Amber Olson Rourke is the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer for Nerium International — an award-winning skincare and wellness solutions company with headquarters in Addison, Texas. Amber is responsible for Nerium’s branding, creative services, communications, public relations, events, digital marketing and social media. Learn more about Amber by viewing her monthly #realchats Facebook LIVE events and her #realchats thought leadership blog.
Learning to Love to Lead
These days, most articles about leadership share one frequently asked question: are leaders born or are they made? Personally, I think that leadership is an action, a habit, and a skill that is developed through persistent practice. Leadership can thus be cultivated. This means YOU can learn to be an effective leader who inspires, motivates, and encourages results.
As a young entrepreneur and executive, I’ve learned several valuable lessons throughout my career. My professional experience has certainly provided a foundation on which to build and grow leadership skills. You see, being a leader doesn’t always come naturally. Like many things in life, I have to work for it! Let’s chat about the five traits you’ll need to not only be a good leader but a great leader. Do these five things and you’ll be one your way to achieving legendary leader status.
- Massive Belief: CEO and Founder of Nerium International Jeff Olson always tells us, “know where you’re going and know how you’re going to get there!” Massive belief is essential. Additionally, you must also know how to communicate and convert your vision, especially when faced with criticism and negativity. Effectively communicate your vision to inspire action. That’s how you convert your vision! Influential leaders including Steve Jobs and J.K. Rowling didn’t let others’ inability to see their vision deter their professional missions. Instead they persisted and, as they say, the rest is history!
- Take Decisive Action: What are you waiting for? Here’s a valuable lesson I’ve learned early on in my career – stop waiting to be asked to lead. Instead, seize the opportunity when you see a need and step up to meet the demand. Take action, be decisive, and accept that you can course correct as you go as long as you keep up the momentum. We’re all human and mistakes happen. The important thing is to keep moving forward and learn from the past – just don’t dwell on it.
- Practice What You Preach: American military officer, politician, and statesman Lewis Cass (1782 – 1866) said, “people might doubt what you say, but they believe what you do.” As a leader, aligning actions and words are super important. The truth is that you can’t seriously ask or tell others to do something if you’re not willing to do it yourself, right? Again, people might not believe what you say but they always believe what you do. That’s why you must lead by example. When in doubt, ask yourself this: am I willing to do what I ask others to do? If the answer is “yes” you’re one step closer to achieving legendary leader status.
- Learn to Manage Emotions: One of your most important tasks as an effective leader is to redirect focus back to the bigger picture! What do I mean? Losing your cool isn’t very productive. After all, leaders act on logic and not on emotion. My suggestion to you is to have a system in place for managing your own emotions. That could mean meditation for 15-20 minutes a day, doing yoga, going for a run, or writing in a journal – it’s entirely up to you. Managing the emotions of your team can be equally challenging. When you’re dealing with that one person on your team that keeps bringing negativity or emotion into every situation, it’s your job as a leader to redirect his or her focus back to what you’re trying to accomplish as a team. You’ll never be able to make everyone happy. So, run with your runners (those who believe in your vision) and the rest will either keep up or move on!
- Drive continuous Improvement: Make development key. This means never stop learning and growing! Leadership is not a one-time deal. It’s a skill that must be developed and adjusted depending on your situation or who you are dealing with. Providing honest feedback is the most productive thing you can do for employees and a great opportunity to learn from mistakes, celebrate accomplishments, and cultivate those characteristics that will help you and your team succeed in life.
From my experience, I can honestly say that performing these five actions will help you become a better leader – one that leads with both love and decisiveness. Now it’s your turn! What unique quality as a potential future legendary leader can you bring to the table? Share your thoughts!
Follow me on social media: @AOlsonRourke