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Leading a Balanced Life Enables Your Success in Business

Leading a Balanced Life Enables Your Success in Business

Leading a Balanced Life Enables Your Success in Business

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. There are many who take pride in waking up at 4am to get a jump start on their workday, and working till very late at night, they get little sleep and often say “I’ll rest when I die”.

Is this living a balanced life? Are these people really successful?

Some are. They lead multi-dimensional lives. They have success in business, have loving active relationships with their spouses, kids, extended family members, stay connected with their friends, have time for self-care, and nurture their spirituality.

If you are one of these people, you can stop reading now… this blog isn’t for you. If you find yourself struggling for balance…. keep reading.

Even if you love your work, there is the possibility that you fall into it so much that you start to forget and neglect the other parts of your life. Being very deeply engaged with your job is a great thing but not so much when it hampers other important parts of your life. Being 100% focused and great at your career also makes you a singular-dimensional human being.

“The secret to leading a fulfilling life is to become multi-dimensional, experiencing success across all aspects of life.”

There are several things you need to take care of so that you don’t go astray, and instead build a healthy relationship between your work and your overall life. Some of these things are:

● Effective time management

● Proper nutrition, sleep and exercise

● Quality time with family, friends and loved ones

When you neglect any of these things on a regular basis, it makes it difficult for you to assess what you can reasonably accomplish in a day. For example, guilt from not spending quality and focused time with family, friends and loved ones will affect your overall focus.

This, combined with lack of sleep, an unbalanced diet and little to no exercise can create the perfect storm for high stress, anxiety and leading an unfulfilled life followed by many failures.

There are some things you can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Let’s review a few of them here.

Focus on Your Life Not Your Work

You need to change and shift your perspective by thinking about the life you want to live instead of thinking about the kind of work you want to do. After you have figured out the life you want to live, you must decide the work that fits into that life that can support it financially.

If you are strategic about this step, you will find that the life you want to live precedes the work you do, and that will make all the difference.

You’ll also discover that you can find joy in work that would otherwise not be exciting or a source of passion for you.

This is because your purpose becomes fulfilled by you leading a multi-dimensional life. Work becomes a means to achieve your purpose, not your primary goal.

Avoid Burnout

Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. This burnout in your professional life leads to:

● Low energy levels or constant exhaustion

● Burnout can spread to other aspects your life, negatively impacting the way you feel about your family and friends

● Makes you more reactive (snippy) instead of proactive (at peace)

● Negatively impacts and hampers your self-confidence, making you unsure about your own capabilities

In addition to this, burnout adversely affects your sleeping patterns and hampers your ability to make decisions, engage in clear thinking for work and most significantly, lead to health disorders.

No matter how much you love your work, you are prone to burning out some time or the other. We are all just a few steps away from burn out. It’s important to make sure that you don’t ever burnout by reducing stress on a daily basis.

Manage Your Time

In this day and age, technology offers you some amazing options that you can use to get rid of your stress and keep your burnout rate in check. Daily time management techniques can also help you stay ahead of the game,

You want to manage your time by:

● Setting daily schedules and sticking to them

● Saying “no” when you are at capacity

● Working smarter, not harder

When you proactively take a moment to reflect on a challenge, you will find yourself discovering new and more creative ways to tackle it. You will discover ways that you might have never thought of before. 

In this way, you can find innovative tools and technologies to help your stress and not augment it. A tacit understanding of time management is very helpful in this case.

“Time management is about keen self-awareness and a critical step to finding real balance in your life.”

When you live a balanced life, a multi-dimensional life, you find that not only is your work more exciting, but you will also find that the other aspects of your life become better too.

Your family, friends and your loved ones become your support team and become assets that you are greatly thankful for.

Delving into your career is a great thing but it should not come at the cost of your family and social life.

The Business of Life

Balancing all the aspects of your life is key to ensuring an environment that pushes you to the limits and ensures that you become better and better at the business of life every single day. 

As long as you manage your time effectively, avoid burnout, and lead a multi-dimensional life, there is nothing that can stop you from attaining professional success.

“Professional success only comes by leading a multi-dimensional life.”

