• Jackie Capers-Brown

20 Best Practices to Leveling Up Your Leadership Success

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end of really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may no have it at the beginning.

This is one of my all time favorite Gandhi quotes. In it he sums up the power of believing in oneself. For it was surely my faith in God and faith in myself that helped me go through, get over and get up, again and again, to rise above heartbreaking adversities and daunting odds to grow my capacity, first, to lead myself and second, to develop successful leaders, with and without titles.

It is the grace of God made evident in my life when I was able to go from earning minimum wage to leading high performance teams and managing successful million dollar businesses. It is this grace that continues to inspire me with an aliveness that produces joy, hope, optimism and a passionate determination in my heart toward my work of being a developer of leaders, with and without titles.

Clear Signs of Personal Growth

I love having the opportunity to bear witness of moments when the “light bulb” turns on and the facade of limitations begin to crack and dismantle under the weight of a greater measure of faith, hope and optimism in the hearts of people. When individuals are equipped with productive guidance and effective strategies that create perspective shifts in their mind and heart about who they are, who they can become and what they are capable of achieving, they begin to grow.

They begin to lead themselves. They embrace, embody and express their authentic self. They believe they can do things that were once unimaginable. They start to trust in their ability to “be” the person capable of achieving what they NOW believe is possible in their lives. They become proactive toward establishing and  accomplishing goals that matter to them. They step into their power as a leader, with or without a title. Think about it. When are you most likely to demonstrate these types of characteristics? Whenever you do, be assured that they are signs you are growing.

Leadership Best Practices

Leadership is not about titles. Authority is about titles. Leadership is about influence. A person can have a title of authority with no real influence. Another person can have no title or position, and, yet, have great influence. Influence is always about the measure of trust that’s in a relationship.

Trust is developed over time based on the consistency of how we show up. People either believe when a leader shows up that she is “for them” or is working an agenda that’s “all about her- the leader”. Building and maintaining a foundation of trust in our relationships is a core principle to being an effective leader in our home, workplace, business and community.

So how can you go about building trust and influence as a leader in your home, workplace, business and community? The following best practices will help you navigate your way forward with success.

1. Great leaders maintain a vivid image of what is possible and their vision drives him or her.

2. Great leaders are servant leaders. They focus their effort toward equipping and empowering those within their influence with insights, guidance and strategies that help them be better humans and achieve their goals.

3. Great leaders challenge their assumptions. They test what they think and believe about themselves, people and situations with factual evidence.

4. Great leaders embrace an agile mindset and demonstrate adaptive performance. They don’t cling to a particular path when the evidence suggests that its a dead end. They are more concerned about being effective versus being right.

5. Great leaders become great communicators by becoming great listeners.

6. Great leaders model the behavior they expect to see from others.

7. Great leaders develop their emotional intelligence skills because they recognize that soft skills are essential to building positive and fulfilling relationships.

8. Great leaders develop and nurture a supportive network of people who know, like and trust them.

9. Great leaders enlist the help of others to achieve the better future they envision is possible.

10. Great leaders embrace diversity and create inclusive environments where different voices and perspectives are heard, respected and valued.

11. Great leaders recognize people’s improvement - no matter how small.

12. Great leaders develop their instincts to coach others toward their success.

13. Great leaders address the performance of those within their influence when it doesn’t match their ability. They don’t allow those they serve and love to languish in mediocrity.

14. Great leaders maintain their motivation toward their goals by remaining inspired by the better they envision.

15. Great leaders face the brutal facts of a situation while summoning the faith and optimism to rally people to see and act as if they can envision the better future.

16. Great leaders are willing to embrace temporary discomfort to achieve their biggest and boldest dreams.

17. Great leaders embrace fear as a gift. They learn how to summon the courage already in their heart to do the thing they fear. They remember to remember the moments when they decided to rise up and conquer a fear. They use these experiences as references for who they are at their best in the face of fear.

18. Great leaders nurture an unwavering belief in their ability to overcome challenges.

19. Great leaders develop their capacity to maintain an internal conviction that they are the “one” to make the better future they envision possible.

20. Great leaders are self-aware. They develop a regular practice of self-reflection and self-assessment to maintain an awareness of what works and what doesn’t work for them. This helps them to create a personal best practice list which they can refer to, such as this one.

Regardless of your circumstances or position - if you begin to execute the leadership best practices outlined in this article, you will grow to “be” that person capable of leveling up your life, career, leadership and business.

The best practices in this article helped me to defy impossible and succeed in the face of daunting odds when I began my personal march toward leveling up my life years ago as a minimum wage employee with Marriott Hotels. I believe and know they can help you do the same.

These leadership best practices can help you build and maintain productive and supportive relationships. Most important, they have within them the power to create the perspective shifts necessary to elevate your way of BE-ing, living and leadership in a profound way.  

I’d like to hear your thoughts. Which of the practices in this article have you used to improve your effectiveness as a leader? Which would you begin to put into practice? Leave your comments below.

Thank you for reading this article. If it has contributed value to you, please share it with your network.

Slay Your Greatness,


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