3 Simple Steps to Becoming a Better Leader

Written by Jay McDonald on .

Did curiosity kill the cat? Perhaps, but in business, not having curiosity is never a good thing. In fact, asking questions, probing and getting to the truth are all important aspects of effective leadership. But there’s more to the story, because great leaders have a skill set that is defined by a few basics. Here are just a few musings on business that–while simple–are often forgotten. Ask More Questions Asking questions is an activity that many of us feel is beneath our pay grade. Interestingly, smart leaders understand that they never have all the information they need and will continue to refine and build their knowledge base. Asking questions is the only way to truly understand why a process works, why something is done in a certain way and why something else is no longer needed. When we assume without asking, we tend to make more mistakes. Being thorough, being curious and asking “why” makes sense. Questions are good; don’t be afraid to ask them.  Use the 80:20 rule of listening versus talking.  You’ll be amazed at the opportunities that come from what you learn. Spend Time Wisely Time is the “Coin of your life”, so spend it wisely. As leaders, we have many choices. Some of those choices are time well spent and others are not. The key to success lies in understanding how to divide time so that no one area is in deficit, and no one area is all encompassing. Balance, not completion, is the sign of time well spent, and until we learn to manage our time more effectively, we will never have enough. You have choices. Personal and professional, time will always be in high demand. Learn to use it well and the outcomes will always be better. Keep a log of how you spend your major blocks of time. Compare that log to priorities that you set for yourself on how you want to spend your time. Positive change occurs only after real behavior modification. Network, Network, Network If I had just 10 percent of my time available to do just one thing, it would be to network. Connecting with people is by far one of the most important responsibilities and one of the most beneficial activities for everyone at every level. For every one person you connect with, there are five more waiting in the wings. Products are sold through network marketing and friends are made. It’s big business. Speak to people and don’t be afraid to ask them who they can introduce you to. LinkedIn is the perfect example of the importance of “linking” with others in your industry to learn more and to expand your relationships. Be aware of what you don’t know in business. Ask more questions, spend your time wisely and use the power of networking to market yourself and your enterprise.

Jay McDonald

With a unique breadth of knowledge earned through decades of hands- on experience, Jay is recognized as a strategic visionary whose high energy, quick wit and straight talk combined with a passion for mentoring others allows him to help executives achieve greater results and enjoy more rewarding personal lives. Connect with Jay McDonald on Google+

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