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To be a great leader, you need to start by leading yourself

https://ideas.ted.com/to-be-a-great-leader-you-need-to-start-by-leading-yourself/

ideas.ted.com

To be a great leader, you need to start by leading yourself
This post is part of TED's "How to Be a Better Human" series, each of which contains a piece of helpful advice from someone in the TED community; browse through all the posts here. Being a leader is a little like being a parent, says Lars Sudmann, a former corporate executive, in a TEDxUCLouvain Talk.

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Shortcomings of leaders

Shortcomings of leaders

Being a leader is a little like being a parent. You have all the best intentions of how great you will be and how you will avoid the mistakes you see other people make.

But, people in a leadership role find it is not that easy; they have too much to do and not enough time; they don't properly think through their priorities; they assume that people beneath them will take care of a lot of problems.

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Do a "character traits check"

  • Think of someone you thought was a bad leader and list any of the negative behaviors they displayed.
  • Ask yourself if you share any of those behaviors — score 1 for not likely to 5 for very likely: for instance, someone who kept important information away from employees, a micromanager, a vague communicator, a yeller, someone who didn't keep their word.
  • After you identify your potential areas of improvement, make a plan for how you'll work on them.

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Engage in daily reflection

Every day, take 5 minutes to think about the challenges you've recently handled and the ones that you'll still need to manage.

Ask yourself how your leadership failed yesterday. How should you have faced those challenges? What about your challenges today? What would you do differently?

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Leadership and emotional regulation

Regardless of how well you are prepared for a situation, there will always be people who will frustrate or anger you.

When those situations arise, first ask yourself, on a scale of 1 to 10, how important the issue is at the moment. With anything less than a 6, take a break and ask yourself how a leader you aspire to be would handle this situation.

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