Are Your Leadership Habits Bringing You Success?

leadership habits
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All leaders have a natural style — a combination of personality and values. Some are aggressive, some passive. Some are extroverted, some introverted. No matter what your current style, you do not have to change your personality or lower your values to become a top-notch leader.

In one of his best-selling books, Jim Collins refers to “good” as the nemesis to great. To be the best natural leader you can be, you need to move from being OK, to good, to great!

We are creatures of habit. The way we tie our shoes … brush our teeth … the language we speak … and even the way we think. All these things are controlled or significantly impacted by habit.

By definition, a habit is an automatic response to a given stimulus. If someone asks for your name, you don’t have to think about it. You have an automatic thought pattern, and you automatically think or say your name. It’s a habit. When you cross a street, even a one-way street, you will look both ways. It’s a habit.

The danger is when we develop habits that will not sustain us in lean times. But developing good, automatic habits can be a game-changer in leadership and execution.

Leadership is a contact activity and, therefore, requires verbal skills and interpersonal (relationship-building) skills.

Many people believe you are a natural-born leader if you are outgoing, friendly, upbeat, and a talker. The truth is you can be extremely successful using your own style — the one that comes naturally to you. 

Leadership skills can be learned in a classroom, but to implement them proficiently you must practice them. Two of the highest-paid professions in the world are Hollywood actors and professional athletes. What do athletes and actors do when they aren’t “playing?”

That’s right; the good ones are practicing. They know that when they are on the playing field or on the stage, there’s a best way to perform. They want to know the part so well that they don’t have to worry about what they are going to do or when they are supposed to do it.

The athlete practices so he can concentrate and be ready to take corrective action if the opposition makes a sudden or unexpected move.

Actors can focus more on facial expressions and body movement if they have rehearsed their lines enough to do them “without thinking.”

Actors and athletes have learned that if you want to be the best, you must break the scene or play into component parts and make each piece its best. Then practice each “best” part until it becomes second nature, or “natural.” In other words, they make it a habit.

So, if you want to up your game in the office, start breaking your leadership down into small parts. Ask for assistance from a coach or mentor about what areas you need to focus on. Work on those parts until they happen naturally. String together different aspects of your leadership pattern that you have improved and the whole process will go from OK, to good, to great.

At Achievement Unlimited, we guide leaders to become their best. To get you started, here is a free Self-Evaluation and Action Plan.

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