3 psychologists share their best research-backed leadership tips

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As a discipline, leadership may be as old as the first tribal headman who led his band on a victorious mammoth hunt. But that doesn't mean the art and science of being a great leader isn't always evolving.

Just as every year physics expands our understanding of how the universe functions and medicine finds new ways to treat disease, psychology is constantly turning out fresh research into how to be a better leader. What are the latest findings?

Check out these Mark Cuban quotes about business and leadership:

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Mark Cuban business quotes
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3 psychologists share their best research-backed leadership tips

#1: "I still work hard to know my business. I'm continuously looking for ways to improve all my companies, and I'm always selling. Always."

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#2: "When you've got 10,000 people trying to do the same thing, why would you want to be number 10,001?"

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#3: "Because if you're prepared and you know what it takes, it's not a risk. You just have to figure out how to get there. There is always a way to get there."

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#4: "Go out there and get rich. Get so obnoxiously rich that when that tax bill comes, your first thought will be to choke on how big a check you have to write."

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#5: "​In the past, people used to tell me to shut up a bit. But what I believe is to put out your opinion and let everyone else react. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong."

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#6: "I've learned that it doesn't matter how many times you failed. You only have to be right once. I tried to sell powdered milk. I was an idiot lots of times, and I learned from them all."

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#7: "Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you."

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#8: "Forget about finding your passion. Instead, focus on finding big problems."

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#9: "It's not about money or connections -- it's the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone when it comes to your business. And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time."

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#10: "What I've learned is that if you really want to be successful at something, you'll find that you put the time in. You won't just ask somebody if it's a good idea, you'll go figure out if it's a good idea."

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The always intriguing British Psychological Society Research Digest blog recently did entrepreneurs a favor, rounding up ten tips from top psychologists for leaders. Here are three of the most interesting to get you started.

1. Great leaders model balance.

It's impossible to work like a lunatic yourself and expect your team to make healthy choices that will keep burnout at bay, professor Gail Kinman of the University of Bedfordshire warns.

"If you expect staff to go home on time but you often work late, they will follow your lead. If you send emails during evenings and weekends you're sending a signal you expect them to be read and replied to--even if this isn't your intention," she says. You might think you're working long hours so they don't have to, but that's not the message that is going to be received.

2. Hobbies make you a better leader.

What's another reason spending every spare moment at the office is a bad idea? Because outside interests make you a better leader. "According to Professor Kevin Kniffin and collaborators from Cornell University, people who play competitive youth sports tend to show more leadership, self-respect, and self-confidence when surveyed decades after their playing days," BPS claims. Other studies back up this conclusion.

3. Get the voices in your head under control.

"Creating that distance between 'you' and annoying, thrilling and boring thoughts strengthens your ability to focus your attention, builds self-awareness of your reaction to stressful situations and fosters acceptance of the way things truly are. Leaders need this clarity and focus to deal with the uncertainties and complexity they face," executive mindfulness coach Dr Henry Ford tells BPS.

No bonus points for guessing that he recommends mindfulness as the best way to go about cultivating that distance.

RELATED: Jobs that are perfect for work-life balance

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The best jobs for healthy work-life balance
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3 psychologists share their best research-backed leadership tips

Data Scientist 
Salary: $106,939

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Social Media Manager
Salary: $107,473

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SEO Manager
Salary: $111,038

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Web Designer
Salary: $70,580

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Content Manager
Salary: $92,583 

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Lab Assistant
Salary: $53,912

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Dietician 
Salary: $56,890

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Elementary School Teacher
Salary: $54,814 

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Human Resources Manager 
Salary: $94,993 

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Civil Engineer 
Salary: $95,550

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