How many times have you launched a new idea only to have it fall completely flat? How often have you shared your vision to then only have people smile and nod and not fully jump on board? These are important questions to ask because we have all bee there at one point or another. Working on yourself as a leader is essential.
I took a pause on building the Stellar Day brand for two years in order to work on myself as a leader. Could I have built Stellar Day and worked on my leadership skills? Yes, but I knew in my gut that I needed to pause what I was building in order to get clear on where I wanted to go and to cast my vision. Getting focused as a leader and sharpening those leadership skills so that you can cast your vision and effectively bring customers in, is so very worth it.
Here are a few ways that you can focus your leadership skills and grow as an effective leader:
Work on your mindset
I tried so hard to have a positive mind but in reality, I was trapped inside a world of negativity that help me captive. I would journal often, recite affirmations, and I also would read. One book that I read that honestly shifted a lot of things for me mentally, was The Law Of Attraction. I realized that I was putting out so much disbelief and this book began to give me tools and verbiage to be able to change the patterns in my brain. I also have an AFFIRMATIONS BOARD on Pinterest that I pin a lot of positive phrases to, which might really help you. Getting started is tough and they are hard habits to break, but it’s not impossible. You don’t have to be stuck with a bad mindset forever.
Read Everything You Can
When you don’t have positive words to help you, reading positive words can be a start. I often felt overwhelmed by the amount of books there are out there to read that I didn’t know where to start. But the truth? JUST START. Just pick one and go.
In the beginning, I had a really poor view of money and with where I felt like I struggled in my life. It helped me to believe lies about building a successful business and brand that weren’t true, and prevented me from truly scaling. So for me, I started with Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I eventually went on to read Cashflow Quadrant as well. These books were the start of realizing the negative patterns I struggled with in my mind. They gave me plenty of ah-ha moments and caused me to keep reaching for the next books. My entire view of money has changed, and I am forever grateful for those two books that helped me to understand money better but also the relationship I had towards money.
When you begin to read, you begin to learn and expand your mind. If you don’t have time to read, that was me too. But you have to FIND time to read. Make it a priority, schedule it in, and don’t give up. Even reading for ten minutes a day can be so ever helpful and begin to focus your leadership skills so you can continue growing as a leader.
Be Friends With Other Leaders
It’s true guys. Your vibe DOES attract your tribe. So if you want to be a good leader, it’s so important to be friends with other leaders. Spend time with them, pick their brains, listen and learn. In the two years that I took a hiatus from Stellar Day, that’s exactly what I did. I spent time soaking in so much advice from so many business leaders that I know. I spent time being friends with them and realizing the kind of friends I wanted in my circle. I spent time shifting those things a little bit and I was committed to changing.
It never happened overnight, but learning from established business leaders who had gone ahead of me was vital to my growth. Their advice became essential to my learning, and their friendship gave me a benchmark for the type of person and friend I wanted to be around. They say you are most like the 5 people you spend the most time with. When I first heard that, I had to evaluate where I was at in my life. Am I really and truly spending time with people that are helping push me to be better? I sought out many more friends with strong leadership skills in my life, to help me grow but also to show me what happens when you surround yourself with people who dream and understand who I am as a business builder.
Commit To Being Vulnerable & Authentic
It’s challenging when you’re in the growth process to commit to being real, vulnerable and authentic. But I think it’s important to start out that way. There’s a humility and a gentleness that can come from being an authentic leader right from the beginning.
The truth is, you don’t have it all figured out right now and even as you learn and grow, you STILL won’t have it ALL figured out. Good leaders are committed to growing every single day! Even though you are in the growth process, doesn’t mean that you can’t be vulnerable and teach other people who are looking up to you currently. Share your heart, be committed to being real, and hang on to that part of who you are as you grow in leadership. If you can’t be authentic while you’re growing as a leader, how can you be authentic as you lead and scale a giant company that you’ve built? Start now, and commit to admitting that you don’t know it all and you never will. Share your heart, let people in, show them what’s real and encourage them to do it too. Leadership isn’t having it all together. It’s having the confidence to admit that you are learning and growing and showing others that they have space to learn and grow here too.
