Living an exceptional life among other factors is influenced by an individual’s mindset.  The mindset is one major determinant of how we respond to situations; hence, it is crucial to guard your mind from all forms of negative influence.

Two soldiers were sent to spy the camp of their enemy. When they came back to report, the first soldier said “We can’t take on the enemy, they are giants, they have more weapons and are well prepared”. The second soldier said “We are very prepared to talk on them we can out-run them, we have all it takes”.

After the war, the first soldier whose report was full of discouragement and despair didn’t make it.

When you find yourself in a place where people shy away from difficult tasks, you can stand out. You can be exceptional in the following ways:

1. Take on Difficult Tasks

Managers may choose to shy away from difficult task because they are concerned about only the result, but leaders will not. Your ability to accomplish difficult task makes you earn the respect of others. One trait of a true leader is problem solving. Problems will always come at work, home and life in general. But leaders don’t run away from them. They search for ways to proffer solutions. I find it unbecoming of young marriages today, where at the break of a little understanding they file for a divorce. Such people can’t be seen as leaders. Difficult tasks strengthen the leader and teache him to be resilient. In handling difficult tasks, he makes tough decisions, which lead to the success of the task. This is where leaders are forged.

2. Pay Your Dues

“Everything in life has an exact price and you have to decide whether the price is worth the prize”, this was Nuns opinion, a former senator in the US. There are times you have to give up what is considered as gains to answer to the calling of leadership. Pastor Taiwo Daniel Odukoya was formerly a petroleum Engineer, but when he responded to the call of leadership in his life, he had to leave his profession. Today, he is a success in his ministry. Paying your dues could also be serving others, and mastering the trade or skill you need to start up your own enterprise.

3. Work at the Background

People with leadership traits don’t present themselves in the spotlight unless it becomes necessary. They work unseen. They are the story behind the glory of any task. Show me any successful task, and I will show you a leader who made it happen in obscurity. These set of people go hard on themselves than they do on others. Their results simply speak for them and earn them the respect of their team members.

4. Manage Difficult People 

Most managers find it frustrating when they come in contact with difficult people. To avoid the challenge of managing them, they send them away.

That is not a leadership trait.

Leaders know how to manage difficult people. They wield the power of influence. They rightly position themselves in the hearts of people.

5. They Take Risks

People who play it safe don’t stand out. Leaders take calculated risks. They put themselves on the line having done proper research to be sure that the risk will yield a positive outcome.

You can become exceptional, if you are determined and willing to learn.

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As you consciously follow the above steps, they become your attitude. Do follow the next edition of this article for the remaining steps.