10 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders
Here are the habits of the most highly effective leaders. If you can build these habits into your life, you’ll become a leader that employees love working for.
They Stay Laser Focused
The best leaders don’t waste time on things that bring them little to no results.
The smartest leaders know how to relentlessly say no to what doesn’t matter, and focus on what will bring them the most results.
The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything – Warren Buffett
They have a mission, and they are solely focused on achieving that mission.
They Hire Slow, Fire Fast
The best leaders know that it’s their team that brings them the results. They take the time to find the best people to be on their team.
They also aren’t scared to fire fast. They know the value of only having all-stars on the team, so they don’t have time to let those problems linger.
At most companies, average performers get an average raise. At Netflix, they get a generous severance package. – Reed Hastings
They Never Stop Learning
Leadership is something that never stops. You need to constantly learn how
to deal with people, the science of feedback, emotional intelligence like empathy, etc.
The best leaders read a lot, and on a diverse set of subjects.
If you want to be a great leader, you need to make time for learning.
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. – Albert Einstein
They Listen Carefully
The best leaders take the time to listen to their employees and try to understand them in order to empathize with them.
If leaders want their employees to be engaged, they need to understand how they feel and what’s on their mind.
Not only is it important to listen to them, but it’s important to seek feedback and let employees know that they can feel comfortable speaking their mind.
The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them. – Ralph Nichols
Using one-on-one meetings can be a great way to give employees a consistent, safe space to express whatever is on their mind.
They Embrace Failure
If you want to achieve great things, you need to try great things. In order to want to try great things, you have to get people comfortable with making mistakes and trying.
As a leader, you need to remove any of the fear around failure and making mistakes.
Keep reminding employees that it’s okay for them to try new things that they should be comfortable experimenting.
You can also lead by example and share your failures, laughing them off to
show employees that it’s all good, and it’s all art of learning.
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. – Robert F. Kennedy
They Communicate The Future Clearly
First, you need a powerful mission to get behind. Then, from there, you need to be able to communicate it clearly to the entire team.
Get them to understand exactly where you see the future of the company going. One tip you can use for this is to start with why.
There is no such thing as too much communication, so feel free to repeat your mission and the vision for the future over and over.
Any ambiguity and vagueness only leads to confusion, which employees don’t need.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. –Simon Sinek
They Don’t Blame
Praise in public, criticize in private. – Vince Lombardi
The best leaders understand that if anyone on their team screws up, it’s their fault. They shouldn’t be shifting the blame to others, they need to take responsibility for that.
Leaders that blame others aren’t doing anything to advance or fix the problem.
They’re simply making an employee feel bad. Blame gets you nowhere, much better to simply figure out how to improve for the future and make sure everyone understands the lessons learned.
Many leaders think part of being a good leader is pumping up your chest and acting tough no matter what, but the truth is being humble is what will earn you the most respect from your employees.
No one likes a show off. Learn how to stay calm and give credit to your employees, you don’t need all the attention.
True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. –C.S. Lewis
They Help Employees Develop
Personal and professional development are the key to employee engagement. Smart leaders work actively to help their employees develop to be the best they can be.
Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be. –Stephen R. Covey
As a leader, you should dedicate time to make sure employees are growing and becoming even better at what they do so that they can be the most productive for you.
They Actively Solicit Feedback
The best leaders look at feedback as an opportunity to get better, and so they actively solicit feedback from their employees.
They’ll give employees an anonymous voice within their company so that employees can share whatever is on their mind at any time.
The worst leaders are scared to hear what employees might say, but you need to build up that strength and collect as much feedback as you can.
I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself. –Elon Musk
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