As I’ve mentioned in recent articles, intentional, positive habits are the most powerful tools at our disposal for achieving greater success personally, professionally, and organizationally. If you desire greater success in any area of your life, cultivating the right habits is key.
In my book, Be An Inspirational Leader: Engage, Inspire, Empower, I spend an entire chapter on the concept of leveraging the power of habit to become a better, more effective inspirational leader. Here are some examples I include in that chapter of habits you might want to develop as part of your journey to becoming a more inspirational leader. (Note: each of these examples is connected to particular characteristics of inspirational leaders found in other chapters throughout the book.)
- To become a more accountable leader, make a habit of both shouldering responsibility and sharing credit by using “I” when taking blame and using “we” or “they” when accepting credit.
- To become a more teachable leader and a lifelong learner, incorporate a regular learning opportunity into your daily routine, like listening to a podcast or TED talk while getting ready for work or while driving to your office.
- To become a more approachable leader, dedicate thirty minutes of your mornings at work to simply walking the halls of your organization and chatting with the people you run into.
- To become a more responsive leader, consistently set reminders on your phone or make notes on your calendar to follow up with people who have approached you with a concern or request.
- To improve as a leader who builds connections, develop a habit of asking insightful questions during conversations and listening attentively to the responses.
- To improve as a leader who makes investments, make it a habit to genuinely thank your team members for their efforts and to frequently recognize them for their accomplishments.
- To improve as a leader who demonstrates values, commit to being respectful of everyone’s time—consistently starting meetings on time, arriving early to appointments, and in general not making people wait for you.
- To improve as a leader who facilitates growth, develop the habit of giving frequent, constructive feedback to those you lead throughout the year, not just during annual performance reviews.
Obviously these suggestions merely skim the surface of what it takes to be a truly inspirational leader… but it’s a great start! What other habits would you add to the list?