The best pieces of advice leaders received

In the course of a career you’ve probably had the good fortune of receiving a little nugget of golden insight – but, sometimes, good leadership advice can be a rare find. Insperity spoke to various leaders to gather together the best pieces of advice they had ever been given

CREDIT: This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on Insperity

Form your own opinions

“Go into every relationship, whether business or personal, with your eyes open, and be willing to see people for who they are, not who others say they are. Form your own opinions, don’t let others influence you. I truly believe this has helped me work with all different types of people.”

Seek commitment, not compliance

“Managers can achieve compliance from their employees – which is merely getting people to do what they’re supposed to do – but, when managers lead their people to truly commit to their work, they get them to do MORE because they want to, not because they have to.”

Celebrate success

“Have fun, and celebrate success.”

Ask for feedback

“Most people naturally avoid conflict, so they won’t tell you what they really think unless you ask. Once you ask, they will tell you because you took away the conflict.”

Inspire greatness

“You can demand the backs and hands of employees, but they volunteer their hearts and minds. Great leaders have the ability to tap into the latent talents and energies of people in a way that unleashes discretionary effort. In this way, organisations can move past mediocrity and towards greatness.”

Embrace discomfort

“We all have activities or situations that we avoid because we’re afraid, or feel uncomfortable. Those are the ones we need to tackle first, and with gusto. Embrace discomfort and you will triumph with confidence.”

Be yourself

“You can’t really copy anyone else’s style effectively, no matter how much you look up to him or her.”

Influence with your vision

“Leaders must have vision, creativity and the ability to influence others to follow and support them into uncharted – and often risky – territory.”

Know when change is needed

“Sometimes the only way to change people is to change the people.”

Be honest

“Be genuine in your leadership. If you have to deliver a tough message, be honest and truthful.”

Show gratitude

“Never underestimate the importance of the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Using them demonstrates a level of respect that people desire and appreciate, which can help build trust.”

Critique with sensitivity

“Be honest and candid while still maintaining your employees’ self-esteem.”

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