5 Things Leaders Give Up For Success In Business

Published: Feb 21, 2020


To become a more productive leader, you need to drop those habits that deter you from achieving your goals and pick new ones that will help to increase your productivity.

Here are the five things I gave up over the past few years that helped me become a better leader in business.

1. Comfort Zone

While working for Google, I got so engrossed in the level of comfort that I left so many things undone. I had just moved from Uganda in Africa, where everything was quite uncomfortable to the Google Mecca in Mountain View, where I enjoyed the best that life has to offer. It was a memorable and extremely comfortable experience. I was addicted to the comfortable experience in a way that I couldn’t cope in an environment that had less to offer. When you’re too used to comfort, you will find it difficult to be productive in a less comfortable environment.

Your comfort zone is a state of mind; you don’t have to always be comfortable to be productive.

2. Independence

I see myself as a very confident person, and I believe that this confidence has helped me to persevere, even in the midst of failures. However, be careful as confidence can bring up a feeling of independence in you; this independence, if not checked, can make you downplay the importance and effort of others in your life. A popular Hebrew proverb says that “One shall chase a thousand and two shall chase ten thousand.” Although that might not be entirely logical, it shows the importance of team-work in being productive.

Giving up on being independent in all I do has made it easy for me to lead Ascend Finance, and have a wonderful marital life.

3. Inconsistency

Just like most fresh graduates who just left school, I was inconsistent with my decisions. I would cut people out of my life without reason and would bail out of scheduled meetings at the last minute. I was lucky to find someone who would point out those inconsistencies to me.

If you’re inconsistent with your decisions, you can only achieve little in life. To achieve any meaningful goal requires a level of dedication that is impossible if you’re inconsistent.

Also, an inconsistent character will make you lose valuable relationships that can help you achieve your goals, and human relationships play a vital role in the success of any organization.

4. Fear of Failure

Everyone fails. Failure helps you to be more productive if you know how to learn from it, and have the humility to understand that it is an essential part of your success.

In my first year of leading Ascend Finance, I failed quite often. Before failing, I was confident that the endeavor was the right thing to do. After a while, I realized that what I built was a dud. But guess what, I had learned how not to do it. And fortunately, I had a team that didn’t lose confidence in me.

To be a productive person, take risks, and experiment with ideas. Learn from your failures and tell others about it. Your co-workers will find you more approachable if you share your failures with them, it will also inspire and give them the confidence to share their ideas with you; this way, you’ll build an inclusive work environment.

5. Being Reactive

You can be a reactive person without having any clue of it. I learned I was a reactive person some years ago when a manager asked if I can allow him to have a full understanding of what I’m working on, instead of just dishing out orders for him to follow. I thought about this situation. Then it dawned on me that I was only reacting to the situation at hand and not being proactive. After a while of choosing to be proactive, I noticed a considerable change in my level of productivity.

How does being reactive affect productivity? The truth is people who are reactive wait for events to happen in their life before making a decision on anything. In my workplace, I used to wait to receive instructions before making a move on any matter, and this affected my relationship with my bosses and colleagues. But ever since I became proactive with my decisions, I started excelling in my duties and bringing better results to my team. I proactively started writing in my personal finance blog called, “Saved By The Cents” and writing articles such as Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Florida that would help people determine whether bankruptcy was right for them. I became happier while working because I began to enjoy the solutions I was introducing to my workplace and this brought me lots of accolades from people up the ladder.

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