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

Focus on your personal strengths and hire your weaknesses

Focus on your personal strengths and hire your weaknesses. Each of us have different skills and talents and we should leverage them for our success. These qualities will complement qualities of others as you build or join teams and with everyone working together towards a unified vision, success is guaranteed.

Contrary to what you may have heard in the past, don’t waste too much time (if any) on your weaknesses and surround yourself with people whose strengths are your weaknesses. Focus on your strengths, continue advancing and improving them as you move forward and continue to grow, learn and make progress.

Age is just a number, don’t let it limit your growth

Your experience, skills and education matter more than how old you are. The quality you bring to a team depends on your past performance and your track record, not when you were born so please stop using it as a self-limiting factor in advancing and moving forward.

You are never too young or too old to make a career move. You are either ready or not; qualified or not, but never too young or too old.

Prerequisite for success: transparent leadership

In order for a team to work well together, leadership must be transparent. Leaders need to keep the entire team on the same page; have them collaborate; back each other and move in unison towards mutually agreed-upon goals. Transparent leadership where vision, mission and decisions are clearly communicated and supported with valid facts and arguments is a must for all teams which aim to realize their full potential.

Include people in the decision making process, collaborate and once a decision is made, make it clear to everyone on your team.

Leaders empower people, they don’t micromanage

Micromanagement demonstrates lack of trust in the abilities of your staff and that is never the right thing to do. Enable and empower people to make decisions, take actions and move forward without the need to constantly come to you for every single detail.

Obviously, levels of empowerment and decision making abilities will vary based on experience and your familiarity with particular employees, but it needs to be there, it needs to be part of your operating culture. People must be free to make decisions, fail and learn from those failures as that is all part of development and growth that you want for each of them.

Best ideas must win

Best ideas must win. They must win irrespective of who brought them up and how long that person has been with your organization. Whether they are a CEO, a President, or another executive or a temporary employee who started last week, quality ideas must always be enabled to rise to the top.

Diversity of opinions, experiences, backgrounds and education is a positive aspect which should be leveraged for the benefit of all. Ideas should not only be generated by an exclusive number of people, but rather should be encouraged and expected from all employees.


Pay attention to expressions, mannerisms and body language

We all know that actions speak louder than words. Additionally, it is important not to underestimate the importance of our facial expressions, mannerisms and the overall body language. It is important to keep that in mind as you meet with your team, clients, boss, partners…as they are only aware of your feelings and thoughts on particular issues based on what you say and display.

I have caught myself more than once being deep in thought in a meeting where I should have payed closer attention which might have sent a wrong message across. I have since worked on correcting this but was reminded of the importance of self-awareness in today’s post by Michael Hyatt (the bit I mention is at 32:45, but I highly recommend watching the entire episode alongside the rest of his work) – he’s a great leader who has proven himself over the years in both corporate and entrepreneurial environments.

Productivity depends on energy, not time management

We would all like to be more productive and accomplish things with ease. However, frequently, there is not enough time to do everything that we need to do and there’s even less time for everything that we want to do. Is this the truth or is this something that we like to tell ourselves (and others) as a justification, an excuse of sorts?

If you really think about it, productivity depends on energy, focus and intent a lot more than it does on time management. One can manage time quite efficiently, yet not be effective at all.

Success is contagious

Surround yourself with positive, successful people who will have a beneficial influence on you. Success is contagious and it has a way of inspiring people to dream, set their sights higher and go after things with more vigor and determination.

The company you keep not only speaks of yourself, but it also influences your behavior and actions…choose wisely.

5 interview questions to ask employer

You are nearing the end of an interview where you have been asked a number of questions and now it is your turn to ask a few of your own. While there is no requirement to ask questions, it is always a good idea to do so as it shows interest, preparation and desire to join the team. Having said that, it is important not to smother your potential employer with too many questions, but to rather focus on select few which will provide the greatest insight into what may lie ahead. Please note that there is no salary or benefits talk at this stage as that comes much later once you have actually been offered the job (unless the employer brings it up sooner).

So here are five, somewhat general yet insightful questions that I like to ask and enjoy being asked during interviews. You can use all five, or select two or three you think will suit your needs best. Or better yet, come up with a list of your own that are specific to the company and position you are applying for.

  1. If I was to be offered the job what do you see as my top contributions and priorities over the first 90 days?
  2. Could you share some of the qualities of your top performers?
  3. What opportunities are presently available for further education and professional development?
  4. What do you see as the greatest values of your organizational culture?
  5. How would you describe your management style and communication preferences? (if interviewed by potential boss)

Remember, the entire interview process is about demonstrating how YOU can HELP them succeed.

Honor your word and build credibility

As you are building your professional credibility, it is important to honor your word. No matter how small it may seem, make sure to follow through on things you have said you would do. With time, these somewhat small actions will lead to larger acts which will all assist in establishing your credibility within your community.

As people (both clients and colleagues) get to know you it is important to demonstrate that you are someone who is trustworthy and someone who they can count on for help when needed.