Have you ever heard of a business toolkit that includes chocolate, a binder clip and a yo-yo? What if you threw in a rock, a sponge and some salt?
Those are some of the dozen items that are in the ‘leadership toolkit’ created by Candace Matthews, Americas Region President for Amway. But what do those items signify and how does it measure her success as a business leader?
Salt represents integrity and values. Coming from a large family, Candace knew her parents stressed over two things. Education and faith.
Great leaders never give up. They believe where there’s a will, there’s a way. “In other words, anything you put your mind to and efforts behind, you can achieve. You must believe in yourself and your God-given abilities so strongly, that nothing or no one can deter you. That doesn’t mean you won’t face challenges and obstacles in life, because you will… and true leaders persevere through them and emerge even stronger than before. They are the rock of their organisation.”
Great leaders continually evolve, observing others whether it’s a boss, a peer or a subordinate. They are always looking for ways to improve themselves.
Anyone can be good at their job, but if they don’t project a good image and expose their talents to the right people, they won’t get far toward their goals. This doesn’t mean sucking up to those who are influential. It does mean continuously learning new things, finding new passions, sharing new ideas and exploring new cultures.
Learn everything you need to know and do the same. Pay it forward.
What’s a wiffle ball, you may ask? Well, it’s used in a sport that closely follows the basic principles of playing baseball – throw the ball, hit the ball and catch the ball! In Candace’s bag, the ball signifies staying grounded to your principles.
Learn how to be flexible. Hone that skill.
Building a business is important but there needs to be more to life apart from gaining business perspectives. Do what is needed to build your business. But, take the time to develop a personal life too.
Great leaders have a strong personal support system. “For me that is my husband, Bruce, who sacrificed so much of himself for me to fulfill my dream.”
Leaders surround themselves with the best and the brightest individuals who possess complementary skills.
Great leaders give and receive direct, constructive and honest feedback, and that’s not always easy. “They must have both thick and Teflon skin, because there will be times when both are needed.”
The final item in Candace’s toolbox is a dollar bill, representing the fact that great leaders are rewarded well, reward others well and give back to their community. Give your time, talent and treasure—and don’t give until it hurts, give until it feels really good!