The vast majority of leadership literature tells us that great leaders are made, not born – meaning, for the most part, the best leaders work hard to develop their leadership skills and cultivate certain habits that support them as leaders.
Much like learning a language or learning to play the drums, learning to be a great leader takes daily work and practice. With that in mind, here are 10 habits that will help you build and strengthen your leadership muscles:
- Set the tone. No one flourishes under a Jekyll and Hyde leader, wondering what mood their boss will be in that day. So, before entering the workplace, take a deep breath and picture the person your team would want to see. Then walk in with energy and positivity.
- Reinforce your vision. Mention to someone in your team why your business exists. Frequent and consistent messages from you as the business owner are vital to ensuring everyone understands what the business is trying to achieve and why.
- Reflect. Think about what went wrong and what went right in the previous day or week, and find an insight that will help improve your business. Then share that insight with your team.
- Give praise. Make a point of identifying a positive behaviour from one of your team and praise them for it. Even if the result wasn’t quite right, praise the intent.
- Relate to clients. Model customer-focused behaviour for your team by putting yourself in your clients’ shoes. Look at your business from the outside in and find an improvement that will make your customers happier.
- Cut out tasks. Identify one thing that you can stop doing now to save you, your team and your business time, money and hassle. For example, if you have an extra check in a process that takes up precious time yet adds little value, stop doing it.
- Embrace automation. Find one thing to automate (or perhaps outsource) to further save time, money and hassle for you and your team. So, if you can’t cut out a task, consider whether it can be done more efficiently by someone (or something) else.
- Relinquish control. Think about what you personally ‘control’ in your business – whether it’s certain tasks or relationships – and see what you can delegate to someone else in your team.
- Learn. Read an article or a chapter of a book that helps you grow as a business owner and be a better leader. For example, I have just re-read Start with Why by Simon Sinek – hence point 2 above!
- Teach. Pass on your knowledge and teach someone in your team something that supports them on the path to being smarter than you.
You don’t have to do all 10 each and every day – you may never get anything else done! But if you can make time for at least one of these habits every day, rotating through the list as you go, you’ll be well on your way to further success.
Remember, daily reinforcement is the best way to build up that leadership muscle memory.And if you need a little help to develop your leadership skills, discover how Henchards can support you on your journey.