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5 Leadership Habits to Adopt

Those that have worked with me in my various teams over the years know how much I stress individual habits and team habits as critical to sustained success, continuous improvement, and business and personal growth. Talking about habits has become a habit for me. You can take many online courses and read many books but if you don’t put those learnings into regular practice and for certain new learnings, making them a habit, you are wasting your time. I’m also a big believer that leadership requires certain habits to truly become the leader of people and teams instead of being taskmasters and managers of process and projects.

True leadership is more than just meeting deadlines. I take leadership seriously as I know I have a chance to impact lives so I continue to work hard to make the following habits of mine.

Always Looking for Talent

If you think about sports, search for top franchise level talent, and search for specific talent to plug into the team is a year-round job. This also needs to be a year-round job of leaders in business. No matter where I go my mind is on autopilot to evaluate people, how they approach situations, their attitude, emotional intelligence, and energy. And for some people, I make a mental note to add this person to my “free agency” list. It doesn’t mean you will always be able to hire the person but if you only rely on resumes, you are doing your business or organization a disservice. Not only you might make a bad in-the-moment hiring decision, but it also leads to a bigger issue, which is the lack of diversity and inclusion. By having a “free agency” list you decrease the chance of the same type of people circulating through the organization.

“Vision” PR Rep

Very often leaders will publish goals and vision for a year or a given time period and it is not re-enforced until the same time a year later. Pushing and re-enforcing the vision and goals needs to happen on a regular basis. This means leaders need to act as the PR representative for their vision and find ways to keep it front-of-mind for their team, organization, or business. I have done everything from posters to team building activity tied to the vision to contest and many other things to constantly re-enforce the vision to keep everyone moving in the same direction.

Data, Data, Data

Figures may be boring to some, yet numbers are the very foundation of Business. Quarterly reports are broken down into numbers; profit, loss, expenditures, margins – it is all a data game and you need to become a key player in it. Learning to see the ins and outs of these vital numbers and how they control the flow of business will help you handle today and prepare for the future. Study the data, see where it is pointing or what it is warning against, then take action. Successful leaders make studying the data and mining it for change, encouragement, and direction part of their work habits.

Keep Your Eye On What’s Next

Businesses are constantly evolving and growing. Departments are made, employees are hired, employees are fired, new directions are sought, and the money cycles through all of it. The key is to anticipate those changes and see the evolution of the company and react accordingly. This may mean hiring more people, branching out into unfamiliar locations, or just realizing how future changes position or not position you or your business for growth. This habit means you are always learning and on the lookout for potential disruptors, trends, and shifts in consumer behavior, and then taking action.

The culmination of all of your habits should result in the habit of always thinking strategically. Successful and effective leaders have learned how to make these habits part of their DNA. It just happens naturally without much effort. By watching the data, they learn to strategize on how to improve their business. By watching those around them, they have learned to recruit valuable talent. By understanding the evolution of their business and anticipating the next steps, they can stay on top of the game. In other words, Successful leaders are constantly strategizing.

What are other habits you have formed that has helped you become a better leader?

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