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Improve Self: How to Be a Better Leader 

This year, you want to be a better person. You want to take everything that is “you” and give it a makeover. You Top 10 New Years Resolutions (1)want to be more kind, more generous, more knowledgeable, more influential. You want to be the kind of person that people look up to. In short, you want to improve yourself and be a better leader for your family, your co-workers or employees, and your community.

So, how do we do that?

How do we take the “self” and make it better?

The Get Movin’ Crew has faced similar questions from a company perspective. How can we do better in 2015? How can we increase the average profit kept by our clients from 95% to 98%? How can we be better leaders for our clients and continue to set a great example for PTO groups?

We’ve learned that the best way to answer these questions and reach the goals for improvement is by learning from those who have been in your shoes and come out on top. 

Want to be a better leader? Read up on the wealth of information and stories out there of real people who have done just that. We know that the only real way to see change is to jump right in and start making it, but, first, it’s good to know the pitfalls and challenges from those who’ve taken similar paths to self-improvement, especially as leaders. 

That’s why we have compiled some of our favorite articles and stories from leaders, ranging from stay-at-home moms to business owners, who have some great wisdom to share and lessons to be learned for those of us looking to improve ourselves in this brand new year!

Setting a Good Example: Leadership at Home

Being a great parent often means being a quality leader.

Your kids and family watch what you do and follow your example. So improving yourself could mean making some super mom!changes at home, paying more attention to your role as “mom” or “dad,” and rethinking your position in the household as less of a maid, breadwinner, etc. and more as a leader.

1. Leadership & Parenting: The Same Skill Set by Virginia O'Brien

If you’re a good leader at work, then your skills will overlap at home and vice versa. That’s the nugget of wisdom offered by leadership coach Ginny O’Brien in this article on the overlapping skill set of parenting and leadership. Motivating, seeing the big picture, communicating clearly, these (& more) are all skills that will not only help your work but will also transform the way you run your household. Check out the full article for further details and “coaching questions.”

2. Leadership Insights from a Special Needs Parent by David Lancefield

This is a really interesting read by David Lancefield, businessman by day father of Sachin, who suffers from brain damage & epilepsy, by night. He shares that parenting a special needs child creates leaders who are more empathetic and compassionate, more willing to connect with others on a personal level. We think all parents can relate to these traits and that learning to take the care we have for our kids into the world outside our homes is part of what makes a great leader. 

3. 4 Hard Lessons On Leadership And Parenting by Heather Boggini & Kelly Fitzsimmons

A pretty straightforward article by Boggini & Fitzsimmons, both mothers and business leaders. These 4 lessons will hit home for most of us & challenge us to choose what's right for our families over what's easy or simple.

If you don't holding handshave time to read the article, at least jot down these 4 lessons:

  • Authentic Leadership, Authentic Parenting: Show your own vulnerability
  • Take the first step in leading & parenting
  • Take the right path, not the easy path
  • Leaders cannot be victims, neither can parents

4. Leadership Parenting by Jill Savage

Author of No More Perfect Moms and No More Perfect Kids, Jill Savage, has gifted us with this lovely little article on how to be a leader as a parent. Let's stop pushing our kids from behind and start leading them by the hand. Great stuff here, worth your 2 minutes for the read. 

5. Wise Advice From Leader Moms by Julie Pierce

Another first-hand account of what it means to be both a leader & a mother. Pierce fills the short but sweet article with words of wisdom to remind us that parenting is both a privilege and a challenge. Which is really true about any leadership position! Lucky for all the parents out there, your little troops may throw a tantrum every now and again but you'll usually get a hug & a kiss when all is said and done. 

Putting it to the Test: Leadership Advice for the Workplace 

We commonly think of leadership in the form of titles: CEO, Manager, Supervisor, etc. However, being a great leader is possible for everyone, no matter what your nametag says. These articles hold some quality advice and entertaining anecdotes that will help you improve yourself as a leader in the workplace. 

1. How Leaders Make It Right When They Blow It by Michael Hyatt

Hyatt's post offers a great perspective on what top-notch leaders do when things don't go as planned. Whether it's a failed projects, a missed deadline or a broken relationship, Hyatt offers 5 tips on how to make it right. As the go-to guy for learning how to be an "intentional leader" in the workplace, Hyatt knows what he's talking about. We recommend learning from the pros and he is definitely one of them. 

