Why Perseverance is a Skill Needed for Great Leadership

An easel with a red arrow avoiding an obstacle. Deviation from the route. Inevitability and inabilit

Success is never about one moment of genius, it’s often built on a shameless refusal to quit. That’s true in many things, leadership included.

Not sure you agree? Take one of my favorite short stories I teach to leaders as an example.

Two frogs fell into a bucket of milk. Both tried to jump to freedom, but the sides of the bucket were steep, and the surface of the liquid had little foundation. 

Seeing little chance of escape, the first frog soon despaired and stopped jumping. After a short while, he sunk to the bottom of the bucket and drowned.

The second frog also saw no likelihood of success, but he never stopped trying. Even though each jump seemed to reach the same inadequate height, he kept on struggling and persevering. Eventually, his persistent efforts churned a little milk into butter. He managed to leap out of the bucket from the now more rigid surface of the milk.

The second frog’s shameless refusal to quit and perseverance was the key to his success. 

What is Persistence?

Persistence is defined in the SkillsLoft assessment as doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. In other words, it’s a shameless refusal to quit. 

Your success is dependent upon perseverance, not brilliance.

There is a compelling body of research that has explored the factors that underpin successful performance that is best explained in a simple equation: 

Ability x Persistence = Performance. 

The best leaders focus on persistence because they can’t control the talent or natural ability they were given.

Talent by itself isn’t enough, persistence alone is also not enough. What’s required is both to perform at a high level over time. Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

If you want to persevere more in leadership or your professional journey, here are ways to do it:

1. Embrace the Challenge

If you were to ask most people whether they want challenges or tests in their life, they would undoubtedly say no. But not only are challenges and tests unavoidable, but they are also necessary. The reason is simple, it’s often the challenge that changes us. 

It’s often the challenge that changes us.

I shared some ideas from a recent keynote here:

2. Remember Failure is Feedback

Leadership is hard, and so is life. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it or give up, because failure is not final. As I wrote in Building the Best, Failure is a part of leadership, which means failure must become feedback. When you make mistakes, please don’t beat yourself up, learn from them. If leadership were easy, everyone would be doing it. 

Failure is not final, failure is feedback.

One of the best methods of learning from your failures or experiencing the mistakes of others is to keep what I call a Personal Leadership Guide or “PLG” The idea behind the “PLG” is to have a folder on your favorite note-taking app or a notebook and anytime you experience something you want to remember about successful leadership you write it down. Then at the end of each year, you pull out the 5 to 7 most important lessons from that year and review it.  

Then you rinse and repeat.

3. Act With Urgency, But Remain Patient

The essential part of perseverance is continuing to take the next step forward despite the difficulty. I have learned that good leaders start with a sense of urgency but allow that urgency to turn into complacency. They quit taking steps forward because they lose patience. The best leaders think and act differently. They have a growth mindset, act urgently, yet remain exceptionally patient. 

The best leaders have a growth mindset, act urgently, yet remain exceptionally patient. 

Even though most people can agree with this because they have heard “patience is a virtue their whole life, most people don’t live it out.  

I ask leaders I coach each week the same question I want you to ask yourself today; “did you act urgently this week yet remain exceptionally patient?”

Closing

Perseverance and the shameless refusal to quit is an essential leadership skill. It’s often what separates those that achieve success for themselves and their team. 

Whether the skill of perseverance comes easy to you are not, the best part is we can develop and get better. I hope the next time you want to quit or give up, you will first think about the story of the frogs. Do you want to be the kind of leader who gives us and dies or the kind of frog that turns milk into butter?

The choice is yours, and your team counts on you to make the right decision. 

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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company helping executives and managers to lead their best. He was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Management & Workplace. John is also the author of Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success. You can follow him on Instagram @johngeades.

Why Great Leaders Know Teamwork is a Key to Their Success

Conceptual for brainstorming and teamwork

Golf is one of the last sports you would expect to glean leadership lessons. It’s primarily an individual sport, with the exception of one week every other year during the Ryder Cup. If you aren’t familiar, the tournament is filled with spirited competition and drama as 24 of the world’s greatest players from the USA and Europe compete in a team competition.

