Be A Great Leader

What makes a great leader today?

We all want to know what it takes to be a great leader who moves mountains and transforms the world. If we could learn how to lead effectively, there would be no limits to our personal achievements as individuals and as a community.

Many leadership experts spend their lives trying to understand the reasons behind successes and failures in leadership development programs. In the last two decades, many of them have noticed and become very concerned about the significant decrease of emerging great leaders.

What is the underlying problem and how can we solve it?

Creating great leaders:

  1. Becoming your own leader.
  2. Leading your family and your community.
  3. Leading large communities and countries.

Becoming your own leader

Many of us still have the misconception that being a leader is a choice. Well, it isn’t. The only choice we all have is to either become a terrible or a great leader or something in between. When we take a closer into our life —  our health, level of happiness, our relationships, or finances — they are the direct result of our personal leadership skills.

In the previous centuries, lack of education and opportunities to make our own choices limited the level of control over our lives. In those days, people often had to rely on the leaderships and protection of others, but definitely not today. In fact, expecting today’s institutions such as governments or banks to lead and to protect us as an individual is a very naive and dangerous concept.

In the 21st century, it is us and no one else is responsible for our successes and our problems. And, according to decades of research, it is our emotional intelligence that is directly proportional to our personal leadership skills.

One of the easiest ways to know very quickly, “Where am I with my emotional intelligence and therefore what stage of leadership am I at,” is by asking yourself, “To which of the following groups – category of people – ‘tribes’ do I belong?”

In a rigorous ten-year study of approximately 24,000 people in more than two dozen corporations, Professor David Logan and his colleagues recognised something that was identical with our own observational studies conducted over the last ten years. Every organisation (family, circle of friends and acquaintances, universities, work places) is a collective or a ‘tribe’ as he calls it. The study has revealed that tribes are more powerful than families, teams, companies, or even CEOs. An example of this phenomenon has been beautifully explained by Stanley McChrystal, a retired US Army general, in his TED talk; Listen, learn … then lead.

So what is a tribe in real life?

A tribe is a group of people who chose to be either friends, colleagues, co-workers, or associates and so on because they have the same level of emotional intelligence and similar outlook on life (similar psychology).

Which tribe do you belong to shows your level of emotional intelligence?

The tribes, their outlooks on life, and their levels of EQ

The first tribe and its life motto:

Life sucks.” 

Obviously, life doesn’t suck but my emotional intelligence does and it leads me towards gloomy expectations. For me, no matter what, the glass is always half empty. Making sure that I constantly confirm that ‘life sucks’ permits me to use any means necessary to fight for my survival, even if this means doing ‘bad’ things. Fortunately, this tribe attracts only around 2% of people.

The second tribe and its life motto: 

My life sucks.” 

As shocking as it sounds, this is an actual improvement, and we see around 25% of the population spending their lives in this emotional intelligence stage. I have a job (or not) that sucks because only the privileged and/or better educated have the good jobs. My personal life sucks because I don’t have money or he/she left me for someone more successful. I have diabetes and high blood pressure because my parents and grand parents had it, it’s genetic. The confirmation of the fact that ‘MY life sucks’ allow me to sink into the victim position and do nothing to change it.

The third tribe and its life motto: 

I am great … and you are not.” 

This is the largest group; almost 50% of all employed people belong to this tribe. And it usually includes those of us ‘who achieved something’, like better education, better career, more money

Spending twenty years of my life among the third tribe, I became very familiar with its dynamics. When I entered my tribe, I was very uncomfortable because I was ‘at the bottom’ of its hierarchy. My tribe was driven by the old school competition: who graduated from a better university, who worked in better hospitals, who was part of a more important speciality (GP’s were at the bottom, the cardiologists at the top of medical profession, and above them there were the Gods – surgeons), who has more publications, and so on… The first few years were tough until I realised that all that was nothing else but a mind game and it had absolutely nothing to do with me as a person or how good I was at my job. I certainly felt a significant increase in emotional intelligence moving from the second tribe to the third one; however, I quickly realised that my new tribe had a serious condition: the ‘God complex’.

