Successful Leadership Should be Second Nature
Why everyday habit-building is the key to successful leadership
There’s an adage that goes, “We are what we repeatedly do”. No matter who you are, everything you’ve done—from your smallest actions to your grandest gestures—has helped determine who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going to go.
In other words, we are the sum of our habits.
Whether it be the way we make coffee every morning or the way we drive home from work each day, habits serve as the foundation for nearly everything we do. This is especially true when it comes to leadership.
Every leader knows that leadership is rooted less in what they know and more in what they do; even the smallest actions can have the biggest impact on one’s ability to lead. The most effective leaders, therefore, understand that their leadership is only as good as the actions they repeatedly take. Leaders are only as strong as the sum of their leadership habits.
The best leaders know that the key to unlocking successful leadership begins with developing habits that enable them to execute key skills. At Pinsight, we’ve identified over 20 different everyday skills that have been scientifically proven to result in effective leadership (1). We’ve also broken these skills down into several micro-behaviors that leaders can turn into habits, so that successful leadership becomes second nature.
For example, one of the skills crucial to effective leadership is Planning and Organizing Work. In order to hone this skill, leaders can practice micro-behaviors, like the ones below, and work to develop them into habits:
- Create a master project plan that specifies who will do what by when.
- Identify the resources (ie people, money, or materials) that will be needed during each phase of the plan.
- Think creatively about how to use the available resources to stay within budget.
- Put in place systems to track progress of individual contributors and teams, usually in the form of metrics and periodic check-ins.
By practicing micro-behaviors like these in everyday settings, leaders can work to ensure that their leadership is supported and developed through effective habits. Because, at the end of the day, we all are what we repeatedly do – and when it comes to making successful leadership second nature, leaders are no exception. Over the next few weeks, we’ll examine each of Pinsight’s leadership skills individually. We’ll also discuss the different micro-behaviors and habits that leaders should work to develop in order to execute these skills effectively. Check back soon for more content, or take a look at some of our other articles and blog posts to learn more about building leadership through habits!
(1) Lanik, Martin. The Leader Habit: Master the Skills You Need to Lead–in Just Minutes a Day. AMACOM, 2018.‹ Previous PostNext Post ›