Many entrepreneurs have a love-hate relationship with the idea of being in charge. Yes, we want to be the leaders and the decision makers, but do we always have to deal with the “shit” too? Yes

As a leader, you get the good and the bad. And as a leader with integrity, the buck stops with you. So what does this mean with regards to leading your team, your audience, and yourself? Here are a few ideas from an influence and impression management perspective:

1. Do own responsibility no matter what. You are the leader. So be empowered by the fact that anything that happens on your watch, within your company, and representing your brand is your responsibility.

2. Don’t make or accept excuses from you or anyone on your team. Excuses are an epidemic in today’s society. No one is ever responsible. Don’t accept excuses (even the logical ones) from your team, clients, or self. Excuses are the death to your influence and income.

3. Do aim for integrity and excellence. Always do the best you can and in the most outstanding way you can.

4. Don’t let your feelings cloud your actions. No matter how much you like someone or sympathize with their situation how you feel about them (for good or bad) can’t affect the actions you take. Do what is best for the brand and the relationship not your personal perspective.

5. Do share your passion always (not your stress.) As a leader how you feel is infectious. So infect all that are around you with your passion and excitement, not your stress.

6. Don’t get stubborn or stuck. Many times when things are going wrong, people aren’t taking responsibility and overwhelm can set in. When this happens we either get stubborn (“I don’t deserve this.”) or we get stuck (“ Well if they aren’t going to do their part nor am I.”) As a leader the idea of being fair and just needs to go out of the window when the job is on the line. Achieving the goal has to be the main objective.

7. Do set relationship boundaries. We have all heard the expression “It is lonely at the top.” and it is. As a leader, your staff, partners, and clients aren’t your friends. They are your staff, partners, and clients. They need to be treated as such.

8. Don’t over communicate. Communication is key as a leader. You have to communicate what is expected, what is the objective, and what it actually happening. But as a leader, you are also to protect your clients and staff from situations that can harm them or that they have no control over. Communicate with a clear intention and take care of the rest behind the scenes. As I always tell my clients, you are selling the sausage not how it is made.

9. Do lead by example. You know this, but I can bet you don’t live this. You have to take care of you on all levels: personally, professionally, physically, and spiritually. You also can’t cut yourself any slack that you aren’t willing to do for someone else. You need to be the walking embodiment of your brand and its standards.

10. Don’t take anything for granted. You are so incredibly lucky to be a leader. So don’t take any of this - stress and all - for granted. People believe in you, trust you, and are inspired by you - this is a great honor. Always remember that.