By the time we achieve any significant position within our profession and our tribe, we certainly have had acquired unbelievable amount of knowledge and experience, and we have certainly impacted a large number of people (hopefully in a positive way). But, this is not the true reason why many of us develop the ‘God complex’. The real reason is the fact that the crucial piece of information has been kept secret from us: ‘most of the things we are learning today, they are already or tomorrow will be news from the past’. This means that our real knowledge, the expertise we develop based on this knowledge and our day-to-day practice, is very flawed. An improvement can be only achieved by widening and acquiring new knowledge and establishing new and better ways of practice via trial and error by working together towards a greater goal.  And, those of us who recognise that and adapt the new way of practice will very quickly increase their emotional intelligence and move to the next tribe.

The level of confidence and feeling of significance of the members of ‘my tribe’ were very much dependent on our tangible achievements and coexistence of people who  achieved ‘less’ and don’t challenge our point of view.

The fourth tribe and its life motto: 

We are great … because we work as a team towards a goal that is greater than us!

Despite the fact that I may have a higher level of expertise in some or even many areas, the recognition that alone, I can only achieve small and self-centred goals, allows us shift into a different level of emotional intelligence and self – awareness. Only by choosing a goal that is greater than I am and by uniting with people who have the same goal can we achieve great things on a much larger scale. At this level of emotional intelligence, we don’t have the need to create separations, hierarchy, artificial professionalism; we are allowed to be wonderfully wired and unique. In this tribe, we build relationships, great teamwork, and productivity by being truly who we are and competing only with ourselves, by improving daily, and by always doing our best. At this level of emotional intelligence, we either do what we love or we learn to love what we do. Our personal and professional relationships will reach a whole new dimension, and we will feel unrestricted in expressing our true personality, our thoughts, ideas, and much more.

In this tribe, the self-centred individuals merge into something larger and more powerful. The tribe becomes united by something greater than their own interests and competences. This tribe drives the change in the world, but only 22% of us belongs to this tribe.

The fifth tribe and its life motto: 

Life is great.

People who live in this tribe care only about higher purposes and values that lead to a better world. People in this tribe operate very often within the areas where there are no ‘road maps’, where ‘something like this wasn’t done’ or even attempted before. And, these are the 2% people who do the impossible and change the world.

So which collective or tribe do you belong to?

To establish where am I at the moment will help me to get the big picture — the umbrella that guides most of my goals, actions, and reactions.

It will also allow me to set a clear goal:

Where do I see myself?

Where do I want to belong to?

The collective (tribe) I choose to belong to will affect my entire life including my life expectancy.

The accumulated evidence from decades of research is overwhelming, and if I choose to ignore the facts, then I can’t really blame anyone else for my own ‘shortcomings’.

My brain, with its 100 billions neurons that build up to 200 000 connections and can process 400 billion actions per second,  can certainly lead me to achieve anything I want. Therefore, the only reason for not achieving my goals is if I actually work really hard against it.

And one of the best ways to self-sabotage is to persistently input anti-progress information and images into my brain such as: my life sucks.

In fact, this is such an effective way of making sure that I never get anywhere closer to my goals. With this (and similar) self-destructive self talks and visualisation, I am able to cause damage to my DNA and die 7 – 18 years earlier, just because of that. (2011 Nobel Prize-winning research by Dr Blackburn)

The micromanagement of myself 

Once we established:

  • Where are you at the present — which collective/tribe you belong to; and
  • What is your ‘big’ goal — changing your own life/being part of the team that drives progress/choosing the uncharted and difficult paths to change the world,

We can look at your micromanagement.

So what is my micromanagement?

