5 Skills Great Leaders Master to Build Trust and Inspire Action

Before we get into the nitty gritty, I’d like to emphasize the word “skills” in this blog post. I wanted to shy away from using the words “traits” or “characteristics” because skill more accurately describes the ability to be a great leader. It can be learned, it can be practiced, and it can be mastered! A leader is not someone who is naturally the loudest or bossiest of the bunch, as it may be intuitive to think. Here are 5 of the most important skills I believe it takes to be an effective leader:

  1. Passion and enthusiasm. This might not sound like a skill at first, but anyone who needs to motivate a group of people will quickly learn that it must be practiced! In order to get others up and moving, you have to be excited about an idea yourself. The best way to do this is to first and foremost, promote ideas you are truly passionate about. In these cases, your authenticity will shine through. However, sometimes you may have to get people on board with an important task or project that you are not as passionate about – in these cases, be honest and enthusiastic about why the project is so important. Showing enthusiasm isn’t faking it – it’s having a contagious energy and positivity that will help other to do the same.
  2. Listening: an open-door policy. As an active CEO running multi-million-dollar international companies, one of my success mantras has been my “open-door policy” with my teams. This means that any one on our teams, whether it was a sales representative, accounting associate, or warehouse staff member – was welcome to talk with me about issues in their department or with the company at any time. It may have been easier to follow the status quo and have a hierarchical management system. However, let me tell you that just being able to listen and show care in this way was so much more effective in building an environment of trust and cooperation.
  3. Following through on your word. There’s nothing worse than having a friend or associate who does not take action after making a promise, much less a leader. This skill is simple, and yet it goes a long way. Keeping your promises as a leader demonstrates stability, organization, and confidence. Stability is important because when you set a standard for following through on your word, people can count on you to do the same in the future. Organization means that when you have an idea you are excited about – it’s not an empty promise. You will work through all the logistics it takes to make it happen. Finally, confidence is so important especially in times of hardship. Your team members will look to you for guidance and support when the future is uncertain. Make it a habit now to follow through on your word with anyone you interact with in order to master this skill.
  4. Get good at puzzles: fitting your ideas in with those of your team. The best part about working in a team is being able to listen to everyone’s ideas and collaborate to make something truly amazing come out of it. Your job as a leader is to moderate this process and dictate the final result that comes out of it. Weigh other’s ideas just as heavily as your own, and give them leeway to change and adapt your own original ideas. Solving these types of puzzles is a big responsibility, but it all comes with practice and time!
  5. The Golden Rule. Finally, in all that we do as friends, family members, co-workers, and leaders – we should always treat others with respect and dignity, as we would expect for ourselves. Sometimes it may be easy to get caught up in the “power trip” that we forget our team members and employees are people too! They deserve our utmost respect and care. Leading by example is the best way to set this standard for anyone you are working with.

 

I hope these five skills demonstrate to you that a leader is more than just someone who is loud, outgoing, or bossy. Being a true leader requires being able to take initiative, inspire your team, collaborate, and develop trusting and meaningful relationships. Wherever you are on your journey as an entrepreneur or just as a team-player in general, I hope you find these suggestions helpful for you! If you are a CEO or business owner who would like to talk more with me about quality leadership, I’d love to chat with you. Please feel free to schedule a free Discovery Call with me today. As always, thank you so much for reading!

Blessings and Cheers,

Joni Young

My Secret to Happiness

Many people ask me: “Wow Joni, you always seem so happy – what’s your secret?” Well today I am going to reveal to you all what that secret is: Happiness is a state of mind. It’s not a feeling, something that is completely controlled by our ever-changing environment, but a purposeful way of thinking. Don’t get me wrong, it took me many years to master the art of being happy! It took years of practice, determination, and reshaping my thinking habits. Here are just a few tricks that helped me, and I hope they will help you during your journey as well.

