My Groundbreaking Beliefs to Become an Unbreakable Leader
Great leaders come from all eras, all levels of society, and all cultures — but there are certain beliefs great leaders share. These core beliefs are the foundation of your leadership, the things that will help you become successful. Want to become an unbreakable leader? Here are my groundbreaking beliefs that helped me to make my leadership strong and unbreakable.
The world’s most successful leaders have one thing in common: They’ve mastered the ability to produce the results they desire most.
True or false they have trained their psychology and cultivated beliefs that support them and make their lives richer. Sure, anyone can be put into a leadership position. They can be thrust into the role of manager or CEO or President, but the title and the salary do not make them true leaders.
Ultimately, our values, beliefs, and personal stories drive our behavior.
Our viewpoint on life is governed by our beliefs about the world. These beliefs are ultimately subjective, but each one we hold either helps or hinders us. Successful leaders understand this and consciously build the beliefs that aid to their success.
Great leaders have the ability to change us for the better.
They see more in us than we see in ourselves, and they help us learn to see it too. They dream big and show us all the great things we can accomplish. And the best way to cultivate the mindset you need is with a set of beliefs to guide you as you design and put in place your leadership development strategy.
Everyone needs to choose their beliefs wisely. And here are six groundbreaking beliefs that will serve you in becoming an unbreakable leader.
Leadership takes time, practice, empathy, hard work, attention to detail, and persistence. Here are six core beliefs of successful leaders that have served me well and underpin my approach to leadership development, and that you can use on your quest for success.
Belief #1: Results Matter The Most
People may achieve prestige in society strictly through raw talent, but wise and insightful leaders know this can only take them so far. At some point, putting in the necessary effort has to become a habit — a lifestyle — in order for them to achieve what they desire.
Successful leaders don’t dwell on strategy, but execution.
These leaders believe that execution is at the heart of successful endeavors, not the specific strategy that was in place beforehand. Strategy provides a jump off point but it’s executing the strategy and constantly modifying it that leads to a profitable and scalable business.
Results-focused leaders are driven by their end goal.
It is their concentration on achievement, vs. on the means of routine operations that defines them. Less masterful managers strive for optimization but can be inclined to do so, as much or more for the sake of managing routines than for the maximization of progress toward the accomplishment of their purpose. Operational staff in organizations led by such leaders approach their work with that sense of urgency that characterizes teams’ behavior in the most productive workplaces.
Vision requires action. The vision that doesn’t find expression in action is pointless.
Define behaviors that will create desired outcomes and take steps — no matter how small or simple they can be — to bring your big idea to life. Whenever you have a meeting make sure you end up with the action plan, otherwise you just waste time. Make sure you answer three questions “What have you done? What are you doing? What will you do tomorrow?”
Focusing on results and managing by exception requires fewer management resources for the same outcomes.
Putting together a good plan of attack can require a heavy-handed focus on results. You have to foresee obstacles, find the right approach, and then make certain you have the right people to make it happen. However, it takes a great leader to actually pull a motivated team of people together who are capable of executing that plan and interested in doing so. Leaders capable of blending a people-focus into their results-oriented plans select the ideal people and know their strengths and weaknesses and how these can be made to work together.
Driving results is critical as a leadership core competency because it is your job to make sure that things get done.
A leader who is effective at driving for results is keenly focused on what is most important to achieving the strategic goals of the organization and is able to create a balanced sense of urgency around those tactics that contribute to the strategic direction. The leader makes decisions based on the ability of his or her associates to identify and fully understand the business need — or what has to happen after the project is complete for the project to be considered a success.
Belief #2: No Babysitting There
Ordinary leaders treat their employees like children; they believe that they need constant oversight. These bosses think that their role is to enforce rules, make sure things run their way, and watch over people’s shoulders for mistakes.
Great leaders move away from this dependent state and move towards becoming an engaging leader.
A leader who shares the theme of let’s grow and motivate each other. They see employees as peers who are perfectly capable of making decisions for themselves. Rather than constantly stepping in, engaging leaders make it clear that they value and trust their employees’ work and only intervene when it’s absolutely necessary.
Successful leaders believe in treating every person like they are the most important person on the team.
As a result, this form of responsibility and recognition allows employees to take charge and perform. People are your greatest resource. Do you respect and appreciate your subordinates/peers? People who produce outstanding results have a sense of team, a sense of common purpose and unity.
For anyone to start trusting you, you must prove that you are trustworthy by trusting them first.
Be willing to listen from your juniors in their respective areas. Being the leader does not qualify you to know everything, but when you show a desire to hear from others, it helps boost their performance and motivate them. When employees feel like their voice is heard, it boosts their self-esteem and confidence. In return, it will be easy for them to communicate with you regarding their expectations and how to increase profit.
The idea that the role of management is to control employee behavior is common, but that doesn’t make it right.
But thinking of management as control misses the entire point — and real power — of leadership. Ideally, a manager should be a servant, coach and mentor to the people who work inside the group. The goal of the leader is to make everyone else in the group successful, and thereby make the group success. You can’t “control” that outcome. It’s just not possible.
