3 Key Habits Great Leaders Share

Deep Patel, Forbes

Many of the most renowned leaders in history are said to have been born with an uncanny ability to rally others around them and inspire greatness. Their stories and leadership qualities have been mythologized and they serve as beacons for today’s hopeful entrepreneurs. But there’s danger in putting too much stock into replicating another person’s management style. Why?

Because there’s actually no right way to become a great leader. Growing into a leadership role is not an all-or-nothing, black-or-white process. No two individuals are exactly the same and trying to simply imprint another successful leader’s style into the roadmap of your own company doesn’t always work. The path to becoming a great leader is highly personal.

Being a leader requires a certain degree of visibility; employees don’t just look to leaders for guidance on specific projects and company initiatives; they are also looking for inspiration on how to be a more confident and productive contributor. By adopting these three daily habits, you too can effectively lead and inspire the people around you.

1. They Prioritize Wellness

The most powerful leaders know that they cannot live and breathe their work and still expect to lead with confidence and creativity at the office. Taking the time to step away from work to exercise, meditate or partake in a hobby reengages the mind and sets people up for more success once they’re back in work mode.

However, fitness, sleep and leisure are often the first activities sacrificed when work schedules ramp up. After all, how can someone possibly go to the gym after pulling a 12-hour day at the office?

Great leaders are proactive in making time for fitness and wellness, and they don’t rely on willpower alone. They work fitness and self-care into their weekly schedules to ensure they don’t neglect their health. They tackle their workouts first thing in the morning, turn their smartphones off while they have dinner with their families and make sure they’re logging a sufficient amount of sleep each night.

Strong leaders know that, in addition to offering mental relief, maintaining a regular exercise regime helps them to stay productive. Exercise releases endorphins into the body and studies have shown that the happier people are, the more productive they are.

Furthermore, exercise is linked to stronger overall mental focus, memory, stamina and concentration—qualities strong leaders depend on. Strong leaders don’t take their minds or bodies for granted; they know that scheduling time to get up an hour earlier every day will pay dividends for them and their companies.

2. They Stay Curious

The world is changing at a rapid pace, and technology is continuously transforming almost every aspect of our lives. Effective leaders know that they cannot afford to rest on their laurels. Although they may be leading the charge on a successful project, they also know that they have to stay abreast of the latest trends and topics shaping the world around them.

According to Fast Company, one of the traits that make leaders great is acknowledging what they don’t know and constantly asking questions. Making time to sate your curiosity—whether it involves reading, conversing with a colleague from another department or getting out and exploring the world—often leads to better solutions and more forward-thinking ideas.

3. They Ask Questions And Listen

Being an effective leader is not all about using your voice and being heard; listening to those around you is just as important. According to the co-founder of Google’s career mentoring program, Jenny Blake, “75% of complicated or tough conversations should be about listening, and only 25% should be giving advice.” Listening may seem like an obvious leadership characteristic, but many individuals don’t prioritize it.

Think back to some of your most recent conversations with colleagues. Sure, you may have heard what they were saying, but were you really listening? When employees feel as though their ideas and concerns are not being taken into consideration, it breeds a sense of distrust and disengagement in the office environment.

Effective leaders make a daily habit of conversing with those around them and actively listening to what they have to say. As a leader and public-facing member of your company, you’ve probably picked up one or two interview tricks to help you effectively promote your brand’s latest updates.

Try incorporating some of these tactics, including being open to listening and acting natural, the next time you engage in conversations with your colleagues. The more present and open you are, the more confident other employees will feel in communicating their own opinions and ideas.

Great leadership is a manifestation of skill, experience and an ongoing commitment to healthy and productive habits. The more you strive to incorporate these habits into your daily life, the more you—and your fellow employees—will flourish.


This article was written by Deep Patel from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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