type of heaviness in your self which just like a gravitational pull, tends to suck any kind of good energy away from those people that rely on you to provide positive and enthusiastic energy to get them going. Essentially a leader that is too stiff and to self important, will not be able to provide the kind of positive energy that is required to get others to follow his orders.

Many would-be leaders, tend to think that their position means that they must walk around like a monarch or a head of state. This is completely incorrect since this is the worst thing that you can do when you are trying to create a following of motivated and trustworthy individuals. Next time that you blunder, make sure that you let go of that self-important stiffness and laugh at yourself. Leaders that are able to laugh at themselves are able to create a positive and light mood in their followers and this is critical when you are trying to create a good band of individuals. The only thing that should be important to a good leader, is great performance from his team and the ability to accomplish whatever tasks are brought before him. Self-importance should always come in dead last in a leaders importance scale. This means that a leader must be willing to laugh at himself and must be willing to see things outside of his own selfish mentality.

If someone in your team screws up or make some kind of mistake, make sure that you are also able to take it lightly and laugh with them in a goodhearted way. If you are able to step outside of your self-importance, you will know if the person who has made a mistake did it by accident or through no fault of his or her own. Using good judgment, laugh at the mistakes that others make when you know that they were not being lazy or inept. By being able to take yourself and others lightly, without so much seriousness and draconian angst, you will be seen as a fair leader who is positive and energetic. Your followers will rally around you and your team will develop into a good band of workers that will be able to handle just about anything that you can throw at them.

You maintain your leadership status and position by always making sure that you are the person who has the last word on everything. Laugh at yourself and laugh at the mistakes of others when you deem it is correct, but with a smile, make sure that your team knows that there is a line where they must get serious and focus on the job that they need to do at the moment. You do this by allowing others to work using their own strengths and feeling like they are not being oppressed, but at the same time developing a strong character yourself so that others feel that they can rely on you to make the hard decisions and to get things moving along.

In order to be a good leader you must let go of your self-importance. The more human that you are perceived to be by others, the more that they will respect you and your decisions. By taking yourself lightly and being able to joke, you are seen as a decent and humane leader who is trusted to be empathic enough to make decisions that will not hurt any individual or the team in general. A leader that is able to laugh at himself, will have the ability to develop a strong team of individuals that will follow his decisions without negativity.






For Difficult Conversations, Have an Ace Up Your Sleeve

Interaction with others is very difficult to plan. People are dynamic beings and it is very difficult to completely direct the course of a personal interaction. Talking to others can be a difficult thing for some people, they lack confidence and believe that they will make fools of themselves by saying the wrong thing. Even people that are quite adept at talking to others can sometimes run into difficulty when the conversation goes in a completely odd direction.

The best way to overcome these problems is to be a little prepared. All preparation breeds confidence and it is therefore always a good idea to be prepared for any interaction that you might have. Preparation allows you to contemplate the upcoming interaction and to have contingency plans as to how to go about it and how to handle anything that might go wrong.

A great way to be prepared for any interaction is to have one or even a few backup questions. This question(s) can be used in order to get you out of an awkward moment of silence where the interaction becomes incredibly uncomfortable. This question gives you some extra time which you can use in order to better gauge which way you need to take the conversation in order to get your way. It is a backup, that buys you some time when the interaction just went into ‘left field’.

The question does not have to be anything crazy, it can just be something that the other person would find interesting enough to ponder for a little while. It is possible that they may not even be able to give you a coherent answer, but the time that you get is precious and it can allow you to think of a new direction for the conversation. A good question can be; “what do you think about________?”. All you need to do is pick something that is current like politics, religion, or anything that most would consider quite sensitive or difficult to answer in one sentence.

Questions like these usually require a little bit of explanation and therefore are great ways to give you time when you need it. Now you don’t want to offend the other person so it is always a good idea to review these questions and make sure that you are not asking something that is too sensitive to the other person. But if you keep a question like this on hand, so that you can use it in any interaction, you will have a wonderful little ‘ace up your sleeve’ that you can pull out just at the right time.

Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to pull out this little ace whenever you need it, at just the right time. It’s a great way to kick start the conversation again and a great way for you to reevaluate your conversational strategy. If you like, you can have a number of questions so that you are prepared to maintain a conversation through just these ‘aces’. You might also want to separate your questions so that you have questions that you would use for men and questions that you would use for women. It is up to you to decide how complex you want to make these questions and how many you want to have. Just remember that you want to stay on focus and that if the conversation needs to go in a certain direction then you must keep this in mind when you come up with those ‘ace questions’.

Conversations and interactions with others can be a difficult thing even for seasoned pros. It is always a good idea to have an ace up your sleeve. This ‘ace’ takes the form of a question that you can use whenever the conversation goes into dead silence or in a direction that is in no way to your benefit. Having this ‘ace’ will allow you to be successful in any difficult conversation.