Giving your employees feedback for improvement is essential for their growth and development. But use your discretion when it comes to how far you can go with your observations.
Consider whether your criticism has anything to do with running your business more effectively. For example, “You have a messy desk. You should keep your desk more organized” reflects your own preferences and may do nothing to improve your company. Give people latitude, and don’t infantilize them.
Belief #3: Work Can Be Enjoyable
Ordinary leaders see work as something that everyone has to do, whether they want to or not. They believe that their role is to make sure that their employees don’t slack off or grow lazy. They say things like, “If it weren’t for me, nothing would ever get done around here.”
However, great leaders love their jobs and believe that everyone else can too.
They give people assignments that align with their strengths, passions, and talents. They celebrate accomplishments and douse people with positive feedback when they do good work. Work can become absolutely demoralizing when you feel like you aren’t adequately valued or recognized. Regular praise and recognition make one feel good. Accomplishments are always enjoyable and memorable, no matter how small they may be. Workplaces can often be devoid of praise, and that doesn’t bode well for the mental health or productivity of workers.
People feel the best places to work are where they get along well with everyone.
The happier they felt with their work relationships, the better they worked, the lower the level of absenteeism was, and the more productive they were. A caring attitude is one of the great leadership qualities of a great leader. You inspire your employees attitudes and self-esteem. They will emulate your attitude and the way you act. If you are happy with your work, your employees will also be happier.
Making work fun not only creates less stress on workers, but also helps in strengthening relationships, building trust and ultimately building better teams.
Don’t take things so seriously! While your job is important, it isn’t life or death for most of us. The relationships you build with those that you work with are important too. You can’t be stressed, angry and happy at the same time — choose to be happy! Happy people are more motivated and engaged. When people have fun and enjoy what they do, they are more motivated to work harder and to put forth their best effort.
By actively and regularly considering fun in the workplace, leaders will improve morale and establish a foundational part of company culture.
Meeting other employees through fun and games builds up the social network within an office, and the benefits of this denser network of relationships manifest as increased trust, deeper transparency, and more willingness to communicate openly and collaborate. Even more importantly, fun and games can serve as great “flatteners” that lower the barriers between employees at different tenure and seniority levels.
Having an attitude of fun in the workplace is not an individual initiative; it’s a cultural belief supported by leadership and intertwined with everyone’s collective attitudes and personalities.
Do people tend to connect when there’s a spirit of drudgery, or when there is a spirit of enjoyment and fun? One may argue that people tend to band together during tough times, but those situations also create divisiveness across teams. In order to bring teams together, allowing your people to infuse fun and their personality gets them to lower any pretenses and sets everyone at ease to work together towards the common vision. Enjoyable workplaces can break down department walls and silos that invariably crop up in organizations.
Belief #4: Obstacles Can Be Tackled
Ordinary managers operate by the motto, “This is the way we’ve always done it.” They believe that change is unnecessary and that it causes more harm than good. Great leaders see change as an opportunity for improvement. They constantly adapt their approach and embrace change to stay ahead of the curve.
Successful leaders believe in doing do what no one else is willing to do.
This is how ordinary employees become great leaders. When others slack off, they try harder. When other people decide to do the bare minimum, they go above and beyond their requirements. No one else is willing to do it, so they do it. They don’t hesitate to get their hands dirty to make things done.
They stick to a positive mindset and never use excuses to ‘stay in place’ — they see opportunities in every difficulty.
Such leaders believe in change being inevitable. Although change alone is not where value is created. It comes from the ability to embrace new ideas and new ways of doing business. They view challenging situations as opportunities, not problems. Instead of injecting people with fear, they navigate them towards opportunities, inspiring them with excitement and hope. Finding opportunities for others means letting go of your own ego so others can find theirs.
The ability to not just solve a problem but to turn that problem into an opportunity is the mark of true leadership.
It may sound trite or obvious, but once you dig in and try it, you’ll find it requires nuanced thinking and old-fashioned humility. To sit down and intentionally think about the problems you have in your business, and then to do something is more of an effort than most leaders are willing to make. But imagine the growth that could take place if you strategically focused on reversing value — on taking the things that diminish value in your business and turning them into things that add value.
There’s no reward without risk — but even the worst mistakes should never stop you from taking a chance again.
Success is all about taking risks. Confidence is treated as something we’re either born with or not, but it can be practiced and learned. Great leaders understand that you must believe in yourself to have the confidence to lead others.
Hope is not a plan. There will always be obstacles along the way.
Hoping they will go away and that things will fall in place is not the answer. Create achievable and realistic goals to ensure success. Ensure the goals you create are simple, clear, desirable and measureable. Measure progress and celebrate accomplishments to motivate you to propel forward at a faster pace.
Belief #5: People Need Models
If you can inspire a group of people to believe in something, you can motivate them to be in constant state of transformation and to ignore the perceived notion of their limitations. Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence, and making sure it lasts in your absence.
Leadership is not just about what people know. It’s not just about what they think. It’s mostly about what they do and say.