Whether you are a golf fan or not, a unique leadership challenge that both teams’ captains face has similarities to what many organizational leaders encounter.  

They work to get individuals to act and behave like a team to produce the best outcome for the group.

The ability for leaders to do this successfully isn’t easy and is a skill that very few do consistently well. However, teamwork is the remedy, and it’s achieved when each individual buys into the group’s greater good over their self-interest. 

Take Amy, a sales manager in a technology company, as an example. I started working with her as a coach when she was hired to take over a group of 15 sales reps. At the time, only 20% of the team was hitting their quota, collectively they hadn’t hit their sales target in five years, and the engagement was an abysmal 57%. 

As excited as she was about her first ample leadership opportunity, the uphill challenge didn’t scare her because management jobs rarely open up when things are going well. She jumped right in, got to know her team members personally, made some tough decisions about letting a few reps go, and brought in some fresh faces, then got to work in developing teamwork.

She invested time, energy, and money to bring the reps together in person once a quarter and created weekly meetings where each person was an active participant. During those crucial interactions, she manufactured human connection, gained buy-in, and built the belief that the team could collectively achieve a big goal.  

Little by little, the results started to come together, and by the end of her second year on the job, 80% of the reps hit their quota, the group exceeded their sales target by 40%, and the engagement rate jumped 84%.  

Amy understood the key to her leadership success was getting each individual to buy into the group’s greater good over their own self-interest.

“Great teams are made up of individuals that buy into the group’s greater good over their self-interest.”

Focus on Teamwork

When team members are authentic, collaborate, and challenge each other, the results are almost always superior to working alone. Teamwork is when people bring their authentic selves and skills together to produce excellent outcomes for the group. 

Teamwork is when people bring their authentic selves and skills together to produce excellent outcomes for the group. 

Looking back at the most significant achievements in sports or business, you will always find great teamwork was behind it. There is a plethora of research that supports the essential nature of teamwork. 

If you want to improve teamwork, here are a few ideas to get individuals to work as a team.  

1. Get Obsessive Buy-In Towards a Shared Goal

A team, by definition, means to come together as a team to achieve a common goal. Success won’t follow if leaders don’t define a common goal that team members care about achieving.  

If leaders don’t define a shared goal that team members care about achieving, success won’t follow.  

The keyword here is “shared.” While it will be tempting to stand at the top of the mountain and scream a big, hairy, audacious goal to your team, if they aren’t bought into, help define what’s possible, and determine what it would take to achieve it, they won’t give their best effort. 

In the example of the Ryder Cup, the ultimate shared goal is simple, take home the Ryder Cup Trophy at the end of the tournament. However, every team competing since 1927 has had that goal. The key as a Ryder Cup captain or as a team leader at work, is getting obsessive buy-in from each individual about achieving the goal.  

2. Manufacture Human Connection

Teamwork can’t be achieved without people getting to know each other and working well together. Too often, leaders assume and take for granted the quality of relationships between members of their team. Here is the hard truth. Just because members of the same team are in meetings together, doesn’t mean they know or care about each other.  

Just because team members are in meetings together, doesn’t mean they know or care about each other.  

Conflict and diverse thinking are essential elements of teamwork. Because of this, developing relationships built on the foundation of trust and respect is a requirement. While it might be uncomfortable at first, part of a leader’s job is to manufacture human connection and create a sense of belonging between team members. There are all kinds of strategies for this, but my favorite from our leadership workshops is the hero, highlight, hardship exercise. 

3. Inspire Personal Growth That Benefits the Team

When people are growing, they are much more likely to buy into the leader that is helping them do it. So often, we think about growth in terms of a company, but rarely do we think about it in terms of people.

Personal growth is the foundation of motivation. It’s hard to motivate team members who aren’t growing. Personal growth is the foundation of any successful professional. 

It’s hard to motivate team members who aren’t growing. Personal growth is the foundation of any successful professional.  

Leaders have a unique advantage of creating healthy competition between team members to fuel personal growth and development. In the case of the Ryder Cup, successful captains have created pods of smaller team members in the build-up of the competition to fuel personal growth and performance. 

