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Self Development

11 Characteristics of Powerful People You Can Cultivate

Some people seemingly are born with leadership traits. The rest of us have to work at it.

Murray Newlands

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Whether it’s a political leader, high-ranking military official or successful startup founder, there’s a common thread that ties these powerful individuals together.

While timing, hard work and passion are all prevalent, powerful people also possess the following 11 habits.

We-recommend-tickRecommended: 3 Characteristics of High-Performing Teams

1. Confidence

Powerful people are confident – which is a skill you can work on – and people are naturally drawn to confident individuals. Because they are confident, powerful people aren’t afraid to tackle risks and challenges head-on.

Additionally, confident individuals can appreciate small accomplishments, work on their communication skills, let go of the past and realise what’s most important.

2. Don’t seek fame and fortune

Do you think Pope Francis seeks out fame and fortune? Of course not, and like Pope Francis, powerful people aren’t looking to flaunt their success. Instead, they focus on what matters most to their customers, company and community.

3. Take up more space

A 2010 experiment conducted by psychologists Dana Carney and Amy Cuddy found that subjects who stayed in a position that took up more space for longer than one minute actually felt more powerful.

This was caused by a biochemical reaction that increased testosterone and decreased cortisol.

4. Know when to speak

Think of someone who doesn’t talk a whole lot but what they do say is useful, powerful and insightful.

Powerful individuals know when to talk and what exactly to say at the right time. Also, by not speaking that much, it decreases their chance of saying something foolish.

5. Break eye contact

You’ve probably heard that the best speakers and leaders make strong eye contact. It turns out that this isn’t exactly the case.

Based on research by psychologists Frances Chen and Julia Minson, it was found that eye contact can actually be counter-productive because it lessens persuasion. Instead of looking into someone else’s eyes, leaders should look at their audience member’s mouth.

We-recommend-tickRecommended: The 15 Characteristics of People Who Succeed at Sales

6. Aren’t afraid to endure criticism

When you’re in a position of power, some of your decisions will be unpopular. Powerful people are not afraid of the backlash. If they were they could not take charge and do what’s best for their customers, company or community.

7. They look the part

If you look at most leaders, what do they wear? Most wear professional clothes, not sneakers and hoodies (Mark Zuckerberg is one of a few exceptions). Powerful leaders set themselves apart from others by constantly dressing, speaking and acting like a distinguished professionals.

team-work8. Team players

Powerful people realise they’re part of a team with a designated role. While their role has more impact and responsibilities, they never undervalue the hard work of other team members.

9. They’re flexible

Life is unpredictable. Powerful people are able to make the right adjustments to solve the problem at hand. Being flexible doesn’t mean they’re pushovers. They just seek to handle situations.

10. Ask better questions

Tony Robbins once said “Successful people ask better questions and, as a result, they get better answers.” In fact, John Maxwell has written entire book on the subject.

Powerful people ask astute questions to determine what’s best for their customers, company and community.

We-recommend-tickRecommended: 25 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

11. Pick a hard seat and carry heavy objects

According to study published in Science, people who opted to sit in an uncomfortable chair become tougher at negotiating because the rigid sensation seems to lessen a shift in decisions. In the same study, it was also discovered that the subjects who were carrying heavier objects appeared to be more important.

Ready to take on the world? Use these tips to feel and become more powerful.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Murray Newlands is an entrepreneur, business advisor and online-marketing professional. In 2013 Murray founded TheMail.com. He is the U.S. correspondent for YourStory.com.

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Self Development

How You Can Make Failing Part Of Your Growth Strategy

Here’s how you can make failing forward part of your growth strategy.

Entrepreneur

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The concept of ‘fail forward’ basically means that it’s okay to fail as long as you learn from your mistakes. Once you shift your mindset regarding failure, it becomes an asset to your growth. What’s not to like about learning?

Here’s how you can make failing forward part of your growth strategy.

1. Take risks

If it’s okay to fail as long as you learn from it, then it’s okay to embrace the idea of taking more risks. Try new things and see if they’ll work. If they don’t, then at least you’ve tried and learnt.

