Becoming a great leader

In my last blog, we talked about how you need to be competitive to succeed, but not so competitive that you’re trampling on others or climbing over people’s backs to climb up the corporate ladder. That’s not being competitive, that’s just being mean.

What I want to talk to you about today is how to be a great leader and, in turn, help your team become great too. This is true for if you’re a small business owner, a manager, or a sales team leader.

The most dysfunctional teams and companies lack managers and leaders who are consciously helping the team to be cohesive and on the same page. On the other side of the coin, the most successful people in any industry are not only looking for ways to become more productive themselves but how their team can be more productive as well.

Here are more examples of what a great leader does.

Lifting others up

The greatest managers are always looking out for their team. They look after them by encouraging them and by reaching back and pulling them up. So, instead of climbing over their team member’s backs to get up the ladder, these great managers are choosing to not leave anyone behind. They focus on bringing greatness out of every team member.

Here’s the thing.The reason they do this is because they did not get to where they are by themselves. They didn’t get there because they’re incredible; they had someone else to help them. Someone along the way reached back and helped them up. This was probably their mentor or their own supervisor at some point.

Mentors are always looking for ways to help you become more successful and help you achieve whatever your success is. This means you’ve always got somebody reaching back and pulling you up. And once you get there, it’s your responsibility to reach back and pull others up too. It’s your job to show them the path so that they will stay motivated and supported.

Communicate and train

If you have a team that doesn’t understand what you’re doing and aren’t involved in any of the day-to-day decisions, they’re not going to be very successful and they’re not going to support you. Not only are you doing your team a disservice, you are shooting yourself in your career foot, too. If you’re not coaching and training your team to be great, your team will underperform and your success as a manager or leader will be limited.

Recognize where your success comes from

Truthfully, your bosses above you do not promote you. It’s the people who work for you or are on your team that will make you a success or a failure. All your boss is going to do is bring you the news. 

The greatest compliment as a leader, manager, or business owner is to have your team members be recognized as great. Always hire people smarter, more aggressive, and better skilled than you are yourself. That’s the way to get promoted and to grow in your own career.

Practice makes you better

Talent and expertise are good qualities but not always necessary to be great. It is not always the smartest that achieve greatness. Hard work and repetitive practice are equally or possibly even more important if you want to become great. To be great, you must have something inside yourself that propels you to achieve.

A fantastic example of hard work and repetitive practice is Tiger Woods. He has a lot of talent, but without practice and many, many hours of hitting balls on the range, he would not be where he is today.

Here’s another example. People hear a professional speaker and just assume that they have a gift, or they are a natural. They have no concept of the hours and hours of hard work and practice took to make the speaker look natural. There is simply no substitute for hard work and practice!

As I mentioned a couple of months ago in this blog, one of the best things we did when I was at Club Marketing was to roleplay before we would attend meetings with buyers. We felt like it was extremely important to practice. Even the most seasoned salesperson should work with a colleague to practice a sales pitch.

Even when you’ve reached your goal, don’t stop practicing. The moment you stop practicing, you set yourself up for failure.

It’s hard to practice faithfully, but in my opinion, to be great, it is almost mandatory. 

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