Closing

There is nothing easy about leadership and getting individuals to work as a team. As many stories there are about sales managers like Amy, there are more stories of managers who have the opposite outcomes.  

Since you are thinking, reading, and looking for specific ideas to apply in your leadership approach should provide you confidence that you are on the right track. 

What did I leave out? Tell me in the comments.

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About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company helping executives and managers to lead their best. He was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Management & Workplace. John is also the author of Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success. You can follow him on Instagram @johngeades.

Why Great Leaders are Positive In Adverse Situations

The current business world makes it hard to be optimistic. I don’t know if it’s the amount of negative information we receive, the speed in which judgments are cast, the sheer amount of people doing work they hate, or some combination of the three. 

I’ve struggled to maintain optimism during difficult times especially when a team is underperforming, and I know from coaching professionals, it’s a common challenge for many. 

Take Chris, a director in a medium-size consulting company, for example. He was promoted to lead and turn around an underperforming division. He worked long hours, built strong relationships with his team members, and had shifted the strategy to align with the current environment. With all that work behind him, the second half of the year was only slightly better than the first half. His boss was putting pressure on him to drive better results. Chris was at his breaking point, and he knew his team was starting to take notice.  

Instead of making a rash decision, we addressed his negative self-talk and assumptions that he wasn’t good enough for the job. We channeled his thinking towards what he and his team could control, rather than spiraling down the doubt rabbit-hole.

I shared a recent study from Boston University School of Medicine which linked optimism and prolonged life. Chris was shocked to find out that men and women who demonstrate optimism had, on average, an 11 to 15 percent longer lifespan and 50-70 percent greater odds of reaching the age of 85, compared to the least optimistic people. 

As he was starting to turn the corner about his choice to remain optimistic, I shared one of my favorite quotes from Jon Gordon the author of The Power of Positive Leadership

“Being positive won’t guarantee you’ll succeed. But being negative will guarantee you won’t.”

He made up his mind and chose optimism. Here are some of the strategies Chris and I have implemented to help you remain optimistic as well:  

Use the Rule of 3 Positives

Choosing to be optimistic requires a daily discipline of looking for positives each and every day. For example, yesterday was a challenging day for me. Not only did I receive some bad news on the home front, but we lost a deal, and another got delayed. Needless to say, I left work a little beat down. But instead of allowing the negative energy to take hold, I used the Rule of 3 Positives.

The rule is simple. Each day, write down three positive things you did or experienced. Here is my actual list of Rule of 3 Positives from yesterday:

  1. I chose to come home early to support my family instead of going to a work event I wanted to go to
  2. I shared an idea with my barber to help grow her struggling business
  3. I helped a coaching client work through a difficult problem with a team member

These were all choices I made in my day that were positive. While they aren’t massive accomplishments, they were small and positive. By celebrating and reminding myself of them, I was able to reject the negativity of the day and focus on the positive. Chris has adopted the Rule of 3 Positives as well and makes a practice during his commute home to list three things he chose to do that were positive. The trick Chris and I have experienced is, if you can’t write down three things you did that were positive, you have work to do the next day!

Promote and encourage what creates positive energy with your team  

While work can and absolutely should be a place that helps create positive energy for people, it is easy to lose sight during difficult times. Find ways to promote other areas of life that typically create positive energy like healthy eating, physical fitness, faith, and building quality personal relationships. 

Chris has rededicated himself to his health journey by eating better and going to the gym on a regular basis. His confidence has skyrocketed and the working out has helped him alleviate the stress and pressure of the job.

Remove people that cause negativity

Regardless of how well a team member performs, an individual’s value must also be measured by the positivity they bring to the team. There’s a famous saying, “Don’t let one bad apple spoil the bunch.” Each person plays a part in the ongoing development of a team’s culture. One drop of negativity will spread like wildfire.

Chris ended up finding a different job in the company for a member of his team that was constantly talking about the seeming lack of results the team was experiencing. After their removal, the team started focusing on the small wins they were making, which catapulted them to more wins.

Fast forward a year, and Chris and his team are thriving. Being relentlessly positive in the face of challenges is a true competitive advantage. Stay positive and believe good things will happen.

What lessons did I miss?

What are some other ways you remain positive for yourself or your team?