Always Have A Contingency Plan

In all facets of life is always a good idea to have a contingency plan. You must try and get yourself into the habit of always thinking ahead. In this way you can plan one step ahead and therefore be prepared for anything or anyone that might come along. Eventually you will want to increase the steps ahead that you can plan and just like a chess master you can be three or four steps ahead of your competition.

It is very seldom that things go perfectly. No matter how hard we try to come up with the perfect plan, it is quite often the case that things do not work out exactly how we plan them. It is always good to remember that the map is not the territory. What this means is that while things might look good in a map, the actual terrain in which you might be traveling in can change constantly and quite quickly. Life is an open system where surprises can present themselves at any moment. By realizing this and expecting the unexpected, you will not be easily caught with your pants down.

It is an incredibly positive habit to always get yourself to think of contingency plans. Always remember that the map is not the territory and in this way motivate yourself to always think of alternatives to any of your actions. When a situation is very stressful or just very important, it is always a good idea to have at least two contingency plans that will allow you to ride through or around any unforeseen problem. It is true that you can only plan for those events that you might foresee, but contingency plans also allow you to have a more flexibility mind set so that even if you have not foreseen a certain future event, you will be more flexible and in this way far more prepared for the unexpected. What you are trying to do is to essentially outsmart the worst case scenario.

By having a contingency plan you become more confident. It is always good to be confident but never so confident that you ignore the possibility of failure. True confidence can only be achieved through preparedness, where you know that you can handle any problem that might come your way. Louis Pasteur once said, “chance favors the prepared mind”. It is a good idea to always live by this motto.

Before you engage in any activity, always ask yourself; what are my options? This is a great starter question that will allow you to focus your mind on solutions. A question like this can motivate you to come up with contingencies to any situation in your life. What you must do then is motivate yourself to always think and act strategically. By acting strategically you consider all your options and all the probable possible outcomes to your action. You also consider any possible surprises that might present themselves, and once you have done this strategic thinking, you create a set of actions that you believe have a good chance of being successful.

Go into any situation with as many options as possible. While this might seem like a difficult proposition, where you are essentially thinking too much before any event, it actually becomes quite easy if you motivate yourself to do it in the beginning. Your conscious mind is an amazing machine that can find patterns and deviations to patterns in just about any situation. Given the right motivation, your conscious mind, can quite naturally and effortlessly come up with contingencies and strategies in a flash. If you are not willing to motivate yourself in order to come up with contingency plans, or you are not willing to believe that your mind is powerful enough to come up with these plans very quickly, you will not be prepared when faced with unexpected situations. The less options that you have, the less options that you give yourself, the more likely that you are to suffer and to lose in the game of life.






Why And How To Be Assertive

In order to become successful in life you must be willing to assert yourself. The ability to be assertive is very important because it allows us to make your intentions known and well understood. Without this ability you end up being dominated by others and by the environment around you.

Assertiveness is usually a tricky topic because it can be seen by some as being overtly forceful or in some ways manipulative. Assertiveness though is positive action manifesting itself through strong personal intention. In order to be assertive in a truly positive way, you must learn to listen to others. The reason for this is that true assertiveness is the natural impulse of a strong personality to act and to make its intent palpable. This type of assertiveness is not scared of listening and contemplating the opinions of others because it is not competing and therefore is not worried that it will somehow be overcome.

While it is not competing, true assertiveness does want to create and creation requires power and focus. This can only be achieved through strength of character and personal understanding. Assertiveness means expressing your “I”self. To be truly assertive you need to understand yourself as a separate individual with his or her own desires and needs. Do not be afraid therefore to let others know what you think and what you want and to clearly begin any phrase with, “I believe…”. It takes more strength than most people realize to put yourself on the line and to make your points heard. Assertiveness starts by developing the courage and the personal understanding to be able to do this.

In order to be more assertive you must be able to make your points understood. In order to do this always practice communicating in an articulate and concise manner. Always try to stick to the most important points to make these points as clearly understood as possible.

A person that is assertive sometimes needs to criticize the work of others. As I said being assertive means being very clear about what you want and being strong enough to assert these intentions to others. When you do this you will run across individuals that will not do things within your standards. If this is the case then you will need to criticize their actions so that they know what they’re doing wrong and also how to do things properly from then on. When you to criticize others try to criticize their actions and not their character. In this way you will separate the action from the doer and will find it much easier to get people to change in order to better suit your needs.

In order to be assertive you must be able to dominate your space. All assertion and an assertive personality is very much different from being a bully, it is the case that the person who is assertive must learn to use the power of his or her body language. A good distinction between assertiveness and bullying is that while assertion stands firm bullying tries to force. This is a great clue as to how you should maintain your body language; you do not want to lean forward or make any overtly aggressive gestures. What you should do instead is to try and take up your space, stand tall and centered and stay firm in your position, in this way you are able to give orders and to make your point. These orders are followed and this point is listen to because of the strength of your personal character and not because the other person feels threatened in any way.

