Top 20 Leadership Lessons From 25 Years In Business

Top 20 Leadership Lessons From 25 Years In Business

Over the last 25 years I have been blessed to work with thousands of incredible leaders who have helped me learn so much about leadership and life.

So, in honor of Stop the Vanilla’s birthday here are the top 20 leadership lessons I learned in 25 years of business that will help lead to successful talent planning as well as our personal lives:

1. To lead others, you first need to lead self.

Self-awareness is the first step to outstanding leadership. Team members want to follow a leader that owns their stuff and is transparent and vulnerable about it.

2. Working out is part of the workday.

Likewise, to #1, you need to take care of yourself before you can lead and take care of others.

3. Telling your story is the first step to a healthy relationship.

If you want transparency, you first must give it. Telling your life story is the foundation to building healthy relationships quickly.

4. Everyone in your company needs to understand “why” a customer will choose your company vs. your competition.

You need to Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream. Your entire team needs to understand your differentiation and how to strengthen and deliver it.

5. Strategy is an evolution, not a revolution.

Keep in constant pursuit of greater clarity of your company strategy so you can fine tune it as you learn from taking it to market.

6. Understand, own, and leverage your natural behavioral style.

Even though you did not create your style, you need to understand, own, and leverage it.

7. Understanding how to read the behavioral style of the person you are communicating with to adapt to their style is a game-changer in life.

Understanding behavioral science and how to recognize the style of others will enhance the effectiveness of your communication and each interaction. 

8. Prioritize the passions in your life.

Wrap your career around a passion in your life (Like strategy for me) that fits who you are. And then make your other passions hobbies. (Like hockey is for me.) 

9. Everyone has a Mint Chocolate Chip Strategy.

Every individual has a potential career that they would be passionate about and fits their natural wiring. You need to pursue your Mint Chocolate Chip Strategy until you discover it.

10. Interviewing without behavioral science is like driving at night without the car lights on.

Using behavioral science and customized interviewing in the hiring process enables the hiring manager to make the most informed hiring decision and make the right hire the first time.

11. Total person development is the future of talent development.

You can’t focus only on the “work person”; you need to focus on developing the total person. Companies that develop the total person have unmatched attraction and retention rates.

12. Everyone has issues, and if they tell you they don’t, that is their first issue. 

Do not be afraid or ashamed of your issues. We all have them, so share them with those who can help you work through them. An issue not shared, is an issue not resolved.

13. Accountability partnerships are critical.

Having someone you do life with that knows what your plan is for your career and life is essential to optimize your life’s success.

14. Feed the Force of each team member.

Increase the retention of your team by feeding each team member’s primary workplace motivators (Behavioral science). This means understanding what motivates each of your team members and feeding that motivator. 

15. Everyone has a responsibility to be the shepherd of the talent – at work and home.

Whether you have the title of a leader or not, you have an obligation to develop, nurture, and invest in those you are responsible for – both at work and at home.

16. Understanding emotional intelligence is a game-changer for every leader.

A team or organization’s ability to stay emotional level and overcome any challenge it faces is established by the leader/leaders.  Having high emotional intelligence makes you a more effective leader – especially through challenging times.

17. Talent planning is the future.

Talent planning proactively resolves the #1 challenge growing companies face – Talent. Having a vision is a great start but developing a talent plan makes that vision a reality.

18. How to build high-performance teams.

The foundation of a high-performance team is that every team member is passionate about their role and delivers it naturally. This is one of the reasons I wrote Stop the Vanilla in Your Career and Life.

19. Clarity is the single most important word in every person’s life.

Low clarity in any phase of your life creates stress, anxiety, and floundering. High clarity leads to peace, contentment, and success in both your professional and personal life. If you lack clarity in any phase of your life, seek it.

20. You can achieve anything in your business and your career and life with the right strategy and right talent.

In business, you achieve your vision with the right plan and the right people. In your career and life, you love what you do for a living and live the life you want by having the right plan for your natural talents.

I hope one (or more) of them inspires you to take action to enhance your professional and personal success.

Those Who Plan – Profit!