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About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company that exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. He is currently booking events and speaking engagements for 2020. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.  

How to Turn Yourself into a Leadership Success

“Leaders build influence and trust with people through their behavior.”

In season 24, episode 1, we are joined by Scott Miller.  He is the Executive Vice President of Thought Leadership at Franklin Covey and is the author of Management Mess to Leadership Success.  

Listen on iTunes

There were so many powerful lessons to learn in the interview with Scott. A few of my favorites include:

“Slow is fast and fast is slow.  You have to move from efficiency to an effective mindset when it comes to relationships.”

“People are not the company’s most important asset.  It’s the relationship between those people.”

“Leaders who fail to demonstrate humility, often find themselves leaning towards arrogance or outside validation.”

You can follow Scott on LinkedIn

About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft and author of Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success. HE was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.

One Secret You Must Remember To Be Successful in Your Career

Adult Business Man Clicking Pen Under Stress Pressure In Office

Your mindset is the key to your career. That’s right, I said it. Sure, your skills matter and the quality of your relationships are important, but how you think will determine your future. Too often professionals get caught up in all of the external factors without prioritizing their own mindset.

HOW YOU THINK WILL DETERMINE YOUR FUTURE

In the immediate gratification world, we all live in, nothing seems to happen fast enough. Many young professionals are falling into the trap of wanting it all right now. While there is nothing wrong with the ambition and the desire to achieve things in a short amount of time, rarely does it happen like this. Instead, you must remember this one secret:

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE

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How to Ensure You Don’t Become a Bad Leader

As he looked into the mirror, he hated what he saw.  It wasn’t the gray hair coming from his beard or the receding hairline beginning to show, it was who he had become.  The words he used with his team replayed in mind. He wondered, “How can I be saying the words I vowed never to use? How can I be repeating his patterns?” His resentment towards his old boss grew stronger.  

He splashed some water on his face hoping the memory would go away. He looked back into the mirror and the memory raced back. He heard his own voice shouting, “It’s all your fault. You’re just not good enough for this job.”  He cringed again just thinking he actually said those words to his team.

He was supposed to be better. He should have learned from all the mistakes of that terrible boss. He had failed.

We’ve all experienced some bad behavior from bosses in the past and vowed never to act in the same manner. To ensure you stick to your word, do these 4 things:

Create a greatness statement

If you ask a room of 100 people “who wants to be great?” All 100 will raise their hands.  However, so few are willing to sacrifice to achieve greatness. On a recent episode of the Follow My Lead Podcast, Don Yaeger told me, “Everyone has the capacity to be great, just so few choose to do the work physically and mentally to get there.  Before the work, it starts with defining what greatness means to you in three big areas of your life: family, work, and personally.”

We become what we think and who we surround ourselves with.  Be proactive in defining what being a great boss at work, at home, and socially means to you. Write it down and be specific, detailed and thoughtful. Once you have written it down, share it with someone else so they can hold you accountable.  

Stay purpose driven

The easiest way to become the boss you hated is to not be purpose driven (or to lose sight of your purpose).  The pressures of the world don’t slow down, they only speed up. That means the punches get harder and harder. If you lose sight of your purpose and begin chasing money, these punches just might knock you down and out.  

Remember why you do what you do. If you don’t know, look into the eyes of your people and go to work to help them develop. That’s always a purpose worth pursuing.  

Be radical about your example

Actions speak louder than words. You’ve heard it a million times. When you have a title of CEO, President, Vice President, or Manager your actions are put under a microscope. While many leaders focus on the words they use in emails or speeches, it’s how they model leadership that carries the most weight.  

The best question you can ask yourself is,

“If I was being recorded from start to finish today, would my team be proud of my decisions?”

Make time for things outside of work

I love my work.  Most high performers do as well.  While I find the concept of work-life balance is old-school, making time for the important things in life is critical, not just for your own well-being, but to also set a radical example for your team. If your people only see you valuing work and not your family, faith, or health, they will either mimic you or lose respect for you. Both are bad.

We make time for the things that are important to us.  Make time for your marriage, kids, health, and hobbies. Not only is it good for your team to see but it’s good for you.