The very basic parts that create my day-to-day life belong to my micromanagement. And I may ask myself, “Why is it important how I manage myself if my ultimate goal is to be the CEO of the world’s largest manufacturing company and have people doing all the small and insignificant things for me?

Well, I am already the CEO of the largest energy-producing company in the world — myself. I manage trillions of cells in my body every single day, 364 days per year and its direct surrounding. And if I cannot handle this very well then it is only logical to assume that I will not be doing much better with any other projects, people, or companies.

But, if I learn the principles of solving my own problems, achieving challenging goals, breaking through my own limitations, and leading myself and then my surrounding, then I most likely will be able to scale this up to larger and larger projects.

So let’s have a look at the parts of my life and how do I micromanage them.

How good is my:

Health 

Leaders who don’t care about their own health will care even less about others’ wellbeing, producing a culture of unhappy, plagued with chronic diseases, and alcohol-, painkiller-, caffeine-, and antidepressant-abusing people.

Relationships and communication

Researchers have discovered that one of the three most important factors to be a great and successful leader in the 21st century is our capacity to develop relationships with people who are very different than we are — physically, socio-economically, politically, or in terms of their religious beliefs. And, our ability to create relationships with diverse people so they trust us and they are willing to cooperate with us is essential for any leader. But to build such coalitions, we have to have the skill to listen, to see and think from the perspective of others and often very different to us people and to communicate difficult issues in a productive way. The reward is much greater than we can imagine. The variation of minds gives us as leaders the opportunity to better recognise diverse patents and create completely different ideas because we have people around us who think differently than we do and this greatly increases the number of possibilities of success.

Financial situation  

Statistics show that 95% of all businesses ‘fail’, and we decided to spend five years of our lives to answer the question,  “Why?” We have researched people who became financially successful and remain successful as well as those who became poor or bankrupt. For our research, we chose people who made hundreds of millions or more, as well as people who made £20 000 a year, but they had one thing in common: they were financially free to live their lives on their own terms. And the outcome was very surprising; their success did not have anything to do with how much money they actually made — it always had something  to do with how they managed what they made.

And this is something we all can certainly master right now. Once we master how to manage our small budgets, we will be able to manage larger budgets, too. If we don’t know how to use £1000 wisely, we can’t expect that we will be any smarter with £1mil. And as our dear and very smart friend Alex Edmans, Professor of finance at London Business School can tell you, the ability to manage our money has a very close relationship with how we manage our emotions.

 Growth and contribution

Growth

For any person, leader, community, or business, growth is the most important factor of their existence.

Why?

Because we are living in a world that is innovating faster than ever before. Change is inevitable, but adaptation to change is only possible if we constantly grow. If we don’t grow, we will be left behind.

Why do so many of us avoid growth?

‘Growth and comfort do not coexist,’ explains Ginni Rometty, chairman, president, and CEO of IBM

And, so many of us think that after the initial ‘push and struggle’, we then get to ‘sit back and enjoy the ride’. Personal growth, development, and education must never end, particularly if we want to be great leaders.

What about contribution?

What puts a person among the 2% of the greatest leaders in the history of the world is their complete commitment to do nothing else but contribute towards the improvement of the world. They are completely focused on the outcome, putting their own agenda aside.

Why is this way the only way to fulfilment and total happiness?

The moment we learn to focus only on finding solutions for the challenges ahead of us, achieving any goal we aim for becomes inevitable. We stop listening to our feelings, emotions, thoughts, judgements, and limitations. We become relentless in finding new ways of solving problems and differences until everything falls into place and the perfect harmony is achieved. And this is how great leaders change the world. And this is how any of us can change our own world, too.

What do you desire?

And because practice makes the master, pick one of the smaller goals at first and go through the whole process. Focus on the goal; never allow yourself to put your emotions, likes, dislikes or judgements above your goal; never allow yourself to stop until you achieve your goal. Just make sure that what you want is what you really need and not simply something you like to achieve ‘because you are great.…and he/she is not’.

