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Four Keys to Successful Leadership in Business by Anna Stevens

August 21, 2012

How many people do you know who are in business? How many of them are busy with their business? And how many of those are actually succeeding? What differentiates those who do succeed from those who don’t? Today, I am sharing my answer to this question.

I deeply believe that the difference between busyness in business and business success is leadership. Having years of diverse international background in business and now as a consultant and coach, I am able to observe many people in their daily professional life and draw a conclusion in regards to the cause and consequence relationship between their leadership style (which is a set of underlying values, principles, and beliefs that drive leadership behaviors) and their level of success.

My observations, thoughts, and conclusions have been grouped into the following four keys to successful leadership in business:

  1. Know who you are: mission statement. Do you know yourself well enough to actually communicate the value of your leadership? What are your strengths? What areas could you enhance and perhaps use a mentor to create a positive change in? How do certain daily events, happenings and challenges make you feel? How do these feelings affect your interactions with others? Can you bring your attention back to focus easily, when distracted by someone or something? Can you calm yourself down when excited or upset, frustrated or disappointed? Do you feel good about yourself and acknowledge the greatness of others or do you not have enough confidence and use others to make yourself feel good at their expense? What is the foundation of your integrity? Do you keep that in mind when you make difficult decisions? Self-awareness is one of the most important Emotional Intelligence competencies that determines one’s leadership style and its success. Being aware of self means that one understands one’s own soul and mind, knows how to manage their own self and be at their best every day to make a great leader. I often recommend that my clients write a personal mission statement and use it as a guide to build relationships with people, navigate through tough times and make meaningful business decisions. A personal mission statement is the essential foundation for self-awareness and strong leadership.
  2. Accept and demonstrate personal leadership: proactive vs reactive approach. Do you wish you could accomplish something significant, but many of your ‘if only’s’ get in the way? All leaders acknowledge that the most difficult leadership-task is to lead their own self. Get rid of your ‘if only’s’ and start creating success you desire! Remember: between what happens to us and what we do with it lies the power of our choice. Planning to start a new great initiative on Monday? Why not start it today? Wish you could have more time to become more successful? Do successful people have no families and more hours in each day? Write down where you procrastinate, and acknowledge what it is that’s holding you back. Exercise your discipline and power of choice to overcome these challenges. Also, discover where you focus most of your attention–either in your circle of influence or in your circle of concerns. The weather is bad? The pollution is too high? The coworker is too annoying? Are you concerned too much about such things and can’t concentrate on getting important tasks done? Are these things something you can change? Why be so concerned about them? Concentrate on what’s within your circle of control–things you can change and have the ability to influence.
  3. Have smart goals set to stay clear and focused. Great leaders and very successful people set up specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-bound goals. Such a strategic and systematic approach helps them become clear on what needs to be done and focused on following through the process and generating the desired results.
  4. Choose an Accountability Partner who can provide attention, motivation, information, ideation, and inspiration. As a leader, you can get caught up in daily demands and get off your path to success easily or just get distracted. To avoid that, have an accountability partner who will motivate you, check on your commitments, inspire you to keep going with your leadership vision and help you brainstorm to come up with fresh and creative leadership or business ideas.

Do you have your goals written down? What is your biggest ‘if only’ that is forcing you to hold back on your potential success?

About today’s guest blogger:

Anna Stevens, J.D., B.B.A. is the founder of EQ for Success, an Atlanta-based company that provides consulting, training and coaching in Emotional Intelligence. Anna helps her private and corporate clients create permanent change and achieve lasting success. She provides support and guidance for those who want to live a more fulfilling, meaningful life, be collaborative, productive and achieve excellence in personal and professional arena.

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