2. 5 Questions for Leaders Who Would Rather Be Effective Than Right by Scott Eblin

Eblin gets right to the point when he writes, "If you’re more interested in being effective than in being right, quit explaining and start listening." So often we are distracted by wanting to be right, that we end up being blinded Gordon Quoteleaders in the workplace who do not see the truth that is right in front of us. To get the blinders off, start by answering Eblin's 5 questions. 

3. Working for a Bigger Purpose by Jon Gordon

An important message told through some simple examples of people who understand that purpose is much, much bigger than a job title. Gordon tells us that we can live out a deep, meaningful purpose right where we are, with the people around the resources and us at our disposal. No need to join the Peace Corps, a bigger purpose is just waiting to be unlocked right where you are. 

4. Become a Bigger You by Chris Brogan 

This blog post is written in typical, to the point, no-holding-back Brogan style. Basically, he wants you to become a bigger you by upping the confidence and being self-assured that you are, in fact, a good leader. Sometimes believing it needs to precedes action (although the two should really never be divorced). 

5. 4 Questions Every Leader Needs to Answer by Mark Sanborn

This is an article that comes with a challenge in the form of 4 questions that are vital to understanding yourself as a leader. Sanborn calls us to get below the surface and dig deep to figure out why it is we lead, what kind of leaders we are, who we consider good leaders and, most importantly, how we will continuously improve ourselves. 

6. The Surprising Path to Authentic Impact by Dan Rockwell

This little gem holds one of our favorite tips about leadership: be vulnerable. It seems to go against what we consider strong leadership, but showing humility and vulnerability is the path to truly impacting our co-workers, employees, clients and partners. 

Taking it to the Streets: Inspiration for Community Leadership

Being a leader in your community can come in many forms. Whether you are a member of the PTO, a sport’s coach, part of a community-wide committee, or even an influential business owner, making a difference in your local neighborhoods requires some quality leadership skills. follow the leader

1. Are you Ready to Lead? By Craig Bystrynski

Here's a secret that's really not so secret: We LOVE PTO Today. And this article from their online blog is no exception. While specifically geared toward PTO/PTA leaders, this piece is full of advice on how to be an effective leader in any situation. If you’re a client of ours, we really recommend this read!

2. 5 Essential Leadership Qualities for Parents, Players and Coaches by Bret Johnson

One of the greatest arenas in which to learn leadership skills is in sports. Coaches, players, parents, even the spectators get to experience both good and poor leadership abilities. In this article, Camp Quarterback founder, Bret Johnson, let's us in on the 5 qualities that great leaders both on and off the field should possess: responsibility, morale, work ethic, skill, and respect. 

3. Learning How to be a Community Leader by Marya Axner

Effective. Clear. Thick with great information. These are just some of the words we use to describe this guide to community leadership. Axner and the team at The Community Toolbox basically break down what it means to be a leader in your community and how to take responsibility where it matters most. 

4. 10 Qualities of Great Community Leaders [Infographic] by Wake Forest University

Get the big picture of how to be a great leader in your community through the visual depiction provided by the minds at Wake Forest University. Print it out, tape it to your fridge, and live out these attributes to improve yourself and amp up your leadership capabilities. 

5. Roles & Responsibilities Every Team Should Have by The Get Movin' Crew

Shameless plug here. But, we think this is worth a read if you are leading teams in your community! This article goes through the different roles that should be filled on every team and the personality traits and responsibilities that go with them. Check it out!

6. Encourage the Heart – And the Footprints You Leave in the Sand by Graham Moore

A pretty short article to end our list of recommended reading for improving yourself and your leadership abilities. But, this is a powerful one. Graham Moore, an international member of The Leadership Challenge, provides a personal testimony to showcase the lasting impact that leaders have on the lives they touch. Worth a read or two.

BONUS: Best Year Ever, Get What You Want [Slideshare] by Michael Hyatt!


Your Turn​

We've told you what we read to keep us inspired and motivated to improve, but what about you? What have you read, or wrote, or learned along the way that has challenged your old ways and motivated you to be a better leader? Share in comments or on Facebook!