Dreaming of being as successful as someone like Marc Shmuger? Read on for the ten rules that every leader should follow.


1. Remain optimistic. Your employees will look to you for leadership. It’s important to not let your worries bring everyone else down. When you’re with peers, discuss your concerns and come up with a plan of action.

2. Set a specific direction. Leaders have a clear direction and instill the same vision in their employees. Without this, your business can go off in unexpected directions, ones you won’t be able to handle because you haven’t prepared for them.

3. Create a plan. There isn’t a business plan in the world that’s carved in stone, but have something to start with and then amend as necessary. Share parts of your business plan with your team so they understand what you’re working toward.

4. Make sure to have the right resources. Yes, you need faith and perseverance to succeed, but you also need tangible items, like money, bulldozers, paid employees, etc. Without these, you won’t be able to get a business off the ground.

5. Listen more than you talk. Don’t always feel like you have to lecture your employees. Sometimes, leadership means understanding what other people want. By recognizing and acknowledging the desires of your employees, you can harness that passion for the betterment of your business. Plus, you never know when someone has a great idea that you haven’t thought of before.

6. Don’t hold a meeting if you don’t have an agenda. Before you go into the meeting, have a list of talking points. Also, figure out how long you want to sty on each topic. This will help keep the meeting on track, which will increase productivity without wasting everyone’s time.

7. Don’t criticize employees in public. Yes, sometimes employees will screw up, and it will be necessary to correct them. However, when you shame an employee publicly, this only sparks resentment. If you have to reprimand someone, do it in the privacy of your office.

8. Don’t have an employee do something that you wouldn’t do yourself. Leaders know how to handle every aspect of their job and they’re more than happy to fill in when necessary. If you find yourself shying away from certain job duties, force yourself to do them. Your employees will respect you and you’ll learn something new about your business.

9. Make sure to delegate. If you’re the only person who can make decisions, the success of the business will start and end with you. Leaders hire people they trust, then hand off high-priority projects to other staff members. If you run a creative business, it’s best to let others handle the day to day tasks and business responsibilities, while you focus on creating and coming up with new ideas.

10. Give your team credit when credit is due. Leaders should accept blame when necessary, but they don’t take credit when things go right. Instead, they reward the entire team, because the success of a business is truly a team effort. When your team feels appreciated, they’re more likely to continue working hard.

Applying these rules will set the stage for leading a successful team and having a thriving business.

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