Leading your family and community 

According to research of some of the best family therapists in the world, the best predictor if a couple will stay happily married or get divorced is the relationship’s emotional intelligence. In fact, the researchers were able to predict with 91-98% accuracy if a couple stays married or divorces. In a happy marriage, the partners do not allow their negative thoughts and emotions about each other from overwhelming the positive ones. They focus more on embracing each other’s needs and supporting each other. This allows the romance to grow, together with the level of connection, happiness, tolerance, trust, and more.

And there is no difference in non-romantic relationships.  Position and  money can keep an employee happy only for few years at best, but if the leader does not fulfil his/her part of the bargain and treats their staff with disrespect, showing lack of appreciation and support, then they will leave.

Do you know that IQ accounts for only 20 percent of our achievements and successes in life? So what about the other 80 percent? Well, it’s all about emotional intelligence (EQ or EI). And, if you wish to move up the ladder in your professional life, then you’ll need it even more as it is responsible for almost 90 percent of what will get you there.

To become a great leader for others, you should always start learning how to lead yourself and then others, such as  how you treat and communicate with yourself and support and guide others throughout their process of developing to become great leaders. With time, you will lead more and more people and organisations towards a better future.

Leading large organisations and countries

Only 2% of us grow into leaders who change the world.

Roselinde Torres, an expert in the field of leadership and leadership training, became very concerned about the fact that more money than ever is being spent on leadership courses while the number of great leaders is rapidly decreasing. She embarked on a journey to answer one simple question:

Which qualities 21st century leaders need to have to become great and how should they be evaluated?

Roselinde’s research showed that to find ‘a material’ for a great leader, we should be asking them 3 questions and looking how they perform in these 3 areas:

Where are you looking to anticipate change in business and/or your life? 

In the world where change occurs continuously, possessing the right information, from the right people and right sources and having the ability to anticipate the upcoming change before anyone else does and make the decision right now to act upon it, is one of the greatest leadership skills. It often means life or death for a company’s (also a family’s) financial future.

What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional network? 

What is your capacity to develop relationship with people who are very different than you are — physically, socio-economically, politically, or from religious perspective? And what is your ability to create relationships with these people so they trust you and they are willing to cooperate with you? The diversity within their network gives them as leaders the opportunity of better studying diverse patents, and create completely different ideas because they have people around who think differently than they do.

Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice which made you successful in the past?

Change doesn’t ask for permission; it happens, whether we like or not. And this is why the practices from yesterday will not help you tomorrow. Grow, adapt, stay flexible, and you will be successful yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The question you may ask yourself now is why is EQ is the most important factor to be an extraordinary leader?

The answer to the first question is simple: great leaders constantly operate in uncharted territories, where comfort practically doesn’t exist, but growth, setting new rules and new paths, on the other hand happen all the time. Anything that is outside our comfort zone activates, to some degree, our fear – emergency – high alert centre, the Amygdala initiating over 1400 different biological and chemical responses. And the only thing that keeps our physiological responses and as result our verbal and physical responses at bay is high emotional intelligence. Without it we become, ‘in any negation; crazy, irrational, impulsive, emotionally driven animals…’ according to Professor Chris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator who trains now top leaders around the world. And from my life experience that is 100 percent true.

So how do I increase my emotional intelligence?

The first and most important thing we all need to know is the scientific fact that all our decisions are controlled by the emotional centres in the brain, and therefore they are always EMOTIONAL. People who have brain injury in the emotional centre completely lose the ability to make even the simplest choice. These emotional centres which make the decisions for us are connected to logical centres in our prefrontal cortex; however, these can only be used by us when our emotional centre chooses to ‘speak’ to them. Once the emotional centres are hijacked by the Amygdala, we all react and act like ‘crazy, irrational, impulsive, emotionally driven animals’. All the raw intelligence and mathematical logic in the world is of little help when emotions run high. And there is no exception; when this happens, our IQ drops significantly and so does our decision-making ability. And this is why the level of our emotional intelligence has such a huge impact on  our lives.

