Lately, I’ve had leadership practices on the mind.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve entered a phase of my life where leadership is actually becoming more important.
Maybe it’s because I’ve recently learned that I haven’t been leading as effectively as I could have been.
Vince Lombardi once said that “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”
I think he was right.
Becoming a true leader takes hard effort.
But it’s incredibly rewarding.
And as you probably know if you’ve read, watched, or listened to much of my content, I espouse the belief that you cannot separate the alpha mentality from being a leader.
If we want to change the world, at some point, we need to step up into a place of leadership.
God knows we need more true leaders in our world.
There are plenty of sheep. There are plenty of followers. There are plenty of people who don’t want to take any risks or take responsibility for anything.
And on top of all of this, there’s another layer to consider as well.
Leaders are highly attractive.
This actually affects men and women differently.
Men And Women Gain Slightly Different Benefits When They Become Leaders
Men obviously become more attractive when they step into leadership roles. Status and power are huge high-value markers in men, and women tend to be attracted to these things.
For women, it’s a bit different. When you look at the data in the micro, sometimes women find that it is harder to attract men when they become leaders (to be more specific, as a woman’s IQ increases, the odds that she will get married decrease. And while IQ certainly isn’t the only thing to consider, we can see that high-achieving women usually have a high IQ, and that the best alpha leaders are also usually high achievers… and so, it makes sense to pay attention to this factor when looking at a woman’s mate selection process.).
But my position on this has always been clear.
I believe that women MUST step into leadership roles if they wish to embrace the alpha mentality. And I believe that if they learn to vet men properly, they’ll find that this will not take away from their dating experiences to such an extent that it provides a negative return on their self-evolution as alpha-minded leaders.
Women stand to gain a tremendous amount of needed power over their lives when they choose to embrace the alpha mentality and become strong leaders in their lives.
Alright. Let’s get into it. Here are 13 leadership practices that make you not only more attractive in life—but also more effective.
1. Leaders Embody A Vision For The Future
This is highly important. In fact, I don’t think that enough people consider this.
A lot of people think that leadership practices start with telling people what to do.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
Responsible leadership means that we must literally lead our tribes into the future… into the unknown.
But how will you be able to accomplish this if you don’t have a vision of where you want to end up?
My vision becomes more clear with each passing year. Every year, things come a bit more into focus. And I’ve noticed that as I gain a better understanding of my true vision in life, I become a much more capable leader for those who travel along with me.
2. Leaders Inspire Hope
Hope is a powerful thing. Without hope, what do we really have?
Hope is what keeps us moving forward in the darkest times.
Think about it. Why would we bother to survive through the toughest times, if it weren’t for the hope that something better was on the horizon?
At the end of the day, this is something that every human should nurture for themselves. But as alpha mentality leaders, we must be the light in the darkness for our tribes, families, and communities.
We must embody the strength required to look forward, believe in a better future, and manifest that future with pure and raw grit and determination.
3. Leaders Comfort The Wounded And Nurture The Weak
Humans are tough. There’s no denying that.
But they’re not bulletproof. They’re not invincible.
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been broken and destroyed in my lifetime.
When I was younger, however, I was fortunate to have capable leadership around me to help pick me up again.
When I became an adult, however, this ceased to be the case. More often than not, the men and women who were supposed to be trusted leaders for me failed me.
This is partly what inspired me to adopt better leadership practices in my own life.
There comes a time when you will realize that the humans around you, even those who are supposed to be ‘leaders,’ are not capable of doing what desperately needs to be done to affect the kind of change that is needed within your tribe.
When you recognize this, you will have a big choice to make.
You can either accept that things will never change, or you can step up into a leadership role and make the positive changes your tribe needs.
In essence, you can become the leader your tribe desperately needs.
This is, in a very real sense, a call to action… a call to heroism and sacrifice.
It’s the call to embrace the alpha mentality. The realization that things could be better, and nobody is picking up the burden to lead the tribe to the promised land.
