Co-founder of Lit Dealer and Kreative Hedgehog, partner at Polda Builders. Digital marketer, entrepreneur and author.
Former Business Analyst at UBS Investment Bank, 33 year-old admirer of the state of extreme exhaustion.
World we live in today gives all of us so many ways to express ourselves, use our skills and talents that opportunities to shine are basically limitless. This is probably the easiest that has ever been to make business, but also to follow your passions. This however have brought some challenges as well.
It is also the most competitive on any field that has ever been before. And because of that we can see growing demand for leaders.
The secret behind is that people choose to follow you and they respect you and the quality of the work you are doing. To be a leader doesn’t mean you have to be a CEO. Just think of modern football, the captain is clearly only one, but there are many leaders on the field. So you can be a leader also if you are a regular employee. And there are few things you need to do in order to achieve that:
- Always give your 120% – treat your work as a privilege, not a penalty. Such approach is much more rewarding
- Appreciate the hard work other people are doing, this is leaders’ main trait to feel others important and appreciated
- Take a good care of people you are working with, maybe someone needs a hand? At the end we are at this together
- Be humble – acting like you-know-it-all is the quickest way to lose this game. Clashing opinions will also help you learn new point of views
- Behave ethically and stick to your values no matter what, how can anyone follow you if you are chameleon?
- Be passionate about what you do and have a vision – leaders are the ones who set the pace and lead by example
- Be demanding – not only towards others, but mainly and most importantly towards your own self
- Take the responsibility – no one is flawless, neither do you, so swallow this pill. Even if it’s damn bitter
- Create and cultivate a winning culture in your organisation and / or your team. You cannot go too far without it
- Golden rule: no butt kissing or showing off how great you are. I beg you. If you haven’t learnt that in school already let me enlighten you: no one likes that. Plus you can forget about any sort of respect.
Is Leadership Inherited or Learned
I know there is a common belief that leadership is some sort of a talent or a gift and something you cannot learn. Personally I believe it’s a crock of 💩 it doesn’t matter how many researches, articles, books or quotations you will throw at me to prove me wrong I just don’t believe it.
I think this misbelief comes from the fact that some people have never been taught leadership, but are just better than others. It seems like they are naturally better at dealing with people. The huge role here is played by emotional intelligence and your experiences as a kid, but it is like sales. Some people are better from the start and some just have to catch up, but it’s definitely a skill.
Same with leadership.
Or actually it’s maybe not a skill per se, but more a group of skills you have to poses in order to be a leader that people choose to follow. You can treat the above list I have presented as standards you have to maintain in order to become a great leader. It might take some time, but eventually you will get better. Just like with anything else, the beginnings are the most difficult.
Some people might be talented or have predispositions in that direction, but you can become better than they will. Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard. Remember about it.The odds are bazillion to one you will be next #MichaelJordan, but that doesn’t mean you cannot be #successful basketball player. #hustle Click To Tweet
Another problem I can see with how we perceive leadership is the fact that we tend to idealise it. When you say “leader” you think Jack Welch, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. These are all great examples to follow. Surely you can also learn a lot by studying their work. However, you must erase the concept that in order to be successful you have to be exactly like them.
And only achieving what they have will make you successful. The odds are bazillion to one you will be next Michael Jordan, but that doesn’t mean you cannot be successful basketball player. Do not get discouraged if you cannot beat or reach that 1% club. 5% club is still better than 95% of the population, keep going.
How to Become a Visionary Thinker
One of the points on above list advised to have a vision. Not without a reason. This is a subject for another heated discussion and I know there are 2 completely different opinions. From my point of view it is exactly the same as with the leadership itself. Sure, you might not be another James Cameron, but do you really have to?
Your task as a leader is to have a clue where your company or team is going. It’s more the ability to imagine how certain things should look like. Then pushing that direction.
Again, some people might be much more visionary in their ability to foresee certain changes. This might seem like something poses naturally. Much more often it’s their childhood background that allowed them to develop it. And even those people make mistakes. Practice and experience play a huge role in this case. If you want to learn more I have touched the topic of experience in the blog post here, in “Love the Process” section.
How can a leader develop the ability to be a visionary? By following these few simple steps:
- Get a thorough knowledge about your company, competition, market, clients and industry. Learn as much as you can
- Go out and learn about the world and other industries. You don’t have to go as deep, but it will help you to open up your mind
- Create a map of the current state, before you can change anything you have identify how it is now
- Get some “alone-time” and set your mind to envision how certain things could and should look like in the future. Do it often
- Write down all the ideas and try to improve them. Sometimes the initial idea seems poor, but can be perfected with time
- Get together a team of people you can discuss your ideas with and potentially expand them even further
- “Why not?” is from now on your number one question
How do You Create a Culture of Winning
Another crucial component of your road to influential leadership is to create a winning culture. Whether it’s your company, department or a small team doesn’t really matter. What do matter is roll-up-your-sleeves attitude and getting rid off the fear of failure.
Creating a culture of winning is somehow similar to brand building I have covered with one of our infographics. In case you would like to have a look it’s available below.
That being said your brand can be an ingredient of your culture and vice versa, but it’s not the same thing. Both of these things are a little bit different. Although, some points will overlap the above link should be treated more like supplement.Your #values or values of your #company are the foundations and should be shared across the organisation. #winningCulture Click To Tweet
First of all you need to know what sort of values you would like your company or team to represent. Without it there is not much of a point to go any further. Your values or values of your company are the foundations and should be shared across the organisation.
As an example you can use the following: to treat everyone as family, to give everyone a power to create, to provide our customers the best possible solutions, to be a game changer. From there you can formulate your mission and your vision statements. This can be really anything, but ideally it should be something people can relate to.
Something to lift their spirits and say “alright, this why we’re doing this”.
The next step would be to hire people that share your passion and company’s values. Although it might not seem so, that’s the easy part. Yeah, I know – finding right people is crazy tough! But making them stay is even more difficult. Once you find perfect employees you have to now work your butt-off to make them feel comfortable. That’s also the fun part of creating a culture of winning.
Communication is the game, but not only that. You want to encourage collaboration and “give everyone a power to create”. If you hire intelligent and ambitious people don’t expect them to only follow your orders. Give them space and responsibility. They will pay you back multiple times with their work.
This will also help you to build an atmosphere of trust. Last, but not least – HAVE FUN. Geez, there is much more in life than just work, you know? 🙂 happy hustling!
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