What is the level of my EQ?

My level of emotional intelligence is directly proportional to my skill of being aware and identifying correctly:

  • My emotions and the emotions of others;
  • How these emotions affect me and how the emotions of others affect them;
  • What triggers these emotions in me and what triggers the emotions in others;
  • To what degree I can manage my emotions by applying the logic; and
  • To what degree I can guide others to manage their emotions better.

And yes you may not be able to have the highest level of ‘self-control’ or guiding others through their emotional roller coaster, but having the ability to recognise the emotions, the triggers, and how they negatively affect us and others is the hardest part. To improve the degree of control is only a matter of time.

So how do we translate these skills in the day-to-day life?

If we apply this to a professional setting, these are the qualities you would want in a leader. For instance, we all would rather have a boss that listens to our ideas and concerns, one who talks to us in a calm manner rather than one who shouts at us because of a difference of opinions or mistake we have made. We all prefer a boss that inspires us to perform well by recognising our unique talents, by being empathetic and knowing how to lead us through stressful situations. A leader with high emotional intelligence has the ability to build a team from different types of personalities and lead them so that instead of fighting with each other, they become friends and create incredible things together.

To understand emotional intelligence and how it can help us become a great leader for ourselves and others, it is important to understand the role of the amygdala, which is the fear – high alert, and memories related to these feelings centre of the brain. It is also important for us to realise that the more we allow our fears, stress, and all the other negative emotions control our day-to-day life, the bigger the amygdala grows and the stronger and more power these negative emotions have over our lives.

Nature provided us with the amygdala, and its fight-or-flight responses serve as  protection from harmful and life-threatening situations. But, in the 21st century, these responses get triggered too often and for the wrong reasons. What we think and feel, and how long we think it or feel it, determines how healthy, happy and successful we become. Today, when triggered, the amygdala is mostly a source of destructive emotions, such as anxiety, anger, and insecurity. And, this disrupts not only our emotional but also our cognitive system. When our emotions run high, our logic goes out the window and our IQ goes down to suboptimal levels. So, no matter how technically skilled we are in our field or how high our IQ is, if we are incapable of controlling our emotions properly, then we will not be able to fully apply our intellect, our knowledge, and therefore our decisions will not be really ours but of someone with a far lower IQ, education and skills.

So what practical steps can we take to increase our EQ and become a great leader?

Be always self-aware.

Self-awareness is the key to emotional intelligence, and to great leadership. We need to be able to identify what we feel, why we feel it, and we must be aware of the effects of our emotions and our actions on other people. This way, we will develop a very good grasp of our strengths and weaknesses.

The easiest and the most effective way to increase our self-awareness is by keeping a journal. This may sound old school or very simplistic, but in reality, it is purely based on scientific facts; most of us are very visual, and this is why we easily process the things that we write or draw. In fact, most of us cannot achieve any real goal unless they see it first on a piece of paper or on their wall.

Another advantage of writing it down is the fact that we can dissociate ourselves from what has happened or how we felt when it happened, and this allows us to look at the ‘problem’ from a different perspective. In fact, looking at any situation, problem or feeling from as many perspectives as possible will truly allow us to open our mind on how many possibilities and interpretations there are.

Each day, take some time to write down your thoughts. Also, when strong negative emotions take place, stop what you do and ask yourself the following questions;

“What is the emotion? Is it fear, anger, guilt, or frustration?”

“Where does it come from?”

“What triggered it?”

“Was this emotion truly directed towards this person or situation or did it simply trigger a ‘bad’ memory of an event that made you feel angry, scared, or frustrated?”

“And what can I do about it so it doesn’t make me feel this way?”

It’s even better if you can write down the questions and the answers.

