To be a positive, strong and influential leader, you have to develop and strengthen a leadership practice that is authentic to you. Whether you’re running your own business or leading teams or projects in the corporate world, your leadership practice is built by consistently honing your skills, gifts, and abilities.
It’s a choice you make day in and day out, regardless of title. And to honor that choice to be the leader you know you’re meant to be will require changes from you.
Such as your habits.
Those little things that we do every day, and many times, on autopilot are important to change. Yet when your habits change, you’ll see the results and they will become your new norm. So, here are five habits for you to evaluate and adjust as appropriate for where you are and where you want to go:
They are looking to expand their knowledge and strengthen their skills. For instance, reading or listening to a few pages of a book that interests you during a break or in the evening before you go to sleep? Or listening to encouraging music, podcasts, or messages as you drive into work so that you start your day in the right mindset? The more we learn, the better we can guide our teams and our business. The more we grow, the more confident we become as a leader.
They look for solutions and new ways of doing things. They aren't afraid to leverage their curiosity, and when fear does start to creep up, they are quick to recognize it and make the necessary shifts to overcome it. By making this a habit, even just committing to being aware when you're closing off different ideas before shutting them down without further consideration, is a step towards staying open to solutions. This doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't say no if the solution isn't appropriate, but the habit is about being open to seeing things from different perspectives. Recognizing there's more than one way to achieve a goal.
They understand that people want to be noticed and add value. The single act of you telling them demonstrates that someone else was paying attention and cared enough to say so. When people feel appreciated, they will do more than what’s expected. They will understand that you genuinely care, and they will continue to contribute. When this type of feedback comes from peers, it is encouraging and supportive. When this type of feedback comes from a leader, either formal like a boss or informal like an understood team lead, it can spark a new sense of enthusiasm for the job at hand.
They accept that change is part of the process and to move to a new level or take on a new project requires some discomfort, and they go with it, not fight it. A "what if" is not viewed from a place of scarcity, fear or lack, but rather possibilities and opportunities. This doesn't mean that they aren't scared or uncomfortable, but rather the purpose they are passionate about or the goal they want to achieve is much stronger than the fear they are facing in that moment. And even if there's a setback which has caused the discomfort, a positive leader is confident that this delay or detour will only help to bring out something even better.
They let others know they are appreciated repeatedly while being genuine and purposeful. They invest in others, see them as multi-dimensional, and engage in a way that demonstrates they genuinely care. They praise in public and constructively criticize in private. They find ways to grow and develop their team and clients. Positive leaders take care of people, and trust that when they do that, the people they are investing in will take care of the processes and performance will follow.
So to recap, the five habits are that positive leaders:
1- Are continually learning
2 - Are open to possibilities
3 - Genuinely care about others
4 - Are comfortable with being uncomfortable
5 - Build others up
What's one habit you can incorporate into your daily or weekly routine that shifts your mindset and starts moving you to the next level?
Although it takes longer than one week to make a new habit stick, you’re pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. As you shift your habits to align more with where you're going as a leader, you’ll see improvements in all areas of your organization or business.
Showing up as the confident business leader you're meant to be is a transformation that starts on the inside, and the first step is shifting your mindset. Enroll in the free Leverage Your Potential mini course and start recognizing the leader within you today as well as receive weekly tips and encouragement to keep you going.