Business Growth & Strategy

The Top 5 Leadership Lessons to Helping You Lead Effectively

The Top 5 Leadership Lessons to Helping You Lead Effectively

The Top 5 Leadership Lessons to Helping You Lead EffectivelyEarning recognition as a great leader isn’t something that most successful professionals strive for. In fact, it’s actually just the opposite because success in leadership comes from having humility, admitting you don’t know everything and asking questions.

After all, leadership is really about people, and there are a few common themes that permeate the minds of the most accomplished among us. Here are 5 of the best leadership lessons to date.

No. 1: Pursue Lifelong Learning As A Strategy

The difference between being average and exceptional is often as simple as having the ability to look at yourself in the mirror, recognizing that you don’t know it all. Education is a lifelong experience, not just the 4 or 5 years spent earning a degree.

While this is time well-spent, formal education is only a small sliver of learning. Education continues after school, transitioning into self-help and intellectual property. The mark of a great leader is realizing­–despite success–that there are still people who can help, and that it’s okay to say, “I don’t know, what do you think?”

Great leaders learn everything they can about their business: its markets, competition, strengths, weaknesses etc.

No. 2: Recognize That You Are Your Own Brand

All of us, whether we do it intentionally or not, are creating our own personal brand every minute of every day. People we come into contact with at our job, in our families, even friends make impressions about who we are. Great leaders invest in their brand. They do this by sharing who they want to be through values and behaviors. Analyze yourself. Where are your strengths and weaknesses? How do you choose to be perceived?  Embrace the brand that is you and make certain it reflects what you want it to be.

No. 3: Become Fool Proof

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Great leaders don’t have all the answers, but they tend to know when someone is not being straight with them. They surround themselves with truth tellers.

It’s easy to hear “yes” all the time, but it’s not productive. Exceptional leaders have confidence that comes from knowing the team is making a valuable contribution to the cause, despite it being difficult to hear. And they have the agility, flexibility and capability to shift focus on a dime when necessary. 

No. 4: Develop An Inquisitive Mind

What do people most like to do? Talk about themselves. Who controls the conversation? The person who asks the questions. Leaders who ask the right open-ended questions learn about the people with whom they interact. It’s easier to relate, build trust and make meaningful connections. They’re never complacent, but develop an inquisitive, curious mind.

No. 5: Slow Down And Process

The human brain is wired to survive, and the “fight or flight” response may cause us to cut and run or get defensive instinctively. Yet, when we react quickly, we avoid the tough conversations that leadership requires. Taking a step back to process before responding is always a good strategy, leading to rational decisions.

Leadership is about people. You can’t lead without followers, yet you can’t have followers without being a good follower yourself. Leading effectively and building trusting relationships comes from asking for help when needed, being true to who you are, staying inquisitive, and knowing how to relate to the most important people around you.

Category: Business Growth & Strategy Leadership


About the Author: Jay McDonald

 With over 30 years of experience as an Atlanta business advisor, serial entrepreneur, CEO, and owner in multiple venues and industries, Jay McDonald has mastered the art of learning by “trial and error”. With a unique breadth of knowledge e…

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  1. Patty D

    August 26, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Leadership is not “about people” (no.5). Leadership is for the people. Great leaders have an innate quality within and they stand apart by not being a follower.

  2. We need leadership lessons to follow in life and while implementing those we are able to develop our leadership strategy. People with good leadership quality are always getting good success in life; therefore we need right lesson for leadership development and in this above article we have found some quality leadership tips to develop. Thanks for such wonderful tips.

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