You can become a great leader in 5 steps and great leaders make more money than the average person. True leadership, these days, seems to be short in supply. However, if you seek to achieve greatness, then we need to focus on leadership. Not the dictatorial type that insists on others doing what they want them to do. I’m talking about leadership that makes the other person want to do what you want them to do.
I’m a graduate of The Dale Carnegie Course. I took it years ago, while I was in college, and learned a number of simple leadership traits that have helped me tremendously through the years.
From that course, and from my many years of running companies and being a professional speaker, I’ve assembled a list of 5 steps that I believe could help anyone become a better leader.
Become a great leader in 5 steps by continuing your education. My college degree, in Journalism, Public Relations, and Advertising, was just the beginning of my education. My real education, over many years, has been a study diet of being a perpetual student. In the Dale Carnegie Course, I learned about Carnegie’s best-selling book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” This is not only a great human relations book, but it’s also a great book on leadership.
I came to realize that it was much more valuable to read one book many times than to read many books one time only. Thus, I read that book once a month, every month, for five years – 60 times! Repetition is the mother of skill. Now those thoughts are a part of me.
Thus, whether it’s that book, or another one that you feel can help with your leadership skills, read it over and over. When you have a difficult leadership moment, go in your office and read a page in that book. The thoughts will shift your gears and help you get through the moment more productively.
By the way, if you want to be an exceptional leader, I would encourage you to take The Dale Carnegie Course!
Become a great leader in 5 steps by being aware of whose watching. If we are to lead others, we must be aware of the following: THE GROUP RUNS AT THE SPEED OF THE LEADER! That’s right. We can’t expect other people to follow us if we’re not showing great leadership traits. And that begins when we wake up and get our day started. Be careful what you do when you first wake up!
The first 15 minutes of each day set our mood for the whole day. May I suggest you turn off radio and television news the first thing each morning? Many years ago I was a newscaster. They didn’t tell us to find positive stories. Our slogan was: “If it bleeds, it leads!” In fact, I suggest not watching the late TV news before going to sleep. Most of that is full of murder and mayhem.
Thus, I suggest you declare positive affirmations the first thing each morning and the last thing each night. Here are some suggested affirmations:
“Everything I touch prospers and succeeds. I’m a people person and a great leader. I’m a very good listener and I help people come up with their own ideas.”
Don’t analyze the affirmations. Just declare what you want and watch how that sets your mood for the whole day.
In addition to your affirmations in the morning, I suggest you read two or three pages in the Carnegie book each day. When you get through with the book, read it over again and again.
Become a great leader in 5 steps by becoming an exceptional listener. With so much electronics taking people’s attention these days, who is truly listening to anyone? Surveys have been made to determine why people leave their jobs voluntarily? Money is not the number one answer. The real answer is that they weren’t made to feel important. People will do more for a feeling of importance than they will for money.
Dale Carnegie said that “people need to feel important!” Notice, he didn’t say they “want” to feel important. He said they “need” to feel important. According to the Dale Carnegie Course people, “Only 17% of employees are satisfied in their job.” And, they further stated, “45% of employees are planning on leaving their job in the next 12 months.”
This type of turnover is very expensive! I believe that a major explanation for those numbers is that most leaders fail to understand that people “need” to feel important. They think that if they throw enough money at a situation, surely people will be happy. Not so. If we mistreat people, they will eventually have had it with us and 45% plan to leave.
The main way we can make people feel important is by talking less and listening more. God gave us two ears and one mouth. Perhaps we should look at those proportions. Great leaders make people feel important by listening attentively to them.
So, when employees who report to you want to talk with you, please close your computer and put down your phone. Grab a notepad and take notes. And not electronically. On an actual notepad. And, rather than make them feel as if you want them to stop, state the following: “Tell me more.”
Then, when they have completed their point or points, ask them how they would resolve the situation. Don’t give in to the urge to give advice. A great leader let’s other people come up with their own ideas.
Become a great leader in 5 steps by making people realize that you are willing to first do what you ask them to do. I was born in Israel. My family immigrated to the U.S. when I was 9. Since its birth in 1948, Israel has become a miracle in growing its economy and becoming a world leader in technical developments. Other than the U.S., there are more companies on the NASDAQ from Israel than any other country in the world. Some 8 million people, in a very small country, are doing amazing things!
Everyone, both men and women, serve in the military in Israel. It is in that military that they learn certain leadership skills that I believe are really valuable. Military leaders do not order their soldiers to do anything they are not willing to do first. Thus, their theory of leadership in the military is “follow me!”
Thus, when people in Israel get out of the army and either start or run companies, they follow the same theory of leadership. They do not ask their employees to do anything they are not willing to do first.
They also have a way of identifying problems and solutions quickly. Executives in Israel have an open door policy. Anyone can walk in at any time. They just have to fill out a form first. That form is called “The Opportunity Form”. It has three questions: What is the problem? What is your solution? And, if it takes money, how much? This is a great way to get right to the heart of the problem and to get people to come up with their own ideas. After all, people will fight for their own ideas.
Become a great leader in 5 steps by showing appreciation to others. Since people will do more for a feeling of importance then they will for money, giving people proper recognition is really important when it comes to great leadership.
Carnegie said, when it comes to recognition, we should be hearty in our approbation (approval) and lavish in our praise. When an employee does something special, recognize that person in front of others, perhaps at a company meeting, and give them genuine compliments for doing a great job. You will make that person feel important and you’ll encourage others to also do a better job.
Most people only hear from their boss when they do something wrong. That’s the opposite of good leadership. Carnegie said, “Look for the good and, as much as possible, disregard the bad.” Great leaders focus on what is going right and make a big deal out of that. It doesn’t mean they don’t take care of problems. They just don’t focus on them.
Speaking of focus, if you wish to be a better leader, why not focus on these 5 steps to becoming a better leader for 90 days and see what happens.
“I’m a great student, motivate myself every day, am an exceptional listener, tell people to ‘follow me’, and recognize others. I am a great leader!”
Related Article: 15 Ways to Improve Your Attitude and That of Those Around You
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Copyright 2017 by Boaz Rauchwerger