Struggle? I can see the askance looks. Struggling is considered to be such a negative word that it seems foolish to ask someone if they’re struggling enough.
What if I said that struggling opens up doors to opportunity?
Yes, successful people and leaders understand that business is not all rosy. Leadership and struggle go hand in hand, but we just don’t talk much about it. The problem is that we tend to think that others who seem to be leading their teams better than us, are born leaders. We say – “They have it in them.”
It’s the feeling that there exists a perfect leader that keeps us from achieving.
One thing is certain – not every entrepreneur can be a great leader. While each of us is blessed with some inherent talent, the talent each person has differs. We can tap into the talent within us and benefit from it.
What if leadership is not an inherent talent for you? No, you can’t just say “I’m not leader material,” because you can be.
Learn it! It will be easy for you to transform into a good leader if you realize that it is primarily a skill that can be learned and it can be perfected with practice.
But if it were that easy to learn leadership, everyone around you would be a leader.
Look at every step of your struggle as a form of feedback.
Struggle helps you understand the true value of achievement. It’s a learning opportunity that keeps you grounded and it makes you more receptive to all sorts of feedback, even something that others may perceive as criticism.
If you’ve noticed some entrepreneurs, they shun feedback as they look at as a hint that their ideas are not good. They forget that it’s this feedback that can lead to better opportunities.
People who have struggled to get where they want, understand the importance of feedback. They make sure that all feedback is scrutinized carefully, taken into consideration and if found worthy, incorporated in their product or service.
When J.C. Penney hired Ron Johnson who was from Apple, what happened is a great example. He used the same strategies from Apple, but they didn’t work. He just didn’t see that the companies are different and situations are different. When someone asked him to test the pricing strategy before supplying it to a thousand stores, he responded by saying that they didn’t test at Apple.
He received a lot of feedback that told him that this company is not Apple and the idea may not be as great as he seems to think. But he didn’t pay heed to the feedback, and it was a recipe for disaster.
For more tips on mindset check out my article called Selecting Yourself For Success – Develop The Entreprenurial Mindset.
“We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.” John Dewey
What are our decisions based on? Experience!
Usually when we come up with an idea, we have the tendency to fall in love with it and the first reaction is to get defensive when feedback is offered. But successful people are those that take time to reflect on their decisions. They have the capacity to see the negatives that many entrepreneurs don’t. They give importance to feedback, reflect upon it and weigh the possibilities.
One of the best qualities of a true leader is to be open and receptive to all feedback. One of the best examples of successful reinvention in leadership is Bill Gates. In Microsoft, there was a time when all software engineers reported to a more qualified software engineer. But Bill Gates realized that something like this may have worked fine in the past, but it will not work anymore. He changed his entire model.
Reflection is the best quality of a leader. If you don’t have this attitude, you can understand, absorb and make it a part of your being by practicing it consciously. Very soon, it’ll become second nature to you.
As a leader, it’s up to you to push others in your team to think outside of the box and never actually “push” for perfection. Daily challenges are met by encouraging the entire team to work towards a single goal.
Many a time you will learn that everything you need is often already within you. You just have to figure out how to unleash that talent. If you think you need to develop leadership skills, then cultivate the above mentioned habits and you will soon be in the favor of your team. Isn’t that what a leader wants?
Embrace struggle and you will achieve more than you have set out to, including the trust of your team.
Do you have any more tips on successful leadership?
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