When the people in my family or tribe fall down, feel hopeless, get depressed, or feel lost—it’s my job to stop, reach out a hand, and help them back up again.
It’s my job to be consoler in chief for the men and women of my tribe.
These people are my family, regardless of whether or not we’re related by blood.
I think that people grossly underestimate how important it is that humans receive emotional support from strong, capable leadership.
This is a massive responsibility.
4. Leaders Lift Others Up
Leaders DO NOT put others down.
They lift others up.
I used to struggle with this one.
When other people would attack me, belittle me, or try to put me down, I would be tempted to lash back at them.
But over time, I came to realize that healthy leadership practices don’t include such behavior.
Nowadays, when I realize that someone is attacking me or trying to tear me down (which happens more often than you would think), I remind myself that this person is either hurting, lost, depressed, or maybe all of the above.
At the very least, they’re frustrated. And to be really honest, this is one of the most powerful opportunities for leadership and trust-building.
If you can handle such an attack, and return it with kindness, true strength, understanding, and firm-boundaries, enforced with real human respect for the other person… you have the potential to earn a great deal of loyalty from that person.
This is one of the greatest opportunities to make a positive impression on someone who may desperately need someone like you to lift them up and provide the leadership that they have been missing in their life.
5. Leaders Happily Accept The Hardships Of Leadership – Without Complaint
Not too long ago, two people in my tribe got into a pretty serious argument.
And not surprisingly, they both came to me asking to help me sort it out.
They were both convinced that the other party was wrong. Insults were flying, tempers were flaring, and both of them were getting pretty emotionally wound up.
Before I knew better, I may have been extremely annoyed by this.
“Why are these people causing trouble? I didn’t cause this problem… why am I expected to fix it? I’m not a babysitter. They should act like adults and figure this out themselves…”
These are examples of the types of thoughts I may have entertained before.
But nowadays, thankfully, I’ve come a long way from that place.
Instead, I sat down, took a deep breath, and smiled.
“I’m so happy, grateful, and humbled that these people, whom I love and appreciate so much, would feel safe enough and confident enough to come to me with this problem. And I will see to it that it gets resolved. There is truly nothing else as important as this, because nothing in the world is more important than the humans in my tribe.”
This is the true sentiment that we should feel when problems arise among those we lead. This is the kind of attitude we need to have as leaders.
Remember. When you ask for the mantle of leadership, you inherit the trials and tribulations that come with it.
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have an ‘easy life’ and be a leader.
You can’t ask to be a leader, and then give-in to your frustrations when the going gets tough.
You signed up for this when you agreed to lead. This is your greatest challenge… and it is a challenge that you must not take lightly.
If you’re going to lead, you need to do it with the full force of your soul behind it. You need to believe in it, and commit yourself to that path.
Anything less is just waste… a terrible, terrible waste of valuable tribe and human resources.
6. Leaders Are Humble Enough To Understand That Without Their Tribe, They Are Nothing
It’s easy to be an ‘egomaniac’ when you first step into a leadership position.
It’s easy to think that you’re more important than the people ‘beneath’ you.
But this is such a fundamental lie that I shudder to imagine that anyone believes it.
As a leader, your true calling is as a servant leader to your tribe.
Imagine that your tribe is a powerful engine, capable of lifting an incredible amount of weight… more weight than you could ever lift on your own.
You are the engineer. It’s your job to make sure that this engine is cared for, maintained, and properly fueled so that it can perform at peak efficiency.
At the end of the day, both the engine and the engineer are important.
But never forget that without the engine, the engineer is just a man without options.
Never allow your pride to interfere with genuine servant leadership practices.
You and your tribe must coexist in a state of balance. It must be a thriving, mutually beneficial ecosystem. It’s not about telling people what to do. It’s about nourishing the engine and giving it everything it needs to succeed.
7. Leaders Provide Strict Boundaries To Empower Their Tribe To Succeed – But They Balance This With Empathy
Personally, as a leader, it’s my job to make sure that constructive rules are enforced and maintained.