The next time you look in the mirror just think about the bad bosses you have had in your life and make sure you aren’t becoming them.

What’s Your Leadership Style? Join over 35k leaders and discover how well you are leveraging love and discipline as a leader and find out what leadership style you are for free.

About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company which exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the author the upcoming book Building the Best: The Proven Leadership Framework to Elevate Others to Successand host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on instagram @johngeades.

7 Things in Leadership That Require No Talent But Lead to Enormous Success

Oftentimes, we equate talent to what makes someone successful, leadership included.

When I got my first leadership role in an organization, I assumed I would be successful purely because I had natural leadership talent. But, boy, was I wrong. Not only did I fail, but I failed miserably because I tried relying on talent alone rather than strengthening my leadership skills.

The Leadership Quarterly performed a study on the skill set and human development within leadership, and the results showed that 24 percent of leadership skills are genetic and 76 percent are learned along the way. Essentially, the “natural born leader” is a bit of a myth. Instead, leadership is something that you can develop and grow through strengthening a specific set of skills.

Here are some things you can do to be a more successful leader that don’t require any special, magical talents embedded in your DNA:

1. Doing what you say you are going to do.  

It’s super irritating to a team when their leader says one thing and does another. While the position of leadership typically carries power and authority, it doesn’t give you the green light to be inconsistent.

No matter how big or small the thing is that you say you are going to do if you don’t do it erodes your credibility, builds distrust, and stifles momentum. Of course, we are all human and make mistakes. But the point is to be sure you aren’t known for being the leader who doesn’t keep their word.

Once you’ve lost trust, it’s difficult to gain it back.

2. Remembering the main mission of a leader.

Leaders have all kinds of responsibilities, but none more important than elevating others.

Fr. Mike Schmitz summarized it well on this week’s episode of the Follow My Lead podcast: “The primary mission of a leader is to raise people up around them both professionally and personally.”

3. Setting a good example.

There are many things you can’t control when it comes to leadership, and one of those is that people will look to you as an example. They are watching your every move like hawks, whether you like it or not.

It’s important you provide your team with something positive for them to emulate. Focus heavily on your actions each and every day to ensure they are worthy of being copied.

4. Having a great work ethic.

One of my favorite stories of a leader with a strong work ethic is NFL legend, Ray Lewis. He said in his recent speech Hall of Fame induction speech, “I wasn’t the biggest, the fastest, the strongest, but then I bought into something called work ethic.”

There are no shortcuts on the road to success. If you want to become a better leader, you have to do the work required to get there. Reading, practicing, and being intentional are all things a strong work ethic will take care of.

5. Giving off positive energy.

Author Mike Erwin, the founder of the Positivity Project, told me on a recent episode of the Follow My Lead podcast, “Because of the information we all live in, people are more in tune with all the challenges and negativity in the world. It has made it hard to be more optimistic in the world. So to be an optimistic leader who is relentlessly positive in the face of challenges is a true competitive advantage.”

Essentially, from the moment you walk into the office, your positive mindset is a competitive advantage.

6. Practicing intentional listening.

A great way to be a better listener is to pick one person and anytime they say something, keep eye contact and don’t interrupt them under any circumstance. It’s a powerful way to get focused on using your two ears instead of your one mouth.

7. Conducting one-on-ones.

Where most leaders drop the ball is spending one-on-one time with employees outside of a yearly performance review.

If you are in fact the busiest person on the planet and can’t carve out 10 minutes per month per person, use that thing in your pocket that has telephone capabilities. Don’t miss the opportunity in between meetings, waiting for a plane, or during your commute to call a team member on their cell phone and ask them a simple question: “How are you doing and is there anything I can do to help you?”

You don’t need to be born with any special leadership DNA to implement and practice all of these traits, and that’s the best part. If and when you do start following them, your year will be filled with a lot of success as a leader.

A Version of this article originally appeared on Inc.com

Ultimate Leadership Academy Do you lead others but your company doesn’t offer a leadership development academy? Don’t worry join LearnLoft’s Ultimate Leadership Academy designed specifically to shorten the time it takes for you to be an effective leader. This special 3-month online academy includes coaching calls, EO 360° Assessment, virtual instructor-led training and a learning library. Learn more here.