Being assertive is the ability to say no. Never commit yourself to anything that you don’t want to commit yourself to. Say no with assurance and with personal strength. If you understand yourself and your desires then you will know what you want and what you don’t want. If you are being led in one way or another into something that you do not want to do, then you need to say no with complete and total strength of character.

To be assertive is not to be a bully. To be assertive is to understand your personal being, to understand your motivations, and to understand your values. Knowing yourself implicitly you then developed the force necessary to stand by these values. Assertiveness then is the ability to stand by your values and to not compromise on anything in your life. True success can only be achieved through assertiveness because it is this assertive power that will create the control necessary to accomplish your will.






Learn To Be Flexible

You must learn to be as flexible as possible when you’re trying to accomplish your goals. Life is a very difficult thing to predict. This is so because life is not a closed system; what this means is that random events and random things can be introduced into it at any time. If you are not able to predict something then it is very wise to always remember to stay flexible so that you can change in accordance with changing circumstance.

Always remember to hold your goals lightly. Never put your head down and march straight without deviation. Doing so will not allow you to change course when you need to and this rigidity of course can make success impossible. Always ask yourself; where can I be more flexible? By asking yourself this on a regular basis you are able to see many more of the options that are available to you and in this way give yourself a wider variety of probable actions. Never commit to anything too quickly or you will be caught with your head on the road while something comes along from the side and slams you completely off course.

You must be prepared to change if circumstances change. In order to discover these changing circumstances you must be continually aware of the things around you. Stay sharp and focused on the changing things around you and always be prepared to change yourself. Life has many variables in these variables can become actuality with great speed. Nothing is ever simple or as straightforward and predictable as many would like you to believe. Be prepared to steer around the storm instead of trying to plow through it.

It is possible that you might need to change your goal completely. Sometimes we look at things and they seem quite possible and quite doable but as we begin our journey we realize that these goals and final destinations are not as attainable as we once thought. Never let your ego get in the way of abandoning a goal if this goal is not attainable at the moment. Sometimes we allow ourselves to see things that aren’t really there and to fool ourselves into believing that we could accomplish things that are quite difficult just to appease our vanity. Don’t let peer pressure or external influence convince you that you must try something that you know you are certain to fail at. Practice good strategy and stay objective so that you can react flexibly when you need to without letting your pride get in the way.

It is also possible that you will need to change the steps to get there. A goal in many ways is really a journey and this journey has different routes. Sometimes the route needs to be changed, which means that your goals might need to change. With different goals the steps that are needed to attain them might also need to change, be prepared to make these changes quickly. Even though some things seem as stable as geography, do realize that terrain changes very quickly on occasion. It is possible that your motivations might change and that you might need to re-evaluate. You must constantly re-evaluate your current desires and motivations. As your motivations change so do your resources and the amount of time and effort that you can put into any particular goal. As things change with time it becomes imperative that you take regular breaks to re-evaluate the map leading to your goal. If they have changed, and therefore changed the terrain leading to your goal, make sure that you are willing to flexibly change whatever you need to in order to get your goals accomplished.

Regular stress is a sure sign that you are not making the correct adjustments. Give yourself permission to take a break in to re-evaluate so that you can make the correct adjustments in order to reach your goal in a quicker and easier fashion. It is a well-known fact that the most flexible species is always the species that will continue to survive. As the world around it changes, the species that is most flexible is able to readjust itself and survive under changing circumstances. Learn to be flexible in your goals and in this way you will find success rather than failure.





Leaders Work With Their People

Leaders always work with their people. A leader must always be able to collaborate with all of the members of his or her team. He must be able to use their resources well, and to make sure that everyone is working as a cohesive unit. A leader shows teamwork and cohesive action by example; he makes sure that he shows others that he is a team player and that he respects what every single person in his team has to bring to the table.

A leader must always make full use of his resources. His greatest resource will always be his team. A leader must be able to understand his team and in this way use them in the most effective way possible. You must also show them how to cooperate and how to act as a unit, that will work cohesively without strife. Some leaders believe that it is a good idea to pit individuals in his team against each other and in this way supposedly motivate them to try harder. This type of strategy is shortsighted and will eventually destroy the cohesion of the team to such an extent that future progress will be impossible. Competitive strife within a certain team can only bring about distrust from all its members. This distrust will eventually infect the entire unit and will make any creative unity impossible.

Leaders collaborate with others in order to create group cohesion. This cohesion allows for more creativity, faster, and better group results. It is most important that the leader knows how to bring about group unity. That leaders subtly push the many diverse personalities in their team into a perfect working unit.

