1. Leadership is about making things happen

If you want to make something happen with your life, in school, in your profession or in your community, do it. Perceived obstacles crumble against persistent desire.

2. Listen and understand the issue, then lead

Time and time again we have all been told, “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason”…or as Stephen Covey said…”Seek to understand, rather than be understood.” As a leader, listen first to the issue, then try to coach.

3. Answer the three questions everyone within your organization wants answers to

The people in an organization want answers to the following: Where are we going? How are we going to get there? What is my role? A well defined Mission and Vision statement are keys to answering these -and they must be true and from the heart.

4. Master the goals that will allow you to work anywhere in today’s dynamic business world

Jobs, missions, titles and organizations will come and go as business is dynamic– meaning it is always changing. Don’t focus your goals on any of these, but instead learn to master the skills that will allow you to work anywhere:

  • The ability to develop an idea
  • Effectively plan for its implementation
  • Execute second-to-none
  • Achieve superior results time after time

Seek jobs and opportunities with this in mind. Forget what others do. Work to be known for delivering excellence. It speaks for itself and opens doors.

5. Be curious

Curiosity is a prerequisite to continuous improvement and even excellence. Study people, processes, and structures. Making progress, in part, is based upon thinking. Apply intellectual curiosity by thinking about your organization’s future, understanding the present, and knowing and challenging yourself to creatively move the people and the organization closer to its vision.

6. Listen to both sides of the argument

Listen to all different kinds of people and ideas. Listening only to those who share your background and opinions can be imprudent. It is important to respect your neighbors’ rights to their own views. Listening to and talking with a variety of people, from professors to police officers, from senior citizens to schoolchildren, is essential not only to be a good leader in business, but to also be a valuable member within your community.

7. Prepare, prepare, prepare

If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail. If one has truly prepared and something goes wrong, preparation usually makes this easier to handle without crisis and panic. Preparation is the science of winning.

Great advice comes from many sources: parents, other relatives, consultants, bosses, co-workers, mentors, teachers, coaches, and friends. The important point to remember is to stay open, listen to everyone, but also develop your own leadership style.

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This article is provided by Leadership Initiatives to inspire you with leadership knowledge and training tips as you go through your busy day. Keep in mind, our 3 Core Classes: Project Management, Six Sigma Problem Solving and Leading Others for exceptional leadership training in and around the Cleveland area. —Steve Reissig, CEO