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Leadership Skills 

and Self-Improvement Tips:

Here's your roadmap to better results

Expanding your leadership skills and self-improvement habits can be a daunting task. However, with the right mindset and the right tools, anyone can become the "Rockstar" leader they want to be. 

We are funny creatures us humans. At the start of the New Year we develop resolutions and goals that we hope will see us gain success by the end of the year.

Why not think of every day as the opportunity to start the next New Year!. With that in mind, we are going to use "NEW YEAR" as ab acronym to help you focus your leadership skills and self-improvement growth throughout the year.

Network and Nurture Strong Relationships

Embrace Change

Wow Your Leadership Team

Yield - Be Focused and Flexible

Evaluate Your Performance


Reputation Review

Network and Nurture Strong Relationships

Strong work relationships are an essential part of being successful in business! Just as personal relationships require effort, so too do work relationships.

And if you're working in a corporate career, you may not be as diligent about networking as people who are running small businesses - and that could be your undoing. 

According to the Rich Habits Institute, 79% of wealthy people network five hours or more each month, compared to 15% of poor. So you can't afford not to make the time to network. 

79% of wealthy people network five hours or more each month, compared to 15% of poor

Rich Habits Institute

Leadership is about getting stuff done through others

which means you must be a rockstar at building and nurturing relationships.

Strong relationships begin with Networking

So I wonder, how much time do you spend deliberately networking? Do you have time built in to your diary each month to nurture a relationship?

when was the last time you went out of your way to build a strong relationship with someone outside your department?

When was the last time you went out of your way to network with and nurture a relationship with someone who doesn't work in your department? Someone who is on a much lower pay grade than you?

Nurturing relationships is about building up goodwill. And let's be clear here, don't build relationships always expecting a payback from. If you go into it with a "what can I get out of this" attitude, that may well explode in your face. 

Are you a Giver, Taker or Matcher?

In his book Give and Take Adam Grant talk's about three types of people - Givers, Takers and Matchers. The book is rich in research and anecdotal tales. And his conclusion is that Givers are generally the most successful.

Adam said in a interview with Wharton UPenn,

Givers when they are networking ask this question of themselves: "How can I add value to this person’s life, and what could I possibly contribute that might benefit this person?

What that typically means is they end up creating a lot of good will in the relationships that they build that often lies dormant until they may actually need it.


Nurturing strong relationships - across the entirety of your professional network - clients,  colleagues (up, down, sideways), or vendors gives you access to resources, information, and insights that help you build a successful career. 

It also helps you to build your professional reputation, so that you can get more cooperation, creativity, productivity, support, and respect from those in your field.

Once, established Nurture relationships

Once you've established relationships then it is critical to nurture them.

Make the time to catch up for coffees or lunches with people to get to know them. Don't do this just to tick a box.

you must be authentic in your desire to get to know people and support them as much as you want them to support you,

so be sincere, interested and interesting

As Adam Grant notes in his research, you must be authentic in your desire to get to know people and support them as much as you want them to support you. So be sincere, interested and interesting.

When getting together with people in your network (whether it is a client, a colleague or a direct report,) ask questions and spend time listening. Your aim is to understand people's individual goals and aspirations, where they need support, and a bit about their personal life,

And don't be shy to let them know the same about you as well.

This will help you each better understand how to work together and how best to support each other.

Avoid being a doormat or burning out

You certainly don't want to become a doormat or burnout because you are always helping others.

But you may find, that if you look out for it, there are plenty of opportunities for you to support the people in your network, that will help you to build a stronger relationship with them.

Members access the Getting To Know You resources that provide you with 15 tips that will inspire you to create stronger relationships with others. If you're interested take this quiz, on Adam Grant's website to see if you are a Giver, Taker or Matcher


Embrace Change if you want to boost your leadership skills and self-improvement

Leadership is about embracing change. It's easy to get stuck in the same routines day after day. You'll have loads of comfort zones that you probably aren't aware of, and these can be your undoing.

Because, if you want to become a rockstar leader, you must be actively seeking change. Change in yourself, your team, your work processes, your offering to the marketplace.

Think of change as an opportunity to become a better leader.

Use it to strengthen your skills and expand your knowledge. 

Learning to say yes to new challenges, opportunities, and experiences can help you to build your leadership skills and solidify your self-improvement and help you to gain greater respect and recognition. It can open doors to new opportunities and allow you to explore different paths.

