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We Hear from Industry Leaders: What’s the Best Leadership Advice You’ve Ever Received? (Part 1)

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What’s the best leadership advice you’ve ever received? Maybe something comes to mind right away that’s guided the course of your business, your leadership strategy, or even your life. 

What’s the Best Leadership Advice You’ve Ever Received?

Recently, we asked a number of industry leaders this same question. Today, in part one of this series, we’re sharing the answers with you. 

Perseverance

“The best advice I got was from my father: “perseverance furthers.” He got that from the I Ching, an ancient book of Chinese proverbs. It is a simple, condensed way to remind me that if I want to move ahead, I must persevere through failure, hardship, and disappointment. I would give this same advice to all leaders. You will face a lot of hardship, setbacks, and failure. You must persevere through these and keep going. Your failures are more important to success than success.” — Andrew Plato, CEO / Founder Zenaciti

Empowerment

“Empowerment is critical to maintaining a successful, happy and dedicated team. One of the greatest keys to empowerment is allowing for as much autonomy as possible. Assuming you have hired the right people, this should further yield a greater work product. I always say, ‘I manage and lead the way that I parent’. There is a great deal of freedom available to you, but there is great accountability for both successes and failures.” — Alison Bernstein, Suburban Jungle Founder and President

Participative leadership

“What I can advise is to practice participative leadership. Participative leadership is also known as democratic leadership, in which all members of the organization work together to make decisions. It is a style of leadership where everyone works together for the decision-making process and addresses company issues, sometimes employing an internal vote to address problems or challenges.

 

Participative leadership works best in environments that have lower pressure and are not usually prone to quick turnarounds and need-it-yesterday projects. Additionally, creative environments can benefit from a participative leader, where a group approach to brainstorming can create unique opportunities for problem-solving.” — Alex Shute, founder https://faithgiant.com/ 

Lead by example

“I am a business owner who follows the golden rule of being the best possible person and showing everyone my positive light and energy to be a strong example of enjoyment of people and work. Whether we are working from home or physically in the office, I believe I can merge this insight into our company by being present. I am physically present and sit out on the floor with our team in the office (something I am hoping to return to in a post-pandemic climate). I also make myself present online by responding to emails quickly and answering any questions I receive from our team.” — Deborah Sweeney, CEO, MyCorporation.com

Give credit where it’s due

“The most helpful piece of leadership advice I got from a mentor I had early in my career who told me that good leaders give credit where credit is due.

 

Great leaders recognize that claiming credit for everything all of the time, even if it is deserved, can alienate people. It’s better to distribute it across your workforce because it makes people feel valued and encourages them to share their best ideas and do their best work. Great leaders place higher importance on achievement than on acclaim, especially in today’s team-dominated workplace.” — Gergo Vari,CEO, Lensa

Active listening

“The best leadership advice I have ever gotten is to learn to listen actively to your employees. Do not just listen to respond (or worse, to form your argument), listen with true consideration and an open mind. You never know what great ideas may be missed if you are just listening to explain to someone they are wrong. They’ll take that great idea somewhere else.” — Andre Kazimierski, CEO, Improovy Painters Phoenix

Women’s leadership

“Women’s leadership has never been more important as it is in 2021. The advantages of having a woman in a leadership role are beneficial to any firm. Leadership abilities can have a significant impact on a person’s career advancement. A college diploma and technical skills may only take you so far. You’ll also need soft skills, such as the ability to listen and communicate effectively, to be an effective leader and assist advance your career.

 

Don’t become too comfortable. Step outside of your comfort zone and set goals for yourself. Remember that the more you work, the more you learn. Learning more and taking on more responsibilities will eventually help you advance in your company’s leadership ranks. When that moment arises, others will be more willing to accept you as a leader because you will have built a track record of taking initiative, being a student of learning, and using what you’ve learned to make improvements.” — Susan Melony, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Product Diggers

 

Did you learn a lot in this post? Make sure to check back soon for part two of this series!

 

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