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Elevating your leadership | “I don’t care that they stole my idea…I care that they don’t have any of their own.” – Nikola Tesla

Trust people, empower them and delegate

Trust is the first major prerequisite to teamwork, progress and accomplishments. Without trust, other much needed capabilities can’t be build or utilized to their full extent.

While trust is earned by many, I begin trusting people and believing in them and their abilities at first. However, once that trust is lost, it is nearly impossible for it to be regained.

Leadership is not a popularity contest

Leadership is not a popularity contest. Privileges of leadership come with responsibilities to make decisions that positively impact the lives of the majority and the firm as a whole. It is very rare that you will be able to make decisions that will be well received by everyone, by 100% of the people impacted by that decision.

With that in mind, focus on doing what you believe is the right thing to do, not on what would simply please others.

“Popularity is not leadership.” – Richard Marcinko

Social media etiquette

Etiquette in social media is as important as it is in other aspects of life. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for quite a few people which act as if the keyboard absolves and separates them from reality, courtesy, professionalism and kindness.

Speaking to people on social media shouldn’t differ from how you speak with people in person. Having this digital separation shouldn’t provide for lack of responsibility, accountability and respect. Disagreeing with someone’s opinion, or point of view is fine and it could be done respectfully and professionally without attitudes, drama and name calling.

Are you an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted. Becoming an entrepreneur, a successful CEO who has built their business from the ground up is filled with challenges, trials and tribulations and as such it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

For most people, being a #4 or #14 in an organization is a much more manageable, acceptable and stress-free arrangement, one they welcome and enjoy. With that in mind, ask yourself, are you capable in becoming a true successful entrepreneur? If the answer s yes, don’t waste another minute and get to it, go after you purpose, destiny and drive.

Invest in people first

People must come first in all you do and here’s why.
If you invest time, attention, focus and financial resources into attracting, retaining and growing the best people you can afford you will be positioned adequately to improve and grow your business. It all starts with people first, then processes, policies, followed by technology and everything else in THAT order.

“We should invest in people not ideas. A good idea is often destroyed by bad people and good people can always make a bad idea better.” -Simon Sinek

Branding vs. sales & marketing

Branding your business and yourself is a massively important strategy that will assist with your long-term viability and sustainability. Your reputation, your accomplishments precede you and people will be mindful of what you do before they reach out to you for an opportunity.

Great brands stay a lot longer while sales come and go. Strong brands will survive and endure a bad product/service or two, while those who are focused only on transactions are at a much greater risk to going out of business. Focus on building your brand.

5 interview questions to ask candidates

Here are 5 interview questions to ask candidates and job applicants that I have found useful over the years:

  1. Tell me about yourself?
  2. What motivates you?
  3. Why this position, business and industry?
  4. Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
  5. What can I answer for you?

Additionally, I spoke about 5 interview questions to ask employer which is the other side of that same coin. Finally, I would love to learn what are some of the questions you like to ask or have been asked during interviews?

How to price your product or service

Pricing your product or service effectively is of great relevance with respect how well it will be received in the market. While it is not the only aspect of importance, it certainly impacts how your prospective clients will think about the value of your product or service.

In order to be competitively priced, you must learn all you can about the market, your industry, particular segment you are in (including your competitors). Then, price the product slightly above the average price point (assuming you provide greater quality and value, which you do). Additionally, you can target a luxury market/brand and therefore price higher, but at that point you really need to differentiate yourself from competition, mostly in exclusivity and client experience.

Finally, you can always low ball the market and go for pure volume, but be careful that you have the infrastructure in place to handle a potential influx of orders, because not being able to do so can seriously damage your brand and reputation. Also, competing on price alone is a race to the bottom and it is not sustainable long term.

Personality, communication, negotiation and leadership

85% of your financial success depends on your personality, the way you communicate, negotiate and lead. Only 15% depends on your technical skills. Knowing this it is essential to focus on improving those essential skills while building your networks and friendships.

While in some career technical skills will be of greater value and impact, as you grow and advance up the career ladder their influence begins to be replaced by your personality, communication and leadership skills.

Don’t be afraid to fail

Failure is not terminal, it is not fatal. Well, most of it isn’t and shouldn’t be anyway. Failure is a part of the process, it is an inevitable component of successful ventures and endeavors and as such it shouldn’t be seen as a limiting factor. Don’t allow to be scared by the prospect of failure as then you will never make progress, you will never do anything new.

Do you remember learning how to swim, or ride a bicycle or drive a car…all of those where someone scary things, but you have pressed on until you have mastered them. The rest of life is much of the same, filled with opportunities and challenges most of which you can overcome with focus, action and strong belief in your abilities.

Don’t be afraid to fail.