Effective leadership is mostly made up of good habits. And some of the most important habits aren’t taught in school and can’t be picked up from reading or studying. They can be learned only through experience. But without them, making your mark in leadership will be a struggle. Here are 12 of the most powerful leadership habits
1. Care. The best leaders, the ones who are remembered and admired, are the ones who care not only about their business but also about their people, and whose caring shines through in their words and actions. Care shouldn’t be a four-letter word in our workplace today.
2. Conviction. Every great leader knows that strong convictions precede great actions. Leadership implies movement toward something and its conviction that provides the direction.
3. Clarity. If you want to lead, you have to know where you’re going. And if you want to lead with influence, you have to get everyone to focus and stay on course. The only way to get results is by becoming absolutely clear about where you’re going and why you’re going there. Clarity helps everyone say yes to the right things and no to the rest.
4. Confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. People want to know who you are, what you know and where you plan on taking them. Your own confidence has a ripple effect on those you lead.
5. Courage. The courage of leadership lies in giving others the chance to succeed even though you, as the leader, bear the responsibility for getting things done.
6. Commitment. Great business leaders know the power of being responsible. If those who follow you know they can count on you, they will let you know in turn that you can count on them.
7. Celebration. Great leaders are constantly finding ways to honor their people and celebrate their success. Extraordinary leaders understand the importance of marking progress and expressing appreciation for those who have worked long hours and long days.
8. Collaboration. True leaders solicit input and feedback from those around them so that everyone feels they have something to contribute. If you run your organization in silos, you’re undermining your talent and doing harm to your business.
9. Communication. True leaders know how important it is to communicate and to communicate often. Used effectively, words have the power to motivate people and help them overcome barriers and exceed expectations.
10. Candor. Leading with the truth and insisting on honest and forthright communication builds great relationships and partnerships—in business and in your personal life.
11. Courtesy. Courtesy is simply following the Golden Rule by treating others as you would like to be treated.
12. Credibility. People have to believe in you and have faith in your credibility. Guard it carefully—it takes years to build but only a moment to destroy.
Lead from within: The best leaders are always working to learn new skills and habits to improve their leadership.