Being a great leader starts with mastering yourself.
You have to be conscious of each habit when you are alone or with other people. Our life is a mass of habits, good or bad, and they govern our day to day life. You can have effective leadership if you start with the habits that are easiest to achieve.
Focus and give yourself time to adopt the new habit. There are no natural born leaders. You have to work hard on your habits.
Tired of repackaged and untested theories about effective leadership?
Here are seven “real-world” habits to start today. They will help you in assessing, developing, and designing a system that will make you improve continuously.
1. Practice Confidence
This is one of the most important habits that you need to make an effort to achieve. Without it, leadership can’t exist. This is the basis on which leadership grows. It’s like the foundation for building a house.
Confidence not only allows you to make decisions, but it also reassures your employees.
You can communicate with people when you are unsure of yourself. You can’t empower people if you are not firm in making decisions and commitments. You have to learn to be confident first before anything else.
This is the most important trait of having effective leadership.
2. Focus on Challenging Tasks
When you are a leader, challenges will constantly present themselves. They will be pushing you to rise to another level, improve yourself, or accomplish something difficult. If you want to practice effective leadership, you should learn to thrive in challenges.
You grow believing in yourself and achieving all the goals you set out to accomplish. Develop a habit of focusing on challenging tasks that will help you and your team achieve the next level. It will keep you more focused on your vision for a long time.
3. Read Daily
Effective leadership involves reasoning, focusing, and concentrating on different tasks. When you read every day, you not only improve on the above but reduce stress, but you also get mental clarity and increase your knowledge. A great leader always wants to learn.
You gain so much from learning, and it can greatly increase your potential to succeed. You need to have a lot of general information to be able to seize different opportunities.
Reading helps you decipher the information and improve your judgment and analytical abilities. When we read, we tend to pick up language proficiency that includes reading and writing.
We tend to speak twice as much vocabulary we pick from books than on television. Read to stand out and equip yourself with the knowledge that will help you practice effective leadership.
There is always something new to learn every day.
4. Emotional Intelligence
To be a great leader, you must have self-awareness and self-control. Self-awareness begins by listening to your inner voice. These are internal physiological cues given out by your body.
One way to measure your self-awareness is through your heart rate. Become aware of how fast or slow your heart is beating in any situation. Also, learn to listen to your gut feeling. Learn to focus on your emotions to judge the value of your gut feelings.
To practice, effective leadership also means paying attention to the opinions of others about you. Know your values and have a clear idea of what you cannot compromise on.
Hold yourself accountable for your mistakes and don’t put the blame on others. In stressful situations, be aware of that feeling and practice deep breathing exercises to relieve yourself from that tension.
5. Goal Oriented
Make it a habit to write down your goals and stick to them increases your capacity to succeed. The idea behind writing your goals is to put a constant reminder that you are on the right path. It’s easy to lose track of what your objectives are.
Effective leadership means that you are the one taking control, not reacting to whatever comes next in your life. In an organization, your job as a leader is to steer employees in the right direction.
The organizations’ goals and objectives should align with the employees’ daily activities. You have to emphasize on step by step plans and schedules for getting things done.
This will help you define goals and stick to schedules that aren’t flexible. You can develop a reward system for employees who land a new deal or reach a new sales target.
You can either choose to find a car for them or treat them to a vacation. This will motivate them in an instant.
6. Sensitive and Responsive to Others
A good leader has an understanding of people’s needs. Sensitive people tend to see the world through a different lens. As an employee, you would want your boss to listen to your needs more attentively.
Employees would generally feel happier if they know that they have sensitive, emphatic leaders—thus improving their productivity at work. A sensitive leader evaluates employees’ performances.
They understand that constructive criticism goes hand in hand with compliments. Learn to put yourself in the other person shoes before making a cold remark. Learning how to be sensitive means you learn to encourage and praise others for their good work.
It goes a long way in boosting people’s productivity.
7. Practice Positivism
Being positive in your leadership means appreciating people for their unique contribution. You wire your brain to see the good things and actions of your employees. You affirm the potential of your employees in a way that they focus on their strengths.
A leader sees a negative aspect as fuel for change. It’s said that three times more positive emotion will go a long way in boosting creativity and solve problems much faster.
Try and create an environment where people feel good about themselves and see the changes.
Practicing the above habits may look easy, but practicing effective leadership requires work and dedication. You need to manage your inner critic, self-talk, and being positive. Start with self-leadership.
Take time in silence to reflect where you are. You need to eat for your mind if you expect to have good leadership performance. Be mindful of your physical and mental health.
Update your own skills by surrounding yourself with like-minded people. It can get harder to work on our skills as we progress. Staying focused will help you serve your people better and practice effective leadership.
Read more on our blog about how to improve your mental health to help you make better decisions.