In order to maintain and hold on to professional success you’ll need balance. You’ll need to experience the fulfilment that comes from being connected to every aspects of your life.

Focus on turning your life into your business. Extract the maximum ROI out of your life by fully participating across every aspect of it. This balance will ensure your success in business. The business of living a fulfilling multi-dimensional life.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Be a Motivational Leader

How to Be a Motivational Leader

How to Be a Motivational Leader

If you are the leader of an organization, it is mostly understood that it is your responsibility to motivate employees and other people on your team to do the best they can.

Is it really your responsively to motivate people?

I will argue that the priority of a leader is to set an example others will want to emulate on their own, and to foster an environment where people are freely self-motivated.

Part of the responsibility of being a good leader of an organization is to nurture the qualities of people and encourage them to be their best in order to succeed.

Here are some concrete steps on how to be a motivational leader. Following these steps will enable you to see progress in your organization and in your team with respect to their motivation and productivity.

Shared Vision and Purpose

It’s often been traditionally understood that a leader is to create the vision for the team and instill the purpose. However, this isn’t being motivational, this is more about having controls in place to drive expected outcomes. Sadly, fear has also been used as a motivational tool for far too long

An alternative way is to co-create an inspiring vision of the future with your team and your organization. This approach gives everyone involved something to look forward to with the work that they are doing.

When the team can visualize, at a very personal level, the result of their hard work vividly, they work harder to realize the set goals.

When they feel personally vested in developing the stories of the success of the company, you can ensure that everyone has a more relatable and vivid experience of the way visions work.

“Co-creation gives people a purpose to work towards, and greatly reduces the friction that comes from things being pushed on them.”

Have Clear Goals

Everyone wants to produce results that are tangible. However, when people aren’t clear on what is expects of them, they can’t be successful even if they want to.

Part of being a motivational leader in your organization has historically been about providing your employees or members of your team with a set of clear goals and purposes that they can follow.

However, for people to be motivated to work hard towards what they are expected to achieve, they have to be personally vested.

“Motivating people isn’t about getting them to follow you or a vision, it is about empowering them to co-create a vision they will personally own.”

For example, you can’t expect employees to get excited about an IPO if they have zero equity in the business. It’s counterproductive to the goal of achieving an IPO not to share the wealth upside with the people who are going to make that possible.

When it comes to clear goals, they too need to be co-created, and their values shared among all involved.

A motivational leader will work with people to jointly agree on goals and create an environment where the risks and rewards are shared equally among all involved.

“Enabling a shared authority organizational model is the key to motivating people to personally own the company’s success.”

Lead by Example

One of the best leadership qualities is to lead by giving personal example. By working smart and hard, you show your team that you have professional integrity and a can-do attitude.

“Your personal example of integrity will compel employees to work harder to achieve more.”

This positive reinforcement that you provide to your teammates will pay off in the long run with better efficiency and overall productivity.

Leading by example does not mean just showing your positive traits. It is about being authentic and showing your vulnerabilities as well.

Afterall the most effective motivational leaders create a safe space for people to be real, and authentic. This creates mutual respect, trust and intimacy.

When you have a team that is co-creating together, you also need to give space for the imperfections to safely shine. It is in this intimate environment that teams can truly help each other thrive. It is human nature to want to be helpful to others.

“To achieve shared organizational purpose, you have to embrace vulnerability and authenticity.”

Encourage Teamwork

When you encourage teams to work together, you are giving them the benefit and power of unity. The counteracting effect that teamwork brings is highly valuable to any organization, especially during difficult market times.

Encouraging teamwork in the workplace will also help members feel less isolated and give them a feeling of belonging. Employees will feel more engaged with the work that they are doing and hence, will work harder to compensate for the larger community to which they now belong.

“Teamwork allows people to fulfill the desire for belonging and to have an impact on the lives of others.”

The ultimate motivational leader knows that their role is truly to empower more leaders. Empowering people by instilling a co-creation and shared authority culture is the most effective way to enable an environment where people want to work towards the company’s success. They will want to do so, because they are personally vested in achieving the co-created vision and purpose of the collective.

For more information on how to expand on the principles of co-creation and shared authority at work, check out the Radical Purpose movement by clicking here.

