How to Be A Better Leader Are you striving to be a better leader?

Do you read all the books, listen to the seminars, and focus on improving your leadership style?

In this article for Inc., Marc Barros, co-founder and former CEO of Contour, challenges all of us to be better leaders by taking the time to refuel mind, body, and soul.

“Almost every entrepreneur falls into the pattern of not getting enough sleep, working too hard, and not exercising [sic] Instead we come up for excuse for why we don’t have the time for what matters.”

Here are Marc Barros strategies for becoming a happier leader.

Seven Strategies to Be a Better Leader

Silence Your Phone

Be present in the lives of those who matter most. Unplug when you get home. Turn off the technology and be unavailable occasionally. An always-on mentality will burn out even the most seasoned entrepreneur and personal relationships can suffer as a result.

“Being able to disconnect on command will help you get over the anxiety that no one can reach you all night.”

Hit the Gym

Exercise is important for your mental and physical well being. “Yes, it does require you to schedule this on your calendar, but it can — and should — be done.”

Exercise regularly and give your brain a chance to recharge. You’ll return to your work refreshed and have a fresh perspective to accomplish more.

Be Vulnerable

For Barros, the best leaders exercise vulnerability as part of their leadership. “They are willing to share their deepest fears, show their emotions, and tell stories that go well beyond the company to their heart.”

Want to exercise more vulnerability but not sure where to start? Barros suggests an improv comedy or theatre class to get comfortable with nervousness.

Get More Rest

Too many entrepreneurs pride themselves on slogging through long hours and not getting enough sleep, but rest is important. Your work will be better, you’ll make better decisions, and you’ll just feel better.


The irony for many entrepreneurs and business leaders: We started companies for the freedom in lifestyle, but choose to work constantly.

Barros challenges us to take a two-week vacation this year. No email and no phone calls.

“When you look back on your life, the stories you tell be about your adventures — not the time spent on your laptop.”

Find Things That Inspire You

Whether it's time spent in the outdoors, reading, writing, or some other pursuit, find the things that inspire you and share them with others.

You can’t be innovative in business and become a better leader without allowing yourself the time and opportunity to discover great ideas.

Find a Mentor

The best leaders know their success didn’t happen without mentors, but too many leaders neglect their own personal development, says Barros.

“Ideally, you want someone you personally like who has experience leading people and some understanding of your business.”