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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company which exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. He is also the author the upcoming book “Elevate Others: The New Model to Successfully Lead Today.” You follow him on instagram @johngeades.

10 Reasons Managers Fail and What You Can Do About It

There aren’t many things worse than having a bad manager.  Not only does it make you dislike your job but it’s extremely demotivating to come into work every day.  It leads to constant thoughts of changing jobs and quitting.

Recent statistics show 60% of new managers in the US fail every single year. Which means many professionals face this nightmare every single day.  What must start to happen is professionals in management roles have to start upping their game.  In order to do that, managers first must know what they are doing today that is causing them to fail in their job.

Here are 10 reasons managers fail and what you can do about it.

1. Don’t focus on relationships

2. Think about #1 first

3. Never ask for feedback

4. Don’t “love” the team

5. Looking ahead to the next job

6. No mentor

7. Poor meetings

8. Doesn’t invest in development

9. No standards & accountability

10. All command no choice

If you find yourself struggling as a manager and some of these reasons are a reality with your team, remember my favorite Latin term “Nunc Coepi” which means, “today I begin.”  Start fresh today!

Ultimate Leadership Academy Do you lead others but your company doesn’t offer a leadership development academy? Don’t worry join LearnLoft’s Ultimate Leadership Academy designed specifically to shorten the time it takes for you to be an effective leader. This special 3-month online academy includes coaching calls, EO 360° Assessment, virtual instructor-led training and a learning library. Learn more here.

Free Leadership Profile Assessment Join over 35k leaders and discover how well you are leveraging love and discipline as a leader and find out what profile you are for free.

About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company which exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. He is also the author the upcoming book “Elevate Others: The New Model to Successfully Lead Today.” You follow him on instagram @johngeades.

Powerful Habits that Change Managers into Great Leaders

The debate about the difference between a manager and leader has been settled. Without question, there is a difference in both definition and behavior.

Just to ensure we are on the same page, here are my favorite definitions of both in action form:

Management: The manipulation of others for your own success

Leadership: Serving and empowering the lives that have been entrusted to you

Unless you grew up in a place of worship or had really strong figures in your life that taught you about serving and empowering, you most likely default to management. Why? Because it’s what’s taught in high school, college and organizational leadership development programs. In many ways, our environment is teaching us to be managers, not leaders, but unfortunately, that’s not an excuse. Here are six habits that can help change managers into leaders.

1. Find a Purpose Beyond Money

While there is no question that money is important in life, one of the best ways to make a leap towards being a leader is to find a true purpose in your work beyond money. If the only reason you go to work is for money, your people will know and you will never make the leap to serve.

If this is an area you struggle in, pick up Simon Sinek’s new book Find Your Why when it comes out in September.

2. Decentralize Decision Making

Most people move into a position of management because they were good at their job. Typically their first actions are to solve all the worlds problems and be a major part in every decision facing the team. The problem is the people they are now leading are being treated as followers and have a sense of being in a subordinate position, thus creating more followers, not more leaders. As leadership expert David Marquet says, “followers have limited decision making authority and little incentive to give the utmost of their intellect, energy, and passion. Those who take orders usually run at half speed, underutilizing their imagination and initiative.”

The key here is to not only be ok with your people making decisions make it a core part of their job.

3. Give and Serve Outside of Work

I don’t mean to give financially, I mean give your time. Winston Churchill famously said “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

Look for ways to volunteer in your community or start a support group. The point here is if you learn to give up your free time to serve those that you don’t know, you most certainly will begin to serve and empower those that you do at work.

4. Focus on Your Example

The old adage ‘do as I say, not as I do’ is an awful way to lead and a sure-fire way to erode trust with your team. Leading by example encompasses all your actions, from what time you show up at the office, how much vacation you take, what you wear, to the moral and ethical decisions you make both at work and home.

The choices you make every single day are watched and judged by others. Do your actions exemplify the way you want to be portrayed? One of the most important things you can remember is not allowing your title to effect a positive example you set for your team.

