Attributes of Influential Leaders

 Leadership, defined as the process of guiding a group of people to accomplish a shared goal, is an art. Effective leaders skillfully empower and motivate their team to achieve success. Here are 5 attributes that keen, influential leaders possess:

Humility

 It is very important for a leader to be humble and to not see themselves as better than others. With this quality, influential leaders take the time to learn and benefit from others. They can recognize the strengths of others and channel it for the greater good of the entire team. As well, humility allows great leaders to acknowledge their own faults and weaknesses. In doing so, a good leader is able to recognize opportunities for growth and improvement. Humility allows leaders to succeed because they are less likely to overshadow members of their team and they create a productive and collaborative work environment where everyone feels heard and appreciated.

 Confidence

 Another important trait in a leader is confidence. An effective leader is confident in both themselves and their team. A leader who wholeheartedly believes in themselves and their team is one that generates a motivational environment for everyone to thrive and prosper. Confidence in a leader is reflected through passion and will encourage others to feel the same way. A confident leader will accomplish their tasks well. A leader who has confidence in their team indirectly conveys to them a sense of trust and respect.

 Authenticity

 Down-to-earth leaders are often more well-respected by their peers and team. By being genuine and authentic, a leader shows that what they say, how they feel, what they believe in, and what they do are all aligned. This allows the leader to share a real and true objective with their team. A leader who is genuine with their objectives and goals also instills a sense of confidence in their team. In being authentic and true to one’s self, a leader also gains credibility.

 Courage

 Courage is also a very valuable quality in an influential leader. A great leader cannot be afraid to take informed, calculated risks. Big risks may at times produce a bigger payoff. By being a courageous leader, one is able to discover new opportunities, establish new partnerships, and invest in new ideas. Despite some risks ending in failure, being courageous also instills resilience in a leader. A courageous leader motivates their entire team to be just as courageous and be willing to share their ideas, no matter how far-fetched they may seem.

 Forgiveness

 Lastly, forgiveness is a central attribute that makes an influential leader successful. It is important for leaders to remember that they and their team are only human, which means that mistakes will be made. The path to completing a project or reaching an objective is a journey, one that could include many bumps along the way. A leader should be able to forgive others, as well as themselves. By acknowledging mistakes and channeling them to be motivators for improvement, a leader is able to create a nurturing and forward-thinking environment. A forgiving leader allows mistakes to be lessons for the future, not barriers to progress. Forgiveness also allows for the leader to strengthen their bond with their team, which will inevitably serve to benefit everyone.

 It takes time and effort to be a great and influential leader, however by embodying these five attributes, one will be better equipped for success! 

Realistic Tips to Help You Run a Business

Running a business can be tough… especially if it is your first time in the business world. Here are some realistic tips to help you succeed in your current or upcoming business ventures. 

1. BE PASSIONATE 

If you do not love what you do, it is highly unlikely that you will achieve your desired results. As an entrepreneur, you have to put in a lot of time and make sacrifices for the success of your business. So, if your business is something you are passionate about, putting in those long hours will not seem like a sacrifice anymore! 

2. SET ACHIEVABLE GOALS 

When most people start thinking about pursuing a business venture, they often imagine the big picture…the final goal. It is often something like “I’m gonna set up a business and be very successful”. However, they do not imagine the steps they need to take in order to get there. This is why you need to set achievable goals…short term goals if you want to put it that way. Start off with small goals that then lead up to your final goal…the big dream. Think of this as a giant jigsaw puzzle, your short term goals are the puzzle pieces that you need to put together to finish the puzzle. 

3. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE 

If you start a business and do know who will be consuming your product/service, then you will most likely not get any success in your venture. It is always crucial that you determine who your product/service is meant for. This will give your business a direction and lead you to success. 

4. ENCOURAGE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM 

Do not assume that your business is perfect because if you do that, you will have no room to improve. Always encourage your customers to give you feedback. That way you can get a better understanding of what your business lacks and you can work towards making your business better than before. 

5. HAVE STRONG NETWORKING SKILLS 

Having a strong social network is very crucial if you want to expand your business. Think about it….you could discover numerous opportunities just by talking to other people! Now that you are an entrepreneur, you have to remember that nobody is going to know about your business unless you tell people about it. If you talk to people and advertise your business, and if they are impressed they will likely tell others about your business too. Then those people will tell more people and then they will tell others. So yes, your business could become more recognized by a simple conversation! 