This way, you become an observer of your emotions, which will help you understand them instead of judging them.

Understanding instead of judging. 

Empathy is crucial to emotional intelligence, and a great leader knows that. We need to be aware not only of our emotions but of other people’s emotions, too. Always keep in mind that people do not judge the world the way you do; they always judge situations and people based on their own experiences and feelings.  And there is no right or wrong way of perceiving the world — it is only a different way. Everyone has their own map of the world as a result of their individual observations. So instead of judging them which can cause them to react defensively, ask questions that allow you to put yourself in their shoes and understand them.

If a problem arises, instead of just reacting, ask questions that help you to understand the issue. By asking questions, you tap into the logical centres of your neocortex, the most sophisticated part of the brain that is also responsible for logical and abstract thinking.

On the other hand, statements imply judgement, and they trigger your amygdala or your emotional centre, and that’s the last thing you want during a negotiation or when problems arise.

So, instead of saying, “I disagree,” ask a question, such as “Can you give me more details about how you reached this conclusion?” Observe how it can change how you feel about seemingly stressful situations and how it can improve your relationship with your colleagues.

Stay motivated

No one wants a leader who doesn’t love what he/she does, who appears to be doing the job just for the sake of doing it and would rather be somewhere else. As a leader, motivation is what keeps you working towards achieving your goals as well as the goals of your team. When we are busy, tired, or overworked, we all tend to forget why we love what we do.  This is why spending only few minutes every morning to take a few deep breaths and remind ourselves what are we grateful for: our health, our home, the job, the nice office, the regular pay check, lovely team…. This will drastically improve your mood and increase your motivation. The more often you do this exercise, the better results you get, simply because repetition strengthens the neural pathways (brain cells pathways) by including more neurons (brain cells) and stimulating them to grow a large number of connections (up to 200 000) so these positive thoughts and feelings will eventually become much stronger and you will be able to generate them much faster.

Be an effective communicator

Whether we like it or not, we always communicate, and 90% of all communications involves non-verbal communication. We all are familiar with the type of people who are like magnets; you just want to be around them because they make you feel good. We also know that the type of people who everyone avoids because they make us feel uncomfortable. And most of the time we really cannot pinpoint why is that. It is because of the way these people communicate non-verbally with us. One says; ‘you are safe and welcome and the other says; ‘go away or I will hurt you. What really hides underneath these non-verbal signs is simply that the first person is not afraid to interact with other people and the second person is scared to either get hurt, or disappointed, or to be asked to do something and to have to say no, or simply that we won’t like and accept them the way they are grumpy, etc.

Words are the least important in any communication; however the tone of voice, our facial expressions, body language, and the context we use the words make them good or bad.

Let’s take as an example the words; ‘I hate you…’

Generally, we would expect them in a negative context; ‘I hate you because you said terrible things to me.’ However, I saw the other day a message on Facebook and someone wrote, ‘I hate you because you look always so beautiful… heart heart heart!’ This certainly was meant as a huge compliment, and it is a great example of how insignificant the words are in comparison with all the non-verbal clues.

For words to be effective, non-verbal communication, such as gestures, tone of voice, and facial expression, have to support them. Effective communication is based on how congruent these elements are. We also have to remember that our non-verbal communication reflects how we feel on the inside, and this is why even if we say non-offensive words but we feel angry or scared, others will subconsciously pick up on it, and they will respond to these non-verbal clues more than they will to our apparently calm words.

One example, for instance, is when we see someone walking towards us looking like a missile and then start telling us something in a very agitated manner. It is only natural that our instinct will tell us ‘brace for impact’ and most of us without even knowing it, will instantly change their facial expressions and body language to mirror the invader. And now we have two missiles ready to explode. As we all know, this can mean only one thing: a war, either a loud one or passive-aggressive one, but definitely a war.

Now let’s turn the scene around and you are the first person, and one of your colleagues is the one bracing for impact.

