It’s been more than 25 years since Amine and I first co-founded our company, Endicia, provider of ecommerce shipping solutions. And one of the most important things I’ve learned over that quarter of a century period is this — effective leadership requires practice, and more practice. Whether you’re interacting with colleagues, clients or partners, there are a few key ingredients that can help turn you into a standout leader.

1. Foster a Spirit of Community in the Workplace
Encouraging a strong company culture is essential for creating a supportive and successful environment. Here at Endicia, a big part of our culture is Pizza Friday. We started this Friday lunch tradition in the ’80s, and it has only continued to grow since. It gives us a chance to all get together to wrap up the week, share stories and have some laughs. An event as simple as lunch provides camaraderie for employees and sparks fresh ideas for the company.
2. Stay Open-minded
Give your team a clear picture to work with. Be as responsive to everyone as you possibly can, and don’t immediately shoot down other people’s ideas. You want to maintain a positive environment and keep your team motivated toward a vision of success!
3. Stand Firm in Your Convictions
If you have a unique idea, run with it. Even if you think some people might not understand it, be confident that your ideas are viable. If you aren’t, who will be? A true entrepreneur doesn’t have an easy path.
4. Trust Your Instincts
Enjoy solving the problem at hand with cutting-edge ideas. Encourage others to work together, and take everyone’s ideas and suggestions into consideration. Oftentimes, there won’t be a clear path and things will seem uncertain. This is the time to be innovative, trust yourself and your intuition, as well as your team.
5. Maintain a Healthy Balance
Understand that with new ideas and innovation, balance is ideal. Know that sometimes you have to align your unique ideas with realism. Another necessity is maintaining a balance between productivity and playfulness. We maintain this balance at Endicia by allowing employees to work from home one day a week. We believe that this gives them the time to focus on their work without worrying about commutes, interruptions or pets being left alone for the day.
6. Embrace Your Successes AND Your Failures
Not everything you do will be successful, and that’s OK. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Always continue to build and add to your portfolio. Also, maintain a sense of humor when these failures do come along — it keeps the office a happy and healthy environment.
7. Don’t Fear Change
Being open to evolution and staying ahead of the vanguard is key to being a standout leader. You have to be the one to take the reins and lead your team through whatever obstacles and successes lie ahead.
Ultimately, there is no better way to show your team that you are a standout leader than to lead by example. After all, a good leader isn’t stuck at one altitude. He can fly at 40,000 feet, but he can also swoop down into the trees.

For more tips on managing a business, including how to win a customer’s heart, check out this article here.