5 ways to embrace leadership

 

Management expert and author Tom Peters has defined leadership as an ability to make people better – the ability to push people beyond their imaginations and outside of their visions of themselves.

Imagine if you could inspire others and yourself everyday to be better?

Imagine if instead of waiting for guidance you paved the path to your own success?

As great as this sounds, leadership, especially self-leadership is incredibly difficult to achieve.

However here are 5 practical steps to help you unleash your true leader;

1.Take initiative

Don’t wait for others to solve problems that need solving. Be aware of the fine line between subservience and insubordination. Begin to build the efficient workplace you imagine, lead those around you to success and craft ideas to take your organisation to the next level.

2. Your friends count

We can never stop learning. Who you spend your time with hugely influences who you become. Do your friends or colleagues push you to be your best? Do they inspire you to try new things or jump outside of your comfort zone? If not, find people that do, you need to be challenged every day and held accountable to your goals – having a support system around you, with the same leadership mindset, undoubtedly helps.

3.Do your best each day

We aren’t perfect and sometimes we fail miserably. the difference between leaders and others is that leaders don’t make excuses, they admit their errors and do the extra work to get back on track. Make this your mantra too. However, if you continually find yourself performing below par, ask yourself if you’re in the right environment, role, or career. When you use your best skills, it isn’t hard to give your best every day.

4. Respect everyone

Irrespective of your job role, or how irritated you feel on any given day, you are never better than anyone else and you should respect everyone, always. Building trust is the golden ticket to leadership success. If you do not come across as trust worthy, people are less likely to come forward and pitch their ideas (ideas are crucial for collaboration) or even worse, they might stop believing in you. Remember, without people there would be no organisation.

5. Welcome collaboration

Leaders understand they can’t solve a problem on their own. This is why they bring together people with proven expertise. Develop a sense for collecting people from different teams, divisions, groups, and sometimes even companies, to work toward a solution or new idea. Successful collaboration results in innovation. Innovation results in market leadership.

Does work bring us happiness?

 

We spend on average 90,000 hours at work during our life time. Work, therefore, has a huge influence on our overall happiness. In a recent chapter of the World Happiness Report — published annually to coincide with the United Nation’s International Day of Happiness, Harvard Business Review, studied the correlation between happiness and work – using data from the World Happiness report and data from the Gallup World Poll, which has been surveying people on happiness in over 150 countries around the world since 2006. The results make for a very interesting read…

Work that brings the most happiness?

Eleven broad job types are recorded in the Gallup World Poll. The available categories cover many kinds of jobs, including being a business owner, office worker, or manager (white collar professions) and working in farming, construction, mining, or transport (blue collar professions).

So, who is happier?

People who class themselves as a manager, an executive, an official, or a professional worker evaluate the quality of their lives at a little over 6 out of 10, whereas people working in farming, fishing, or forestry evaluate their lives around 4.5 out of 10 on average. This means that white collar workers are typically happier than blue collar workers.

This pattern is not only found in overall happiness and satisfaction but also in day-to-day feelings – white collar workers report feeling more positive emotional states such as smiling, laughing, enjoyment, and fewer negative ones like feelings of worry, stress, sadness, and anger.

Self employment & happiness

Self employment reflects a love-hate relationship with wellbeing.

Global averages are varying. Developed nations report higher overall happiness levels associated with self-employment – this appears to correlate with a regions economic state.

Further, developed nations report that self-employment provides higher overall life happiness however it appears to come with more negative, daily emotions such as stress and worry. This is rather accurate, ask any business owner and I’m sure they will agree that being self-employed is both highly satisfying and incredibly stressful.

Unemployment brings ultimate unhappiness

Unemployment is destructive to people’s happiness. The data shows that this is a global fact. The employed evaluate the quality of their lives much more highly on average in comparison to the unemployed. Individuals who are unemployed also report around 30 percent more negative emotional experiences in their day-to-day lives.

The importance of having a job extends far beyond the monetary benefits. A huge amount of psychological research shows that work influences social status, social relations, daily structure, and goals which all shape ones purpose in the world and inevitably, overall happiness.

Not only are the unemployed generally unhappier than those employed but HBR found that people generally do not adapt over time to becoming unemployed.  Even worse, unemployment seems to have a scarring effect on people’s wellbeing – it can traumatise them for a long time even after they have regained employment.

 

 

Why you need to create intraprenuers not employees

Intrapreneurs are completely different from employees. They have a different mindset and they bring you dramatically better results than employees. An “employee” is someone who wants to be managed. They want you to tell them what to do.

Think about how much time you could save if you had employees that thought for themselves? Being an entrepreneur is not being a manager, they are two different roles.

Imagine if your employees came up with innovative ideas to make your work-life and business better. Well, stop imagining because it happens for some entrepreneurs who instead of having a team of employees have a team of intraprenuers.

What are intrapreneurs?

An intrapreneur is someone who thinks like an entrepreneur but is an employee within an organization. They get all the benefits of being an employee such as a steady salary, but they are ambitious and want self development. They bring ideas to the table and know they can impact decisions. Your intrapreneurs drive organizational change.

How to get intraprenuers

Intraprenuers are created by business owners. In her article for Entrepreneur online  explains that intraprenuers grow in organisations with the following 6 characteristics 

  1. There is a clear process allowing employees to communicate their ideas
  2. There is a clear structure for the type of ideas that are relevent
  3. There are monthly meetings for new ideas
  4. Once the idea is pitched by the employee it enters an evaluation process
  5. Once the idea is evaluated the employee is responsible for the research. Who will the idea help? Will they buy it?
  6. Finally the idea has a detailed swot analysis before it is implemented (if at all)

Ignoring innovation is the best way to kill employee morale and experience high-talent turnover. To avoid this, develop an internal culture that all employees can use to bring ideas to the table This will encourage your intrapreneurs to contribute and now your business.