In order to discover ways to group cohesion and to engage the entire team, always ask your team the following questions:

  • What do you think we should do?
  • What would you do if you were in my shoes?
  • What opportunities do you think we are missing?
  • What information or ideas do you have that you think would help in this situation?

By asking these questions of all his employees on a regular basis, a leader begins to understand his teammates and he also shows them in a direct fashion that he respects their ideas and their input. A leader should always try to make him or herself available so that others do not find it difficult to engage him or her in relaxed open discussion. Any leader that tries to assert dominance through fear and a rigid demeanor, will only alienate his people and create a group environment that is not flexible and strong.

In order to make the best use of his greatest resource, his people, a leader must learn to collaborate with others. By working together with others and by showing them respect as he does so, I leader creates the kind of unity that any winning team needs.






How To Make Hard Choices

Life is all about making choices. The wonderful thing about life is that we choose most of the things that we will experience. Some might say that we consciously choose, whether we realize it or not, all the experiences of our lives. Whatever the case may be it is true that we constantly need to make choices and some of these choices can be very hard.

If you do find it hard to make some choices, there are certain techniques that can help you. Something that does help right off the bat is to always try and stay objective. As I’ve told you in other articles, emotions are a wonderful way to discover your inner psyche, but sometimes they can get in the way of you making good choices because they tend to cloud our perspective. Next time that you are finding it difficult to make a choice, see if it’s perhaps the fact that your emotions are getting in the way. If your emotions are getting in the way then see if you can step back from the situation and see it in the third person perspective, in this way you will have a broad view of the situation and a clear mind.

Sometimes it is also difficult to make a decision because the situation is so complex that we are not able to see everything clearly. When this is the case it is always a good idea to write your potential decisions, and the particulars of the situation, down on paper. By writing things down, you stop taxing your mind trying to remember and keep everything in perspective, and in this way you allow your mental energies to focus on coming up with the correct choice. When we are trying to keep everything in our minds, it is sometimes very easy to forget the small things, this can skew our entire thought pattern because of one missed item. Make it a practice to write down your problems and your decisions on the subject, that way you will have more mental space and energy to deal with any decision or problem.

If you are having problems making hard choices, here is a wonderful little technique that you can use:

  • On a piece of paper make two columns; the header for the first column is pros, on the second column the header is cons, the header for the third column is fixes. This technique then is called “pros, cons, and fixes”.
  • Now what you will do is take any decision and for that decision write down all the pros. This of course would be there is a list of all the positives, the benefits, and the advantages of making a certain decision in a certain way.
  • On the second column you would list all the cons. Here you will write down all the negatives and all the problems associated with making this particular decision.
  • On the third column you will write down all the fixes. A fix is basically a negative that can be fixed so that you try to take a con from the list and turn it into a pro. In a way you could say that you are trying to neutralize as many cons as possible. On paper this can be easy for you to do because as you look at your list you will have one column of positive things and one column of negative things; and as you look at these you should have a better idea of how you can fix some of the big problems that your choice might incur.
  • Compare all the pros and all the cons that you could not fix. Now you can look at all the positives and negatives of the choice that you are about to make and in this way come up with a far more logical and objective conclusion.

This is a great way to structure any difficult choice that you might have. In this way you are able to write down on paper exactly what is going on in your head, and allow yourself to have a far more objective and logical look at your dilemma. If there are many choices, for example the need to choose between many options, you can still use this method by creating a chart for each of the options you have available. When you are having trouble making decisions and you think that the problem is either too complex to keep all in your head or that your emotions are clouding your judgment, try this technique and you will find that your choices will become far easier to deal with.





Leaders Must Always Be Tactful

Leaders must always confront things in the most diplomatic way possible. When you are a leader you are in the spotlight and as such must always be careful in how you act and what you say. As a leader you must take full responsibility of all your actions because these actions will be intensely scrutinized by all the people around you.

A leader must never attack his people. Many believe that because they are in a leadership position they can treat others any way they want. The exact opposite is actually the case. Because of the leaders position, he or she must develop great self-control or else his or her actions will bring him or her down. The team is the leader’s greatest resource and if it is treated in a poor fashion it is a waste that will eventually destroy the leader. Whenever you have any interaction with your people, you need to be as tactful as possible.

Never approach any situation with aggression. A leader must always be conscious of the outcome before he takes any kind of action. The outcome is far more important than any emotional outburst, a leader needs to consider outcomes and final objectives or else he will not be able to get anything done. An objective outlook coupled with logical thinking is the basis of all great leadership. Without this objectivity, a leader is  just a wild ape breaking shrubbery to make a point; that most likely accomplishes nothing constructive.

If you need to address a problem with one of your people, don’t instantly jump on that persons face. As I have stated, the tactful approach is always best when dealing with your people as they are the only ones that can accomplish what you need done. Before you confront anyone, take time for yourself and review the situation; ask yourself what happened here, for what reason, and what needs to change. In this way you go into a confrontational situation understanding what the problem was and what your course of action needs to be. You can then use the most diplomatic approach possible in dealing with the situation and the employee. Always remember that the most important thing for you as a leader is the correct and ultimate outcome to the situation.

