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The Simple Principles Of Successful Leadership

In business it is often the simple things that get overlooked; yet it is often the "simple things" which make a business owner a successful leader (boss, if you will).
It is interesting to note that research into what makes a business leader successful, finds the same things that make us good humans in general are also the things that help leaders succeed.
Here are the findings of a multitude of research into what makes for a better leader:
While determination is an admirable quality, stubbornness in the face of the ever more rapidly changing marketplace is undesirable. The willingness to adapt and the flexibility needed to handle challenges and changes are the hallmarks of a great leader. The Marine Corp knows this and hence their slogan "adapt, improvise and overcome".
Be who and what you say you are. Great leaders have the integrity to be themselves. A positive, attractive environment is created by the leader who exhibits humility and vulnerability. It is human nature to respond to and want to help the authentic individual - this is true of clients, staff and media.
Being appreciative and saying thank you to clients, employees and people who contribute to your success has immense value. Grateful people are always well received. An interesting bit of reserch revealed that charitable donors were 38% more likely to give a second time if they received a hand-written thank-you note (http://www.davekerpen.com/blog/the-roi-of-gratefulness.html). Never underestimate the power of appreciation.
Ernest Hemingway was fond of saying that most people never listen. But great leaders do. They know that the foundation of any good relationship rests upon actively listening to the other party. Great leaders listen to clients and prospects and discover their wants, needs and the challenges they are looking to overcome. They listen to their employees for the same reasons and to discover new ideas. For an excellent article on why the best business leaders listen more than others see: https://www.openforum.com/articles/the-kpis-of-listening-for-ceos/
Passion is contagious and those who have it bring a tremendous advantage to their business endeavors. There is either the drudgery of work or loving what you do. Finding, increasing and maintaining passion will provide the energy needed to motivate your staff, attract clients and drive your profits higher. 
The best leaders respond quickly, whether it be to their prospects, clients or staff. Winning leaders recognize this and insist on prompt responsiveness by everyone in their organization. Whether communicationg via email, telephone, written letter, or tweet, responsiveness demonstrates care and concern to clients and colleagues.
While technology makes the world more complex than ever before, human nature remains the same. And what people respond to best is simplicity. A great leader knows that to get clients and staff to buy into his vision, projects, ideas and challenges, they need to be distilled to their simplest form. Because humans crave simplicity great leaders deliver it.
Storytelling is what grips people and galvanizes them to action. After listening, leaders need to tell great stories to sell their services to clients or ideas to employees. Regardless of whether you are addressing a prospect one-on-one, a staff meeting, or (potentially) thousands on-line, great storytelling sells.
Surprise and Delight
Great leaders under-promise and over-deliver thereby surprising and delighting both customers and staff. This results in tremendous word-of-mouth marketing. Almost everyone delights in a pleasant surprise in the course of the daily routine and successful leaders look for ways to provide it. They ask themselves, what one remarkable thing can I do for a customer or colleague today?
Team Playing
No matter how small your business may be, you interact with others. By letting others shine, encouraging innovative ideas and remaining humble, you become a more likeable, and thus more successful, leader.
The Golden Rule
To be the best leader you must always treat others as you want to be treated. This seemingly simple rule applies in business as it does in every aspect of life. By giving respect, you gain it - from your clients, prospects and employees alike.
These principles are often overlooked as people chase after success. Whether intuitively or with conscious effort, great leaders adopt these principles and thrive.
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