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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

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?

Best job interview advice: be yourself!

Job interviews are an important and (for most) unavoidable process in transition between your current place of employment and the next chapter of your career. While I have made a video about in-person interview tips, I want to take a moment to focus on the most important advice of them all: be yourself!

No matter what happens or what you go after, always remember to stay true to yourself, be yourself and go for it. If it works out, wonderful, and if it doesn’t, you were at least your true self and consider that their loss as you move onto your next opportunity. Be yourself.

7 signs your boss is not a leader

7 signs your boss is not a leader is a collection of overarching items that stood out to me over the years. This is not an all inclusive list by any means, but should you come across these seven (or most of them at least), take that as a sure sign that you are not working for a leader. Furthermore, lack of leadership will almost always lead most people to update their resumes and look elsewhere.

7 signs your boss is not a leader:

  1. Lack of vision, motivation and inspiration
  2. People don’t come first
  3. Plenty of excuses, not enough of resources
  4. They don’t lead from the front, no ownership of mistakes
  5. No individual accountability
  6. They are not decisive, confident and certain of their decisions
  7. Responsibilities aren’t delegated to others, lack of empowerment

Leaders care

True leaders care. They care about their employees; they care about their coworkers; they care about the vision and mission of the overall business. They care for everyone they work with and genuinely want to see them succeed.

Exceptional leaders are able to motivate others and get the best out of them, they are able to inspire people to contribute at levels which were previously considered unattainable, even unimaginable by some. While it is rare to have an opportunity to select your own leaders, whenever possible, surround yourself with leadership that cares about their people above everything and anything else. Leaders who care are able to transform organizations and bring everyone up to a new level, a new standard of performance.

Stop drifting through life and career

Opportunities are created, they are not found on the side of the road. You must be intentional, direct and focused on your future and desired outcomes. You must be relentless and tireless in the pursuit of your goals and realization of your ideas.

Whatever your personal and professional goals may be, it is up to you to own the process, be honest with yourself and put plans in place in order to achieve them. Commitment, hustle and execution matter and it is what sets you apart from those who have ideas they have never acted on. You don’t want to have regrets later in life and you don’t want to doubt yourself and your potential today. There’s only one way to find out, go for it!

People don’t leave companies, people leave their managers

People don’t leave companies they leave leaders! We have all heard and experienced this notion in one form or another. You either know someone who has or you have left a company due to poor leadership, I know I have.

Furthermore, if your firm is experiencing high turnover (and it is not an intentional “house cleaning”) it is undoubtedly in some way related to your organizational leadership, more accurately, the lack of leadership. While compensation, benefits, growth and advancement opportunities matter, leadership has even a greater power to influence employees to stay or move onto “greener pastures.” Take your leadership seriously and lead your staff, help them grow and advance and don’t sabotage their careers and success.