Monday, February 21, 2011

Three Things Leaders Do Better Than Anyone

The worlds most successful entrepreneurs and executives use fundamental leadership qualities to achieve success. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that leadership is not about having command and control over people. Successful people focus on having command and control over themselves. By taking a very honest look at their vision and capabilities, successful leaders take more control of their destiny than most of us even think about exercising.

1. Leaders have strong self awareness.
Success is closely tied to an ability to practically and objectively identify their own strengths and weaknesses. They have a strong awareness as it relates to their performance, their passions, and their perspectives. They evaluate themselves in a brutally honest way and with clarity. That clarity allows them to manage their strengths and weaknesses very effectively. They will adjust their goals and approaches to match. They will seek assistance or self improvement in order to achieve success. They know what they can do, what they can’t do, what they should delegate, and when to seek help. Tied into this self awareness is having strong self esteem, which is not the same as ego.

2. Making the most of mistakes.
We all make mistakes. We are all human. However, some of us do more with our mistakes than others. Mistakes are the most important aspect of the life experience. These are the experiences where we glean our most important lessons. Sure, success is more fun, but we do not learn the most important lessons from success. Mistakes are also a strong indicator that we pushed an envelope somewhere, either in a process, or in people. Pushing and moving boundaries are how we create exceptional results, and ultimately success. Leaders use mistakes to learn and grow and motivate.

3. Adaptable and amenable.
Leaders are never emotionally attached to anything. Everything and anything can be changed and turned upside down when the need calls for it. Comfort zones usually don’t last long enough to actually bring comfort. A leader has an open mind and questions everything, including themselves. This is especially true when things are not working as planned or delivering the expected results. This aspect of leadership makes it possible for individuals and organizations to reinvent themselves as needed. Given the pace of change in the world today (socially, politically, economic, etc), reinventing oneself has almost become an essential function. Success is closely tied to being able to quickly respond to the changing realities in the business and market landscapes.

There are other factors and characteristics necessary for success, but I often find these three are among the most common weaknesses in entrepreneurs and business leadership.
How strong are you in these areas?

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