What makes one leader so successful while another fails miserably, despite great potential? While many factors influence business success, great leaders often have several things in common.
Successful business leaders often have a clear purpose, live their passion, persevere despite obstacles, serve others, and take risks. Below, I’ll delve into five of my favorite tips for business success.
1. Discover your purpose. Great leaders don’t just know what they’re doing and how to do it – they know why they’re doing what they do. Their work has meaning that goes beyond dollars and cents – it’s a way of life – it’s their cause, their belief, their purpose.
In the TED presentation, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, Simon Sinek says very few people – or organizations – know why they do what they do. Surprising, isn’t it? When you don’t know why you’re doing what you do, you communicate from the outside in. Inspired leaders and organizations – no matter what their size or industry – know their purpose, and thus, communicate from the inside out.
2. Live your passion. In his presentation, 8 Secrets of Success, Richard St. John says passion is the first thing that leads to success. St. John interviewed hundreds of successful people over several years to find out what made them successful and found that business success starts with following your passion.
If you’re doing something “because it pays the bills” or “it’s just a job”, you can be assured you’re not following your passion. Let your passion drive you, and the rest will fall into place.
3. Push yourself. Success in business or in any area of life doesn’t come easily – not often, at least. Don’t expect to get something for nothing – if you want to become a true business success, you’re going to have to work for it.
Pushing yourself can mean a lot of things. We all struggle with setbacks and challenges – you might have to push yourself past feelings of inadequacy or a lack of self-confidence.
Just because you’re living your passion doesn’t mean growth stops – push yourself to become a master of your work. Be persistent – push past failures, shatter self-doubts, and continually seek ways to grow your knowledge.
As St. John amusingly suggests, be a “workafrolic” – not a workaholic – work hard, but have fun working!
4. Serve others. No list of business success tips would be complete without this one – actually, an entire post could be written on the importance of serving others. In a sense, the foundation of business success is about successfully serving others.
When kids tell St. John they want to become millionaires, he responds by telling them they have to serve others something of value to get rich.
Authentic leaders don’t center on just getting rich – they embrace the entire concept of serving others. Serving others isn’t just about delivering a great product or service – it’s about being a good listener, taking time out to connect with others, and practicing empathy. Essentially, put people, not profits, first.
5. Be a risk-taker. Roselinde Torres, in her What it Takes to Be a Great Leader presentation on TED, says great leaders dare to be different – they don’t just babble on about taking risks – they actually take that leap of faith. “Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past?” Torres asks.
We’ve all heard phrases like “that’s the way it’s always been done” or “why reinvent the wheel?” – if you want to be an effective leader, you must challenge the status quo. Even if an approach has made you successful in the past, you absolutely cannot become complacent.
Prepare to withstand naysayers who tell you your idea isn’t worthwhile, that it wouldn’t work, or that it’s just plain inconceivable. Your ability to think outside of the box and to confidently defy those who tell you “you can’t” will differentiate you in a crowded marketplace – and others will take notice.
Colleen Slaughter, Proud Executive Coach to the UN World Food Program, the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
As an Executive Coach for Women in Leadership and Transformational Facilitator, my intention is to help leaders in positions of high influence to understand their worth at a profound level.
Supporting women leaders to truly thrive and step into their greatness, while succeeding in male-dominated industries and spaces is my native genius.
My technique and approach show you how to achieve incredible career success without compromising any part of who you are and what makes you magnificent.