Great leaders

7 Ways to be a Great Leaders

It seems that just about anyone can be given the title of ‘leader’ these days, doesn’t it? But you know what I say about leadership being an attitude, not a title? It’s all too true. Great leaders are not just leaders because of their position, but because of their attitude. These leaders also have other things in common; they do these 7 things, and if you do them too, you can be a great leader as well:

Challenge your team to get creative

Leaders who support their teams in thinking outside the box, encouraging creativity, are great leaders.

They encourage their teams to try new solutions and ideas, while providing the support to overcome any obstacles in their way. Knowing they have someone behind them empowers teams to try different things.

Be the leader and team member you want to see

Great leaders understand that they are role models to those around them, and act accordingly.

This has a large amount of influence on staff; they almost always respect a leader that doesn’t follow the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ school of thought, and try harder to model those same behaviours.

The three most important ways to lead people are:… by example… by example… by example.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

Show your enthusiasm

Leaders who are passionate about their work spread that enthusiasm to their team. They work harder, and so does the group. They get excited about the achievements of those around them, not just their own.

Just remember that you don’t have to go overboard, or you’ll come off non-genuine and have the opposite effect.

Grab my books Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! Grab them HERE. 

Be optimistic, and share your positivity

This doesn’t mean you have to be unrealistically happy all the time, it just means that a positive attitude will help carry you and your team through the harder times. People are inspired and motivated by positivity; great leaders are optimistic even when things are tough.

Promote team involvement

Team members who are encouraged by their leaders to have a say and put forward their ideas feel respected and valued. Great leaders know that, while they make the final call, their team’s input can be invaluable.

Learn more about my Team and Leadership Workshops HERE

Recognise and reward your team

Great leaders understand the power of recognition. Teams who have their efforts recognised and rewarded feel valued; when they know their hard work is appreciated, they are happier and their performance improves.

Never stop looking for new things to try

Feedback from your team about your leadership will help you determine what’s been effective, and what can be worked on. Use the feedback to inspire you when searching for other ways to recognise and encourage your team.

These are just 7 of the ways you can be a great leader. Which of these points do you think you’re achieving, and which are you going to work on? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

About Sonia

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

Overwhelmed and Exhausted

9 Tips for Feeling Less Overwhelmed and Exhausted

No matter what our personal or professional lives involve, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted happens to each and every one of us at many points in our lives. If you ask a group of people at any given moment if they feel overworked, you’ll see plenty of hands go up. I bet yours probably would, too! So how do we work on feeling less overwhelmed and more collected? The answer lies within yourself and how you manage your time, not in anything external.

Here are my nine tips for feeling less Overwhelmed and Exhausted:

Don’t let the everyday things weigh you down and it’s okay to be imperfect!

Understand that not everything you do on a daily basis is essential to reaching your goals. Giving those things an unnecessary sense of importance will only add to how overwhelmed you feel. Remember it is okay not to do it all and be imperfect.

Cut out the unnecessary tasks that have become unquestioned habits

Doing what you’ve always done isn’t going to change anything. It’s time to start questioning why you’re doing certain things, and you’ll often find that you don’t need to be doing them – it’s simply become a force of habit.

Once you stop getting bogged down in the unnecessary, you’ll free up time and become more productive towards the things that count.

Always be ready to reorganise your priorities

Look at what you have to get done today, and what will get in the way of doing it. Choose the most necessary things to do, the things that cannot wait.

But you must also be willing to readjust your priorities (and your calendar) when an urgent task suddenly occurs. It’s great to get through your to-do list, but not if you’re neglecting the essential things as you do so.

Figure out the way you work best

Everyone has a different routine when they work. Maybe you do your best work later in the day, or even at night. Maybe you’re a morning person who works best when you start the day with some yoga and reflection.

No matter how you prefer to work, you must also understand if it’s actually benefitting you. If you’re not doing great work, it’s time to start experimenting with different work rhythms to see which is most effective for you.

Sign up to my Courageous Conversations Blogs and Newsletters to receive a FREE Leadership Action Plan HERE

Less important tasks can wait – do the essentials before any others

This doesn’t just mean for the day; you need to look at what you must prioritise for the week, the month, the future.  Ascertain which tasks are most important, so that you’re working on things that provide you with the most value.

Make sure you ‘switch off’ from time to time

I bet you’re thinking, “Wait, what?? Surely she’s not serious?” Well, I am! Our brains (and bodies) need to go on autopilot sometimes.

Some interesting research has shown that we often come up with smart solutions to our problems by reviewing them, and then letting ourselves experience a period of ‘unconscious thought’.

This essentially means letting yourself ‘zone out’; doing things that don’t require much thought, like wiping down the kitchen or folding washing. When you’re not concentrating on trying to find an answer, you’re much more likely to find it!

Establish your limits

Today’s modern technology means we’re all available 24/7 – or at least we feel like we should be. The truth is, just because we all have those little devices in our pockets that allow us to communicate whenever we want, doesn’t mean we can’t put boundaries in place. We’re allowed to be ‘unavailable’ and make time for things other than work.

Decide when you’re going to stop answering calls and emails, when you’re not going to do anything work-related, and tell people those time limits. When you manage their expectations, people usually won’t mind not receiving a response right away. In fact, they’ll likely respect you for it.

