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Elevating your leadership | If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

Passionate people are indicators of your progress

Ppassion makes the world go round. Without passion, we won’t be as committed, as focused, or as determined to see our projects and responsibilities all the way through. We won’t care to put in 100% of our efforts and skills, but will rather only contribute as much as it is necessary to get a passing grade.

As leaders, we must be in tune with the frequency and presence of passion within people who provide great, quality results as that is a great indicator of how well you are doing and more importantly, how they are feeling and thinking about your organization and your leadership. Once your most passionate people lose that fire, you have lost them mentally and pretty soon you will lose them physically as well. Once the passion is gone from those who are normally passionate folks they have probably given up on progress and future within your organization and are actively looking for their next endeavor. Passion matters a lot, so don’t lose it.

This is very evident across organizations and the following quote sums it up well:

“The biggest concern for any organization should be when their most passionate people become quiet.”*

* if you know who said the above quote please let me know to reference them properly. Thanks!

Your future is bigger than your past

Your future is bigger and much greater than your past. It simply has to be and here’s why. Your past, while important, is simply a foundation for present and future growth and advancement. Otherwise, all that was done in the past was for nothing if you have come this far to stop and quit. This obviously doesn’t apply to those who are the pinnacle of their personal happiness and success and are exactly where they want to be (how many of us are there today?), for everyone else, there’s always room to continue growing and contributing at greater levels.

I measure success by how many people I can help (directly or indirectly) and want to continue increasing that number. What is your definition of success?

Keep your eyes on the prize

Do you know what you want? This is a simple, yet very serious and influential question everyone should ask themselves on a regular basis. Are you currently working and living how and where you want to be and if not, why not? What is it that you haven’t been doing in order to reach what you have defined as success? Yes, start from yourself and things you have influence over, don’t waste your time on looking for excuses and justifications outside your control as they are exactly that, outside your control.

During this reflective process, always keep your eyes on the prize and what you want, yet be prepared to be flexible, nimble and agile in your approach. At times, your path will change, but your major life goals should always stay within sight.

Do you know what motivates your employees?

Know your people, their hopes and dreams and do what you can to enable them to be successful. We are all motivated by different things and reasons that drive us to contribute and perform at exceptional levels. For some it is money, career advancement and growth; for others, work-life balance and more time with their families; for some people it is all about being a part of something much bigger than themselves…either way, whatever it may be it is up to you as a leader to figure it out then provide it to each employee where possible.

Proactively recruit the best people

As I like to say, focus on people first, they matter the most. This is essential when leading your current teams and it is also of great importance when recruiting new employees. Don’t rely on the traditional way of hiring and finding talent. Posting a position on your HR website (in addition to few other websites) is no longer enough to find exceptional talent and leadership. Instead, leverage your networks of colleagues and friends to get the word out and in this process be on the lookout for those who stand out. Always look to recruit the best you can get even when you may not have an open position at that time. Begin cultivating relationships and reverse engineer the process to find a way to attract top talent to your teams.

Remember, never stop hiring.

Leaders tell the truth

In all that you do, it is essential to remain truthful and honest with your staff. Your decisions won’t always be liked by all, but they should be understood and accepted by all and that is one of many responsibilities you need to address as a leader. You must consider alternatives, but once you’ve made a decision you need to be able to explain the reasoning behind it and stick with it along the way.

Stop looking for or coming up with excuses, communicate your vision repeatedly, get people to buy into why you are doing what you are doing, act and lead them today!

Have no regrets

Ask yourself: what do you want to do when you “grow up”? That is, if you ever need to “grow up” which can certainly be debated either way. 😉 What is it that you want to accomplish, what do you want to become and do? Who are you today and who do you want to be tomorrow?

As far as we know, we only get one shot at this thing called life and it would be a shame to spend a third of it doing things we hate for people we don’t believe in. Furthermore, in this ongoing reflective process do your best to speak with those who are older and wiser than yourself and learn from their experiences as well.

While I am in no way saying that we should all start our own business (for a wide variety of reasons), what I am saying is that you should work somewhere where you are respected, empowered and enabled to contribute. Find both a place and people you believe in and go all in as you will never again be as young as you are TODAY.

Don’t let others decide your future

Decide what you want to do and go after it. Don’t allow someone else’s opinion to shape your future,, your career, your advancement and progress…your life.

Listen to the opinions of your friends and family, but make the decision for yourself and go after your goals and ambitions. Be brave as luck favors those who are brave and intentional about their future. Good luck!

Stop complaining

STOP COMPLAINING! Stop it now as it serves no purpose to you or those you complain to. Negativity is a horrible trait and it will only detract from your goals and plans and will bring no value to anyone.

Challenges are part of life, accept them, embrace them and move forward towards solutions and success. Make progress each day, stay positive and don’t complain as it is a waste of everyone’s time and energy.

Customer Service: UPS vs Amazon

Customer service is essential and nonnegotiable for any business that wants to be competitive, successful and valuable. Furthermore, today more than ever, longevity and long-term client retention directly depends on the overall customer experience your business provides to their clients.

Here’s is my most recent example with two major companies, UPS and Amazon. One has failed miserably while the other one was exceptional in their customer experience. Can you guess who did better, Amazon or UPS?