Business Innovation Brief
How to Develop Empathy as a Leader

How to Develop Empathy as a Leader

How to Develop Empathy as a Leader

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Some people think of empathy in leadership as a weakness. Some believe it to be a weakness even as a virtue. 

Empathy is a right-brain activity, which instigates people to think that it is a discipline associated with being touchy-feely. However, empathy is currency, and sadly too many people are absolutely broke.

“Empathy at its core is a very valued virtue and emotional intelligence currency.”

Empathy enables you to think about how people feel and helps you understand a problem by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Empathy is one of the best virtues to have as a leader of an organization or a group of people dedicated to achieving any cause.

There are several things that you can do every day, which will help you develop empathy as a leadership skill. 

Here are some of the ways in which you can develop empathy as a leader. Test these tips by practicing these principles in your daily life and watch your empathy grow exponentially.

Be a Good Listener

To be an empathetic leader you should not just truly listen to what others have to say, but also interpret and feel what is being said. You do this by paying attention to the tone and the emotions of the other person.

Being a good listener means that you are focused on listening, not on what you’re going to say when the person is done. You will gain more from listening to the other person emphatically rather than thinking about how you are going to respond.

“What most people are looking for aren’t answers with smart solutions to their problems, they are seeking to be understood, and validated first.”

Don’t Interrupt

Empathetic leaders know how easily a person’s quality of words might decrease if they are interrupted when speaking. A listener who is distracted comes off as impatient to the speaker.

When the listener hurries the speaker in order to move along with whatever they are trying to say, it leaves the speaker unable to recite their thoughts in an effective and an efficient manner.

Rushing to conclusions also has the same repercussions. Nobody wants a leader who rushes to conclusions without listening to the problem in the first place.

Interrupting people creates contention, when instead, as a leader practicing empathy, you want to create a safe space for expression and for validation.

“An empathetic leader listens with the intention to create a safe space for those approaching them.”

Be Present

When you’re talking to someone, you should never check the time, look around in the room, read an email, or respond to a message on your phone. It is that simple, and nowadays super difficult to practice.

When someone is speaking, you must be present with the person; not only physically, but also emotionally. Hence, you have to make sure that you don’t insult them by being genuinely distracted when they’re trying to talk.

One way to practice being a good listener is to ask yourself “what can I learn here that is of value to both of us”, the other is to be humble and remind yourself “everyone I speak with comes from the Universe to teach me something”

These two simple shift in context will help you to listen with intentionality, and thus increases your ability to be fully present.

“Being present as a leader, means listening without judgements.”

Don’t Judge

To practice more empathy as a leader, when people are speaking, not only do you have to listen to them proactively, but you also have to make sure that you don’t judge them while they are speaking.

When someone is speaking, you have to ensure that you leave your biases behind and be open to what the person might be feeling.

To be an empathetic leader and to develop empathy as a leadership skill, you have to ensure that you don’t judge the speaker and label them with agreement or disagreement.

Here is where you can go back to those two simple context shift ideas you just read about, allowing you to tap into your curiosity and humility.

Watch Your Body Language

As an empathetic leader within an organization, you have to understand the significance of body language in a conversation and ensure that you catch the cues the other person is sending out.

With that, you also have to mind your own body language when you deal with others. You have to remain open to listening to the other person speaking.

Practice makes perfect and if you spend time understanding how people feel when they are relaying their concerns, you will become better with time.

It’s about being open. This begins with your face. Your eyes need to be wide open and focused on the speaker. Smiling, and nodding signals you are positive and receptive.

Your body needs to be turned toward the person speaking rather than away. Your palms open and turned toward the speaker also. Don’t cross your legs, as it create a sense of being closed off.

When a leader lacks the quality of empathy, they make it hard and difficult for people to approach them with their problems. This also makes them feel that the leader is selfish and does not care about the interests of others.

This is not a feeling that you want to propagate. When you practice and develop empathy as a leadership skill, you do not come off as weak. With an empathetic leader, everyone feels comfortable and knows that their concerns will not go unheard.

“Practicing empathy as a leader is all about being open to receive from the other person while creating a safe and welcoming space to do so.”

