Business, Balance & Beyond Free Booklet

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Please take a few minutes to complete the form, then click the link on the next page to enjoy a free copy of the Business, Balance & Beyond booklet.


Azim Jamal

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Surprising Traits of Transformational Leaders

Successful leaders generally share a common list of traits. However once a leader starts to explore the threshold of the ordinary and becomes transformational, these skills are not enough. So lets examine some surprising traits of transformational leaders that set them apart.

  1. They get AngryThis is not the ‘average Joe’ kind of anger we are talking about. Great leaders get angry at mediocrity; at injustice; at inaction; at whatever holds them or others back. For them anger is not a negative or destructive emotion. For instance, Nelson Mandela’s anger at the injustice of discrimination formed the basis for the freedom struggle that liberated South Africa. Transformational leaders allow their anger to guide them, rouse them into action and overcome obstacles. It fuels their passion and enlivens their vision. So the next time you see yourself getting angry, let it rouse you to positive action.
  2. They are not afraid to show their Vulnerable side – They understand that nobody is perfect, including them. In fact, accepting imperfection means, accepting, there is room for improvement. It means, they genuinely care about their people enough to overcome their personal egos and accept their mistakes. Displaying vulnerability means that they are willing to learn, always. Plus by being vulnerable, they reveal their approachability and humanity. This in turn encourages others to trust them and be more open about their own gaps, to enable learning and growth.
  3. They can ‘Let Go of Control’ – Most leaders mention, ‘taking control of the situation’, as one of their key attributes. But as you move up the value chain, the unpredictability and inherent contradictions of business only become deeper. Great leaders realize that in such situations, it is not possible to retain excessive control without endangering creativity, agility and flexibility in response. So they are able to let go and actually learn to thrive in ambiguity. This trait also encourages their teams to take risks and explore new ways of doing things.

Great ideas

When you receive a brilliant idea in a conversation, seminar reading, listening to an audio tape or watching a video, stop everything you are doing.

Jump straight into implementing the idea in whatever format possible at that moment. Some ideas are grand and cannot be implemented right away. However, the planning can be done, which is a great start to any idea.

If you fail to take this action right away the chances of you implementing the idea are grossly minimized.

Great ideas come to all of us, but only those who act upon them right away benefit. The rest are left with excuses!

Go all out!

When you discover a life-changing truth, go all out to implement – ASAP! Remove yourself from everything else.

Failing to do this will mean small, unimportant things will consume your energy at the expense of the life-changing idea.

Be aware that life-changing truths or game changers come once in a few years and not everyday. Therefore, nothing short of fully capitalizing on them would be satisfactory.

Decide and act!

Decide and act are two operative words. If you are wishy-washy, unclear or cannot decide, then it will be hard to make progress.

On the other hand, if you are decisive but slow to action, you will not go too far either.

Once you have done your homework, make a decision. Then, execution is the name of the game.

If your progress is not at the level you want it to be then check whether the decision or the action is the thing holding you back. The only other road block could be a wrong decision!

You cannot win them all

You cannot win them all. In fact, it’s not good to win them all, because you will end up serving people who are not your target group and whom you cannot serve at your peak. 
You are better focusing on people who want to improve, and more importantly, whom you are most qualified to serve. This way, your performance will be at its peak, your customers will be wowed and you will increase your business. 
The first step is to identify who is your core target. Secondly, target this group in all of your marketing efforts. Third, stay focused on this group and turn down work you feel is not aligned to this target. 

Focus on the good

Whatever you focus on, grows naturally to become a larger part of your life. Everyday, there will be some wins and some loses. This is the nature of life. 
If you focus on the wins, you will invite more wins. If you focus on the loses, you will invite more losses.
When you focus on your wins, your energy will be high. If you focus on your loses, your energy will be low. 
So, focus on the good things that happen to you, strive to be sharper, and do your best in everything you do.