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Is passion and hard work enough?

28 December 2016

If the various business gurus are to be believed, all you have to do to be successful in business and in life are to find what you are passionate about, then find a way to work hard at it, and eventually you will succeed.

There is no doubt that loving what you do, and being dedicated enough to work at it earnestly, provides a tremendous boost to all of your efforts. But these two traits alone are not enough.

To create a successful business or a successful life, you need something else. You need something that will enable you to harness and direct the power of these two traits. You need leadership.

Leaders are found in nearly every field and industry, from the public to the private sector, all over the world. Regardless of their profession, leaders tend to share a certain set of qualities.

As you read over the following qualities, ask yourself the following question. Do you have what it takes to be a successful leader?

Inspiration

Some leaders find that the best way to lead is "by example" and by getting into the "proverbial trenches" with their "troops". But even when doing so, effective leaders don't do all of the work themselves. They feel secure enough to delegate tasks and ask for help, and have the ability to inspire others to give their best effort to the tasks at hand.

From time and energy, to the best ideas and talent, leaders have the ability to inspire others to "jump on the bandwagon" and give it their all. They also have the ability to motivate themselves and others to keep giving their best, even during difficult times, such as when resources are scarce.

Stay Hungry for Self-Improvement, Knowledge and Excellence

Successful leaders are never satisfied with the status quo and doing things the way they have always been done. Whether it's the way they conduct business or improving themselves by learning more about the world, true leaders maintain their hunger for constant improvement and excellence.

Pursuing additional knowledge and the connections that can help them obtain knowledge, gives leaders a deep well to draw from to spur on their creativity and innovation.

Build Relationships and Rapport

While many leaders are known for their I.Q., the most successful are known for their E.Q., their emotional intelligence. Not only does an effective leader have good people skills, such as effective listening and the ability to speak publically, they also care about their associates and clients as real people and get to know them on a personal level.

This helps them to be able to accomplish things an outsider cannot, such as being able to pair the best person with a particular task based on their skills and preferences as well as to gain insight into the issues of their clients and how they can create products and services that will best serve their needs. It also helps the leader to build natural connections and networks that increase goodwill and foster cooperation which leads to greater trust, respect, and a good reputation.

Narrow the Focus and Remain on Target

Highly successful leaders are not easily distracted. Whatever obstacles that may crop up, leaders are able to shut out distractions and delays and focus on their target goals and their vision.

Of course, it's easier to maintain your focus and keep working towards your goal when you are determined and passionate, and in this sense, these two traits can boost the results that come from your other leadership qualities.

Practice Minimalism

One way that leaders maintain their focus and inspire others is by being comfortable with eliminating everything that isn't essential to their vision and goals. They are minimalist in nature. From complicated processes to hectic schedules, good leaders are always looking for ways to simplify and cut the fat. To do so they must be very comfortable with saying no to others and even themselves.

As you read over these qualities, if you find that there are some skills that you lack, or that you need to refine, don't worry – I am here to help you! There are few natural born leaders and each of these qualities is something that you can acquire and improve upon.

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