Being open and welcoming is powerful, as it creates an environment of trust and transparency. A leader who practices empathy, creates a powerfully vulnerable environment where everyone can be heard, validated and thrive.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Become More Approachable as a Leader

How to Become More Approachable as a Leader

How to Become More Approachable as a Leader

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

You can’t expect everyone to be receptive to you, but one of the most important traits of a leader is to be approachable. If you want to ensure that your reputation amongst your peers and the people you lead is stellar, you have to be an approachable person; someone that your teammates admire, not fear.

Approachability Is a Leadership Skill

Being approachable does not come easy to everyone. If you are one of those people that struggles with it, here are some of the ways you can become a very approachable and charismatic leader. Try these simple tips for three months, on how to become more approachable, I guarantee you will definitely see positive results in the way people approach you in the workplace.

Greet Everyone Personally

Even a simple “good morning” followed by the name of the person you are greeting; will help you enhance your approachability. This happens in small increments every single day.

When you get into the habit of greeting people day in and day out, you convey to those people that they matter to you. You also give them a feeling of freshness and maturity, giving them the support they need to get on with the day and be their most productive self.

Greeting people on a regular basis not only enhances your own reputation in front of your teammates but you enhance people’s productivity throughout the day.

“Just a couple of words (good morning) and a smile on a consistent basis, can make a big difference in helping you become more approachable.”

Show You Care

People are naturally drawn to other people who show them genuine care without malice. When you set aside some time during your week to check in with your team, you are, in a way, reminding them that they matter to you.

“Deliberately taking time out of your schedule to check up on people like a friend, increases your approachability.”

Demonstrating that you care about your teammates and peers gives them incentive to catch up on you too, establishing a friendly relationship between them and yourself.

You can also practice being a good listener when they are speaking, ask follow up questions to show that you are interested and reflect back to them what they just talked about.

“Small but consistent everyday acts of care for others go a long way to improving your approachability.”

Offer Help

Ask your teammates and peers “How May I Help You” from time to time. When you convey to the other person that you are willing to do something to make their work or their task easier, you are essentially aiding their situation.

You are also conveying subtly that you care about them and that your problem-solving skills are up for grabs. Next time, when the same coworker or teammate actually needs your help with a task or an assignment, they will not hesitate to knock on your door.

“You become a better and more approachable leader when you ask people if they need your help, and you offer it on a regular basis.”

Have a Sense of Humor

There are times in the office that you might have to be absolutely serious about something pressing or urgent. However, there are other times that require a certain degree of levity. In this case, you must ensure that you know the difference.

You must know the situations when you can crack a laugh and defuse the environment. If you see that your employees or teammates are becoming too serious and that this seriousness is affecting the quality of work they are doing, it is great to de-stress them by cracking a joke or two in good fun.

However, you have to ensure that the jokes you crack are workplace appropriate and that they do not offend anyone in the workplace. Do not use cutting humor at the expense of any one single person or community and do not be too self-deprecating. Being self-deprecating can work against you in the case of becoming more approachable.

“Nothing makes you more approachable than being a source of levity for people when it’s needed.”

It is only when you become approachable and friendly with the people you lead that can you expect to lead them efficiently and effectively.

Without the power of approachability, you only have half a shot to success as a leader. If you want to develop approachability as a skill for leadership in your organization or any other part of your life, just follow the simple suggestions that have been listed above and observe your approachability increase.

Big ideas are always simple. Little acts of care and kindness go a long way to increasing your approachability as a leader.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Be Authentic as a Leader

How to Be Authentic as a Leader

How to Be Authentic as a Leader

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Everyone has dreams, aspirations and ambitions. Although these differ from person to person, there comes a time in every person’s life when we begin to expect for our aspirations to become reality.

Sometimes our aspirations are truly ours, and other times they are driven by the desire to be liked, even adored by our friends and family.

What happens when you get where you thought you wanted to be, only to discover you’re at the wrong place?

What happens when you have had to compromise what you stand for and the very essence of your being to do something in order to succeed, that you would not normally do?

