This past weekend I was speaking a conference with some amazing business owners and professionals. The vibe in the room was exceptional and the knowledge shared was so valuable new business owners were definitely leaving with information overload. As a business owner with over 20 years experience as an entrepreneur, I certainly wasn’t on information overload but I have gained some great tips and tricks to help my business too.
Now that I am taking a few days away to rejuvenate myself with some sun and fresh air, I’m also catching up on some reading. My idea of balance is to read lots of fiction to escape, but also read some business books to inspire me. This brings me to how this post started.
I’ve been reading Steven Shallenberger’s book “Becoming Your Best”. In this book he shares “12 principles you need to follow in order to reach your highest potential and drive the kind of innovation that turns good companies into industry leaders, all while living a well-balanced personal life.”
I loved the principles shared in this book. Leadership is a privilege and when you have an opportunity to be a leader it should be revered.
Here are a few of my key takeaways
1. Be Yourself
As a leader, you can be your best, and offer more value to your business or organization when you are yourself. Being yourself includes standing up for what you believe in, being true to your character and face challenges with honesty and integrity. Part of being yourself is to treat others as you would like others to treat you.
2. Add SPARK to what you do.
My presentation at the conference was entitled “Add SPARK and Grow with Vision”. SPARK is the framework I use to assist business leaders to effectively and efficiently grow business and develop a strong team. Shallenberger has a similar message. He recommends you lead with vision, create written plans that you can then execute. It is important to plan for the obvious and expected but also the unexpected and then review your results. Shallenberger says “Effective management means that you inspire and empower your team members to stand with you and help you succeed.” Integrate continuous quality improvement into everything you do to be a great leader.
3. Manage Your Most Precious Resource
Time is a precious resource and one that is often taken for granted. I love the quote by Tony Robbins, “One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”
Shallenberger suggests you think high quality and high quantity when prioritizing your time. These two foci will help you plan your day, week, month and year in a way that you get more done in less time with better results. He also suggests that ” your positive and peaceful energy and your effective use of time are two of your most precious resources.”
4. Communicate and Build Trust
Communication and trust are critical factors in business today. In my book “The Winning Way” I identified communication as one of the key attributes for good leaders. Effective communication helps improve engagement with your employees and other team members, enhances the “buy-in” to your vision and plays a significant role in building trust. The more you can interact with people in a positive and effective way, the more they come to know, like and trust you as a person and business leader.
5. Be Accountable and Persistent
Too often accountability and persistence are pushed aside. When you do so, trust is broken and results suffer. I particiulary liked the three strategies shared in the book for being more accountable: a) Control what you can control b) Develop relationship agreements c) Eliminate procrastination and follow through. A lack of follow-though has been identified as one of the key reasons businesses fail to achieve the results they envision. Persistence allows you to stay connected to people in your network, learn from set-backs and to navigate the ups and downs to really fulfill your vision!
As I came to the end of the book, I realized I am already integrating Shallenberger’s 12 principles into my life and business. My key focus and very much a work in progress is the integration of more peace and balance- hence my personal retreat this week!
So my question to you is… can you have a balanced personal life while you lead and reach your highest potential?