Keys to Developing Leadership Skills as a Couple – Brooke Faulkner

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Powerful individuals have worked together in leadership for ages. However, from time to time, leadership alliances have been forged in the fires of more than just professional acquaintances or even friendships. They’ve revolved around romance. The concept of the “power couple” is a captivating one, especially in an era where millennials and Gen Z-ers are rewriting the equality script. The idea of two individuals, each successful in their own right, working to support each other in their careers while simultaneously forging a lasting relationship in their private lives is an exciting one. However, the concept is as difficult to pull off as it is rewarding to achieve.

What are some of the things that typically go into becoming a power couple? How do they achieve such a dynamic level of leadership and success while simultaneously managing to tend to their own relationships? Let’s break it down.

Show Me the Money

One crucial element that enables couples to launch into “power couple” status is making sure that they get onto the same page, financially speaking. The financial independence of two successful individuals can make it tempting to keep monetary matters separate, but the ability to plan, execute, and revisit a budget together is a key collaborative skill that translates into numerous leadership scenarios. It demonstrates the ability to recognize differences in opinion and motivations, and enables individuals to look to the long term in order to collaboratively plan for the future, both of which are critical skills for leaders in the professional world.

Please Hear Me

Communication is a vital component of most successful human interaction and organization. It is a driving force behind companies, relationships, and, in this case, both. Many of the necessary factors that go into creating effective communication for leadership within the workplace are naturally present in a couple’s relationship from the get-go. This deep level of communication includes things like being committed to collective success, sharing the same goals, inter-dependence, accountability, and interpersonal skills.

The Feeling is Mutual

Millennials, in particular, have been developing a new breed of “power couples” through their desire for equality, a strong connection, and shedding of stereotypes within their relationships. In general, driven millennials are fairly independent and know what they want and don’t feel the same pressure to commit to someone right away as previous generations did, so they are willing to wait it out for that one person who is the right fit. This fresh focus has created a new norm for couples as they look for significant others who empower them synergistically. This mutual respect and encouragement helps push them to new heights of achievement and allows them to function without one feeling threatened by the other as each contributes “to the team.”

Natural Team Building

Companies go out of their way to create team building exercises. While offices are packing up their gear to head off to a local escape room or volunteer for community service together, power couples naturally practice the team building aspect much closer to home.

Tending to a relationship behind closed doors naturally involves a sense of team building and camaraderie that helps to develop an individual’s willingness to work with others, hear what they have to say, and make authoritative decisions that unify rather than splinter a team. Any successful couple will have a high ability to communicate and work as a team, and those are skills that must continually be fostered together.

An EQ as High as Your IQ

Leaders are often clever, knowledgeable, and brimming with information. But an overachieving IQ hardly translates into success without a little bit of help from another area: emotions. The ability to truly be social can be extremely difficult to grasp, which puts a power couple in the perfect position to gain a cutting edge advantage.

The constant “iron sharpening iron” aspect of a relationship between two powerful influencers can help hone their interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence, both of which are key aspects of emotional intelligence or “EQ.” It encourages them to both look inward, tending to their own emotions, as well as tune into the emotions of others, creating a level of self-awareness that is critically important for any successful leader.

Trust Me

Finally, there is the concept of trust. The ability to delegate tasks to another person rather than micromanage them yourself is difficult. In a truly equal relationship, though, a power couple has the chance to learn how to trust their partner in spite of the temptation to lean on their own strengths. The ability to relinquish control and trust a partner or coworker in a professional setting is a highly valuable skill for a leader to possess.

Couples can learn a great deal from their relationship regarding things like trust, emotional intelligence, communication, and teamwork. All of these can be critical skills that translate directly into their professional lives as well. Together, couples can develop their leadership abilities in ways that are difficult to reproduce on an individual basis and gives them a unique advantage in the workplace as well as their own individual relationships.

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Brooke Faulkner is a full-time writer and full-time mom of two.

She spends her days pondering what makes a good leader, and dreaming up ways to teach these virtues to her sons creativity enough that she’ll get more than groans and eye rolls in response. To read more of her work, follow her on Twitter @faulknercreek

6 Things Highly Successful Leaders Do Differently

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You have probably heard people say that not everyone is born a leader. And while that may be true, it doesn’t mean that anybody can’t become a great leader. Sure, some will have to do much more work than others to achieve it, but it is definitely not impossible.

That being said, the fact of the matter is that successful leaders simply do certain things differently from most people. Here are some of the things that set highly successful leaders apart from the rest of the crowd.

They lead by example

And any man who must say ‘I am king’ is no true king at all.” George R. R. Martin

The same goes for true leaders. No true leader will have to tell people that they are the leader. They earn the trust of other people by not just talking the talk but also walking the walk. What this means is that if you want to become a successful leader yourself, you will have to practice what you preach. Simply put, don’t go boasting around about your achievements, but let your actions speak louder than your words. This way, your actions will inspire others to follow suit, which is definitely something true leaders do almost effortlessly.

They inspire people around them

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams

Another quality of true leaders is the ability to inspire others to reach for the stars. Truly successful individuals never put people around them down but aim at inspiring them to do the same – do whatever it takes to reach success. Putting others down in order to feel more valuable and important yourself is not something you should ever practice, especially not if you are trying to reach success in life.

They are not afraid to take a risk

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Seneca

To say someone became successful in life simply because they “got lucky” is very diminishing of all the hard work and sacrifice they have put into getting to where they are today. True leaders got to where they are in life by not being afraid to take risks and do things differently. Besides, fortune does favor the brave, so keep that in mind the next time you are faced with a seemingly difficult decision.

They stay positive

I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” Estée Lauder

In a highly volatile environment, such as the modern business world, it is very difficult to stay positive. However, just because something is difficult, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t strive towards achieving it. True leaders understand just how important it is to stay optimistic and positive especially in very stressful and difficult situations, and how their positivity will affect others. No matter what you are faced with, panicking won’t do you any good, so always try to observe the situation from different perspectives and try to reach a solution with optimism and positive thinking.

They trust their team

People respond well to those that are sure of what they want.” Anna Wintour

There are people in this world that believe that, unless they do something themselves, it won’t be done the right way. These people are not only difficult to work with, but they are difficult to spend time with in general. Needless to say, this is definitely not a trait of a successful leader. A true leader believes in their decision and trusts that the team they have put together is a group of skilled individuals who are perfectly capable of doing the things they are hired to do. That is why a true leader believes in their employees and trust that they will finish the task they are presented with successfully. They know that sometimes, letting go and trusting others is the best way to go.

They are always happy to help

No one has ever become poor by giving.” Anne Frank

Finally, truly successful individuals understand the importance of giving back. Not just in the financial sense, but life in general. Being able to generate all the wealth in the world would be in vain unless you have someone to share it with. That is precisely why true leaders encourage people around them to strive towards something, continue learning, ask questions and share their experiences. They realize that sharing truly is caring and when they really care about something, they are not afraid to show it.

These were, of course, just some of the traits truly successful individuals have in common and just some of the things they are not afraid to do differently. By stepping out of your comfort zone and allowing yourself to try new things, you’ll make room for some beautiful changes that might even propel you on your road to success.