What Makes A Successful Leader?

By Susan Twellman, Co-Owner & Founder of Apriori Beauty, LLC

S.TwellmanThe term “leader” encompasses a broad description with vast and multiple components.  There’s historic and memorable leaders (both good and bad ones), as well as leaders in our personal and every-day lives that will never be mentioned in history or social media.  The fact of the matter is, you’re a leader.  The question is: are you an inefficient or successful leader?

I personally don’t look at myself as a leader, but with 6 kids and several companies, I know I am one.  I mean, I have to be, right?  As a leader, you need PASSION.  You have to care about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with because if you don’t, it will show, trust me!  How can you expect someone else to follow you if you’re not even enthusiastic about what you’re doing?  I take extremely good care of myself and am very selective about what I put into and on my body.  If I fall in love with a pair of jeans or skincare product (always Apriori Beauty of course!), I share and tell everyone about it.  Take for instance, Apriori Beauty’s motto “Use, Love, Share.”  It’s that simple; if you lead with passion, others will follow.

The next essential component of a successful leader is AUTHENTICITY.  Be who you are and be genuine all the time.  Otherwise, you’ll be scrambling trying to recall which “mask” to wear when confronted with a situation or individual.  Besides, people want to see the real you, not the fake persona you assume they want.  Maybe it’s my personality or the fact I have 6 kids and have no room in my brain to develop several personas, but I can assure you that I am myself 100% of the time.  If I’ve ever talked with you, I’m sure you’ve heard random tidbits and facts about my life.  It’s who I am and because I’m comfortable being myself (do I have a choice?), people know that no matter when or where they see me, they will be speaking with the one and only Susan Twellman.  Not mom Susan or Apriori Susan.  Just Susan.

CREDITABILTIY.  You must, I repeat, must be credible and true to your word.  As a leader, if you say you’re going to do something, do it.  Your success as a leader is dependent upon the trust of others.  If you’re consistently breaking commitments and dropping the ball, your team’s trust in you will quickly vanish.  Here’s where accountability comes into play.  Remember, you’re not alone, especially as a leader.  You have an entire team here, ready and willing to help you if you need it.  Make sure you have someone keeping you accountable, which will in turn maintain you as a credible leader.

We all make mistakes and will continue to do so until the day we die.  We’re human, it’s what we do.  However, as a successful leader, the trick is to LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES.  Go back and analyze the situation(s).  What went wrong?  Could it have been prevented?  What will you do differently the next time you’re presented with this situation?  Utilize the lessons you’ve gained through trial and error and turn them into examples when leading your team.  Your mistakes can prove to be valuable lessons and learning experiences.  The key is to admit your wrong doings and learn from them, not repeat them.

Your business will throw you curve balls, and when it does, your ATTITUDE will either make or break your team.  You can’t control others, but you can control yourself.  Whenever you’re feeling frustrated and reaching your breaking point, focus on maintaining a positive attitude.  The more positive your attitude is, the stronger your confidence will be.  The stronger your confidence is, the stronger your team will be.

The best thing you can do as a leader is GIVE.  Give your time, commitment, knowledge, assistance, guidance, and especially, patience!  Your team will not only appreciate your support, but will also gain and grow from it as well.  At Apriori Beauty, we’re all about sharing and helping one another.  Take for instance, the Facebook group “Team United.”  Every Monday, a different Consultant holds a conference call and shares ideas and tips on how to develop and expand your business.  How cool is that?  It doesn’t have to be “me” against “you” and it isn’t.  We’re all in this together and the more you learn and grow, I do as well.  Another great example, my weekly “Walk the Talk,” which we’re doing right now!  I love sharing and bonding with other women.  We have so many talented and diverse women in this group, who each bring something to the table.  I learn just as much from you as you learn from me.  Again, it’s a win/win situation!

I want to leave you with one last thought.  The most crucial and significant aspect of a successful leader is ETHICS.  As a leader, you will be tested LeadByExamplemore times than you can imagine.  It’s in these instances where your core values and beliefs will determine your actions and ultimately grow or weaken your team.  Some people are under the misconception that they have to sacrifice ethics for success.  Wrong!  Yes, you may lose a Client or even a Consultant over a disagreement, and if you do because you stayed true to your values, then that is what’s best for your team.  At the end of the day, it’s you who has to look in the mirror, no one else.  When confronted with a difficult situation, remember your passion and why you became a leader in the first place.  Seek guidance and support from team members and accountability partners.  And lastly, be yourself and no one else.

One thought on “What Makes A Successful Leader?

  1. I love reading your success stories! I tell people I’m not a good salesperson and no one believes me. That’s because I can’t share anything I’m not passionate about! I love my full-time job as executive Director of HART for Animals and my part-time job as Manager for Apriori Beauty! You really keep it real, Susan.

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