Make embracing change part of your personal development plan and use it to reach your goals.

say yes to leadership skills and self-improvement commitment

Inspire Innovation and Creativity

Embracing change can help to foster creativity and innovation, which can lead to higher levels of productivity and success.

Work with your team to identify processes you can use to think creatively. To find innovative solutions so you can achieve your goals. 

For example, on of my favorite tools for fostering creativity in a team is to use the Magic Question. By getting teams to visualize the end product you can often foster a level of thinking that doesn't happen when you are thinking logically. 

the magic question also breaks down resistance and encourages team members to work together to reach their goals

This encourages team members to come up with creative solutions and fosters a level of thinking that doesn't happen when thinking logically. For some reason, the magic question also breaks down resistance and encourages team members to work together to reach their goals.

Members, you can find out more about the Magic Question in the Solutions Focused Training

Don't be a lone ranger!

Finally, it is important to remember that you are not alone when it comes to navigating change. Seek out advice and support from mentors and colleagues.

Don't be a lone ranger

You don't have to be a 'know-it-all' when it comes to embracing change. You are far better off seeking out the advice of people who've walked before you than trying to go it alone.

The research is pretty clear. When a person is vulnerable enough and courageous enough to reach out and ask for advice from their leadership team, they are more likely to be seen in a positive light, than their "I-should-figure-it-out-myself" colleagues.

At the end of the day, embracing change is essential for any leader who wants to stay ahead of the competition and make sure their business and career stays successful. 

Members - Access the ebook Managing The People Side of Change to get tips and tactics on how to help yourself and your people to willingly embrace change

WOW Your Leadership Team

Leadership teams can be an intimidating bunch.

But impressing them doesn't have to be.

Whether you're in a corporate setting, a small business or a start-up, there are plenty of ways to WOW your leadership team and put your best foot forward and make a lasting impression, without having to burn the midnight oil.

Be a Rockstar and use the 4Bs of high-performance

First and foremost, it's crucial that you use the 4Bs of high-performance to WOW your leadership team. Build Believing, Belonging, Behaving and Bottom-Line into everything you do.

When you use the 4Bs on yourself and with your team, you'll be boosting leadership skills and self-improvement habits for everyone.

Most leaders under-emphasize Believing and Belonging and this results in having a team that is less than spectacular in their performance. Often hindered by people more caught up in their own agendas, bickering and focus in all the wrong areas. 

By using the 4Bs framework you can turn this around. 

See the free training Tools To Improve Employee Performance for more on how to do this.

Be Organized

Next, stay organized and stay on top of tasks and deadlines. The last thing you want to do is to build a reputation as someone who delivers - but delivers poor quality work.

If you are constantly rushing from one deadline to the next always working in crisis mode the one thing I can guarantee ... you are not delivering excellent work. 

crisis work never delivers excellence!

This means setting up an effective system to manage your work load and work flow to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. As well as creating the time to do the deep work that enables you to deliver excellence. Members access the Time Genie training for productivity tips

Always be striving for excellence. 

Whether it is in your work, or in how you interact with others.

Being a rockstar leader means that you are always striving to be the best version of yourself.

You are always looking for ways to improve: self, team, business.

And, you are always looking for ways to deliver exceptional results. 

If you aren't doing that you aren't a Rockstar! You are a Performer, or Charmer at best. Or worse yet - a hostage.

See the free training Tools To Improve Employee Performance to uncover which quadrant you and your team are sitting.

Stay ahead of the curve

Another way to WOW your leadership team is to put in the extra effort to stay ahead of the curve by sharpening your leadership skills and self-improvement in your professional field.

senior leaders are always looking for people who are continuously developing themselves and are open to trying new things.

Make sure to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies and be open to new opportunities.

Schedule at least one hour a week in to your diary for developing your leadership skills and self-improvement. Most people don't do that - and that keeps you working as a slugger rather than a leader.

Be Passionate

C-Suite leadership teams are looking for people who are passionate. 

Great leaders are passionate about their product, their team, and the goals they set for themselves.

When you are passionate about something, it shows.

you are more likely to inspire and motivate your team if you genuinely care about the work you are doing

You set the vibe for your team

Whether you like it or not leaders set the emotional tone for their team.

