“All successful leaders do have habits that makes them successful as leaders. On the other hand, all unsuccessful leaders do have habits that makes them unsuccessful as leaders.” – Francis Abbah
Habits can be defined as an action performed on a regular basis that has now become part of the unconscious nature of the individual or person who performs that action.
There are patterns that can help us identify how an individual became a successful leader. And there are also patterns that can help us identify if an individual will be a successful leader in both the short term as well as the long term. And one of the major patterns that can help us identify if an individual will be successful or how an individual became successful in their leadership journey is habit.
All successful leaders do have habits that makes them successful as leaders. On the other hand, all unsuccessful leaders do have habits that makes them unsuccessful as leaders.
The wrong habits exhibited by leaders and their people will break the very entities that they are part of. The right leadership habits expressed by leaders and their people will ultimately enable their entities to attain their set visions and purposes.
There are several good leadership habits that a leader can express on a daily basis. However, for the purpose of this writeup, we will look at just seven of some of the major good habits of all successful leaders.
The first habit of all successful leaders is that they continually live out right values on the daily basis. They do not only have a great list of values that they proclaim to be dear to them but, they also live out those values on a continuous basis. Values are so important because the scripted well lived out values by leaders and their people sooner or later forms the culture of the very entities they are part of. And because culture can make or break the very entities that leaders are part of, it becomes necessary that leaders and their people live out the right values on a daily basis that will soon translate into the right organizational culture. If leaders have made the wrong choice of living out wrong values that has resulted in a toxic culture in their entities, there is still hope. Those very leaders will need to rescript new values for their entities, begin to live out those good values on a daily basis, reinforce those values in their people and reward others for good values lived by in their entities. Even though it takes some time to change a toxic culture into a healthy one, it is still not impossible.
The second successful leadership habit has to do with the daily commitment to purpose and vision. And by daily commitment to purpose and vision, I am referring to making decisions and choices and undertaking the right actions that will lead us one step closer towards the fulfillment of our purpose and vision. For we are what we repeatedly do. Hence, excellence is not an act but a habit. Leaders and their people can only become committed to the vision and purposes of their entities only when they are constantly conscious of the vision and purposes of their entities. Once they are constantly conscious of the purposes and vision of their entities, they can then align every decisions, choices and actions to the set visions and purposes of their entities. Also, constant consciousness of vision and purposes will help leaders and their people to prioritize what they do so that they can engage all their strengths, energy and focus on those activities, decisions, choices and actions that will yield much results for their entities and that will lead them towards the fulfillment of the very vision and purposes of their entities.
The third habit of all successful leaders is that they develop their people on a continual basis. Leaders who develop their people on a continual basis have a long-term view for their entities. They understand that success without a successor is failure. Even before leaders empower their people, they will need to develop them. For it is after leaders have developed their people that they can finally release, empower and trust them to get the work done and the mission and purposes fulfilled. Leaders who fail to develop their people do not see the big picture in the benefits of developing others. For when all is said and done, the only leaders who are able to keep their entities thriving during and after their tenure of leadership are the ones who have developed their people effectively.
The forth successful habit of great leaders is that they empower their people on a continual basis. The word empower comes from the prefix ‘en-‘ meaning ‘in, into‘ and the root ‘power’ meaning ‘ability, strength, might’. Since empowerment has to do with people, putting together the prefix “en” and “power” together, we get this definition for empowerment; “To empower simply refers to the ability to give someone more confidence and or strength to do something, often by enabling them inwardly to increase their control over their own life or situation”. Throughout history, the leaders with much influence were those who were able to empower their people in order for a particular purpose, vision or cause to be attained. All great leadership rests on the foundation of empowering others in order to have a particular just cause, purpose or vision to be attained. For leadership without empowerment becomes ineffective in the long term. The ability to empower others is one of the keys to a leader’s success in working through others to have the vision or purpose of an entity to be attained. And all successful leaders empower their people on a continual basis (for more on empowering leadership, kindly visit the link https://linktr.ee/FrancisAbbah and search for “Empowering Leadership By Francis Abbah”).
The fifth habit that all successful leaders have is that they are continuously learning. Great leaders understand that they do not know everything they need to know to fulfill the very purposes and visions of their entities. As a result of this understanding, they are constantly learning, asking questions and being curious to know more so that they can effectively lead their people towards the fulfillment of the visions and purposes of their entities. It is through the habit of continuously learning that leaders are exposed to the right knowledge and information that they can apply to help them and their entities move towards the fulfillment of their purposes. For when leaders fail to continuously learn, they will lack the right knowledge and information to lead effectively and as a result, their entities will perish.
The sixth habit of all successful leaders is that they take time to be in solitude to think and plan ahead. Just as almost all great inventions and ideas have been born in solitude, the same holds true for leaders. The great leaders, both in history and in current times, are all individuals who take pleasure to be in solitude to think on ideas on how to make their just and noble cause, visions and purposes to become a reality. Without the habit of being in solitude to think and to plan ahead, leaders will not be able to lead effectively for the long term which also means that the vision and purposes of their entities will not be attained in the long term.
The seventh and last habit that all successful leaders have in common is that they continually surround themselves with the right people for the right influence and the right counsel. First, successful leaders continually surround themselves with the right people for the right influence. With the understanding that iron sharpens iron, successful leaders are prudent and careful with the kind of people they choose to continually surround themselves with. They consciously surround themselves with the right people with whom they want to be positively influenced by. They carefully select the right people they want to surround themselves with knowing very well that the quality of people they surround themselves with is more important than the quantity of people they can surround themselves with. Hence, successful leaders are careful on the kind of people they accept into their inner circle. For the very kind of relationships we choose to have and maintain can lift us up or drag us backward in life. The second reason why all successful leaders surround themselves with the right people is to have access to the right counsel. Successful leaders are curious and will want to know more of what they need to know to lead effectively. And part of successful leaders being curious is that they ask a lot of questions. However, the truth of the matter is that leaders can only get the right answers to their questions when they ask the right people of the right questions. And that can only happen when leaders listen to and surround themselves with the right people who can provide the right counsel to them in order for them to be able to lead their entities effectively. For we are the product of the source of our counsel. Hence, successful leaders continuously surround themselves with the right people.
There are many habits of successful leaders. However, these are just seven of some of the major habits of all successful leaders.
Habits make or break us. And as leaders, we are either living out the right habits that can help build the very entities we lead or expressing the wrong habits that can break the very entities we are part of.
Fabbah Leadership Consult
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