10 Hard Things That Will Make You a Better Leader
Business Tips

10 Hard Things That Will Make You a Better Leader

3 min read

1/ Being decisive. When you have people counting on you, you can't second guess yourself (at least not in public). To your followers, you need to be rock solid in your decisions to maintain their respect, especially if your decision is unpopular.

2/ Don't be a people pleaser. This one is especially hard for me, but managing people's expectations is incredibly important. It's better to give bad news today than good news that turns out to be untrue tomorrow.

3/ Admit when you don't know something. This is especially important in larger meetings, but if you're a leader of a larger organization, there will be times when people ask you questions you don't know the answer to. If you don't know, admit it, do your research, then respond. NOTHING will reduce people's respect for you like confidently giving an answer that ends up being wrong.

4/ Being a good communicator. Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of Pepsi and widely considered one of the most powerful women on earth, says: "you cannot over-invest in becoming a better communicator," and it's true! If you communicate well (both verbally and in writing), people will take you more seriously, respect you more, and consider you more charismatic. Best of all, this can be learned with practice. Write every day, and practice big speeches. It'll pay dividends in the future.

5/ Laugh at people's jokes. This is so easy, and many people fail to do it, but laughing at people's jokes will instantly make people like you more, and it's a great way to build rapport to make your working relationships Stronger.

6/ Celebrate people often. Tell people, and show people they're important - both in front of their peers and when you're meeting with them 1 on 1. Everyone wants to feel valuable, and it's your job as a leader to make sure your employees know how valuable they are.

7/ Say "thank you" more than you think you need to. It's easy, it's free, and it doesn't get said nearly enough. This is part of celebrating people often, but showing gratitude towards your people will always be rewarded.

8/ Say "no" more to people outside your immediate organization. Whether this means shielding your team from projects that would distract them (especially if you manage a team in a larger organization) or turning down personal opportunities that might distract you from your goals. Your team will thank you for your ability to maintain focus on your goals, as well as help maintain focus on theirs.

9/ Be forgiving. If you're managing a small business, nobody is gonna care about your business as much as you, so don't expect them to. "I'm working 80-hour weeks, and my employees won't work a minute past 40. They don't care nearly as much as me!" That's correct, and they also don't own the business.

10/ Set an example for your team. Mark Zuckerberg wore a suit every single day in 2009. Elon Musk slept on the floor of his factories in 2018. If you want people to take your business seriously, setting the tone is up to you.


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