So if you are dragging yourself into work grumpy, stressed, overwhelmed or poorly focused and underwhelming in your vision for the future, your team will react to your vibe.

You chose to be a leader for a reason. So what were you hoping to inspire in the people around you from your leadership? Blah or Wow?

Because how you show up on a daily basis is your and your team's destiny. And you get to choose where you are taking them.

How you start the day is critical. Do you wake up each day with deliberate intent? Do you set the tone of the day for yourself and your team before you even get out of bed?

Members access the My Career, My Choice training for more on how to set the tone of your day and why it is crucial to your personal and your team's success, along with several templates and checklists that will boost your leadership skills and self-improvement habits.

Yield - Be Focused and Flexible

Yielding involves being willing to compromise and showing humility in order to get more cooperation, creativity, productivity, support, and respect from those around you so that you can achieve your end goals. 

End goals could be anything from how to get and keep a team member onside and committed for the long-term, while you are holding them to account for poor performance. Through to how to deliver a major project on time, on budget, and with WOW. 

being able to yield to others in order to reach a common goal, without being sidetracked,  is an essential part of successful leadership

To do this successfully requires a unique blend of focus and flexibility.

Be Focused On A Clear End Goal

Being focused means having a clear and well-defined vision for the future. It means staying on track and remaining committed to the bigger picture.

But it can also lead to tunnel vision. If you remain too rigid and stuck in your ways, you can easily become out of touch and unable to lead effectively.

Be careful of the rut you put yourself in ... you may end up there for 30 years!

While Remaining Agile and Open To New Ideas

Flexibility on the other hand allows you to remain agile and open to new ideas and opportunities, which is a must in today's ever-evolving business world. But can also lead to distraction.

The key is to be focused but also open-minded. You need to be able to hone in on your ultimate goal and stay committed to it, while also being open to new ideas, alternative viewpoints, and opportunities.

Rockstar Leaders in the making, have the ability to make use of their Reticular Activating System (RAS) to become adept at letting in the information you need, and filtering out the unimportant. Members, discover more about the RAS in the Potential Into Reality training.

Finally, practice being mindful and present. 

Being mindful and present (which is part of being self-aware) will help you stay focused on your end-goals and also be open to new ideas, perspectives or challenges.

When you're focused and present, you're able to make decisions quickly and accurately.

Being focused and present also builds your self-awareness. Which enables your ability to stop any of your self-sabotaging behaviors in their tracks. 

self-awareness helps you put the brakes on your self-sabotaging behaviors - but only

95% of people think they are self-aware, but only 10-15% people are

(so you likely need to do some work in this arena!)

Members, access the Performing Under Pressure training for more on self-awareness and limiting your self-sabotaging behaviors.

And if you want to take it to another level, then join the 30-day Feeling Fiery, Thinking Cool Challenge, where you'll discover how to hold people who are under-performing to account in a way that inspires them to deliver better next time. 

In this training you'll discover how to use a blend of your self-awareness, focus and flexibility skills, to become a leader who stops people from becoming resentful and angry toward when you've held them to account.

Instead you'll effectively lead your team members and stay on track to delivering the outcomes you want.

Evaluate Your Performance

Wait for your annual performance appraisal to get an evaluation of your performance?

Ouch that's a problem. Because this keeps you in the average pack. It certainly doesn't set you apart as a Rockstar leader. 

your performance appraisal is way too late to find out that you aren't at the top of the tree!

Because unless you have a Rockstar leader who cares for you, it is unlikely that the people around you are letting you know when your performance isn't cutting it. Sad, but true!

Highly successful rockstar leaders are adept at doing their own self-evaluation by regularly asking for feedback and advice from the people they work with and other key stakeholders.

And they also practice regular self-reflection.

Self-Reflection is an under-utilized skill

Every leader I coach, I encourage them to build a 10-15 minute buffer between meetings for self-reflection. Self-reflection is one of those leadership activities that few leaders do and yet can help to set you apart from everyone else. 

Take an honest look at your performance over the past week, month, or quarter.

Consider how well you have achieved your goals and what could have been done differently. 

What did you do, or not do that stopped the people you lead and influence from giving their best performance?

In the My Career My Choice training you can conduct your own performance appraisal using our 60+ point checklist and then use the template to create a 'business plan' for how you will succeed in the coming quarter.

But self-reflection must go hand-in-hand with input from others

But your opinion is only your opinion! So of course, you must seek out advice from others about what you could do differently to achieve better results.