Once you have identified the behavior(s) by an employee that caused the problem(s), you need to come up with a solution that corrects this problem. Most importantly though you need to keep your team’s final objective in mind. Before making a rash or popular decision, the leader must consider what he is ultimately trying to accomplish with his team. It is possible that you sometimes need to do something that you do not want to, or something that is not popular because you need to consider how every personal action on your part affects your ultimate objectives. This can be tricky because you must consider your final objective, and you must also consider a diplomatic solution to whatever problem you are facing. In other words the leader must weigh the consequences of any action that he takes, by considering how his decisions and actions will affect his employees and his chances of achieving his final goals.

Once you have taken action, remember to always follow up. Make sure that you always keep an eye on the results of your actions so that you can monitor to see if you have made a correct decision or if there needs to be any kind of modification to your actions. You must always stay nice and never take on an aggressive and vengeful attitude. Objectivity must be maintained so that you can see things clearly and you can be seen by your subordinates as a fair and just leader.

If problems persist, you can then take action to stop the employee or particular problem in its tracks. By staying objective and acting in a fair manner, you place yourself in the perfect position to do whatever it is that you need to do to stop the continuing problem. Positioning yourself as a fair and objective person, you can now act in a decisive fashion and whatever decision you make will be seen as strong and tactful action.

While as a human being you need to express your emotions; as a leader, make sure that you curtail any negative emotions that you might feel around your team. This is one of the great sacrifices of leadership, that you must stay stable and strong for the betterment of the team. A leader needs to act tactfully and diplomatically in order to achieve his goals in the most efficient way possible.






Don’t Be Afraid To Take Risks

Life is risk. We can definitely minimize the amount of risk that we experience in our lives but if we pursue this line of action too much we can end up with lives that are stale and boring. Risk is a natural result of being alive; since it is impossible for us to know every single possibility, since we cannot predict the future, any action that we take involves some kind of risk.

Always be willing to be a risk taker. If you stop taking risks, in many ways he stopped living. Since risk is a natural result of being on this Earth then, you have to come to terms with the fact that you will always be involved in risky action.

While not taking risks can destroy the quality of your life, it is also the case that too much risk is also an imbalance. By looking ahead and imaginatively planning your trajectory, you must always do everything that you can to reduce the amount of risk that you take. There is a saying that goes, “chance favors the prepared.” This is indeed true because time spent on risk preparedness and risk avoidance is never wasted time. The most impeccable thing that you can do is to do everything in your power to foresee any and all circumstances that you might face, prepare for the circumstances as best you can, and then take the plunge; knowing that you did the best that you could and whatever happens is now beyond your control.

Taking a risk really means doing something. Doing something and failing will always be far more productive than doing nothing at all. If you ask any older person in your life what they regret most, I can bet you that what they truly regret most is the things that they did not try. Be willing to take a risk, because this life is built on experience and you cannot have this experience without taking some risk.

Failure is not a bad thing. All great success is really built on a sea of failures. Edison is a great example of the power of failure to create great success. When asked about the number of failures that he incurred while trying to develop the lightbulb, he replied, ”I now know of over 9000 ways in which the lightbulb won’t work”. He also has another wonderful quote that is definitely worth listening to, “many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” By not being afraid of failure or making mistakes, you can get yourself to take more risks. These risks can bring with them great reward if you are persistent.

Never be afraid to laugh at yourself. If you’re able to let go of your self importance, you will discover that failure does not hold so much power over you. Often we fail to take risks because we believe that we will end up looking like a fool. If you are not scared of being the fool then you open up your self to great possibilities; you are no longer held down by how you think others will perceive you.

Always learn from whatever mistake you make. Just like Edison you must be willing to overlook you’re emotional anguish and take careful notes as to what you did wrong. In this way you can learn from all your mistakes and through each one you can discover better ways to achieve your ends. The riskiest part of taking a risk is making a mistake, but if you learn to realize that this mistake is actually just a way for you to learn how to do things better, the risk then does not become a risk at all. Don’t be so scared to take risks, life is to be experienced and not to be watched.






Always Try To Build Powerful Alliances

Always try to build alliances. An alliance is a cooperative venture that you make with someone else or a group of others. This cooperative venture allows you to accomplish things that you are not able to do on your own and to overcome barriers far more easily.

In alliance should always be a win-win scenario. Whenever you make an alliance with another group or individual, make sure that you are always in a win-win scenario. Of course you always want to align yourself in such a way that you are in a winning position, this after all is the reason for most alliances. You must always also try to make sure that those that you align yourself with are profiting as much as you. This is very important because any alliance that is developed through crooked methods will always cause you far more grief and hardship than help.

