What Leadership Habits Are You Committing to in 2018?

The definition of a habit is: something that you do regularly and generally without thinking about it.  We tend to associate the word with things that are bad for us – the term ‘bad habit’ is commonplace. However, building constructive habits makes for very successful leaders.

In my 2018 kickoff blog post, I wrote about leveraging your assets and strengths as you start your New Year.

These assets already have positive habits supporting them and some may be leveraged even further by making a commitment to ensure there are numerous habits underlying each strength. The key is to identify the habits and reinforce them. For example, if one of your organization’s strengths is employee trust in leadership or trust in the organization, examples of leaders’ habits that build that trust might be:

  • Attending tough client meetings with their teams.
  • Demonstrating their work ethic (leading by example).
  • Putting people first, listening to employees and being transparent with information.
  • Walking the talk and visibly demonstrating company values by participating in company social responsibility initiatives.

The thing is, while its easy to connect the dots, leaders don’t always take the time to examine what makes them successful. Effective leaders know that it takes constructive habits to deliver results and that they need to lead by example, demonstrating the habits that tie to their values, tie to their strengths, and tie to the objectives they want to achieve.

Several years ago, when our leadership team really wanted to make a difference in our employee engagement, we realized we needed to develop new habits around demonstrating engagement. It was a top priority, not just one in a long line of priorities that fight for attention. This meant deciding what were the new actions/habits that we needed and then making a commitment to follow through on them. At first, as with all new habits, we needed to remind ourselves to do them, but once we kept doing them for a while, and we were seeing results, our new habits were formed. We were successful at dramatically improving our engagement and now it is just the way our leaders lead.

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Are you a leader looking to continue to leverage upon your success or are you perhaps looking for new and improved results in 2018? Are you ready to do the work to commit to new habits?

If you are, I suggest you start again with your strengths/assets – what is working? Why? What are the habits underlying these that create this success? Can you add more habits to support and leverage these strengths further?

Alternatively, what needs to change – what new habits need to be committed to, to drive the results you want to achieve in 2018? How will you help to reinforce this habit, so it becomes something that colleagues don’t think about, they just do?

Some great resources on forming habits are: almost anything by Steven Covey found at www.stevencovey.com, articles in entrepreneur.com on successful habits such as “28 Best Habits to Have in Business,” and Brian Tracy’s “7 Goal Oriented Habits Of Successful People.”

For other thoughts on leadership, visit my blog post on LinkedIn.

Sandra Hokansson

Sandra Hokansson
Sandi Hokansson is a certified executive-level coach and principal of SoundLeadership. Reach her at sandi (at) soundleadership (dot) ca.

Sandra Hokansson

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