Most importantly, have faith in your dreams and never give up on your ambition!

5 Things to You Can Do Right Now to Prepare for the World of Business

If you’re a student dreaming about that white-collar business career but have no idea how to get there, you’ve come to the right place. A few years ago. I was in that exact same position, with worries about the future lingering 24/7 on my mind. But with time, I’ve collected a plethora of ways to immerse myself in business, some of which I’m sharing with you today. I hope that these tips will give you the push you’re looking for to start your journey into the corporate world.

1. Gather as much knowledge as possible

Business is a multifaceted field. So unless you’re some sort of crazy Renaissance kid, you cannot possibly learn everything about it overnight. Instead, remember that learning is about consistency. By learning something new every day, the result is like a flywheel — it takes time to get it going, but once it does, it’s unstoppable. In other words, the more you can learn about business (or any other subject) consistently, the more it gathers momentum.

Just as a heads up, there’s a caveat to keep in mind before you dive in, which is that gathering knowledge is only half of the story. There are thousands of hours of content that you could possibly absorb, so try not to jump down the rabbit hole. Rather, keep in mind that the end goal is turning your knowledge into projects in the real world.

That being said, here’re some quick links to get you started on your business journey:

For more links, check out the Resources section of our blog 😉

2. Reach out to prominent businesspeople

One problem might appear during your info-search, which is that the business advice you find isn’t tailored to your circumstances, and therefore is not as helpful to you. That’s why it’s important to engage with people who’re actually in the business world, not only to learn from a personalized perspective, but also to practice your networking skills.

Most of the time, the people you see in podcasts and videos have their emails or LinkedIn accessible, so just do some googling and reach out! Tell them a bit about your status as a student, what you love about their work, what you want to know, and close it with genuine gratitude. Not all of them will respond, but those who do would be happy to help you. After all, many businesspeople were in your position years ago, curious about the industry and reached out to professionals. Most of them would be delighted to repay the favour.

Yes, networking is absolutely terrifying. But if you never ask, the answer is always no. Turn that 100% rejection rate into 50% by simply asking. You’ll never lose out, so don’t let the opportunity fly by.

3. Learn how to make things look pretty (+ coding for bonus points)

If you want to become an entrepreneur, you need to know how to make a website grab attention, how to make apps easy to navigate, or how to make a slideshow to look appealing to investors. If you’ve got even more time to kill, learn coding, especially in regard to web development. No, you don’t have to become a computer whiz if you don’t want to — just learn enough to be able to market your business without bringing someone else in.

Here’re the best resources to guide you through the fascinating world of design. Don’t get overwhelmed by the hundreds of options within these websites — just pick something and get started.

4. Practice your public speaking

Public speaking is a complex skill that I may go into more detail about in another post. But its importance is self-explanatory so I’ll keep this short. Two main things you could do to improve your public speaking:

  1. Join a speech-related club or class (eg. Toastmasters, debate class)
  2. If the above isn’t your cup of tea, google “public speaking games” and practice a couple every day. It takes 5 minutes of your time, but makes a huge difference in the long run.

5. Join business competitions and programs

Like mentioned earlier, simply soaking up information like a sponge isn’t enough — you need to do something with your knowledge. Some perfect ways to get started are business events for students that’re low-cost and accessible:

  • DECA (obviously): Compete in business events pertaining to entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, and business administration. (https://deca.ca/)
  • FBLA: Similar to DECA, growing quickly in Canada. (https://www.fbla.ca/events)
  • Betacamp: Build a startup in 12 weeks (https://www.beta.camp/about-the-program)
  • EMGirls: Organization that hosts many entrepreneurship events and competitions annually. (https://www.emgirls.org/)
  • + Many others! Just do some digging around social media and you’ll find the competitions that you like best.

Even if you don’t win anything, you gain knowledge, writing, and speaking skills along the way. No one can take that away from you.

And that’s it!

Some simple, affordable, and efficient ways to set yourself up for a business career. If this all sounds like too much, that’s perfectly fine. Trust me, even I sometimes don’t follow my own advice, even when I should. Just remember that this is neither an exhaustive nor a definitive list of everything you should be doing. Ultimately, it’s up to you to pick and choose the activities that best suit your goals, that’ll best prepare you for the business world.