You can save yourself a ton of work if you are willing to associate yourself with the right people. Good advice is worth its weight in gold. Sometimes just a simple sharing of information can create strong alliances that help both parties.

The most natural way to create strong alliances is to just be nice to other people. There is no better way to create wonderful cooperative ventures then to be respectful, giving, and good hearted. Basically if you are nice to others, others will be nice to you. There is no need to develop a cloak and dagger attitude where you see the entire world as a harsh and competitive environment. By simply being kind to others, by being empathic, and by finding out and giving others what you think they need, you develop natural relationships and alliances that are very strong. With an open heart you give naturally and your strategy becomes the strategy of no strategy.

Many do not wish to give of themselves as I have stated above. This is the case because they believe that they will be hurt, and that alliances created in this way can be dangerous. But if you look at the situation, and really contemplate how you create alliances, you will see that this is one of the most logically powerful ways to create good and powerful cooperative ventures. This is so because alliances created in this way have a deep biological basis. All of nature creates and cooperates in this way; and as natural creatures ourselves, we too have a deep biological imperative to be part of cooperative ventures where win-win is a natural conclusion.

It is a popular notion that the world is a competitive environment where everyone and everything is out to destroy and eat the other. Scientists have discovered that this is not correct and that all of nature functions as a cooperative whole where everyone and everything gives as much as it takes. Think about a driver driving on the road; this driver is not able to drive properly if he or are she cannot trust every single other person on the road. Now if you think about it, you might tell yourself that it’s dog eat dog out there and that you are usually screaming at one guy while watching some other guy to make sure that you’re not being struck. But the reality of the situation is that if everyone else on that road did not cooperate, there would be no way that you would be able to get anywhere. Even though there is a lot of argument and profanity on the road, underneath this antagonism there is respect and trust. Nothing can be built or maintained for any length of time without a cooperative venture where all involved believe that they are getting what they want and that they are being treated fairly.

A good alliances always works to your benefit and will allow you to do things that you could never do on your own. A good alliance will allow you to save tons of work and to make whatever work that you have to do much easier. The best way to create a very good alliance, is to be natural and create cooperative ventures that are win-win in nature.






Never Make Yourself Second Best

You must never forget that you are the most important person in your life. Some, especially parents, would disagree with this statement but the fact of the matter remains that if you do not treat yourself well or consider your own needs first, you might not be around long enough to take care of those that you really care for. Since you are at this moment looking out at the world from within yourself, using your senses in an outward fashion, you could really say that you are at the center of the universe. As such you could say that you are the be-all and end-all of your entire universe, and that even though you might think that there are other things outside of you that are more important to you, the world then begins from your own inner being outward.

Never lose yourself loving through the loving of another. Great love and passions can sometimes completely take over our actions and we end up losing our own self identity as a result. This kind of ‘self annihilating love’ can seem quite satisfying at the time but it can have very negative consequences. To lose yourself in this way means that you believe that the other person or thing is far more important than you and that to give up your total being to this other, perhaps even your life, is worth it. You must realize though that there is nothing more important than your personal self, and that true love is expressed in a balanced way where love of the other and love of the self work in tandem. There is no real love of others without the love of self, anything expressed without the love of self is really a nihilistic drive that eventually destroys the lover and the loved.

Not making yourself second best means respecting your feelings. Never suppress your feelings but always try to express them as fully as you can. While this does not mean that you should impose your feelings upon others, it does mean that you should allow yourself to feel your feelings fully in the privacy of your own being. These feelings can let you know when you are not loving yourself enough by perhaps having you experience selfishness or anger. These feelings are not negative, they are just letting you know that you need more time on yourself and that you also need to take care of yourself and your own needs. Express your feelings and get to know your feelings, get to know what they mean and use them to discover your true self.

Honoring yourself means honoring your passions. We are all given only a certain amount of time in this life and wasting it doing things that you do not want to do or what others think you should do, is a waste of your personal life. Never make yourself second best, always follow your passions because they are yours and they are the desires you have. Cultivate your personal hobbies and always make sure to take enough time for yourself; to just think and contemplate your own life. By taking time for yourself you will discover your own thoughts and with these will discover yourself.

Treat yourself to something nice at least once a day. Stand in front of a mirror, look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I love myself”. Some people might find this to be incredibly difficult, if this is the case then you must ask yourself why this is so. It is possible that you could have been told by others, perhaps parental figures, that this is a bold and vain way to act. If others told you this then they did not truly understand what personal expression really means. This little exercise can have incredible benefits; both at being able to identify the beliefs that are creating low self-esteem within you, and as a way to begin to increase your self-esteem and your personal identity by having you face those feelings. When you love yourself you only wish the best for yourself, and as a result you stop sabotaging your life through negative thoughts and emotions. When you love yourself you can love others truly, without nihilistic dependence on the other.