When these situations arise, you have only two choices: Keep living a lie or be true to yourself and tap into your authenticity as a leader.

Is Authenticity a Leadership Skill?

There are several ways in which you can develop authenticity for yourself and those around you.

The main goal isn’t to act authentic; it is to be authentic. There is a difference. We are not talking about a skill you turn on and off at will to meet your needs.

“Authenticity is a way of life. It is a life skill that you switch on the moment you decide to always embrace truth.”

Here are multiple ways in which you might go about developing the life skill of authenticity:

Become Self-aware

This might sound easier than it is. Self-awareness is not something that you can just be. It is something that has to be cultivated through strict introspection and loads of practice.

It requires complete self-accountability for every aspect of your life. You cannot fully achieve self-awareness if you still blame others for the results in your life.

This is because part of the practice of self-awareness is asking yourself, when someone rubs you the wrong way and upsets you, “what I am supposed to learn about myself now that I’ve been triggered?”

Often, leaders fail to realize the potential that self-awareness can have on their confidence and their ability to make a long-lasting impact on the world. This ends up causing them to lack authenticity skills in general.

These leaders may not necessarily know the process by which they should become self-aware, but they do know that the resource investment that is required to become self-aware is definitely worth it.

Personal Values

When you, as a leader, understand yourself well, you open the door to truly understanding others. Reflecting and introspecting on your own weaknesses and strengths allows you to be more compassionate towards others.

Asking yourself some basic questions can help you raise your self-awareness and understand the terms by which you lead your life.

What do you stand for? What is it about you that represents who you are at your core?

Your personal values are the terms of your life. Think of them as your personal life term-sheet. Everything you do is an investment in your personal growth.

An investor would not give you money without a term sheet outlining the expectations for their investment. Similarly knowing your values will determine what you should expect from yourself.

“Your values determine the terms that dictate how you live your life and how you show up as a leader.”

This technique also encourages a leader in every field to drive their passions beyond their limits and achieve personal as well as organizational success.

Balance Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivations

The values that a leader possesses helps them gain insight into the kind of motivations that drive them, both extrinsic and intrinsic.

The common way to measure the level of overall determination and motivation that a leader or an organization has, is to measure it extrinsically.

Extrinsic motivations are based on rewards like money, titles, recognition, and fame.

Intrinsic motivation is driven by internal rewards. The motivation arises from within the individual because it is naturally satisfying.

However, the balance between these external and internal motivations has to be maintained and stabilized by you as the leader.

The balance between these motivations, both extrinsic and intrinsic is one of the keys to ensuring authenticity as a leadership skill for yourself.

Develop Your Support Team

Leaders do not have the means to succeed on their own. If you plan to be a successful leader, there are multiple things that you cannot do without the support of your peers or mentors and coaches.

To be successful as an authentic leader, you have to ensure that you create a support team for yourself. This team will help you by providing you with valuable feedback and a balanced perspective in terms of things that you view with a bias.

The support group will also help you focus on the correction of certain traits that you might be blind to and make sure that your ego isn’t running your life.

Know Your Limits

True leadership is the product of perseverance. If you are a leader within your organization, you must make sure that you maintain consistency and balance in almost all sectors of your responsibilities.

Leaders should also have the ability to integrate different areas of their life and turn the skill of authenticity into a reality.

The biggest challenge in this regard for the leader is to maintain a strong and stable personal life, one that is personal, but not too personal.

“An authenticity focused leader accepts they are not going to do everything right and embraces humility as the best teacher.”

Discovering your authenticity as a leader will not only require a lot of practice and effort, but also a lot of courage on your part.

You have to reflect deeply on your experiences, own your personal story, understand yourself well, and be humble enough to grow.

If you have trouble accepting yourself for the way you are and with the values that you have, ensure that you develop a deep understanding for the people around you.

Valuing your team will bring you a lot of benefits as a leader and will mean the world for the people you are vulnerably asking to be part of your tribe.

Being an authenticity focused leader is about embracing relationships and being open to your own flaws while striving passionately to live your personal values.

For more information on how to be more authentically yourself by breaking free of the command-and-control norms check out the Radical Purpose movement by clicking here.

Business Innovation Brief

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