Researchers from Harvard Business school have discovered that you are far better off asking for advice than feedback. When people give feedback they'll tell you what you did wrong. 

However when giving advice people are more likely to give you ideas for improvement. See this HBR article for more on advice vs feedback

ask for advice - not feedback

In the Feeling Fiery, Thinking Cool Challenge we discuss advice vs feedback in greater detail, and you get some specific guidelines for how to ask for advice so that you get the best possible input and outcome.

Remember to celebrate your successes

Finally, make sure to celebrate your successes.

Acknowledge the hard work you have put in and the progress you have made at fine-tuning your leadership skills and self-improvement habits. This will help you stay motivated and inspired to keep pushing forward, so you can achieve better results.

Evaluate leadership skills and self-improvement commitment

Evaluating personal performance is an important part of being a successful leader. With clear goals, honest reflection, and a commitment to continuous improvement, you can ensure that your performance is maximized for long-term success.


In the modern workplace, it's not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the demands of your job, or to become disconnected from the organization's mission.

But as a rockstar leader in the making, it's important to make sure that you are in alignment with the mission of the organization you work for. Because your time on this planet is limited. And you'll spend well over 1/3rd of your life at work. 

You want that time to have meaning don't you?

It's important to remember that personal mission and organizational mission are two sides of the same coin.  Both need to work together to create a successful business and a successful career.

personal and organizational missions must overlap to make for a meaningful career and life

Here are some tips to help you align your personal mission with the organizational mission.

Understand Your own Inner Compass

The first step to achieving this alignment is to understand your own mission and values.

Ask yourself:

  • What do you want to accomplish in your work? 
  • What motivates you?
  • What values and strengths do you hold that you want to express in your job?
  • What makes your life meaningful?
  • What impact do you want to have

Overlap your personal mission with the organization's mission

Once you have identified your personal mission (or as I call it, Inner Compass), now look for areas of overlap between your personal mission and the organization's mission.

This then allows you to focus on how to best use your strengths and talents to help the organization achieve its objectives. Which is the best possible outcome for both you and the company you work in. 

Ask yourself, 

  • What can I do to contribute to the organization's success? 
  • How can I use my skills and values to make an impact and help the company to meet its goals and objectives?

In the My Career My Choice training you'll create your personal mission/vision statement, along with a number of other resources, that will help you build strong leadership skills and self-improvement habits.

And in the Starting Your Ideal Leadership Role you'll get the tools you need to ensure that you have alignment between your mission and the organizations. Along with a series of templates you can use to share your insights with your team.

Reputation Review

Rockstar leaders don't become overnight successes; instead, they take deliberate steps to build a strong reputation as an excellent leader throughout their career.

It takes more than just charisma and a good attitude to become an admired leader; rather, it requires a commitment to hard work, to nurturing strong relationships, a desire to be outstanding and dedication to delivering results that matter.

How you show up every day, where you focus, the impact you have on others, the results you deliver all build your reputation.

Whether you like it or not, people judge you by your reputation and that has consequences for your life. Your reputation impacts the:

Quality of promotions you are offered
Quality of projects
Quality of people who want to get in to, or stay in your team
Your income

They are talking about you!

So what's your reputation? What do people say and think about you behind your back? Because mark my words they are talking about you!

Take the time to go and find out what your reputation is.

you might be shocked by your reputation - most people are!

Most people don't because they don't want to hear the 'truth'. And often times people are shocked that others see them through lenses that are quite different from their own. 

Seek out trusted advisors, who want to see you succeed, but also will give you the unvarnished truth. They'll be kind but forthright. It may hurt you initially, but it will be the biggest move forward you'll ever have. 

In the Feeling Fiery, Thinking Cool challenge we take a lot of time to build your reputation, so that when people talk about you, they do so in a positive way.

  • They talk about how inspiring you are.
  • They talk about how you have a reputation for delivering results.
  • They talk about what a positive impact you have on them.

It takes dedication and hard work, to build a strong reputation, as an excellent "Rockstar" leader who inspires those around them to do their best work.

But boy oh boy are the rewards are worth the effort!

With a commitment to your being at your best, growing your leadership skills and self-improvement habits, aspiring rockstar leaders can reach their full potential and become the leaders they aspire to be.

Here's to a fabulous New Year!


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