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Six tips to becoming a better leader through personal development

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Personal development is the first step to becoming a better leader. While sales might be booming and employees trucking along, the business will be resting on its laurels unless you are prepared to strengthen your leadership skills.

Michael E. Gerber, author of the business staple The E-Myth Revisited has sage advice on the topic of leadership.

“If your thinking is slopping, your business will be sloppy. If you are disorganised, your business will be disorganised. If you are greedy, your employees will be greedy, giving you less and less of themselves and always asking for more.”

So, if you want the best out of your business, start looking close to home for improvement.

1. SWOT yourself

You think you know yourself, do you? Let’s put that to the test. Perform a SWOT analysis on yourself – identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Now that you know where you excel and where you may fall short, do something about it – work to your strengths, work on your weaknesses, maximise any opportunities and stay alert to those threats.

2. Take the time to review

Step back from your business – and your own work – and give an honest appraisal. Look at what went right, what went wrong and, most importantly, why.

However, don’t get too caught up in past mistakes. It is your job to steer the business, which is incredibly hard to do if you are sitting in the driver’s seat backwards.

3. Research and read

As Dr David Noebel, former American congressman, says, “If you want to be a leader, you’ve got to be a reader”. Read thoroughly, both business-related texts and otherwise, and you’ll build up a substantial base of knowledge to draw from – and learn from the mistakes of others along the way.

4. Learn to love self-discipline

The one thing successful people all have in common – other than success – is self-discipline. Focus on what you want to achieve, set goals and stick to them. The good news is the more you practice self-discipline, the easier it will be to stick to your guns.

5. Listen and learn

While you may be the business’ head honcho, it is important to relate to your employees. By learning to listen to others, you will not only foster strong business relationships, but you’ll find business strategy and activity will benefit from the collaboration.

6. Learning the negotiation ropes

Learning to effectively negotiate is an important aspect of leadership – if you have a vision, you will need to convince others to work wholeheartedly towards the same goals. What’s more, with strong negotiation skills, you will be able to gain more from relations with suppliers and customers.

While rapid improvements in personal development may not happen immediately, investing time and energy into self-improvement is an incredibly valuable exercise. If business betterment is one of your life goals, it is essential to become the best leader possible through personal development.

So, if you’re looking to work on your business rather than being stuck in it, book in for a complimentary business assessment today with Switzer Business Coaching

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Tuesday, August 17, 2010

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