Once a leader makes the choice to lead, they must learn to differentiate between leadership and management.

The variance between a good leader and a good manager is what—and who—is managed. An average manager completes tasks, coaches the troops, and shares a vision. A good leader inspires people, sets the example for the troops to follow and embodies the vision. Leadership, like any skill or competency, must be developed—from the inside out—and will improve with time and practice. Everyone’s leadership can be enhanced and here’s how:

Leaders Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.

Richard Carlson, Ph.D., said, “So many people spend so much of their life energy ‘sweating the small stuff’ that they completely lose touch with the magic and beauty of life.” To produce vision, a leader must see the big picture. It is daunting to maintain big-picture awareness if energy is wasted on small events or experiences that serve only to frustrate or create emotional friction in the day. Let go. Get back to the day’s purpose. When a person chooses to not “sweat the small stuff”, their ability to lead is increased.

Leaders Take Breaks.

Leaders value clarity. In fact, studies done on high-performers—or industry titans—reveal that the elite leaders seek clarity more frequently than average performers, managers, or executives.  It is essential to step away, digest information, and decompress from situations daily. The practice of mindfulness is crucial to being present in the moment and having a level of awareness that is a cut above the rest. It is in seeking clarity that vision is sharpened and then executed. Make a habit of taking your lunch and stepping away from the day. Managing energy improves leadership.

Leaders Go With Their Gut.

Stop waiting for someone else to go before you, trust your gut and just go. Take risks, trust your instincts, set the tone. A good leader doesn’t wait to go with the flow. They jump in and figure out what needs to happen to get the job done. If you want your team to share your vision and follow your lead, GO WITH YOUR GUT!

Leaders Stay Focused on Their ‘WHY’.

People do not buy in to what we do, they buy in to why we do what we do. Understanding your why comes through the process of seeking clarity and creating your vision. Once you understand your why, don’t deviate, stay the course, and focus on your why. A good leader develops a monomaniacal focus on this driver and the why becomes the fuel to a leader’s passion, purpose, and fulfillment. Do you want to be a good leader? Develop laser-like focus on your why!

Leaders Bring Joy.

Best-selling author and high-performance coach Brenden Burchard coined this mindset: BRING THE JOY. He asserts that we are in control of our emotions and can choose to bring the joy rather than react to whatever circumstances we may encounter. Brenden also uses the analogy that a power plant doesn’t create energy, it generates the energy. We can choose to generate the energy around us. As we focus on generating positive energy—bring the joy—people can’t help but be attracted to our presence. Joy is contagious, and smiles impact the emotional well-being of our team. Take these 5 tips and apply them to your day. As you build upon these principles and practice them, your leadership ability will grow. The beginning of a leader’s journey can be as scary as the first-day of school, but with intention, leadership can be a beautiful process of transformation. People will follow your lead because it will be attractive, rewarding, and positive.

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