Some say that a great leader is born and not made.
While this may be true to an extent, there are ways in which effective leaders differentiate themselves — the habits they live by on a daily basis. Chances are you instinctively recognize good leadership, and you may have been lucky enough to work for someone with these qualities. But, what are they?
I’ve come up with a list of seven habits of unforgettable leaders that you too can embrace and practice to succeed on a personal, team and company level.
1. They practice what they preach
If you want your team to perform, you have to be a positive role model and lead by example. To be a respected leader, you need to live by company values and truly believe in what you do and why you do it. Only through walking the talk will the people around you feel inspired and excited to follow you on the journey and want to contribute to the organization’s success.
2. They value team members
In a world where it’s commonplace for people to hold up to 15 jobs over their lifetime, it’s more important than ever to retain top-performing team members. This is why ensuring people feel supported and valued in the workplace should be a key focus of the modern leader.
3. They are highly organized
To consistently set and achieve goals, leaders need to know how to prioritize tasks and organize the right people to complete them. The ability to delegate by recognizing and utilizing team members’ varying skill sets will ensure that you stay on top of an ever-evolving workload. If a leader lacks effective organizational skills, in times of crisis, it can be extremely challenging to motivate people to do what needs to be done.
4. They take responsibility
The best type of leader gives praise where it’s due and takes the rap when things don’t go to plan. Understanding the business on a holistic level and how each decision impacts the whole gives you immense knowledge and power. With this privilege comes responsibility and ultimate accountability for your own and your employees’ actions.The best type of leader gives praise where it’s due and takes the rap when things don’t go to plan. Click To Tweet
5. They aren’t afraid to take risks
You can’t call yourself an effective leader if you’re not willing to take risks. This doesn’t mean being reckless. Instead, you need the courage to think outside the box and be confident in your decision-making. Whether it be taking the organization in a new direction or introducing innovative products and services, the ability to drive positive change is an admired attribute of an effective leader.
6. They accept failure on the path to success
Going hand in hand with taking risks is accepting the possibility of failure, and being comfortable with it. In the words of Bill Gates, “It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Good leadership doesn’t mean being the best at everything, all the time. Sometimes risks don’t pay off, but an ultimately successful leader learns from past mistakes, mentors others, and moves on.
7. They embrace soft skills
It may seem like a no-brainer that a successful manager should be a people person, but it’s surprising how so many new and established managers lack emotional intelligence and basic interpersonal skills. These so-called “soft skills” are vital to leading a team that often contains a diverse range of people with varying skills, abilities and personalities.
A habit is a behavior that is repeated regularly, and successful leadership is no different. You can’t sit through a leadership seminar or manage a team of people to call yourself an effective leader. Consistency is key to forming and demonstrating good habits that eventually become second nature.
What are your thoughts on leadership? Are there other habits or traits that successful leaders possess? Let me know.