For example… if someone comes to me with a problem, I make sure that I provide a solution.
It may not be the solution they wanted. But if I believe that this solution will provide the surest path to success, then that is the solution I will command to be carried out.
But here’s the thing.
As alpha leaders, we need to make sure that we are taking the lives and viewpoints of the tribe into account.
For example… if one of my tribe members tells me that my solution won’t work because of xyz, then it is likely in my best interest to at least consider what they are telling me.
I need to be strong in my position, and I act out this strength by providing firm guidance and commanding that this guidance be respected.
But I’m also balancing this with empathy and awareness.
If I learn that someone in the tribe understands something that I have not yet realized, then it may be in the best interest of the tribe for me to listen to them.
As leaders, the goal isn’t to make our supreme will manifest at all costs.
Our goal is to find the best way to help the entire tribe to succeed as a whole. And sometimes, that means looking at many different potential solutions.
8. Leaders Are Self-Assured
With all of that being said, it’s also important that leaders be sure of themselves and their decisions.
Nothing will inspire fear in a hierarchy like a leader who isn’t sure what should be done.
Indecision is the knife that stabs the tribe in the back and defeats it from within.
We must have the strength of mind, body, and soul to stand with conviction behind our decisions.
Will every decision be perfect?
But if we allow those around us to dissent disrespectfully, then even more damage will befall the tribe and the hierarchy.
And so, this is a delicate balancing act.
- We act with complete self assurance
- We do our best to take in new information
- We issue commands
- We do not tolerate dissent or disrespect
- We also employ empathy, to try our best to understand the many complex factors at work in this specific situation
It’s complicated. But it’s also important that we maintain an awareness of how our decisions are affecting the tribe, and that we are also ready to act with decisiveness when the situation calls for it… even when we need to make tough choices about which path is the right path.
9. Leaders Invest In Those Who Follow Them
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen leaders fail at this.
It is so important that we invest in the people who choose to place their faith in us.
For me, this often takes the form of taking time out of my day to reach out to someone individually.
Maybe I invite them to coffee. Maybe we sit down and have lunch together. At the very least, I send them a message and ask them how they are doing.
It’s so important to me that the people I care about, the people in my tribe/family/community, understand that I care about them. But it’s also important that they receive the care, nurturing, and friendship that they need in order to succeed.
This is a great responsibility of any leader. And if your tribe is so big that you can’t possibly do this with everyone, then the time has come to place effective co-leaders in strategic positions to help you accomplish it.
10. Leaders Aren’t Afraid To Innovate
Sometimes, you need to be willing to do something that goes completely against the grain.
Leaders need to be innovative.
If you have a big enough vision, it’s possible that nobody has ever tried to do exactly what you are trying to do.
And so, it’s expected that you’re going to have to change a few of the ‘rules’ if you hope to succeed.
You may have people telling you that your way isn’t the best way. People may look at what you plan to do, and tell you that it’s not possible.
People may downplay the ‘unique’ plan you’ve set into motion.
In any case, being a leader comes with the need to be willing to step outside of the box.
And here’s why.
Leaders are usually achievement and goal oriented. And so, they tend to be less ‘process’ oriented.
Workers and followers generally tend to be more ‘process’ oriented. And that’s an entirely different viewpoint.
For ‘process’ people, the idea of radically changing the process can be frightening. And it can often seem counterintuitive.
But here’s the thing. If you’re setting out to achieve a specific goal, you need to be able to look at that goal, and plot a road-map to its success.
And sometimes, that means abandoning processes that aren’t serving you anymore.
As a leader, this idea used to scare me… because I was a very ‘process’ oriented person. But over time, I’ve come to learn that a process, in and of itself, is only serving you if it’s actually taking you toward your objective in an efficient manner.
And leaders need to take responsibility for this. With so many resources at stake, it’s important to create your road map and remain true to the objective.
Processes are only useful if they’re serving your end-goal and bringing you closer to the objective.
11. Leaders Communicate Effectively
The importance of communication truly can’t be overstated.
