Anyone can be a manager, but not everyone can be a leader. Today we take a look at the 11 habits of highly successful leaders, the things that great leaders do every day, which set them apart and contribute to their ongoing success.
- They Eat the Frog – Successful leaders eat the frog at the start of their day. This means they start their working day by tackling the most difficult and unpleasant task on their to-do list. By adopting this philosophy you will increase productivity and inspiration in your working life. By completing large and difficult tasks before lunchtime, you will free yourself up to work on the things you enjoy doing most for the rest of the day. You will also avoid the temptation to put things off to the following day, something we all have a tendency to do.
- They Say No – Part of being a great leader is having boundaries. Great leaders know when to draw the line and say no. It is essential that you learn as soon as possible that you cannot be everything to everyone. Saying no, politely, firmly and respectfully is an essential life skill for every successful leader.
- They Delegate – No man is an island, and leaders know this only too well. No one ever worked their way to the top without knowing a thing or two about delegation. When it comes to delegation, be sure to pair the task to the person based on skills and fit. Do not give someone a task which is out of their area of expertise.
- They Listen – Great leaders listen to their employees. Giving employees a voice will strengthen your position as a great leader within your organisation. Take the time to talk and connect, ensuring that you are approachable and that you make time for your employees. They will reward you with respect and you will foster an environment of trust in your workplace.
- They Give Feedback – Great leaders give great feedback. Your employees value your opinion when it comes to helping them grow and develop as professionals. Remember the way you deliver your feedback has an enormous impact on the way it is received. Never criticise outright, instead give constructive feedback. The best way to do this is to sandwich the constructive criticism between two positive messages of reinforcement on either side. Start by talking to your employee about something they are doing really well at work, and then move on to the area in which you can see room for improvement. Finish by again bringing the conversation back to what the employee is doing well. This way you will not run the risk of disengaging and demotivating your staff.
- They Never Stop Learning – A commitment to constantly striving for knowledge is a badge of a great leader. Never fall into the trap of thinking you have it all figured out. There is always something new to learn. Whether you decide to take a course, attend a workshop, or simply open your mind to new points of view, learning is something we should never stop doing.
- They Finish What They Begin – Great leaders have tenacity. This means they stick with a project through tough times, even when others begin to doubt them or suspect them of stubbornness. But it is this kind of tenacity that you need to have in order to breed greatness. Never give up and never leave a project half finished.
- They Learn From Their Mistakes – Some of the world’s greatest leaders suffered huge and devastating defeats long before they ever become successful. Everyone makes mistakes, but what sets great leaders apart is that they do let their mistakes defeat them. Just look at Henry Ford. He failed numerous times and was left financially ruined five times before he founded the iconic Ford Motor Company. Bill Gates is another classic example. Gates dropped out of Harvard and failed in his first business, but he didn’t let that stop him from going on to found Microsoft.
- They Coach – Great leaders are not afraid to share their expertise. Be a beacon of light, guiding the way for the next generation of leaders. Share your expertise, mentor and coach. The willingness to share what you have learned is the hallmark of a true leader.
- They Focus on the Big Picture – Being able to see the forest for the trees is a viewpoint that all great leaders need to cultivate. In the midst of thousands of emails, phone calls, meetings and other demands on your time, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture and get dragged down by the endless details of daily life. It is essential that you rise above these distractions and focus on your larger goals. This is what will bring you lasting success.
- They Network – Great leaders spend time networking with people from a wide range of backgrounds who have a wealth of different career experiences. Networking grows your circle of influence and introduces you to new people, with new ideas, expertise and viewpoints. This will give you an edge over your competitors.
Being a great leader requires more than simply knowing how to manage a team. Integrate our tips and tricks into your daily working life to boost your success professionally and cement yourself as a leader in your field.