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7 STEPS  TO BECOMING A GREAT WOMAN LEADER

Michelle Glover 

Dec-29-2014

 

How many times have you heard something like: “My boss is an idiot,” or “my manager doesn’t have a clue?”

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If you’ve been in any corporate environment (or maybe just about any environment), you know there is a big difference between a manager and a leader.

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People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.
Just because some manager has been placed in a position of responsibility does not necessarily mean that person is a leader.

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Leadership is a unique ability that causes people to want to follow. It is a skill of relationship that if done correctly, will cause buy-in of a course of action and allow you to chart your course with the fewest bumps possible.

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Here are some strategies straight out of the business and startup trenches:

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1. Have a Vision

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As the good book says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Alex Welch, the founder of Photobucket once told me, “Employees don’t have to believe in your plan, but they have to know you have a plan.” Bad leaders tell people what to do. Great leaders chart a course, show people how they can contribute to that vision and then create participation buy-in.

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Leadership is sales. I’ll say it again, “Leadership is sales.” If you can’t sell a popsicle to the Heatmeister, then you have no place being a leader. As a leader, it is your job to sell your vision and get the troops to march. Suffice it to say, you can never have enough sales experience or take enough sales courses. (Selling Girl Scout cookies to office staff does not count).

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A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” Rosalynn Carter

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2. Know What Motivates

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Have you ever done market research? If you have, you know you don’t know anything. Sure, it seems like whatever motivates you should motivate everyone; however, this is one of the biggest mistakes any leader can make. The great basketball coach, Adolf Rupp, used to take a long hard look at what motivated each of his players and then used such knowledge to help that player perform at the highest level.

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Here is how to use human needs psychology to enlist motivation.

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To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” Eleanor Roosevelt

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3. Seek Opposing Opinions

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Mario Batali, once said, “One of the most important leadership lessons is realizing you’re not the most important or the most intelligent person in the room at all times.” It is said that when President Kennedy sought Eisenhower’s advice after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, Eisenhower asked, “Mr. President, before you approved this plan, did you have everybody in front of you debating the thing so you got the pros and cons yourself and then made the decision, or did you see these people one at a time?” Kennedy admitted, he had not. Eisenhower said, “You’ll have to do better Mr. President.” Not only will you have the best advice, but you will create buy-in if all factions believe they have been heard.

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4. Take Responsibility

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The best leaders have the self confidence to admit when they are wrong. John Kennedy never looked more presidential than when he admitted he made a mistake with Cuba and took full responsibility for the botched Bay of Pigs Invasion. Admit when you have made a mistake and then correct it. Strangely enough this strategy will gain you more respect and allow you to build support for a change in direction.

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“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” Eleanor Roosevelt

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5. Be A Yardstick

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Steve Jobs said, “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” Your organizational culture will come from its leaders. Be the example of what you would like to see in others.

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6. Boost Self Esteem

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Sam Walton had a philosophy that outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost self-esteem of the personnel. Walton found that, “If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”

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7. Never Let Them See You Sweat

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When making decisions, be decisive. If you make a wrong decision, then correct it. When leading, people need to know you are 100% on board with your plans. Remember, if they smell weakness, they will not follow.

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