Related: Flourishing Through Failure And Finding Fortune

2. Learn constantly

Failing and learning shouldn’t be one-offs or isolated incidents. They should weave together in a constant stream of learning that builds and rewards as we move forward. That way, we can improve and eventually succeed more often than we fail.

3. Search and reapply

Learn from each other’s mistakes. Marketing is a spectator sport — you can learn from watching each other’s brand activities — both the wins and losses.

4. Accept failure

This one is the hardest step. It’s not easy to fail. It’s not something we’re taught to do. It distracts us from our mission and it takes time away from being successful. Or does it? If you start failing forward daily, not only for yourself, but for your teams as well, you will create an environment where failing forward is accepted and embraced as part of a learning culture that seeks continuous improvement. That improvement includes actively learning from your individual and collective mistakes.

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Self Development

Listening To These 8 Audiobooks On Success Is A Better Use Of Your Long Commute

Commuting is mostly just unpaid work, unless you make an effort to learn something along the way.

John Boitnott

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Commutes are getting longer, and in some cities they’re up to two hours each way. I have a friend in Los Angeles who does this. He passes the time with audiobooks. Now that’s still a lot of time to be stuck in transit, but he doesn’t view it that way. He says it allows him plenty of time to feed his personal and professional goals.

I’ve spent years listening to literature in the car while commuting, but somewhere along the line I switched over to books on business and personal improvement. I mostly gravitated toward amazing people who built their success from scratch and who experienced tremendous hardship. It stands to reason that if you’re dealing with hardships like a long commute, it’s important to hear motivational words that can help you transcend the difficulties.

Here are eight audiobooks that will help grow your success, both personal and professional, on your next commute:

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Self Development

3 Questions To Guide You To Success In 2018

Most of the goals we set have some external component to it. Some component that we cannot control. Yet, we act like we can.

Erik Kruger

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3 Questions To Guide You To Success In 2018

Goal setting as a concept makes perfect sense. At the most basic level you decide on the destination and then plot the way to get there. But as with many things, we like to overcomplicate that which should be simple.

Before you know it, you end up with 2 big goals in 15 different areas of your life and 100 micro goals that will help you reach your 30 big goals.

Complicating something simple. Some of the biggest obstacles to people in reaching their goals are:

  • The overestimate the effort it will take to achieve those goals
  • They want to go from 0-100km/h in the blink of an eye
  • Life is dynamic and static goals often do not make sense
  • They get so entrenched in the day to day running of things that goals get pushed aside.

What if instead of goals, we just focused on giving our best every day?

Of course, you still want to have an indication of where you are going.

But, if you are giving your 100% every day then you can forego the micro goals for a better way of calibrating your compass… using questions.

Related: Goal Setting Guide

I suggest you ask yourself these three questions regularly:

1. What does better look like?

The question at the heart of development and incremental improvement. This question allows you some creative space in which you can imagine a better future.

  • What does better health look like?
  • What does a better business look like?
  • What does better customer service look like?
  • What does better leadership look like?

By reflecting on this question, you materialise the gap between where you are and where you could be. Now, the only thing that is left is to align your daily actions with the better future you imagined.

2. What can I control?

Borrowed from Stoicism this question highlights the power of decision in your life. Epictetus said we should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?”

Once you ask this of yourself regularly you will feel more in control of your life and more in control of your business.

Why?

Because your focus is solely on the things that you can influence. It restores the belief that you can actually impact the world around you in a meaningful way.

3. Was I impeccable with my actions today?

One inherent flaw with goal setting is that the goal setter often feels judged. As if we need more of that. In addition to the constant negative self-talk we have to endure we now have an additional source of judgement – whether we reached our goals or not.

As we discovered in question #2 We cannot control everything. Most of the goals we set have some external component to it. Some component that we cannot control. Yet, we act like we can.

So, instead of judging yourself, commit to giving your best every single day.

Related: The Tim Ferriss Approach to Setting Goals: Rig the Game so You Win


Accountability

What I love most about these questions is that they provide a built-in layer of accountability. Use them every day.

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