Leadership

The 15 Practices of Outstanding Leaders

The 15 Practices of Outstanding Leaders
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Managing your team is a serious responsibility. Are your employees enthusiastic about coming to work? Do they trust and support your vision?

To grow your business, you need to do more than supervise. You need to engage and inspire the people you work with to go above and beyond what is being asked of them -- because they want to. One of the best ways of leading is by example.

Related: Becoming a Great Leader Starts With Building Trust

Successful leaders do the following.

1. They never say they’re too busy.

Successful leaders know how to manage their time. It’s pretty simple. You either care enough to make time, or you don’t. In my view, helping others is not the enemy of productivity. To better understand what I mean, I recommend reading an article The New York Times magazine published several years ago titled, “Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead?” It might stick with you, too.

2. They put forth solutions as often as they identify problems.

Pointing out a mistake or that something could be better is easy. Focusing on what can be done to improve it is much more beneficial.

3. They never stop learning.

Good leaders are students of history and keep up on current events. Reading the news isn’t a distraction. Your business exists very much within a context -- not apart from it.

4. They give you their full attention.

Successful leaders aren’t easily distracted, because they understand the value of being present.

5. They have a plan, but they’re willing to deviate from it.

To achieve an objective, I create a roadmap. A roadmap is just that -- a map! It’s not written in stone. It’s a guide. It’s based on what I knew to be true at the time. Things change. To reach my destination the most efficient way possible, I know I need to be flexible.

6. They’re punctual.

Being late is disrespectful. If you can’t make it to a meeting on time, I’m dubious of your ability to get anything done.

7. They stay off social media during the day.

There’s a difference between business and pleasure.

8. They have lots of friends.

Successful leaders understand the importance of forming strong personal and professional relationships.

Related: In Business, Nice Guys Finish First. Yes, Really.

9. They are open-minded.

If you assume you know everything, how are you ever going to grow?

10. They offer to help rather than criticize.

No one is immune from making a mistake. Successful leaders focus on how to move forward instead of focusing on the past.

11. They take responsibility for their actions.

If you own up to your mistakes, your employees will be more likely to do the same.

12. They realize success is part luck.

Successful leaders keep the big picture in mind whether they’re weathering a low or enjoying a high.

13. They don’t take rejection personally.

Business is business. It’s not personal, even though it feels like it sometimes. Rejection is an unavoidable part of the process of learning how do things correctly.

14. They take their time to form an opinion.

At this point, I think it’s probably pretty obvious to all of us that our knee-jerk reactions rarely serve us well.

15. They don’t waste their time.

It’s our most precious resource! Successful leaders think carefully about how to spend it.

Related: Capt. Sully: 5 Tips for Making Decisions Under Fire