There are many habits a leader should cultivate, but some are more important than others. In my work as an executive leadership coach, part of my job is helping leaders recognize and develop the traits that will make them successful. Here are 10 of the most important habits that great leaders share:
They make themselves available. I cannot stress enough how important it is for a leader to be visible and available. You have a lot to do, and it’s easy to let yourself get bogged down, hiding behind closed doors to focus on everyday challenges and circumstances. But successful leaders make a habit of being available, and it makes a genuine difference with those they lead.
They practice what they preach. If you want people to perform at their best, you have to show them what the best sounds like and looks like. That means living out your character and values on a daily basis, being true and authentic. Only when you walk the walk will the people around you feel inspired and excited to follow you.
They’re confident when others are unsure. Self-confidence is especially critical when inevitable difficulties arise. Confident leaders stay calm in the face of challenges. A tentative leader makes for tentative employees, so effective leaders avoid waffling. They exhibit confidence in their own capabilities and competence—and in their team’s.
They stay positive when things go negative. Positivity and optimism aren’t about the situation—they’re about your outlook. Successful leaders look on the bright side whenever possible. They look for the positives in their team members and in even the biggest challenges. Positivity is a powerful force.
They focus on sustainable success. Successful leaders understand that the best success is long-term sustainable success, and that requires the buy-in of the whole team. It takes time and effort to achieve, but the payoff is absolutely worth it. Great leaders make a habit of focusing every day on the future and on creating sustainable success rather than a flash in the pan.
They encourage others to voice their opinions. I often have a front-row seat to leaders’ communications. Too often, they think they need to be doing all the talking and all the fixing. What they don’t realize is they gain far more respect—and a broader range of good ideas—with collaboration. Successful leaders know the importance of letting others voice their opinion so they can leverage their team’s knowledge.
They recognize people for their worth. The top reason people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel recognized for the hard work. Most people receive very little or no recognition, so it’s important to appreciate and recognize your people for their effort and dedication.
Lead from within: A habit is a behavior that is repeated regularly, and successful leadership is no different. Consistency is key to forming and demonstrating good habits that eventually become second nature.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.