Listen To Podcasts
Again, it’s important to fill your mind with positive thoughts and encouragement as you hone your leadership skills. When you are a leader and growing, it can feel like a lonely place sometimes. Listening to thoughtful advice and encouragement got me through a lot of days and it’s one of the reasons that I decided to start my own podcast! If you haven’t yet, head on over to Stellar Day Podcast where I love to continue to speak to and encourage creative entrepreneurs to make every day stellar as they build their businesses. A few other podcasts that I love to listen to are:
Building A Story Brand with Donald Miller
Manifestation Babe (and I’ve completed the Unleash Your Inner Money Babe workbook several times and it’s amazing!)
Network Marketing Truth with Richard Matharoo
The Culture Course Show with Grant Botma
The Goal Digger Podcast
The Dave Ramsey Show
The Jasmine Star Show
To name a few. LOL! I love listening to what others have to say, and turning on a podcast while I clean the house is always my go to. I love to learn from and be inspired by other leaders, and you should absolutely start this practice too. Diversify who you’re listening to, pick all kinds of topics that interest you, and commit to being a leader who can learn from all kinds of leaders with humility and gratitude.
Go To Therapy
If it worked for me to shout this message inside every blog post and podcast, I would! Go to therapy if you need it guys!! I am not a therapist by any stretch of the imagination BUT I have been GOING to therapy for over a year now and it. has. changed. my. life. Talk about accessing a tool that can help change everything, this is it!
Talking to someone regularly doesn’t mean you’re weak, it means you’re human. We all have junk in our lives to process and asking someone who is trained to be able to help you do that, is essential. This has been a giant part of my mindset journey and I truly don’t know if I could have begun to accurately shift my mindset if it weren’t for the work that I’ve done in therapy. Go to therapy. Go for as long as YOU need to go, and only you and your therapist can decide that. Find one you love, go consistently, do the work, and don’t give up!
Be Willing To Admit Your Weaknesses But Also Focus On Your Strengths
You have strengths for a reason! I think we spend a lot of time focusing on trying to make our weaknesses stronger but girl- WHAT IF you spent all of that time focusing on the things that you are GOOD at? You will thrive if you do! I think it’s important for our teams to see us, the leaders, admit our weaknesses. We aren’t perfect, we are not good at every single thing, and we definitely aren’t better than everyone else. SO, why act like it?
Admitting your weaknesses builds trust and shows that you’re a human. When you know where your weaknesses are, you can develop them BUT you can then also place your focus more on building your strengths. Hire people to do the things that you are weak in. After all, that’s where THEIR strengths lie! But don’t be afraid to admit where you fall short, and to shine where you are strong in. You are a human having a human experience and there’s room for all of us here.
Practice Public Speaking
OK WAIT HERE ME OUT. Most people are terrified to get up and speak in front of a crowd. And I get it! But whether you’re desiring to speak to 300 employees or just the five employees that you have, it’s important to be ABLE to speak to them. Your teams are looking to you to pave the way. They do want to hear from you, and you do need to be able to effectively speak at and lead certain meetings. Hiding behind, “I’m not good at public speaking” or “Public speaking scares me” is a copout. I’m sorry to say it.
Leaders step up and often do the things they don’t necessarily want to do, and at some point, your team is going to want to hear from you. Practice it, get better at it, and move through the fear. The audience you’re speaking to doesn’t actually WANT you to fail. They are there ready to hear from you and want you to succeed! I try to remember that before each time that I speak to a group and it helps me tremendously. Just practice this. If you don’t desire to be a public speaker, that’s ok! But commit to getting better at this skills for your small team only, if nothing else.
Continue to hone and share your vision as you develop yourself as a leader. Stay consistent in your messaging and in your passions. Try new things but be careful about “hopping around” too much. Consistency is everything in developing as a leader. Give yourself time; this will not happen overnight. Pray daily for guidance and I find myself asking the Lord to show me what kind of leader I was born to be.
Your vision might already be rock solid. Don’t expect people to jump into it with you without developing yourself as a leader first. People are watching you! Share your vision while you grow, but make sure that you’re giving people something and someONE trustworthy to follow. THEN, when they decide to jump into and grasp your vision, it will be exciting and rock solid because they’ve already decided that they trust you as a leader OF the vision.
You are the driving force of the vision. The vision doesn’t drive you!
Develop as a leader, cast the vision, and be willing to serve your team and partners who jump on board. Commit to being the strongest leader you can be. Your vision will then be supported greatly!
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