Self-awareness; 5 common reasons we get annoyed

Being annoyed is an unpleasant feeling, but, like all feelings, it serves a useful purpose, if we dig a bit deeper and understand why it happens.

Sometimes we’re tempted to deal with our feelings of being annoyed, by discounting them, but your feelings of irritation might be trying to tell you something important, such as one of these five things;

1. Your boundary is being encroached upon. Someone is asking you a question that’s too personal. Feeling annoyed lets you know that someone is violating your boundaries and you’re not comfortable with it. You don’t have to give any information you don’t want to – so explain that, instead of giving an unclear over defensive response.

2. You feel your precious time is being wasted. Is someone using up your time. Are you being roped into something when you really don’t have the time for it? Your annoyance may be telling you that you are already fully booked and that you need to do something to protect your time, starting with saying, “I’ve got a lot on my plate already. I’ll think about it and get back to you.”

3. You need to find a more efficient way to do something. Annoyed at all the morning tasks you need to handle just to get to work on time? Through your annoyance, create most efficient ways to handle your tasks. How can you make your life easier? What task in particular really bogs you down? All important questions, that without annoyance, may never be answered, don’t suffer – change.

4. You’re feeling resentment. This comes from “yes” syndrome. If you haven’t learnt to say no at this point in your life, than you will feel resentment as you do activities you don’t actually want to do. Instead of feeling irritable, acknowledge your annoyance and learn to say no next time. People are not mind readers, so it’s on you to understand what you do and don’t want to do.

5. You are suffering from perfectionismYou may become irritated when you don’t live up to your own standards, when someone else doesn’t live up to your standards. Here are a few words on perfectionism from Meg Salig, in her article in Phycology Today on annoyance which covers, how to combat perfectionism;

  • If you are annoyed at yourself for falling short of the mark, you could choose to make a creative change, re-evaluate your high standards, or just send yourself some compassion (“You have a right to be less than perfect. You are human!”).
  • When someone else doesn’t live up to your standards, you could either speak up clearly about what you expect, try to see the situation from the other person’s point of view, or decide you need to let it go.
  • And when the world is cruel, unjust, or just plain disorganized, you can become an activist and make at least your corner of the world a bit better.

How to deal with annoyance

A quick highly-reccomended, 4-step approach that Toni Bernhard suggests in her book, How to Wake Up

  • Recognize the annoyance;
  • Label it;
  • Investigate it;
  • Let it be or take action to change the situation.

This article was written by the help of Meg Selig, 2013 and her useful article in Phycology Today, The 5 Most Common Reasons We Get Annoyed

Take a look at Meg Seligs book, Changepower! 37 Secrets to Habit Change Success(Routledge, 2009). For shorter tidbits on healthhappiness, and habit change, follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

 

How to reduce anxiety right now

 

Sometimes anxiety can creep up on us and make us feel a loss of control.

Read these 6 expertly crafted tips for how to reduce anxiety, instantly.

1. Take a deep breath

The first thing to do when you feel anxious is breathe,” said Tom Corboy, MFT, the founder and executive director of the OCD Center of Los Angeles, and co-author of the upcoming book The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD.

Deep diaphragmatic breathing is a powerful anxiety killing technique because it activates the body’s relaxation response. It helps the body go from the fight-or-flight response of the sympathetic nervous system to the relaxed response of the parasympathetic nervous system, said Marla W. Deibler, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and director of The Center for Emotional Health of Greater Philadelphia, LLC.

She suggested this practice: “Try slowly inhaling, to the count of 4, filling your stomach first, then your chest, gently holding your breath to a count of 4, and slowly exhaling to a count of 4 and repeat several times.”

2. Accept your anxiety

Acceptance is critical because trying to wrangle or eliminate anxiety typically worsens it. It creates the idea that your anxiety is unbearable.

Accepting your anxiety doesn’t mean resigning yourself to it.

It just means that you would benefit by accepting it, for what it is. The bottom line is that the feeling of anxiety is less than ideal, but it is not unbearable. This mindset helps you to claw back your control.

3. Realize that your brain can and will play tricks on you.

Psychiatrist Kelli Hyland, M.D., has seen first-hand how a person’s brain can make them believe they’re dying of a heart attack when they’re actually having a panic attack.

Our brains are not always correct. Our brains fuelled with anxiety are almost never correct. When your brain plays tricks on you, the best thing you can do is be kind to yourself. Understand you are feeling vulnerable and this vulnerability makes you more open to manipulations from your anxious brain. Be self-aware and be kind.

4. Use a calming visualization.

Hyland suggested practicing the following meditation regularly, which will make it easier to utilise when you’re anxious in the moment.

“Picture yourself on a river bank or outside in a park, field or beach. Watch leaves pass by on the river or clouds pass by in the sky. Assign your emotions, thoughts and sensations to the clouds and leaves, and just watch them float by.”

This is very different from what people typically do. Typically, we categorise our emotions and define them as good or bad, right or wrong, This often amplifies anxiety. Remember, “it is all just information.”

5. Use positive self-talk.

Anxiety can produce a lot of negative chatter. For instance, you might say, “this anxiety feels bad, but I can use strategies to manage it.” Or you might say, i’m only human so I feel anxious but I can beat it. Get your control back from anxiety with positive self talk.

 

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