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How Do You Know If You’re an Effective Leader?

Building Teams, Mindset

Am I the most hated business owner on Tik Tok?

A few months ago, I was just about to dive into work for the week by setting my top three priorities. This is something I do every week to help ensure I’m focusing on the things that are going to have the biggest impact on my and the company’s goals. 

At the time, we were just coming off our most successful quarter in Cardone Ventures’ history, so I wanted to take the time to realign with my team, ensure everyone was focusing on the right priorities, and offer support if needed. Setting my priorities is, I think, one of the most important things I do for myself each week, and I wanted to encourage my team to use this same strategy.

I sent an email to my team asking them to share their top three priorities with me, and, in true Natalie fashion, I thought to myself, “This would be a great lesson for business owners,” so I made a Tik Tok and posted it. Little did I know this Tik Tok would cause outrage in my comments section from people accusing me of micromanaging my team and calling me a bad manager. 

I’m not usually one to let negative comments on social media get to me, but this particular video’s comment section had me second-guessing myself all day. Were these random Tik Tok users right? Was I really micromanaging my team? 

Ultimately, I was able to pull myself out of that black hole and rationalize that the email was a good decision. None of my partners had a problem with it, and none of my team members pushed back on me, either. But, it’s funny how one, seemingly innocuous social media post can trigger so much self-doubt and reflection on my effectiveness as a leader. 

I know I’m not alone in this reflection, so I thought I’d share some tips for evaluating whether or not you’re an effective leader, so others can benefit from my Tik Tok debacle.

Being an effective leader comes down to one question: are you winning?

As co-founder and President of this business, I control the culture. I get to decide the role I play in running the business, and if I’m prioritizing a culture of winning, I know I will be perceived by my team as an effective and strong leader. 

Winning can mean a few different things in this context. For me, I’m looking at two key things: is my business winning and is my team winning?

Having a winning business means more than just revenue… although that’s a big part of it. I know the business is winning because of the impact we’re making in the lives of our customers. I know the business is winning because of the growth of our team and our other businesses, like 10X Health. I know the business is winning because we just had one of the most successful quarters in the history of the company.

While I can’t take all the credit, I know my contributions to the business as a leader have played a key role in the success of Cardone Ventures. 

Having a winning team is equally as important when evaluating how effective I am as a leader. My team is, quite frankly, on fire these days. They’re making money, developing in their careers and earning promotions, and, most importantly, they’re sticking around. Over the last four years since starting the business, not one of the leadership team members I’ve hired has quit, and I’ve only had to fire one in my entire career. 

My team wouldn’t stick around if they didn’t believe in my leadership and think that I’m effectively running the business and guiding them to greatness.

So, the next time you start questioning whether or not you’re an effective leader, take a moment to reflect on your wins. Is your business growing? Are you making money? Are you happy? Is your team sticking around? If all of these things are true, then your effectiveness is undisputed. 

Listen to the stats over the opinions of others

Everyone has opinions, especially when you become successful. They have opinions on how you run your business, how you carry yourself, and how you live your life. But, opinions mean virtually nothing to me if they don’t have the stats to back it up. 

The performance of my team and our business are the stats that I fall back on constantly to remind myself that the way I’m running our business is effective. Employee retention is high, we’re making more money than ever before, and we’re hiring new team members to support our growth. These are the things that matter — not the opinion of some random people on Tik Tok. 

If you’re looking to level up your leadership skills for the growth of your business and your team, grab a copy of my best-selling book, TeamWork, where I outline all the steps and requirements to build a high-performance team.