People are emotional and need support.
All humans are prone to chaos. And some of us have a more difficult time with it than others.
I see a lot of ‘leaders’ operate without taking this into account.
As leaders, it’s important for us to remain aware of how our tribe is doing.
It’s important for us to check up on them, listen to them, and try to understand what they are going through.
In doing this, we can help them by creating solutions to problems, and offering the kind of support they need to succeed.
These are examples of leadership practices that far too many leaders overlook.
In my own tribe and family, I make sure to spend a little bit of time with everyone as often as I can.
I’ll often ask “how have things been going? Tell me how you’ve been.”
And at this point, I think that the members of my tribe and family have come to recognize that this is my way of letting them know that they can talk to me about whatever is going on with them.
If I can help, I do. If it’s a situation that they need to handle on their own, I try to offer moral support, and let them know that I believe in them.
It’s honestly not rocket science. But leadership is a science all of its own. And the more you learn about it, the more you’ll come to realize that there is a lot to be learned.
12. Leaders Are Constantly Improving Themselves
If we aren’t learning, we’re stagnating.
This is especially true for leaders.
So often, I see leaders who have given up on what it means to be the best version of themselves. They do the bare minimum to get by, and they stop putting any effort into leveling up or learning.
Here’s the thing.
As leaders, we need to lead by example. I’m a firm believer in ‘leading from the front’ leadership practices. I believe that we need to be constantly learning, growing, maturing, and evolving to make sure that we are the best version of ourselves we can possibly be.
So listen to some podcasts.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of the Bulldog Mindset Podcast. I listen to it almost every day.
Read some leadership-focused books. Try to learn something new every day.
Read The Art of War, by Sun Tzu.
Whether you’re a parent leading your family, a manager leading other employees, the captain of a sports team, the owner of a business, etc. It doesn’t matter. These are all leadership positions.
And in all of these situations, the rest of the team is counting on the leader.
If you don’t level-up and evolve, you’re going to become the bottle-neck. You’re going to be the reason that your team either loses, or doesn’t succeed to the level that they could have succeeded at.
13. Leaders Take Full Responsibility For Failure, But Dish Out Praise To Their Tribe For Success
This is probably the biggest thing that leaders have a problem with.
As a leader, you need to be 110% accountable for the team’s failures.
But when the team wins, you need to be ready to give them 110% of the credit.
Is it fair?
No, it isn’t. But that’s part of the sacrifice that comes from being a true, capable leader.
This is, in fact, the ultimate expression of servant-leader sacrifice.
The problems are your fault.
You praise your team when there’s praise to be enjoyed.
The buck stops with you.
It’s all on you to support your team and bring them to victory.
A leader who blames failure on his team has already lost. They’re going to lose the team’s confidence, they’re going to lose the team’s loyalty… and they’re going to lose themselves as well, because they’re not being honest about the truth of what’s happening.
Stepping up into a leadership position isn’t:
“I want to be in charge. I want to tell people what to do from the comfort of a desk.”
Stepping up into leadership position is:
“I care for this team so much, and am so driven to see them succeed at this vision, that I’m going to work the hardest to make sure it happens. I’m going to care more about it than anyone. I’m going to work harder at it than everyone. I’m going to be the one to make sure that everything is in place. I’m literally going to orchestrate the WIN, regardless of the circumstances. I refuse to lose. And if we DO lose, I’ll take the blame… because I was the one who said ‘let’s go. I’ve got this.’”
In Conclusion – Leadership Practices That Make You More Attractive And Effective
That’s all I have for this one.
Ladies, gentlemen, go forward with grace and strength. And if you’re going to step up into the leadership position, don’t cave-in to pressure or blame the problems on someone else.
And above all else… never give up your power.
Sort the problems out, make sure that everything is in place, and win.
And if you fail anyway… take the hit, count it as a lesson, learn from it, and thank your team for their efforts. Then rally, and try again.
You got this.
Until next time…
Joshua K. Sigafus