5. Thinking You Have to Be the Hero

Like most professionals, I met my biggest weakness early on. I thought I was the only person who could do things right, and I had to have my hand in every decision. Then someone told me,

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

It was exactly what I needed to hear. From then on, I knew I didn’t have to be the hero. Now, I surround myself with talented people, ask for help, give more responsibility, and try to listen more than I talk.

6. Stop Making Excuses

If you habitually struggle with saying or thinking on a regular basis “There is never enough hours in the day” or “this quarter is so important,” stop and reflect on what you are saying. Every quarter is important and every day is important but it shouldn’t for a minute stop you from thinking critically about how you are leading other people.

I don’t care what the circumstance eliminate your excuses, take responsibility and put in the work.

The Windshield Mentality

No matter if you are a manager or a leader, I want you to begin embracing the windshield mentality. All the windshield mentality is, is thinking about what’s ahead of you instead of behind you. Start thinking and planning how you are going to implement these habits moving forward and never look back!

A version of this article originally appeared on Inc.com.

Free Welder Leader Profile Assessment  Join over 18k leaders and discover what profile you are for free.

Welder Leader for Organizations A leadership development program to help improve performance, save time, and modernize and your organization’s leadership development. Find out more here.

About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft and host of the Follow My Lead Podcast. He is also the author of F.M.L. Standing Out & Being a Leader, and is passionate about the development of modern professionals. Follow him on instagram @johngeades.

One Lesson You Can Learn From Jordan Spieth to Be Successful

Jordan Spieth is on the verge of making golf history. At just the ripe age of 24, Spieth has won three legs of the career Grand Slam (winning all 4 professional golf majors).

What’s most interesting about Spieth is he doesn’t look physically dominating like other sporting greats; Lebron James, Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, or Michael Phelps. Rather he uses his mind as an enormous competitive advantage as can you in business and leadership. This was on full display just a couple weeks ago when he won his third major by going wire-to-wire to win the British Open. If you didn’t tune in, Spieth started the final round with a three-shot lead, only to find himself trailing Matt Kucher by one shot with five holes to play. What happened over the last five holes is what Johnny Miller (one of the game’s all time greats) called it, “the greatest finish, I have ever seen in championship golf.”

Spieth can only be compared to two players this early in his career; Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. While he was quick to put those comparisons to bed during his post tournament interview, he did share a great story after he won.

Just a week prior to the event, Spieth shared a picture on instagram of him arm and arm with some of the best athletes to play their respective sports; among them Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps.

During a difficult stretch during the final round where it appeared Spieth was going to give away the tournament, his caddy Michael Greller said “Do you remember that group you were with in Cabo last week? You belong in that group.” That comment clearly stuck with Spieth throughout the rest of the round because in the press conference he said something every person needs to hear:

“I think just a little bit of belief that you are, you know. Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps are the greatest to ever do what they did, and I’m not. But if you believe that you are, then you’re almost as good as being that. And it’s so hard in that situation to believe that, but just having just the slightest bit of belief in it makes you so confident.”

Why is Spieth’s advice so incredible?

This world we live in will beat you up. There is always someone waiting, even expecting you to make a mistake or fail. Having self belief and confidence in yourself is paramount to overcoming obstacles and disappointments in order to be successful.

Whether you’re like Spieth and have already achieved high levels of success, or you are just starting out, the point is:

If you believe you are, before you are, you drastically improve your odds of becoming it.

If you are struggling in your current role, have a dream for a promotion, or want to improve from a leadership perspective. Take a lesson from Spieth and this week’s Follow My Lead Podcast Guest Former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory:

“If Not You, Then Who?”

A version of this article originally appeared on Inc.com

Free Welder Leader Profile Assessment Through our work and research around what effective leaders do differently we have uncovered the best leaders simultaneously use high levels of love and discipline. In the research five leader profiles emerged (Ruler, Exploiter, Pleaser, Dabbler, and Welder.) Join over 19k leaders and discover what profile you are for free.

Welder Leader for Organizations We are looking for forward thinking organizations wanting to modernize their leadership development programs. Find out more here.

About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft and host of the Follow My LeadPodcast. He is also the author of F.M.L. Standing Out & Being a Leader, and is passionate about the development of modern professionals. You can find him on instagram @johngeades.