successful leader

Be A Successful Leader – 5 Mistakes To Avoid

Be a successful leader. 

Today, I’ve got a pretty cut-and-dry topic to talk about. 

These are 5 massive mistakes that leaders need to avoid making. 

This blog post is based on this podcast episode. Give it a listen if you want to hear some more fleshed-out ideas about these concepts. 

I’ll be honest. I filmed this video/podcast to kick my own ass. 

I made a few mistakes, and learned that I wasn’t truly embracing alpha leadership in my life. 

And so, this post is really for me… to focus on my mistakes and learn from them. 

And I think that this will also help you. 

Let’s dive into it. 

Leadership Qualities

be a successful leader

Leadership qualities are qualities that alpha-minded men and women embrace to become the type of person who is more capable of leading effectively… with wisdom, strength, tenacity, and perseverance. 

I deal in-depth with the topic of leadership qualities, and what makes a successful leader in this post

But here’s a rundown of what I consider to be the 21 most powerful alpha leadership qualities that truly matter:

  1. Courage
  2. Self-discipline
  3. Self-reliance
  4. A no-complaining attitude – Just solutions
  5. Wisdom
  6. Kindness
  7. Respect
  8. Responsibility
  9. Effective communication
  10. Integrity
  11. Consistency
  12. Humility
  13. Tenacity
  14. Positivity
  15. Confidence
  16. Ambition
  17. A tribe-based mentality
  18. Empathy
  19. Being able to delegate
  20. Gratitude
  21. Critical Thinking

If you want to be a successful leader in your life, these are the skills that you need to pursue and improve-upon in your own life. 

Meditate on them. Study them. Work on leveling-up in all of them. 

Personally, I choose one every day, and really try to focus on it. This feels like a natural way to pursue a better leadership mentality to me, and it tends to work quite well. 

Leadership Skills

how to be a good leader

Leadership skills are skills that leaders cultivate within themselves to truly embrace a powerful spirit of servant leadership in their lives. 

I talk at-length about this topic in this post

But here’s my list of the 13 best leadership practices (skills) that alpha men and women should constantly be striving to level-up:

  1. Embodying a vision for the future
  2. Inspiring hope
  3. Comforting the wounded and nurturing the weak
  4. Lifting others up
  5. Accepting the hardships of leadership without complaint
  6. Being humble enough to understand that they’re nothing without their tribe
  7. Providing strict boundaries for their tribe, while also balancing these boundaries with empathy
  8. Being self-assured
  9. Investing in their followers
  10. Not being afraid to innovate
  11. Communicating effectively
  12. Constantly seeking self-improvement
  13. Taking full responsibility for failure, while dishing out praise to the tribe for their success

I encourage you to read through this list, and meditate on these principles. 

These leadership skills will help you to become a more successful leader in your life. 

Great Leadership 

Great leadership requires us to empathize with others. 

Remember, being a leader is not about being the best or being the most important. 

It is about being a true servant to your tribe.

But this isn’t to say that you let your tribe walk all over you. 

You take control of the situation and guide everyone to channel their resources to the most productive and successful end possible. 

Therefore, great leadership demands that you focus on the tribe… solving its problems and working toward solutions. 

There is no place for arrogance in a place of leadership.

But… you must be tough as nails, because it isn’t easy trying to get the best results. 

You may need to push people to do better, and you may need to find creative ways to inspire greatness from your tribe. 

How To Be More Effective As A Leader? By Avoiding These 5 Common Pitfalls

1. Stop Expecting Too Much

how to be a leader

If I’m not careful, I can push my tribe way too hard. 

If we want to be successful leaders, we need to understand that everyone is different. 

Everyone is motivated differently. 

I firmly believe that there’s no such thing as a lazy person. 

You just need to figure out how to properly motivate others.

As a leader, this is your responsibility, 

2.  Stop Being Ungrateful

how to be an effective team leader

Yes, we need to inspire our tribe to higher levels of greatness. 

But never make the crucial mistake of not being grateful for what they’ve already accomplished. 

Before you ever say “We need to do this better,” always make sure that you’ve spent some time telling them how you’re proud of them, and how they’ve been doing a good job at what they’ve accomplished. 

Make sure to do this two or three times without asking for anything else. 

Make a conscious, concentrated effort to express gratitude to your tribe. 

It matters. They need to hear it. And it will cause them to respect you more when you ask them to step it up. 

3. Stop Being Unkind

how to become a good leader

This is a huge mistake that many leaders make. 

Many leaders get caught up in the stress of being a leader (which is absolutely stressful). 

But as a result, they tend to let this stress leak out into their interactions with their tribe. 

And this is a mistake. 

As a leader, the stress of leadership is your responsibility to bear… not your tribe’s. 

Your job is to make things less stressful for them. 

And the best way to accomplish this is to always execute leadership with maximum kindness. 

Be firm, be to-the-point… but also be very, very kind and respectful. 

4. Stop Failing To Maintain An ‘Alpha Buffer’

how to improve leadership and management skills

This is a concept that I make sure to keep in mind when I’ve having a particularly stressful time. 


Your tribe needs you to be at your best, all the time. 

They need you to be kind, respectful, capable, positive, and hopeful. 

You also need to push them to greatness… but you lead from the front, by example. 

Sometimes, as a leader, you may not always feel like doing these things. 

Sometimes, you’ll be stressed to the max and unable to be the kind, empathetic leader they need you to be. 

In such situations, create an ‘alpha buffer’ between you and your tribe. 

Separate yourself so that you won’t let your bad mood rub off on them. 

Get it figured out, and get back into the right mindset so that you can go back to them and be effective. 

This matters. 

Don’t drag down your team with a bad attitude. 

5. Stop Focusing On ‘Performance’ Over Growth And Potential

I can really get wrapped up in looking at people’s performance and measuring their value based on their level of performance compared to mine

But this is a very bad idea, and it distracts us from one of the core fundamentals of leadership. 

Yes, we need to pay attention to a teammate’s performance. 

But the next step isn’t to look at our own performance and berate them for doing less. 

The next step is to identify areas of potential growth, and brainstorm the key to unlocking that person’s motivation. 

Everyone is capable of doing great work if they’re motivated correctly. 

As a leader, it is my responsibility to figure this out. 

If someone’s performance is low, that’s not necessarily an indicator of them being a bad teammate. 

It may just be an indicator that they aren’t being properly motivated. 

Believe it or not, most people don’t even know how to motivate themselves. 

But as leaders, we’re in a unique position to help them do this. 

In Conclusion

Being a successful leader is all about putting our attention onto our tribe… not on ourselves. 

It’s not a ‘look at me’ job. It’s an ‘I’m going to help these people become the best unit that they can be’ job. 

And when we do that right, our projects will be massive success stories. 

Go with grace, my friends, and never give up your power. 

Joshua K. Sigafus

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