5 Things to Look For in Your Next Incredible Mentor

Ask the most successful people you know how they got where they are and they’ll likely mention at least one mentor who helped them along the way. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of an investment of time, energy and advice, it’s important to see mentoring for what it is: A priceless gift. That’s according to Steve Pogorzelski, CEO of Avention, a Concord, Massachusetts-based sales enablement and business information solutions provider. Whether you want to be a good mentor or find one who will help you get to the next level, here’s what he says you need to know about the best mentoring relationships.

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5 min read You Don’t Have to Be a CEO to Develop Leadership Qualities

You Don't Have to Be a CEO to Develop Leadership Qualities
Whether you are the CEO of a large and prosperous company or an employee whom others depend on, the qualities of true leadership are identical.

Leadership is often confused with authority, but a leader can be anyone at the company — even an entry-level employee. You can see the impact these key employees have on the productivity, effectiveness and morale of their colleagues and sometimes even their managers.

Cultivate these 10 leadership qualities in yourself and look for them in others. Not only will they help determine the overall success of your business. They can also allow you discover those with the potential to eventually ascend to more influential positions within your organization:

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7 Telltale Signs of a Weak Leader

Most people associate a weak leader with being docile, deferential, timid or meek. While that may have some merit, weak leaders can also be bombastic, egocentric, domineering, dictatorial and imperious. Even if you are successful at adding to the bottom line, bringing in new clients or developing new products and services, if people are not seeking you out or jockeying to be on your team, you are a weak leader.

Here are seven behaviors that beset a weak leader:

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The 10 Commandments of Leadership

A group of archeologists digging through ancient corporate archives recently uncovered two mysterious tablets (aka “wall plaques”) engraved with the following laws:

I. Thou shalt remain optimistic.

Since thy employees look to thee for leadership, thou must not let thy worries and concerns cast a black cloud over everyone else, for that way lies certain failure.

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The 8 Instinctive Habits of Remarkable Leaders

7 Characteristics of Exceptional Business Professionals

Once in a while you meet a leader who stands out — even in a room filled with skilled, experienced, successful people. She hasn’t just learned to be remarkably charismatic. He hasn’t just learned to be remarkably likeable.

You can tell, in an instant, they simply think and act and lead differently than most people.

But those rare individuals don’t become remarkable leaders overnight. While some are born with an aptitude for leadership, truly outstanding leaders are made. Through training, experience, and a healthy dose of introspection they learn how to make quick decisions. They learn to work with different personalities. They learn to nurture, motivate, and inspire.

They learn to truly lead.

And in time those skills become automatic and reflexive. While great leaders do a tremendous amount of thinking, that thinking happens behind the scenes. In the moment, in the trenches, when people look to them and need them most, they act: swiftly, decisively, and confidently.

Want to become a remarkable leader? Work hard to, like them, do some things naturally, automatically, and instinctively:

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The Advice I Give All First-Time Founders

Rob Hayes.

Aaron Patzer had come to a crossroads. He knew he was onto something with Mint–but he realized he couldn’t be a successful CEO and also run product for the company. “He’s one of the very few founders I’ve seen who knew it was time to let go and hand things to someone new,” says First Round partner Rob Hayes, who worked closely with Mint. “He wound up hiring this great guy Aaron Forth, and it helped move the company to the next level. That moment when a CEO gives up their core competency to someone else so they can focus on running the company is the moment they become a great leader.”

Hayes started investing in early-stage startup founders a decade ago, and he always gets the same question: “What should I be doing right now?” Through this experience, he’s narrowed down his answer to three things. Patzer did a brilliant job at all three, and notably the most important thing on the list: Hiring the right people. “The other two are don’t run out of money and always have a North Star,” says Hayes.

While each of these pieces presents a huge challenge, this framework can be very powerful. “Founders who achieve these goals always succeed,” says Hayes, citing Mint’s lucrative sale to Intuit. “If they’re constantly thinking to themselves, ‘Okay, this work is in front of me–am I actively achieving one of these three things?’ they don’t fail.” We recently sat down with Hayes to delve into these three areas of focus and tactics to win at each one.

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12 Things That Successful Leaders Never Tolerate

By and large, tolerance is a good trait. The differences we encounter enrich our lives and organizations. But to attain a successful life and meaningful leadership, we must refuse to tolerate the things that deplete, and ultimately destroy, us.

Start by declaring these things intolerable in yourself and those around you–and see what changes as a result.

1. Dishonesty

Living an honest life allows you to be at peace with others and yourself. Dishonesty imposes a false reality on your life and those around you.

2. Boredom

Successful people are generally exploring something new. Life is too short for inactivity and staying in your comfort zone.

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