Three Habits You Can Implement Into Your Leadership Style
“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.”
Brian Tracy said those words, words which remind us that leaders – just like everyone else – need to build habits that will help them excel.
We’ve gone to several different sources (and leaned on our experience) to come up with some habits we think will contribute to your personal development. We also believe these habits, as Brian Tracy pointed out, can lead to a prosperous future for you as a leader.
We believe that the best leaders are confident and humble at the same time. There is a very fine line between confidence and arrogance. We like to think that confidence is a belief in your ability, while arrogance is a belief that your ability makes you better than others.
And perhaps the key to humility, in a workplace environment, is that your co-workers and employees are experts at telling the difference between arrogance and confidence. They’ll know when you’re full of yourself and when you aren’t
Entrepreneur reporter Carly Okyle touched on humility in a 2014 article about leadership. Here’s what she said:
“While it might seem counterintuitive, being humble takes more confidence than basking in glory. Your employees will appreciate it and your clients will, too.”
Our advice? Know where to draw the line between confidence and arrogance. Your skill and ability can make you a good leader, but skill and ability alone can’t make you a good person.
Have you ever had to sit in a meeting for hours, all the while knowing it could’ve just taken 15 minutes? Tangents and unnecessary discussions can drag out otherwise efficient planning/strategizing time. And, usually, the person leading the meeting is to blame.
Employees want to feel like meetings are worth their time, and there’s no better way to devalue that time than allowing superfluous chatter.
With this in mind, be intentional about how you run meetings. Make a habit of placing precision and expediency at the top of the list when you’re gathering your colleagues and employees together.
In another Entrepreneur article, contributor Kevin Meany proposed two habits you can practice every time you conduct a meeting: state your goals and keep your groups small.
Stating your goals puts everyone on the same page and gives them a clear purpose and objective for the meeting. When no goals are stated, there is no destination. When there is no destination, the group is bound to wander.
Keeping your groups small is another habit that will help you corral any moments of divergence from the goals you stated.
The history of sport is full of stories about athletes who had all the talent in the world but could never quite produce on the pitch or playing field. These narratives serve to remind us that skill isn’t always a guarantee for success. In fact, it’s most often the will of the player – their “heart” – that gets them the championships.
As leaders, we often judge our team by their skills – whose talent is best suited for which position? You’ve probably come to realize this philosophy has a glaring weakness, though. Sometimes the people who have the skill set to succeed in a certain position or department don’t always succeed.
This scenario gets to the core of the habit of seeing people for their will and not their skill. The main difference between the two, Forbes contributor Alex McClafferty said, is that skills can be taught, but will is an entirely different beast.
“A skill gap is easy to close through coaching, training, and support. A will gap is more difficult to close,” he wrote. “You need to take time to dig into your employee’s motivation. Do they understand how their work fits into the big picture? Is there something blocking them? It’s your job as a leader to find out.”
So, when you’re formulating a new strategy in the workplace and you want to put key employees in key positions, evaluate their will. Do they have the heart to see the project through from beginning to end? If not, how can you motivate them to embrace the task?
Putting It All Together
As leaders, we need to build habits that will foster success. After all, successful people construct a pattern of success through the small things they do every day.
One of the habits we committed to when we started our speakers bureau was to find talented speakers who had the life experience to back up what they were saying from the stage.
We’re proud of the team we’ve built and we think your organization/clients will be challenged and inspired by our keynote speakers. If you’d like to take a look at the talent we’ve assembled for leadership conferences and conventions, click here to view our leadership keynote speakers.