“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is therefore not an act, but a habit. –Aristotle
The difference between good leaders and great leaders is in 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 Organizational Effectiveness (CMOE) has found that leaders spend an average of more than five hours a day on email and phone alone. Along with daily disruptions, it can be extremely difficult to make progress on critical projects. In his book Finding Your Balance , Joan Gurvis recommends that instead of multitasking, you try a technique called “channel switching.” Instead of multi-tasking, give each person or activity your full attention and commitment; when you're done, switch to another "channel", again giving it full attention. Working in targeted time slots is more efficient than letting today's to-do list keep you busy.
Habit #2:Learn to delegate.
One downside to being a better leader is trying to accomplish everything on your own. There are many reasons for this. Maybe you're a perfectionist who thinks it's easier, or maybe you think your own work is better than your employees'. A great leader knows that their most important job is to develop others – to teach people to think and ask the right questions. It is a skill that is the least developed in most organizations. Bottom line:If leaders don't delegate, subordinates don't learn to improve, and organizations can't grow.
Habit #3:Take a walk.
While emails and texts are great for communicating across time and distance, effective leaders realize the value of 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, supply clerk and team members, not just managers. . You will discover problems and opportunities that you might never have heard of otherwise. When you ask people how they are doing, what is working well, and what could be working better, you not only gain insights, but you also increase camaraderie between you and your employees.
Habit #4:Listen carefully.
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 to context as well as content – what I call deep listening . Deep listening is fully present in the moment with the person speaking, and does not try to judge or control the conversation. We let go of our assumptions to hear not only what is being said, but also the emotions, motivations, needs, and goals of the person speaking. This kind of listening builds trust and respect and encourages sharing of the information you need to make good decisions.
Habit #5:Be open to new ideas.
The most performers are those who do things first and who do the best. A great leader is always on the lookout for the next great idea, one that improves the efficiency of the current operation or improves a product. The leader who encourages new ideas from everyone, who isn't afraid to support the team to move their ideas forward, is the leader whose team members will create notable innovation.
As for 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.
Related:Do These 7 Things If You Want To Become a leader