12 Most Standout WaysTo Be LikeableDave KerpenFeatured image courtesy of Thomas Hawk licensed viaCreative Commons.
Being likeable will help you in your job, business, relationships, and life. I interviewed dozens of successful business leaders to determine what made them so likeable and their companies so successful. Below are the 12 most important principles to integrate into your work and life to optimize success:
1. Listening Listening is the foundation of any good business. 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. A likeable leader has a strong vision and purpose and always has stories to sell that vision.
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. Likeable 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 a happier you.
5. Team playing No matter how small your organization, you interact with others every day. Letting others shine, encouraging innovative ideas, and following other rules for working in teams will help you become a more likeable leader. You’ll need a culture of success within your organization, one that includes out-of-the-box thinking.
6. Responsiveness Today’s leaders are responsive to their customers, staff, investors, and prospects. Every stakeholder is a potential viral sparkplug, for better or for worse, and the winning leader is one who recognizes this and insists upon a culture of responsiveness. Responding shows you care and gives your customers and employees a say, allowing them to make a positive impact on your company.
7. Adaptability There has never been a faster-changing marketplace than the one we live in today. Leaders must be flexible in managing changing opportunities and challenges and nimble enough to pivot at the right moment. Stubbornness is no longer desirable. Instead, humility and the willingness to adapt mark a great leader.
8. Passion Those who love what they do don’t have to work a day in their lives. People who are able to bring passion to their business have a remarkable advantage, as that passion is contagious to customers and colleagues alike. Finding and increasing your passion will absolutely affect your bottom line.
9. Surprise and delight Most people like surprises in their day-to-day lives. Likeable leaders underpromise and overdeliver, assuring that customers and staff are surprised in a positive way. There are a plethora of ways to surprise without spending extra money. We all like to be delighted — surprise and delight create incredible word-of-mouth marketing opportunities.
10. Simplicity The world is more complex than ever before, and yet what customers often respond to best is simplicity — in design, form, and function. Taking complex projects, challenges, and ideas and distilling them to their simplest components allows customers, staff, and other stakeholders to better understand and buy into your vision. We humans all crave simplicity, and so the likeable leader must be focused and deliver simplicity.
11. Gratefulness Likeable leaders are ever grateful for the people who contribute to their opportunities and success. Being appreciative and saying thank you to mentors, customers, colleagues, and other stakeholders keeps leaders humble, appreciated, and well received. It also makes you feel great, and karma is always returned to the bottom line.
12. The Golden Rule: Above allelse, treat others as you’d like tobe treated By showing others the same courtesy you expect from them, you will gain more respect from coworkers, customers, and business partners. Holding others in high regard demonstrates your company’s likeability and motivates others to work with you. This seems so simple, as do so many of these principles — and yet many people, too concerned with making money or getting by, fail to truly adopt these key concepts. Which of these principles are most important to you — what makes you likeable?
Paul Spiegelman10 Leadership Practices to StopToday
If you want to be the best in your industry,you have to get rid of your outdatedmanagement style. You might not feel it day-to-day, but business management is in a major transition. The old days of command-and-control leadership are fading in favor of what might be better termed a trust-and-track method, in which people are not just told what to do, but why they are doing it. More formally, were moving from what was called "transactional" leadership to "transformative" leadership. And theres no turning back.
Engagement Culture Business owners certainly have a long way to go, especially in more established companies where old practices die hard. But you can see increasing evidence that by creating a company with a clear purpose and values, youll find your employees connect themselves to something bigger, and that increases productivity. In other words, a culture of engagement leads to greater customer loyalty, and better financial success. Heres my list of "old school" practices you ought to chuck, and "new school" practices to champion instead:
1. Control OUT IN Micro-management Empowerment the need to control every the ability to give your aspect of your company people some rope--even rope to make mistakes without blame.
2. Leadership style OUT IN Management by walking Leadership around the office by watching and it is no longer enough to be listening, engaging in visible. conversation, implementing the ideas presented to you, and distributing the results.
3. Breadth of knowledge OUT IN Pretending you know Knowing your leadership everything team members and trusting You dont have all the them. answers, so why try to Choose great people who make people think you do? have the right skills and fit the culture. And get out of the way.
4. Mistake OUT IN No mistakes Learning from mistakes or a "no tolerance policy" or being the first to admit an some still think works. error.
5. Drive OUT IN The balance sheet drives People drive the business the business boosting customer loyalty, and informs all other and profit. decisions.
6. Competency OUT IN Job competency is Recruit "A" players sufficient. who will go the extra mile. Do the job asked, and youll Theyre out there. survive.
7. Where to invest OUT IN Invest in technology Invest in people. to increase productivity
8. Change management OUT IN Demand change Nurture change be very specific about what your people can come up you want and when with the best ideas and you can give them credit for it.
9. Atmosphere OUT IN Fried food in the cafeteria. Wellness in the workplace.
10. Rewards and incentives OUT IN Incentives Rewards pay employees more money being valued matters more and theyll do more. than money.So ask yourself which of these out-of-datepractices youre still using. Theres no time likenow to try something new.
Jeff Haden8 Things Remarkably SuccessfulPeople DoThe most successful people inbusiness work differently. See whatthey do--and why it works.Im fortunate to know a number ofremarkably successful people. Ivedescribed howthese people sharea set of specific perspectives andbeliefs.They also share a number ofhabits:
1. They dont create back-up plans. Back-up plans can help you sleep easier at night. Back-up plans can also create an easy out when times get tough. Youll work a lot harder and a lot longer if your primary plan simply has to work because there is no other option. Total commitment--without a safety net--will spur you to work harder than you ever imagined possible. If somehow the worst does happen (and the "worst" is never as bad as you think) trust that you will find a way to rebound. As long as you keep working hard and keep learning from your mistakes, you always will.