It doesn’t matter which leader you’re thinking of. What you admire about them is their behaviour, their actions. Underneath all that might be plenty of knowledge and critical thinking. But that alone isn’t leadership. Leadership is behaviour, action — what you do and say. Leadership is influence — how what you do and say inspires others to act. And leadership is impact — how the actions of those you influence make a difference.
Successful leadership requires an acute understanding of what one is actually providing as a leader.
Are you providing intuitive guidance? Are you making your client’s needs a priority? Is your decisiveness and ability to see the big picture your greatest asset and are you making use of it? The service you provide determines your value, so focus on increasing the quality of your service.
One way to teach employees about leadership is by being a role model they can observe and emulate.
A company’s culture derives in large part from the behavior modeled by its leaders, and employees notice when the bosses is setting a good example — and when they are not. If a business owner provides a powerful, consistent and positive role model, the company will likely follow that lead.
Role modeling is part and parcel of the way that work and society operates.
We subconsciously seek to emulate our leaders, peers and those we look up to in life. A role model is someone who serves as blueprint for others, whose behavior is emulated by other people and who consistently leads by example. Yet role modeling consists of much more than other people observing and copying the behaviors of role models. Apart from the actions that role models promote, they also espouse an implicit set of values.
A leader’s behavior has an impact on everyone around them, and an effective manager is one who inspires their team by showing the way with their own actions.
This can be a powerful realization: if your managers are turning up on time for meetings and showing they’re open to receiving feedback, their people will do the same. The first step in walking the talk is for the employer to work with their leaders to identify the organization’s values, and communicate them clearly. Then it’s simply a matter of ensuring that the actions of everyone in authority match up. People will be inspired if they experience total harmony between what their employer and leaders are saying and what they can see them doing day-to-day.
Belief #6: Diversity Bears Fruit
Average leaders want their employees’ ideas to align with their own, and because of this, they try to hire like-minded individuals. They encourage their employees to think similarly and reward those who “just put their heads down and work.”
Exceptional leaders actively seek out a range of employees and ideas.
They expose themselves and their companies to new ways of thinking. Successful leaders believe in diversity as core strength to build highly adaptive teams who can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers and even competitors. Inclusive leadership can enhance a company’s performance by strengthening workers’ confidence in their potential, job security and personal safety. In addition, embracing employees’ unique backgrounds — including beliefs and customs based on race, gender or religion — can help foster a culture of inclusivity.
The myriad of traits that diversity offers, cannot be found within an homogeneous leadership setting.
Valuing diversity means accessing it from within, and supporting and developing the trust and ideologies around inclusion that only a truly authentic diversity and inclusive agenda can offer. This means enabling diversity systemically and understanding, and managing the reticence of leadership to advance holistic programs for inclusion.
One danger of having a strong company culture is that it can be far too easy to perpetuate a culture of sameness where culture “fit” is an excuse to hire people who look, think, act, and build products just like you do.
The truth is, diverse organizations and teams are not only proven to perform better, but building an environment where everyone, from any background can bring their authentic self to work is simply the right thing to do. Employees aren’t looking for leaders to have all the answers, but rather a clear vision and a plan to build and foster an organization that is truly inclusive of all people and of all backgrounds.
Both diversity of thinking approach and diversity of background, such as gender, cultural background, age, role and experience, are important to achieve peak business performance.
Unconscious bias refers to the assumptions and stereotypes we all make based on our life’s experiences and our backgrounds. Affinity bias is a very common form of implicit bias — that’s our preference to gravitate towards people who are similar to us — and that’s an obvious barrier to hiring and promoting people from different backgrounds. In the workplace it often means we hire mini-me’s — it’s simply more comfortable for our brains. But, rather than a meritocracy, we’re more likely to get a mirror-tocracy, and forego innovation.
Leaders and organizations must accept that there’s not just one right way to get things done.
To be truly innovative — and inclusive — companies must focus on harnessing employees’ different viewpoints and opinions. Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, is also known to dislike “social cohesion” and prefers that employees disagree openly in meetings. The role of the manager or leader is key in fostering creative debate. Hire differently. When writing a job description and interviewing candidates, ensure that the process is designed to identify a cognitively diverse organization. Be prepared to shake up the status quo by recruiting opinionated candidates.
Great leadership can be a difficult thing to understand. You know a great leader when you’re working for one, but even they can have a hard time explaining the specifics of what they do that makes their leadership so effective. Great leadership is dynamic; it melds a variety of unique skills into an integrated whole.
Our beliefs create the maps that guide us toward our goals and give us the power to take action.
Conversely, our limiting beliefs can cause us to miss out on the things that we want most and our empowering beliefs can drive us towards the life we want to live.
If you don’t believe you can be successful, you never will because you will never see opportunities that lay themselves down in front of you.
But if you believe that you can be successful, and not just successful but make history, that’s when you give yourself the greatest chance to achieve it. Your call. Your choices. Your rules.
If you’re currently a boss, is this how your employees would describe your beliefs?
If not, you’re leaving money, effort and productivity lying on the table. You’re also probably losing some good employees, if not to other jobs, then at least to disengagement and lack of interest.
Are you ready to become the kind of leader you’ve always looked up to?
What powerful beliefs do you have about leadership? How have they guided your leadership development efforts? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.