  1. For every negative thought, have 3 positive thoughts to counterbalance it. This has been one of my most helpful practices in positive thinking and not letting a stressful environment get to me. We may think those small negative thoughts in the back of our minds seem harmless, but if we let them build up they will actually affect the outcome of our future! Isn’t that crazy? I don’t want my future to be dictated by my own fears and negativity, do you? By thinking of 3 positive thoughts for every negative one, I stay happy and calm knowing that I am in control of my own thoughts and my own future.
  2. Make your health your first priority. We should never sacrifice our health for our work. Whether it is physical, mental, or emotional- make sure you are putting your wellbeing first! My own health was put to the test in 2008 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  After a mastectomy, many follow up surgeries, and chemotherapy treatments, I gained a new profound sense of appreciation for my own body. This experience heightened my awareness of what’s really important to me and drastically changed my life perspectives. You only have one body and one life to live. For me, my life’s purpose centers around my family and global philanthropy. In order for me to fulfill this purpose, I need to be physically well. When you put your health first in your everyday life, you feel confident and happy knowing that you are doing it for the sake of what really matters to you.
  3. Believe the impossible is possible. Actually, let me rephrase that – you need to know the impossible is possible. There are so many times when I could have let the negativity of others creep into my mind and affect my actions – if I had I would be in a very different place today. An important aspect of being happy is feeling confident in what you believe and who you are, whether others will support you or not. This doesn’t mean being stubborn or close-minded about taking advice from others, but it means not letting fear or negativity stop you from reaching your goals.
  4. Make time for activities that you enjoy. This may sound like an obvious one, but you would be surprised how many people I have talked to who tell me they are feeling stressed and unhappy – and just are not making time for their own relaxation and hobbies! We all lead busy and crazy lives, but try to take 30 minutes a day to do some leisurely reading, running, hiking, cooking, underwater basket-weaving- whatever you find therapeutic and relaxing. For me, this means reading, walking my dog, and spending time with my family. Just this small amount of time set aside for yourself can make an enormous difference in your mental health.  I don’t know about you, but my brain is the key to keeping my business running, so I just tell myself that taking care of my brain is the same thing as taking care of my business!

I hope you find these tips helpful for you in your journey to finding happiness and balance in your life. If there is anything you take away from this post, just remember to keep life as simple as you can, always be rethinking your priorities, and practice positive thinking. If you are a CEO or business owner who feels overwhelmed or stuck, I’d love to chat with you.  Click on this link to schedule a call with me today: Discovery Call. As always, thank you so much for reading!

 

Blessings and Cheers,

Joni Young

Purposeful Prosperity: 4 Steps to Living the Life of Your Dreams

If this is your first time visiting my site or you haven’t met me before, you might be a little confused as to what I mean by “Purposeful Prosperity”. These two seemingly ambiguous words actually have so much more meaning that you would imagine. So what exactly is Purpose Prosperity and how do you achieve it?

The official definition of Prosperity is “a successful, flourishing, or thriving condition, especially in financial respects”. It can also be synonymous for “good fortune”. While I agree that having financial freedom is one of the key aspects of living a fulfilling and happy life, Purposeful Prosperity is what I call the road you take to get there. Purposeful Prosperity is doing what you love- your passion and what you find meaning in- and working hard at it everyday in order to live a life of financial freedom. Does it sound too good to be true? Well I’m here to tell you that this life is totally achievable if you are willing to take the following steps.

  1. Believe in your abilities and talents. Cliché right? Well, bear with me and take a moment to think about what this really means. Think about your passion and what gets you excited – do you think you could take that talent and make a successful, flourishing business out of it? Believe me, insecurity is something everyone (including myself) struggles with everyday – but answering “Yes” to this question with confidence and clarity is the first step to living the life of your dreams! It’s also the most important step.
  2. Draw out a detailed plan. Much like building a skyscraper, building a business requires a detailed blueprint – after all, would you want to step into a skyscraper that wasn’t carefully built? In order to turn your dreams into reality, you need a concrete plan on how to get there. It’s always been in my nature to have a Plan A and a Plan B (and if that doesn’t work- I always have a Plan C in my back pocket). I can proudly say that this habit has gotten me to where I am today. Creating a plan also helps you build the confidence you need to accomplish step three (the scariest step of all).
  3. Take a leap of faith. If you aren’t living the life of your dreams right now, it’s time to make a change! Once your plan has been drawn out, the hardest part is going through with it. Doubts will fill your mind – Can I do this? What if this is a mistake? Will I regret my decision? Don’t panic, these thoughts are totally normal! However, what’s important is choosing to maintain a mindset of positivity. This isn’t a rash decision: you’ve planned it out! Creating the life of your dreams takes courage, and you have what it takes.
  4. Be ready for surprises. The road ahead will have many twists and turns – both wonderful and terrifying – but enjoy the ride! Be thankful for the great moments which you have worked so hard for – and for the tough ones because you will come out of them stronger and better. Always remember, the key is comparing yourself now to where you were a week, a month, a year, 10 years ago. Are you happy with the progress you’ve made? If the answer is yes, then you’re right where you want to be.

I hope this outline has given you an idea of what I mean by “Purposeful Prosperity”. It is being in control of your life, your happiness, and your financial freedom! It’s all about taking baby steps and enjoying it every step of the way. These four steps can be applied to any career path, any dream big or small. If you’d like more insight on how to apply them for your personal circumstances, please feel free to schedule a free Discovery Call with me today.

Cheers,

Joni Young