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Becoming a better leader – part 1

23 September 2021 Myra Knoesen

In a competitive business environment, effective leadership is an essential requirement in order to achieve organisational goals, success and stability. To do this, leaders must be able to provide inspiration, motivation and clear direction to their team.

In an article written by Dave Kerpen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Likeable Local, and the New York Times bestselling author of Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business, he introduces us to ‘11 simple concepts to become a better leader.’ 

In order to outline these concepts, he mentioned that he interviewed dozens of successful business leaders in his last book, Likeable Business, to determine what made leaders so likeable and their companies so successful.

11 simple concepts

According to Kerpen, “all of the concepts are simple, and yet, perhaps in the name of revenues or the bottom line, we often lose sight of the simple things - things that not only make us human, but can actually help us become more successful.” 

Kerpen further highlights the eleven most important principles to integrate to become a better leader. The first step he mentions is: 

  1. Listening - Listening is the foundation of any good relationship. Great leaders listen to what their customers and prospects want and need, and they listen to the challenges those customers face. They listen to colleagues and are open to new ideas. They listen to shareholders, investors, and competitors.
  2. Storytelling - After listening, leaders need to tell great stories in order to sell their products, but more important, in order to sell their ideas. Storytelling is what captivates people and drives them to take action. Whether you are telling a story to one prospect over lunch, a boardroom full of people, or thousands of people through an online video - storytelling wins customers.
  3. Authenticity - Great leaders are who they say they are, and they have integrity beyond compare. Vulnerability and humility are hallmarks of the authentic leader and create a positive, attractive energy. Customers, employees, and media all want to help an authentic person to succeed. There used to be a divide between one’s public self and private self, but the social internet has blurred that line. Tomorrow's leaders are transparent about who they are online, merging their personal and professional lives together.
  4. Transparency - There is nowhere to hide anymore, and businesspeople who attempt to keep secrets will eventually be exposed. Openness and honesty lead to happier staff and customers and colleagues. More important, transparency makes it a lot easier to sleep at night - unworried about what you said to whom, a happier leader is a more productive one.
  5. Team playing - No matter how small your organisation is, you interact with others every day. Letting others shine, encouraging innovative ideas, practicing humility, and following other rules for working in teams will help you become a more likeable leader. You will need a culture of success within your organisation, one that includes out-of-the-box thinking. 

In part two, we cover the remaining principles to integrate to become a better leader.

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