Good Leaders Lead Through Motivation

As a leader you must be perfectly clear about the fact that you have to tell other people what to do. Leadership basically means that you set the course; this means that you are the one that says where you and your team will go and what you and your team will do to get there. Since you are the head of a group, team, or organization, you are the one in charge of giving orders and making sure that others do as you say.

Good leaders never command through fear. Any leader that believes that he can control and command others through fear will have a very short career. Fear only creates antagonism and resistance, and leading this way is very draining. I leader that tries to get others to do things through fear and angst, will only create a self-defeating atmosphere that has no possibility of accomplishing anything but self implosion.

A good leader always commands through motivation. He begins by creating trust and letting those below him know that while he is the leader he is not better than them. He then motivates them through passion and internal desire to accomplish whatever the leader needs to be done. In this way his unit develops cohesion and a type of internal fortitude that allows his team to withstand any obstacle. It also gives his people the motivation to always give 100% in whatever they do.

In order to lead your team through motivation, you must find out what drives them. You must have enough awareness to find their likes and dislikes. A good leader must involve himself or herself in his teammates so that he or she knows exactly what to do to get them to perform at their best.

A good way to find your teams motivation is to ask them:

What part of the work you like?

What part of the work you dislike?

What do you think your work style is like?

Do like working with other people?

Do you like working in teams? Why?

What do you think you’ll be doing in 10 years?

What are your values? What beliefs are important in your life?

It is very important that is leader understands his people. Each individual belief, value, and opinion is important and will set the standard for the dynamic of any group environment. Each individual must be treated with respect and in accordance to his or her wishes. The leader must make compromises and must know where he can push in order to make sure that all is done in the best way possible.

Perfect leadership is like no leadership at all. What this means is that the perfect leader seems to not actually lead, here she just naturally opens the way and lets her people perform in their natural manner. This type of leadership requires incredible intuition and the ability to place your team just right so that they accomplish what needs to be done through their own internal desires and motivation. If you can manage to lead your people through the correct motivation, you will develop an incredibly loyal team that will do anything you ask of them.





Great Leaders Always Pay Close Attention To Others

Great leaders always pay great attention to the people that they are dealing with. Every interaction no matter how small or large requires full focus and attention. Leaders do not take things for granted, they realized that the only way to win is to never overestimate or underestimate either the situation or the people before you. Every interaction then is a kind of battle, where full attention must be given.

By concentrating fully on the other person, leaders are able to correctly assess what the other person needs. By identifying these needs, a  leader is able to figure out exactly what is needed in order to either win in a situation, or how to get others to do what they want. While leaders have a natural propensity to see situations in a martial sense, where tasks must be attacked and overcome, they must also realize that the best way to deal with any situation is to come up with a win-win scenario. In order to do this leaders must be able to create a cooperative environment instead of environments where ‘dog eat dog’ is the norm.

By being empathic about the needs of others, I leader is able to create trust. You cannot fake this kind of trust and it is only manifest when you are truly concerned with the needs of those around you. In this way the leader is able to create a band or a tribe of trusted followers that are willing to work harder and to put more on the line in order to accomplish what he or she desires.

A good  leader must be able to show the people below him that they are far more important than the project at hand. He must make it apparent to his followers that they are the driving force that can accomplish the required task, and that without them there is only failure. This kind of impassioned rhetoric cannot be made without a true understanding and belief that the team is important and invaluable. And this understanding is not possible without the leader’s ability to focus on his people and on their needs. I leader that is not able to focus on other people will not have the kind of understanding and flexibility that is required to create passion and cohesion in his followers.

In order to become more empathic as a leader, challenge yourself to pay more attention to the needs of others. Challenge yourself by asking yourself what the other person needs in every situation that you face. Always try to put yourself in the shoes of the other person, and try to imaginatively contemplate what the other person is feeling. I leader must be able to expand his or her consciousness, so that he or she can see things in a broad perspective, and in this way discover new insights that will allow them to succeed where others have failed.

By paying great attention to others, leaders show their compassion. While some would tell you that compassion from leader is a negative thing, the reality is that people will not follow leaders that do not show humanity. In the leader, compassion is seen as the great strength because it takes great strength and conscious ability to be able to realize the needs of everyone and everything when you are in a high position. Many believe that it is difficult for a leader to look down and around them as leadership is usually identified with an aggressive need to look forward and to push ahead. Any leader therefore that is able to find enough compassion to see and understand those around them, is seen as being far more capable than the average.

Being a leader means being empathic. It means taking the time to feel out what those around you need. It also means having the empathic ability to see into every situation and to be able to register exactly what is needed in order to win. This capability is rare and it is highly prized because leaders that are able to do this are able to create new possibilities and to get others to do things that they would not normally do. Learn to focus on the other and you too can become this kind of leader; the leader that is prized and is in high demand.







