Think about a leader who has had a lasting, positive impact on your life. Take a moment to really visualize the unique qualities and skills that make them who they are.
Whether the leader in your mind is close to you personally, or an inspiring hero from history whom you’ve never met, one thing is true for all of them: Their successes did not happen overnight.
Each triumph highlighted in their life’s story came after years of honing skills and learning from mistakes. While some exceptional individuals may seem like they are just born to be leaders, true leadership comes from a commitment thoughtful actions and constant improvement.
In other words: a lucky pretender might be able to sink a single half-court shot during halftime of a basketball game, but it takes a long-term commitment to healthy habits to lead a basketball team to victory.
If boosting your leadership skills seems a little daunting, try incorporating small, easy to manage habits into your daily routine. Before long, these simple, smart changes will become second nature!
Here are a few of our favorite leadership-friendly everyday habits that you can start trying today:
If you’ve ever started the day unrested and unprepared, you know how difficult it can be playing catch-up. How can you be ready to lead when you’re constantly working from behind?
Instead, do your best to stick to a regular routine outside of the office. Preparing a breakfast, reviewing your daily schedule and planning ahead for other morning-time tasks will allow you to start the day focused, while giving you more time for everyone’s favorite habit – sleep!
Once you’re out of bed, staying energized can be equally difficult. When you think of influential leaders, do you ever picture them slumped over in a computer chair?
Break out of the lazy lump and build more movement into your daily routine. Switch that scheduled call to a walking meeting; take a trip to a friend’s office for lunch; or simply take the long way home from work one day. Computer and device drain is real; don’t let the daily grind drain your leadership energy by sitting still.
Learn Something New
If you’re physically moving, that’s great! But you still might not be progressing forward as a leader without a commitment to education. Make it a habit to learn something new every day; this may seem like a vague idea, but with good reason.
Learning something new does not have to be an epic undertaking, such as earning a PHD in your field. Rather, you can take an hour a day to read a new book, spend some time learning about a coworker’s day-to-day job functions or even download a new smartphone app that can help streamline your work; any action that expands your skill set is a step towards more credible leadership.
Finally, there’s no sense in committing to new habits if you are not examining the “why” of it all. From breakfast to balancing bottom lines, our work days are jammed packed with decisions that need to be made at a moment’s notice. Do you ever stop to think about the amount of choices you make every day?
Spend a few minutes reflecting on the day’s events during a quiet moment at home. Writing down major obstacles, goals and other details will help you retain information, and can act as a roadmap to success down the road. If we don’t learn from our mistakes, we’re doomed to repeat them!
Being a leader isn’t always as easy as taking a lucky shot, but with small changes and persistence, you can work to solidify your leadership skills every day. What are your leadership habits? Speak up below!