3 Ways to Be a Better, Effective Business Leader
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Leadership is the critical factor that determines the success of any business, department, or organization. To become more effective daily, think and act on the basis of the key qualities of effective leaders throughout the ages. You can program these qualities into your personality and behavior by dwelling on them continually. They can also be learned by practicing them in your daily activities as an individual and as a leader in your organization.

Here are three ways you can become a better leader in a way that many top business leaders have mastered for decades:

1. Learn From Everything

We can learn from success and failure based on our own experiences and on what happens to others. We can learn from current events as well as from history. We can and should literally learn from everything (as the tip suggests).

But, just because we can learn from everything, doesn’t mean that we actually do. Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders share a passion for learning, and that is not a coincidence. When you stop learning, you get left behind.

Ask yourself what genuinely new thing you’ve learned in the past 24 hours or even the last week. If you can’t, watch a webinar, pick up a book you’ve never read before, or find a blog post that sounds interesting. It might not help, however learning something new can never do you any harm.

2. Don’t be a Jerk

If you intend on developing an organization with fantastic people, you need them to want to be part of your team. Since we all know life is too short, especially to work with jerks that are unfair or just downright mean, it’s a certainty that the best and brightest employees will exercise their options to work with the best other people they can find.

You might be a technology guru, a visionary thinker, or a top-notch salesperson, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be humane, understanding, and sympathetic. Some of the highest performing organizations in the world (think military, nonprofits, or churches) are made up of volunteers—people who vehemently believe in what they’re doing and choose to be there. If you believe that you have the best and brightest employees in your organization despite you, rather than because of you, sooner or later, they’ll take there skills elsewhere.

Let’s face it, nobody is perfect, but if we are to achieve peak performance, it is essential to assert ourselves in away that empowers rather than disengages. If you are willing to learn, pay attention to what matters, and be decent to others, your business may just stand the test of time.

3. Be Efficient and Effective

Have you spent a lot of time pondering how you will get it all done? Focusing on not wasting a moment is essential to maximizing time and personal efficiency. Maintaining the belief that you need to have huge blocks of uninterrupted time to get anything done often becomes an excuse to avoid work, because those blocks of time don’t actually exist. If you learn to master completing tasks in small chucks of time, when you do have a full hour free, you will be pleasantly surprised to see how much you can do with more time.

Above all else, work to simplify your life, and do so in a way that enables you to spend more time doing the things that are most important to you and less time doing things that are not. A great leader is someone who is effective, positive, in control, generally content, and even-keeled; when overwhelmed, you probably don’t exemplify any of these things. Simplifying your life will not only make you a happier person, it will significantly increase your success as a leader.


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Jason Dukes

Jason Dukes is a business success coach and Founder and CEO of Captain’s Chair Coaching (http://captains-chair.com). He is also the creator of the audio series “Give Your Gift to the World—Tools to Live Your Better-than-Ideal Life” available on Amazon.com. He is a frequent contributor to American Business Journals Media Group publications as well as Forbes.com. He has also been quoted expert on career topics in Monster.com, Learnvest.com, NextAvenue.org and The Network Journal among others. As an international public speaker Jason has spoken at many conferences including the AgileIndy Conference and the We Are Bravehearts Men’s Retreat in Bermuda. He also leads a monthly networking consortium in Montclair, NJ titled, “Vision Filled North Jersey – Entrepreneurs and Visionaries” http://www.meetup.com/Visions-Fulfilled-North-Jersey/. Dukes has led teams at NASCAR, served as drag racing manager at Gateway International Raceway, and has consulted for Pirelli World Challenge. He also has served on the Passaic (New Jersey) Zoning Board, served as a public school educator and the Passaic Board of Education. Dukes is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

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