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Identify Your Leadership Skills

What skills do you think make a great leader? For myself I believe the following are essential to being a great leader in today’s business arena:

Mindset

Having knowledge and skill sets in your field is important for success as a leader. Your knowledge and experience are important to support fulfillment of your product or service. However, having knowledge isn’t always enough. To be a great leader and reach new levels in your business, you must continue to invest your time into mindset training.

Your mindset and inner self consists of how you speak, where your thoughts roam, your successful or negative thinking, and this list goes on. Your mind controls every action you take in your life. This area of your inner self has the potential to always be improving, even if you are already ‘successful’ in your business.

The most successful business owners focus on improving their inner self and learning how to discipline their mindset to attract success. (Often the people who are the most successful do this the most diligently.)

A good exercise to bring this practice into your daily habits is to sit upright in a chair, close your eyes, and sit there for 15 to 30 minutes. Be as still as you possibly can and just inhale and breathe. Through this, each time you exhale, let your stress and everything go out with the breath. Feels good doesn’t it? Doing this everyday will help you to learn how to control your thoughts and release negative energy.

Leadership involves stepping into areas that others may not be comfortable with. If you are going to be a leader, controlling your thinking is important to instill the confidence others will have in you. Mental preparation will help you through those times where you may not have much practical experience. Your mentor can educate and guide you with knowledge and their experiences. Visualization of yourself in that same situation will make you ready for any situation.

The brain does not differentiate between reality and imagined thought. Little by little, you will be imprinting successes in your brain. As you walk forth, when you have opportunity to apply these areas of growth, you will have a foundation on which to build new success! Once you are not afraid to receive it, you may achieve it. You need to visualize it first and believe that you already have it.

Some people find it beneficial to work with a mentor or coach during success training exercises. Your coach or mentor will help you with an action plan and should start you off at whatever knowledge level you are currently. After you continue to learn and develop your knowledge, that leadership role will be passed down to you when you’re ready. Don’t force this issue. It does take time, and varies on how much time you put into your business.

Enter the Sales Person

If you think you’re not a sales person, think again. Each of us has inherent skills that allow us to ‘sell’ ourselves every day. We may not see ourselves as that but once you understand that selling as a leader is not about hard pressuring people into a decision- then it’s easier to see how this mindset plays into your ability to be becoming successful.

One thing to understand about the way people like to be sold today is it’s not about hard selling your product or service. Let’s go over that again, it’s not about hard selling your product or service! You may ask “Ryan, how will I make money if I don’t try to sell my products?” It’s very simple. Wherever you choose to land your career just make sure you are passionate for the company and what they stand for. After that it’s about building a connection between you and your prospect. It’s about building trust and credibility. Only then, after a person truly likes you as an individual, will they buy your product or service from you.

So it’s not about being a high pressure sales person, it’s about being a real person towards your customer or client. This is one of the main keys to success. Friends buy stuff from each other, and that’s what you want them to do right? So let’s quit treating them like a ‘dollar’ and start treating them like a friend.

As a leader, sometimes you need to sell ideas to those you are in charge of. This same principle applies. By building trust and a connection with the people you are in charge of, you will be more effective when you lead. Your passion and your commitment to a bigger unified vision with those around you will help sell your ideas for you.

Sales are important in any endeavor. Without sales, things become stagnant. Kids ‘sell’ to their parents. Parents ‘sell’ ideas to their children. As a leader you will have to ‘sell’ ideas, vision and commitment to your charges, and of course, in business sales produce the bottom line. If you are not comfortable selling, this is an area that your mentor or coach can support you. Just ask! There are many valuable, easy to understand resources to help you grow in this area. Remember though; when you learn sales technique stay true to yourself. Keep your personality in your conversation- and you will do well.

Building Relationships

Building relationships with professional people can very quickly turn into friendships. This action of communicating with others will help support your business growth – and will help you develop a key skill in leadership: active listening.

When you start a conversation with someone online or offline, you are getting to know this person. At this stage you are not trying to sell him or her anything. You are just getting to know them as a human being. You want to find out where they live, if they are married, how many kids they have, what they do for a living and what hobbies they enjoy. Let the conversation sway where it will. You’re trying to build a relationship in which you’ve taken the time to genuinely be interested in and you listened to the answers. People don’t care about how much you know… until they know how much you care.

I built a friendship online over 5 years ago and we live about 9 hours away from each other. Would you have imagined that I still speak to him on a daily basis and we visit each other yearly? This is how powerful friendships become.

This is not just a technique to make more money. It is the way of life in any successful business. It’s also an element to identify in yourself. Can you engage in genuine conversation with others and patiently, attentively listen? If so, you have the makings of a great leader. If you’re not quite there yet, this is a great skill to develop. It will serve you well everywhere.

When people see that you possess the skill to really, and I mean really listen to them- you can lead them. Trust is built quickly because you care enough to connect with them. The very successful business people you see around you in your day to day travel, all use this very simple secret in their business. Have you ever spoken to a person and even if you are in a room full of others, they give you their sole attention? How did that make you feel? The best leaders learn to connect with everyone on a genuine level.

In addition to listening, you can succeed in business and as a leader by asking the right questions. Ask people questions about themselves. Then listen. Listen and you will lead.

Branding Yourself

Branding yourself is critical to your success as a leader online or offline. Branding yourself means exactly the way it sounds. You must become your own individual and show people the real you. Don’t act like someone you’re not, just be yourself. Speak to someone like they are already your friend. Personal branding involves letting people get to know you through your first and last name, not just your business name.

There are many styles of leaders and many tactics to practical leadership. When you are consistent with your style, you will brand yourself. It’s not always about promotion or marketing of your business. It’s about consistency in representing who you are and the communication you have with those you lead. People will hear your business name and they think of you personally if you branded yourself as one who is dependable, listens, is willing to learn, and really cares about others.

Succeed By Finding a Coach/Mentor That Can Help You!

To succeed at anything, regardless of the topic, top leaders speak of the importance of learning from someone who has already been successful in that particular area. If you want to succeed with a business, find a person that has been successful in that business before and engage them as your mentor or coach.

Conclusion

People that are looking to become more successful in business or have found their leader within ultimately will find benefit in mentoring or coaching with someone they can relate to.

You can’t always relate to everyone but there’s great opportunity to learn and grow in the discovery of your mentors. I can’t stress enough about really finding a coach that is supportive of your success. Be passionate about the company you work for. Be passionate about the endeavors you wish to step up and lead. Communicate regularly with honesty to your mentors and coaches. Tell them you want to see what they teach and train.

When you feel comfortable that he/she is the right mentor/coach for you- be ready to ask them questions and be willing to actively listen to them as well. Let them lead you to success so you can eventually turn around and be the mentor or coach to lead others to success as well.

I want to leave you with this, I wish you the best of success in anything that you do and may God bless your life and family.

By Ryan Hill

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