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1. Remember that everything stems from the top

I’ve talked a lot about how everything stems from the top when it comes to company culture. The way you act and behave in your company dictates a huge amount of how the culture will be.

Don’t like how leadership is acting? It’s on you. Talk to them. Set an example.

Want to establish a casual dress code? It starts with you.

Think the company needs to have less meetings? Once again, you need to start having less meetings.

Everyone will be looking to you to dictate the situation. Don’t forget that in your day to day around the office.

2. Learn to shut up and listen

To be a great leader is to be a great listener instead of a talker.

Think about it. When a project isn’t getting done, or somebody is unhappy, how do you move forward? Do you go into the solution right away? Absolutely not. Before you fix the problem, you need to figure out what the problem actually is. The way you win is by listening to the reasons whythings aren’t going well. Once you have assessed those, you can jump into problem solving mode. There is no direct link between realizing there is a problem and the solution. The middle takes time, and the middle is where compassion comes in to play. You apply empathy, and take the time to understand everything going on there.

3. Push your employees…by listening

The best way to push employees above their own means is to guilt them into it.

Everybody is driven by different things. We all have our own motivations, dreams, aspirations and beliefs. So first and foremost, before anything else, you need to use your ears and listen. You need to sit down with your employees and understand where they want to take their careers. What’s their ambition? What do they want to do with their life? By sitting down with people and actually listening, you’ll be able to set up your employees for success while also working to achieve the mutually benefitical goals at hand.

4. Realize that delegation is about ego

Delegation isn’t about giving away your weaknesses. It’s about being a good leader and knowing when to let go.

If you approach delegation as a vehicle through which to pass on your weaknesses, you’re not getting what it means to run a much bigger organization. You aren’t going to be able to do every little bit of every project. And you should hire with your strengths in mind, because when you do end up delegating, guess who is going to take charge? That’s right: the people you hired.

5. Eat crap once in a while

When you’re a leader, you have to be the bigger man or woman in any given situation. You swallow your pride and work to make sure the team is executing as needed. This means you need to empower those around you to do their jobs, but it also means something else: you need to be able to take the hit and eat crap once in a while. Things won’t always be easy, and at the end of the day, you’re the ones leading the charge. It all falls on you. No one likes a boss that passes the buck to an employee in a tough situation. Just take the hit and move forward.