Sam Marcum Teaches Us: What’s Getting in the Way of Your Leadership Potential?
It’s important for business owners and community leaders to access their full potential, if they are going to achieve their goals and have a positive influence on those around them. Sometimes what’s keeping you back may be external circumstances. Other times, however, the biggest obstacle to success may be your own patterns of thinking or behavior that are counterproductive. Ready to find out more? Author, coach and political consultant Chris Edwards invites you to read on.
How self-aware are you?
Before you can evaluate whether you are holding yourself back from leadership success, ask yourself this: How much self-awareness do you really have? Are you willing to look objectively at your own attitudes and actions, and evaluate them, even if it means accepting that you may need to grow and change? Good leaders are able to do this. Poor leaders, on the other hand, prefer to hold on to whatever fantasy visions they have of themselves than do the work of self-improvement. So self-awareness is the first step toward better leadership. Without an accurate picture of yourself, you won’t be able to assess whether you’ve been self-sabotaging your leadership in any of these common ways detailed below.
How coachable are you?
Good leaders not only give direction; they are capable of receiving it, as well — and not only from those in positions of authority. Being able to listen and even accept criticism from those you outrank and oversee is also crucial. Business owners who are unable to take advice from others, or will only take advice from a select few, are less likely to learn, grow, and improve over time. They may even find themselves repeating the same errors over and over again because they were unwilling to listen to those bringing constructive criticism to the table.
How dedicated are you?
It’s easy to get excited about the idea of running a business or overseeing a major project, but then reality sets in — and reality means work. It means attention to detail, even when the details are boring. A business owner who is hoping to leap straight into a life of leisure with a constant stream of passive income is setting themselves up for failure. That time may come, but only after you’ve worked to achieve it. A good leader needs to be dedicated to their business and their team, not only in terms of enthusiasm but in actual day-to-day action. To truly understand what it takes to manage a business inside and out, going back to school for a business degree or even an MBA can truly put you in the driver’s seat. And these days, you can attend online programs that don’t get in the way of your business responsibilities.
How empathetic are you?
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that good leadership is all about being aggressive and authoritarian. Yes, a few successful business owners operate this way, but for the most part, pushy and demanding bosses tend not to get respect. Their employees and collaborators will neither enjoy working with them nor be willing to invest in their dreams. By contrast, leaders who demonstrate empathy and who respect the feelings of those they interact with earn loyalty. Empathetic leaders are better equipped to see where their team members are coming from, to help them problem-solve and figure out how to keep them motivated.
How practical are you?
It’s great to be a big-picture person. But visionaries need to be practical, as well, if their big picture is ever going to be more than an appealing dream. Good leaders don’t neglect their bureaucratic and legal responsibilities. If you are a business owner, that means attending to such details as getting the right licenses and permits and purchasing the right insurance. If keeping up with all the legal details is getting overwhelming, don’t feel you have to multitask — hire a personal assistant to help you or a freelance professional specially trained in this area of expertise.
You don’t want to sell yourself short by neglecting to develop the leadership skills that will really allow you to soar. Take advantage of training and mentorship programs, when possible.
Guest Article Written by: Sam Marcum created bizbenefitguide.com which aims to help organizations thoroughly-articulate their benefits with brief, engaging multimedia material and genuine thorough reviews of health insurance companies.