2. They do the work... You can be good with a little effort. You can be really good with a little more effort. But you cant be great--at anything--unless you put in an incredible amount of focused effort. Scratch the surface of any person with rare skills and youll find a person who has put thousands of hours of effort into developing those skills. There are no shortcuts. There are no overnight successes. Everyone has heard about the 10,000 hours principle but no one follows it... except remarkably successful people. So start doing the work now. Time is wasting.
3. ...and they work a lot more. Forget the Sheryl Sandberg "I leave every day at 5:30" stories. Im sure she does. But shes not you. Every extremely successful entrepreneur I know (personally) works more hours than the average person--a lot more. They have long lists of things they want to get done. So they have to put in lots of time. Better yet, they want to put in lots of time. If you dont embrace a workload others would consider crazy then your goal doesnt mean that much to you--or its not particularly difficult to achieve. Either way you wont be remarkably successful.
4. They avoid the crowds. Conventional wisdom yields conventional results. Joining the crowd--no matter how trendy the crowd or "hot" the opportunity--is a recipe for mediocrity. Remarkably successful people habitually do what other people wont do. They go where others wont go because theres a lot less competition and a much greater chance for success.
5. They start at the end... Average success is often based on setting average goals. Decide what you really want: to be the best, the fastest, the cheapest, the biggest, whatever. Aim for the ultimate. Decide where you want to end up. That is your goal. Then you can work backwards and lay out every step along the way. Never start small where goals are concerned. Youll make better decisions--and find it much easier to work a lot harder- -when your ultimate goal is ultimate success.
6. ... and they dont stop there. Achieving a goal--no matter how huge--isnt the finish line for highly successful people. Achieving one huge goal just creates a launching pad for achieving another huge goal. Maybe you want to create a $100 million business; once you do you can leverage your contacts and influence to create a charitable foundation for a cause you believe in. Then your business and humanitarian success can create a platform for speaking, writing, and thought leadership. Then... The process of becoming remarkably successful in one field will give you the skills and network to be remarkably successful in many other fields. Remarkably successful people dont try to win just one race. They expect and plan to win a number of subsequent races.
7. They sell. I once asked a number of business owners and CEOs to name the one skill they felt contributed the most to their success. Each said the ability to sell. Keep in mind selling isnt manipulating, pressuring, or cajoling. Selling is explaining the logic and benefits of a decision or position. Selling is convincing other people to work with you. Selling is overcoming objections and roadblocks. Selling is the foundation of business and personal success: knowing how to negotiate, to deal with "no," to maintain confidence and self- esteem in the face of rejection, to communicate effectively with a wide range of people, to build long-term relationships... When you truly believe in your idea, or your company, or yourself then you dont need to have a huge ego or a huge personality. You dont need to "sell." You just need to communicate.
8. They are never too proud. To admit they made a mistake. To say they are sorry. To have big dreams. To admit they owe their success to others. To poke fun at themselves. To ask for help. To fail. And to try again.
Geoffrey James9 Daily Habits That Will MakeYou Happier
Be Happy These minor changes in your daily routine will make a major difference in your life and career. Happiness is the only true measure of personal success. Making other people happy is the highest expression of success, but its almost impossible to make others happy if youre not happy yourself. With that in mind, here are nine small changes that you can make to your daily routine that, if youre like most people, will immediately increase the amount of happiness in your life:
1. Start each day with expectation. If theres any big truth about life, its that it usually lives up to (or down to) your expectations. Therefore, when you rise from bed, make your first thought: "something wonderful is going to happen today." Guess what? Youre probably right.
2. Take time to plan and prioritize. The most common source of stress is the perception that youve got too much work to do. Rather than obsess about it, pick one thing that, if you get it done today, will move you closer to your highest goal and purpose in life. Then do that first.
3. Give a gift to everyone you meet. Im not talking about a formal, wrapped-up present. Your gift can be your smile, a word of thanks or encouragement, a gesture of politeness, even a friendly nod. And never pass beggars without leaving them something. Peace of mind is worth the spare change.
4. Deflect partisan conversations. Arguments about politics and religion never have a "right" answer but they definitely get people all riled up over things they cant control. When such topics surface, bow out by saying something like: "Thinking about that stuff makes my head hurt."
5. Assume people have good intentions. Since you cant read minds, you dont really know the "why" behind the "what" that people do. Imputing evil motives to other peoples weird behaviors adds extra misery to life, while assuming good intentions leaves you open to reconciliation.
6. Eat high quality food slowly. Sometimes we cant avoid scarfing something quick to keep us up and running. Even so, at least once a day try to eat something really delicious, like a small chunk of fine cheese or an imported chocolate. Focus on it; taste it; savor it.
7. Let go of your results. The big enemy of happiness is worry, which comes from focusing on events that are outside your control. Once youve taken action, theres usually nothing more you can do. Focus on the job at hand rather than some weird fantasy of what might happen.
8. Turn off "background" TV. Many households leave their TVs on as "background noise" while theyre doing other things. The entire point of broadcast TV is to make you dissatisfied with your life so that youll buy more stuff. Why subliminally program yourself to be a mindless consumer?
9. End each day with gratitude. Just before you go to bed, write down at least one wonderful thing that happened. It might be something as small as a making a child laugh or something as huge as a million dollar deal. Whatever it is, be grateful for that day because it will never come again.