Protect yourself from burning out; set healthy boundaries and stop those overwhelmed and overworked feelings in their tracks.

Really think before saying “yes” or “no”

Saying “yes” to everyone isn’t the way to get ahead and reach your goals. All you’re doing is overworking yourself and lessening the quality of your work (and your life).

Say “no” when you need to, and you can set conditions if necessary. That goes for saying “yes” as well.

Reflect on the impact that accepting the request will have on you and your goals, then decide on your answer from there.

I go further into depth on this in my blog 7 Courageous Conversations You Need to Have, if you’d like to read more.

Minimise the chance of being disturbed

When you really need to get something done, distractions are one of the biggest things standing in your way. A great tip that I often use is putting aside time where my notifications go on silent, so that no texts, emails or calls can interrupt my work. I’m a lot more productive when I’m not stopping and starting, and that’s true for just about anyone!

These 9 Tips for Feeling Less Overwhelmed and Exhausted are easy to put into practice, and are great ways to cope with the exhaustion and overwhelm that we all feel at times. Never feel guilty for feeling overworked or fatigued, just remember that you can do something about it!

Feel free to share any other tips like the ones above(Overwhelmed and Exhausted). I love hearing from you!

Quality of Life

7 Laws for Improving Your Quality of Life

The standards you set for yourself are what make up your quality of life. Your expectations of responsibility, love, personal development, happiness and values are what guides you through life, and make it or break it. Do you want to be living the best life you can, or will you waste it by not expecting or believing in what you deserve?

To live your best life means having the courage to be kind, dream big, know you deserve the best – and expect it, too! So, how do you start to improve your life? How do you raise your standards, overcome fear, and stay motivated during the rough times?

I’ll tell you, with my 7 Laws for Improving Your Quality of Life:

Be discerning about your relationships

Nobody is ever really happy if their relationships aren’t healthy. Flying solo will only get you so far, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept every relationship in your life. Sometimes, we must cut out family, friends or other relationships, for the sake of our wellbeing. When you love yourself enough to expect better from your relationships, and surround yourself with those who support, love and respect you, you’ll see a huge improvement in your life.

It’s okay to put yourself first

You can’t unleash your full personal power if you’re neglecting yourself and your needs. Focusing on yourself isn’t selfish; it’s ensuring that you can have a high quality of life and reach your potential.

Instead of putting tasks off, whether large or small, you must put aside time to tackle them. Have high standards for your performance so that you can work hard and achieve more. The courage to stand up for yourself and dedicate energy and time to your needs and goals is so important. Without this, you’re limiting your life’s quality.

Look at what can be done, not what’s standing in the way

When you’re living a high-quality life, problems and challenges aren’t anywhere near as overwhelming. You know that there is always an answer, because your sense of personal power tells you that there’s always solutions.

This type of motivation is what leads you to greater success and allows you to not be bogged down in negativity if you fail. You can then use the experience to adapt for next time and continue improving your life.

When you believe that you deserve more, you’ll see how you can make it happen, rather than what’s stopping you.

Always work on bettering yourself

None of us will ever be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we should become complacent in our personal growth or in meeting our upgraded standards.

Reflection and monitoring of all aspects of your life is key and must be done consistently. This way you can adjust what isn’t working and make changes before you squander too much of your time. Commit to always doing better for yourself and your quality of life will grow exponentially.

I love coaching others to see the GREATNESS within – find out more HERE. Join my Courageous Conversations Blog and each week you will receive the latest and greatest in Leadership and Mindset.

Respect time – yours and others’

Be prudent with how you manage your time. A lot of your personal power comes from the way you choose to use your time. From completing your most significant tasks first, to showing respect for others’ time by being early (or on time), you are demonstrating an appreciation for time that will always work in your favour.

The way you manage your time says a great deal about your character, so think about how you are with yours and others’ time – are you showing integrity, commitment and respect? If so, then you are going to improve your life, and compel those around you to do the same.

Own it when things go wrong – or right!

Shirking responsibility for the outcomes of your actions is only bringing your life quality down and impacting those around you as well.

Have the courage to take ownership of your mistakes; after all, they are another chance to learn! Mistakes aren’t the be all and end all, so change your attitude towards negative experiences and you’ll become much more resilient and adaptable.

Leaders who demonstrate the courage to take responsibility are modelling positive behaviours for their teams as well. Humility is a trait all great leaders have and display consistently.

Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and claim the recognition you deserve, either. Take ownership of the positive as well as the negative.

The best thing you can be is kind

Being kind doesn’t mean doing everything everyone asks of you; it’s important to treat yourself with kindness too.

Being kind inspires people around you to do their best and is a type of personal power that cannot be understated. The ripple effect from just one kind act can have incredible results.

Following these principles will help you improve the quality of your life and be a great influence on the quality of others’ as well.

Is there anything you’d add to this list? What else do you do to make sure you’re living the best life possible? Let me know!

Looking at stepping up in your career or business, learn more about my Courageous Leadership Course and Program! 

Sonia’s Books – Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! Grab them HERE. 

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616

www.soniamcdonald.com.au

sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au