The crazy thing is that in most cases, both of the people involved in this scene will very likely have no idea ‘why is the other person so aggressive or defensive, while I said or did nothing to deserve that?’

But the truth is we did.

No matter how much we like to deny, an argument always needs at least two people to happen; the attacker and the keen responder.

And this is where high emotional intelligence comes incredibly handy.

Number one, it helps you to recognise the incoming missile and brace for impact in the way that you do not get drowned by someone else’s negative emotions into a destructive and unnecessary war. Best is to start with taking deep breaths and relax as much as possible.

Number two, it helps you to be an observer rather than a participant by recognising that ‘the missile’  is an actual human being who is loaded with negative emotions, which, for some unexplainable reason, have nothing to do with you. However, it is only natural that this behaviour may trigger some unpleasant emotions, but it is our choice alone if we allow someone else ’s anger or fear turn us into a crazy person or not. We may not be able to control others’ behaviour, but we certainly can control how we perceive them, and therefore our emotional, verbal, and physical reactions to it.

And yes some people can be certainly described as challenging. However, it is up to us if we make them more or less challenging. Always keep in mind that smile, empathy, calm, and questions will get you far, and intimidating body language, raised voice, and statements won’t.

Essentially, to be an effective communicator, you need to be aware of other people’s emotions and understand where they are coming from. When you show understanding instead of judgement, they will be more likely listen to you. This will also help avoid or resolve difficult situations where people’s emotions run high. Again, when people’s emotions run high, their logic goes out the window, preventing them from making fair and smart choices.

Be confident

It is easier to say than to execute, and this is why we need to practise to be confident. Self-confidence is about respecting, liking, and loving yourself and this may take some time to achieve.

The most important factor to start respecting and liking yourself is to establish what your core values are and truly follow them. If you have an internal strong set of values (we all have) and you choose to them, you will never be able to respect yourself, and therefore you will surround yourself with people who will treat you the way you believe you deserve to be treated.

For example, my top core values are:

  • health
  • loyalty
  • love and compassion
  • growth

This means that if I put something really unhealthy in my mouth, or betray someone, or ignore a person in need, or I stop learning and growing, I will, on a subconscious level, feel bad about it. This will create an environment of stress in my body. This stress will affect me on a mental, emotional, and physical level. It will stimulate in the amygdala — my anxiety, insecurity, embarrassment centre — and my self-respect and self-confidence goes out the window because I think of myself as a fraud.

A truly confident person almost inevitably becomes a great leader who does what is right even if it is not easy and always sticks to their own core values no matter what. A truly confident person understands that the best solutions are created by trials and errors and therefore on the path to growth and greatness lie many mistakes and failures. For a confident person, failure is just an opportunity to learn what doesn’t work, so next time they can adjust their actions. A confident person doesn’t think, “I am great and you are not,” even if someone’s social, educational, financial status is much lower. A confident person makes others feel confident about themselves.

Never confuse confidence with arrogance. True and unshakeable self-confidence is built on accepting who you are, both your strengths and weaknesses. It is not about projecting to the world that you are better than others and that you don’t have fears. It is about knowing that you are able to cope with whatever challenge life throws at you.

I am sure that being in such a mental and emotional state sounds appealing to most of us, and this is why working on our confidence is so important, not only for us but also for all the people around us.

Truly confident people are not born; they are self-made by practise and discipline. And, the world needs you to become confident because confident people make great leaders and change the world for the better.

Learn, learn, learn

Anyone who wants to grow and become a leader has to read a book per day or equivalent amount of publications, watch TED talks, smart documentaries, and more. In the 21st century, information changes almost in a speed of light, and without constant education within and outside our field, we become nothing more than ignorant backward-thinking people. Also, continuous education contributes toward constant growth of our brain’s capacity and flexibility, allowing us to develop greater and more innovative ideas.

Have an amazing journey.

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