Being a leader isn’t as simple as being the one who knows what to do and who deploys people to do it. People are the most complex technology in the world and unless we come to leadership with a healthy respect for that complexity and what it takes to have people follow us, things can go awry pretty quickly. In reality, leadership is a form of service and devotion that requires a ton of work to drive truly extraordinary results.
For many years I have worked with and coached successful leaders. They are all different, yet over time, patterns of behaviors that lead to consistent success have emerged. Here are 10 habits that I have observed great leaders embody and that will help you be a memorable and effective leader:
1. Be crystal clear on your vision and use your unique gifts to catalyze beneficial results for all stakeholders.
2. “People are everything.” (Indra Nooyi) Never forget that all success comes through your team. Pay close attention to others. Know what they care about, what they dream of being/doing, what scares them, what makes them come alive. Use this information to support their success and the achievement of mutual goals.
3. Know what triggers you and have strategies to mitigate those triggers so that they don’t negatively impact your decisions, actions or those around you.
4. Be courageous. The most painful failure is one where you stand down instead of standing up.
5. Become a masterful coach to unlock the potential of those around you.
6. Never forget that the world is a system and everything is connected, so think through the ramifications of your decisions.
7. Relentlessly do the right thing and say “No” when something lacks integrity or doesn’t serve the cause for which you are working.
8. Be intentional and disciplined in your thoughts, words and actions. Leadership is explicit not improvisational.
9. Never stop learning and growing. That example will inspire others to do the same.
10. Keep your sense of humor and if you don’t have one, develop one because if you can’t laugh at the chaos and craziness of leadership, it will eat you alive.
Copyright 2019, Sheila Madden, Madden Coaching & Consulting. All Rights Reserved.