There are specific habits and traits that make the difference between leading well and losing ground. While they might seem simple at first glance, implementing them is difficult. But, by cultivating these habits and keeping them ever present in your life, you are committing to growth and will stand out from the crowd.
Be Values Driven
In our book, Would You Work for You? The Quest: Discovering the Leader Within, we wrote that, “Your quest and the journey ahead will be filled with thousands, if not millions, of choices. The way you make them will reflect the values you have, and it won’t be long before the people around you quickly see how you operate and what is important to you.”
While everyone lives by a set of values, not everyone takes the effort and time to truly investigate, identify, and claim their values. Doing so requires work, reflection, intentionality, and self-awareness.
But, identifying and choosing your values is only the first step in this process! Many times the values espoused by a leader do not measure up with what they practice. People who are successful in leadership roles are able to move beyond an awareness of their values and put those values into action.
Own Your Attitude
Your attitude has an enormous impact on the way you’re perceived as a leader. If you possess a deep well of knowledge but walk into work each day with a frown on your face, that will have a negative effect on your team members. Both enthusiasm and pessimism are contagious, so choose which you will spread.
Don’t react to negative situations as they unfold. Instead, decide in advance:
- How will you deal with conflicts?
- How will you deal with success?
- How will you respond to challenging situations?
- How will you respond to discomfort?
Inevitably, you are going to face difficult and uncomfortable moments. How you deal with them says a great deal about what kind of leader you are.
Be Willing to Stretch
“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” — Oprah Winfrey, host, producer, actress, and philanthropist
There are very few leaders who become wildly successful by sitting on their hands. Instead, great leaders challenge themselves and constantly push past the edge of the success they’ve already garnered. There’s always another benchmark and another goal beyond the current one.
You cannot allow yourself to remain too long within your comfort zone.
In our book, Would You Work for You? The Quest: Discovering the Leader Within, we wrote that, “You need to stretch beyond what you already know, look at your world differently, and be willing to often step into the unknown.” This also means investing in your own study and growth so you’ll be able to overcome larger and larger challenges.
A hungry leader is someone who is genuinely curious, interested, and engaged. They have a zest for life and a desire to learn.
When you walk into a meeting, don’t zone out. Instead, assume you will learn something you didn’t already know and that there will be at least one valuable nugget of information gained in the hour. Be willing to investigate.
Remember that curiosity and hunger, when pursued, lead to knowledge and growth.
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” ― Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author
Lead Intentionally Every Single Day
Work diligently on your leadership skills and strive to implement these habits into your daily life. Doing so allows you to connect more effectively with your team, keep your head above water when challenges arise, and make a real difference within your organization.
This is only part one in this series, so please stay tuned to discover the remaining indispensable habits every great leader needs!
Are you ready to build the habits that will allow you to become an impactful leader? Download our free eBook, Leading Self, today!
Tim, with his extensive background in education and management, is a great part of our Fired Up! team dedicated to inspiring teams and leaders. At Fired Up!, our work is dedicated to harnessing the power of culture to equip leaders, build amazing teams, and align operation practices to engage organizations and drive breakthrough results.
Author, Speaker, and Change Agent.
Chris leads a dynamic team of passionate change agents who are dedicated to partnering with organizational executives to create cultures that inspire, engage and ignite the best in people. Our work is dedicated to harnessing the power of culture to equip leaders, build amazing teams and align operation practices to delighting the customer and drive breakthrough results.