by Thato Mokhothu-Ramohlanka founder of MR Consulting
It’s a new year and what better time to invest in yourself and to become a better leader in business. Here are ten ways to kickstart that process.
1. Invest in a diary and keep it at the side of your bed
If you are like most people, you will find yourself thinking about every aspect of your life in the middle of the night. This is also the time when you can get some of the best ideas. Take advantage of this and put a diary by your bedside to write notes to refer to at a later stage.
2. Review your image
How you look is as important as what you know. Sometimes the way you look can save you by compensating where you lack in knowledge. Think about the message you want to send to people about yourself or your business and dress the part. Your image also includes how you are perceived in relation to your behavior. Time management and general decorum are critical.
3. Love yourself
This might seem like an obvious one but it is not. You'd be surprised just how many people dislike themselves out there. It is not possible to lead people efficiently when you do not like the person that you are. Learn to forgive yourself for all the mistakes that you have made in your life and turn over a new leaf. Focus on all the things that make you unique and refuse the urge of dwelling on the negative aspects about yourself.
4. Keep learning
As a leader, you have to keep abreast of all the trends in your industry and all the techniques that are being used by your competitors. You need to be able to contribute to conversations with colleagues or potential customers in any environment at any given time. Take up an online course, read more or watch informative videos. Do whatever you need to do to feed your mind.
5. Find a mentor
You need an objective perspective about your abilities and potential every now and again. Find people you trust who can give you an honest opinion about your journey whenever you need it.
6. Be Confident
A confident leader is not afraid of hiring people who are smarter. They are always ready to give credit to a team member for a job well done. Don't live in fear that someone else will take your place. Yes, no one is indispensable, but do not let fear cloud your judgement and deter you from the bigger picture. Be firm in your decisions and continue to learn in order to keep your fears at bay.
7. Be Ethical
Have values and principles and stick by them. Set boundaries. Do not find yourself in questionable situations as a leader. Be clear and frank about your priorities and friendships. Be professional and refrain from crossing boundaries especially where relationships and finances are concerned. Integrity and credibility are your biggest priorities.
8. Set Measurable goals
What are your goals? What do you want in life? You would be surprised to find out that some people just live day to day without knowing what it is that they are working towards. Be ambitious and know what you want so that you are not easily derailed from your path.
9. Be mindful of your environment
Spend your time with positive people who push you to become a better person. Stay away from people and environments that leave you depressed and devoid of good energy. Go to conferences or sign up for courses that allow you to interact with positive people who are full of life.
You cannot do everything yourself. Find like-minded individuals to team up with on projects or events. Keep a few circles or be part of groups where useful information is disseminated easily. Interacting with more people will also help you to keep a balance in your life and not to take yourself too seriously all the time!
Thato Mokhothu-Ramohlanka is the founding director of MR Consulting which offers legal and management consulting services to SMMEs. She graduated with degrees in Psychology, Sociology, Marketing Management and Law from the University of Cape Town and the National University of Lesotho. Thato is a member of the Global Shapers (Maseru Hub), a global non profit organization founded by the world economic forum that seeks to uplift the youth through various educational projects. She is passionate about young people and uses her writing to uplift and motivate them through their various challenges.
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