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Tips for aspiring leaders

Ambitious people set personal and business goals and review them often.

So, if you are aiming for the top, you have to dream big and visualize your success, actively work towards making it happen, and hold yourself accountable to your aspirations and objectives all the way.

If you are an employer, take care of your employees and they will take care of your business, which, as a result, will take care of your bottom line.

But always remember to keep an open mind, asking questions, and carefully considering the answers.

This means that if you are aiming for the top, you should never stop taking input from others. Pre-judgment and assumptions will only hamper your progress and alienate you from others. Also, you should find a mentor, this could be an individual or an advisory peer group.

Mentorship and coaching can only add value to you and your work.

But this will only work if you know yourself as this helps you appreciate and understand your strengths and vulnerabilities. Take advantage of your strengths and build capacity and/or coping mechanisms in your vulnerable areas.

The journey to the top requires that you always opt for a win-win in any situation.

This is so because collaboration over competition is always best, the other party does not have to be down for you to be up. All parties can be up, it is possible.

Keep in mind that a good leader is one who shows appreciation.

This can be done through words of encouragement for a job well done to your subordinates or team members. It costs nothing, yet the return on investment is invaluable.

Once your team is giving their all, you can concentrate on keeping your pulse on what is going on in your industry.

An awareness of business and cultural trends not only keeps you fully aware but can also help spark innovation.

Further, you need to surround yourself with people who have skills, talents, and styles different from yours.

Resist the temptation to always feel threatened by the talent and always consider the big picture first, then the details.

Also, do not take work that does not resonate with your values and core beliefs just for the money.

It is never worth it. Practice the art of mindfulness. In today’s highly plugged-in culture, it is important than ever to seek moments of stillness and introspection, it helps create and maintain a strong sense of balance.

Continually improve yourself personally, academically, spiritually, and professionally.

Make the time for such developments, they help you grow.

Your most challenging relationships — be they, clients, employees, friends or family — are an opportunity and invitation for personal growth.

Trust your intuition, that inner voice that always whispers to you, or the sixth sense that nudges you one way or another.

An accurate sixth sense only comes when you are exposed to a variety of ideas.

This is where networking comes in.

You can never underestimate the power of being connected and plugged to others.

Finally, take responsibility no matter what is happening. Do not deflect or pass the buck or play the victim, always do your best work and stand by it, you never know who is watching.

Maggie Mzumara is leadership, communication and media strategist as well as corporate trainer. She advocates women leadership and is founder of Success in Stilettos (SiS) Seminar Series, a leadership development platform for women. Contact her on [email protected] or follow on Twitter @magsmzumara

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