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5 Habits That Will Make You a Better Leader

Jun 23, 2020 | Organization Effectiveness

Improve the way you lead by practicing these habits.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” –Aristotle

The difference between good leaders and great leaders is the habits they  master. Here are some behaviors you can develop to become a better  leader:

Habit #1: Manage your time.

The Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness (CMOE) found  that leaders spend an average of over five hours a day on email and  phone calls alone. Along with daily interruptions, it can be extremely  hard to make progress on critical projects. In her book Finding Your Balance,  Joan Gurvis recommends that instead of multitasking, you try a  technique called “channel changing.” Instead of doing several things at  once, give each person or activity your full attention and commitment;  when you have completed that, change to another “channel,” again giving  it full attention. Working in focused chunks of time is more effective  than allowing today’s to-do list to manage you.

Habit #2: Learn to delegate.

One shortcoming to being a better leader is trying to accomplish  everything by yourself. There are plenty of reasons why. Maybe you’re a  perfectionist who feels it’s easier, or maybe you feel your own work is  better than that of your employees. A great leader knows that his or her  most important task is developing others—teaching people how to think  and ask the right questions. It is a skill that is the least developed  in most organizations. The bottom line: If leaders don’t delegate,  subordinates don’t learn to improve and organizations can’t grow.

Habit #3: Walk around.

Although email and texts are great for communicating across time and  distance, effective leaders realize the value in talking face to face.  One of the best ways to find out what’s going on is to set aside time  each week to get out of your office and talk to everyone—the  receptionist, the supply clerk and team members, not just managers. You  will uncover problems and opportunities you may never have learned of  otherwise. When you ask people how they are doing, what’s working well  and what could work better, you not only get information but also  increase the camaraderie between you and your employees.

Habit #4: Listen deeply.

Richard Branson says leaders should listen more than they talk because that’s how they learn what’s going on. Great leaders learn to listen for context as well as content—what I call deep listening.  Deep listening is being fully present in the moment with the person who  is speaking, and not trying to judge or control the conversation. We  let go of our assumptions to hear not only what is being said, but also  the emotions, motives, needs and goals of the person speaking. This kind  of listening builds trust and respect, and it encourages the sharing of  information you need to make good decisions.

Habit #5: Be open to new ideas.

The most successful organizations are the ones that do things first  and do things best. A great leader is always looking for the next big  idea—one that improves the efficiency of the current operation or makes a  product better. The leader who encourages new ideas from everyone, who  is not afraid to support the team to drive their ideas forward, is the  leader whose team members will create noteworthy innovation.

As with everything, some of these habits will be easier to develop  than others. The real goal is to improve the way you lead, and with  practice and time spent on the right things, you can become the leader  you want to be.




Original Article by Success Magazine/ Susan C. Foster/ 2018

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