Leaders Simplify The Message

A good leader needs to simplify the message. It is most important that as a leader you are understood perfectly, and that you make your message as clear as possible. You will not be able to get others to do what you want and unless your messages is simple and clearly stated. Others will also not pay attention to you if your message is hard to follow and difficult to understand.

Influence is most important to a leader. The most important precept of influence is the ability to capture attention. If you cannot hold the attention of others then it is impossible to manipulate that attention. If a message is boring, because it is too long and too hard to understand, you will not have the kind of attention that you need in order to persuade well. To be a great leader you need to be a master persuader and a master persuader needs to have a strong clear and simple message that will be easily understood by those that need to hear it.

People seem to have far less time now than ever. If you find yourself in front of a meeting or engaging a client, they will be far more receptive to you if you are able to show them that you understand their time constraints. You do this by simplifying your message and showing them in this way that you appreciate their time enough to make what you have to say simple and to the point. If you ever find that your clients are taking time to look at their watches or seem to not be looking away a lot, it is to your great interest to take whatever message you are giving and simplify it even more. Make your message simple and to the point and others will stay engaged to what you have to say, and will dedicate more time to process it.

Part of simplifying the message means making that message interesting. If your message is interesting then it will capture the attention of those that are hearing it. This interest creates a natural desire to want to examine your message and to give it more mental time. You can make your message more interesting by making it quick and fast, you can change up your pitch and tone, and you can articulate your ideas using colorful metaphors. A great way to make your message more interesting is to use the power of reframe; you do this by adding unexpected ideas, points, and personal thoughts. The reframe is really the ability to create and ‘AHA’ moment in the listeners mind. A reframe is really just like a joke; it completely changes how one was perceiving a certain idea. (A cow walks into a bar and says, “Hey, bartender.”)

Simplifying the message means that you want to leave your audience at a high point. Whether you’re giving a speech, addressing clients, or talking to your employees, you want to have a quick and fast message and leave the listener at a point of high energy. Make it quick, fast, and intense therefore. Leave them wanting more and you will be appreciated as a great speaker and commander. If they do have questions, then they can talk to you afterwards and this is a great way to have one-on-one time with those individuals that matter most.

If you can simplify your message and make it exciting, you will greatly improve the kind of persuasive ability that you have. Great leaders need to pursue power, and by simplifying the message, you gain persuasive power. Simplify the message and you will become a powerful and charismatic leader.








To Be A Good Leader, Act Like A Leader

In order to be a leader, you must act like a leader. It is possible that you could find yourself in the position of leadership, but you truly will not be a leader until you begin to act like one. Leadership is a difficult and challenging role and must be given great consideration or else you will fail.

It is possible that you are now a leader because you own business or you have been assigned a task by your superiors. If this is the case, it is most important that you consider deeply how it is that a leader should act, if you do not it is quite possible that you will not be able to accomplish your goals. Not acting correctly as a leader can have dire consequences; you could fail and perhaps totally kill a project, ‘monkeywrench’ your career, and even thwart your business.

In order to become a good leader and therefore act like good leader, think of these characteristics has your guide:

  • Think that you can positively shape your life. Leaders must have confidence in themselves and in their abilities, they must believe that they have the power and the skill to create a positive life for themselves. A leader must know first and foremost that he can change his life for the better before he tries to involve himself in the life of others.
  • Leader lead through good dealings instead of trying to control. This means that a leader must be empathic, and his relations with others must be based on his or her deep understanding of the other person. Control is always a sign of fear and is therefore a sign of weakness. Others will challenge this weakness.
  • Leaders cooperate instead of trying to overpower. Making people do anything is a negative practice and one that will not last very long before someone standups up to challenge your authority. Leaders lead by creating passion and camaraderie, instead of trying to belittle and overcome.
  • Leaders motivate others to contribute instead of ordering them to. By realizing that the people in your team are your resource and must be used in the best way possible, a leader soon realizes that the best way to get the best from his people is by positive motivation. If you order someone to do something then you will at best get the minimum from them, but if you motivate them in the right way they will give you the best that they have. If you can’t positively motivate others to contribute and give you their best, then whatever task you are trying to accomplish is destined to fail.
  • Leaders get others to follow them through respect. If you try to get others to do something because you think that you are entitled, as a leader, then you are truly not a leader you are just a spoiled brat. In order to have others follow you, you must set yourself up as he example that others will look up to. Leaders must get others to like them or at least respect them by showing their team that they are worth this respect.

Good leadership takes talent and personal training on your part. It can be given to you or thrust upon you but it does not mean that you are actually a leader; it just means that you are put there through circumstance. To become a good leader you must learn to act like a leader, if you do not then you will fail and whatever task that you were performing will fail. Learn to act like a leader and you will not fail yourself and others.