Get Real About How You’re Doing

Whatever our idea of “being in charge” is, chances are we picture strength. Courage. Being totally unflappable. It means never displaying weakness in order to keep the whole team strong. Right? Actually, wrong. It’s time to be a better leader by being vulnerable.

Bart Lorang, Managing Director at V1, starts every meeting by assessing how he feels. Is he calm and present, reactive and upset or just not feeling well, or somewhere in between? Checking in like this lets him get real with his team. Says Lorang, “Leaders think they have to have all of the answers, but what if instead you said ‘Team, I don’t know in this situation and I really need your help. I’m scared too.’ Now that’s courage. That’s leadership.”

Building a business is very very hard, as much as it is rewarding. Why not let yourself be honest about your venture in every way?

Be Honest With Your Team

Open up, whether at work or in life, and you’ll find people will trust you more. If you accept the ups and downs of a business publicly like this, your team will form a genuine connection. They’ll know you trust them in return.

After letting your team know your real feelings, it’s going to be easier to lean on their collective ideas and honest opinions. That way, you don’t have to carry out the search for solutions alone. You’ll have more productive and more sincere brainstorming sessions and meetings.

Be Honest With Yourself

Examine your feelings. Understand why you feel the way you do, whether you’re high on success or scared over a big risk. Then, you’ll be able to analyze solutions. Taking stock of yourself and your feelings helps you from being completely reactive and making a poor decision. It can also keep you from reacting badly to someone else on your team.

More than that, talking about your fears, especially with other people, helps lessen the anxiety. You can better face important issues head-on this way.


You can see more from Bart’s talk at the 2017 Propelify Innovation Festival.

9 Things You Can do to Become a Better Leader Today

What does it mean to be a good leader? And how do you become a better leader? Some people believe that good leaders were born that way, and others believe it takes hard work and determination to become a good leader. Regardless of what you believe, good leaders have a few unique characteristics. Luckily, with a little persistence and knowledge, you can become a better leader today, too. It’s time for you to become conscious of your leading style, actions, and tone. Start doing these nine things to become a better leader today.

Be Passionate.

Passion is contagious. If you become passionate about your job, your employees will notice and follow suit. Plus, you’ll find yourself wanting to be at work and leading, rather than at home and watching TV.

Maintain a Positive Attitude.

Just like passion, attitude catches fire. If one person comes to work with poor attitude, it is likely that person will rub off onto colleagues. The same goes for you as a leader. Not only do you need to be positive on the daily, but you need to maintain a positive attitude when times are stressful too. Employees notice when management is angry, upset, or stressed and it affects how they continue their work duties.

Be a Role Model.

Be the leader that inspires employees and colleagues. Be the kind of leader that you want your employees to look up to.

Stay Humble (and Honest!)

When it’s a team effort, recognize that it’s a team effort. Don’t take credit for something you didn’t do by yourself. When you mess up, apologize and take the blame. Don’t blame anything on anyone else when you’re the one at fault unless that is the kind of organizational culture you want to cultivate.

Be Approachable. 

Employees need to know that their manager is always available to talk to and ask for help from. They need to know they can openly discuss issues with you while what is said remains confidential.

(Get to) Know Your Employees.

Connect with your employees on a personal level. Ask them about their family, recreational activities, and other topics that will help you build a relationship with them. This kind of positive interaction will let your employees know that you appreciate and recognize them. They will feel more loyal to you.

Promote and Praise Creativity.

Promoting creativity among your team will strengthen problem-solving skills and improve productivity. Good leaders encourage new ideas.

Collaborate With and Challenge Them.

Not all people do well working by themselves, so encourage team work and join in when possible. Additionally, challenge your employees. People get bored doing the same mundane tasks every day. Throw in some change and challenge them to help shake things up, in a good way.

Continue Learning, Yourself.

The first step in bettering yourself – and your leading skills – is to recognize that there is room to improve… and there is always room to improve.


Start small to make a big change. These nine simple steps are something you can start to become a better leader today, but you will need to continue them tomorrow, too.

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