Leaders are the (sometimes) invisible forces behind the most significant movements.

A recent article published by Zippia reported that only 5% of businesses had implemented leadership development at all levels.

What if we told you that you could take your leadership development into your own hands? You have precisely what it takes to be a great leader.

What steps can you take to become an impeccable leader and inspire those around you to dream bigger and aim higher? How can you lead effectively, with significant impact and influence?

We have found the five habits that the most successful leaders have in common:

Do you have what it takes?

First and foremost, what exactly is a habit?

In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg defines a habit as a deliberate choice that we make at some point and
then stop thinking about, but continue doing, often every day.

Habits are powerful human behaviours because they enable us to achieve our goals for the future by mastering our
actions today. We love the description given by Charles Duhigg, because leadership requires intentionality – just like the choice to start a new habit.

How do you do it practically?

Let’s take a look:

Ability to Influence Others

Leading people and driving change necessitates mastering the art of influence, a skill that can be learned just like any other.

Influence is defined as the ability to influence someone or something’s character, development, or behaviour, and it necessitates developing a strong emotional connection with yourself and others. Those who have mastered the art of persuasion are often adept at tapping into the emotions that drive people’s actions.

According to Harvard Business School research, there are two types of influence.

Here are four strategies for mastering the art of influence now and in the future:

  • Build rapport with the people you want to influence
  • Become an active lister rather than a transmitter
  • Commit to your team.
  • Be focused and set an excellent example

Transparency

Transparency is the new leadership imperative because it contributes to the development of trust.

Transparency stems from a desire to see open and positive workplace communication. Transparent leaders can give and receive constructive criticism, and they are problem solvers, always looking for ways to encourage others and keep moving forward even in the face of adversity within the organization.

Transparent leaders are also adamant about not settling for less than the best from their employees. Google Scholar (The HRON).

According to a Forbes study, there are five powerful things that happen when leaders are transparent.

  • Problems are solved faster
  • Teams are built faster
  • Relationships grow authentically
  • People begin to promote trust in their leaders
  • There are higher levels of performance emerge

Encourage Risk

Steve Jobs was a man who was not afraid to take risks.

The greatest danger is inaction.

The importance of why you should encourage people to take risks and why you should take risks yourself.

You can’t avoid risk!

One crucial fact to remember is that the world continues to evolve whether you choose to participate. To stay relevant, you must be willing to take risks regularly.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings understands this: standing still is the only risk in an ever-changing, ever-competitive marketplace.

There is no such thing as risk-free innovation. Innovation is all about doing something new that solves a problem while also adding real value. Risk and innovation are inextricably linked. Risk breeds learning, and learning breeds success. Learning – trying new things and
discovering what works and doesn’t – is the result of success.

 

Act Decisively

Decisions can either be the foundation of a successful career or the source of failure.

Forbes research, which included 3000 assessors and 1000 leaders from various industries, found a link between high-performing leaders and key enabling behaviours. (Joel Folkman) (16th of September 2019)

The following are four key behaviours associated with high-performing leaders:

  • They have deep Knowledge and Expertise
  • They have a clear strategy and direction
  • They have courage
  • They deliver results
  • They improve decisiveness

Balance Hard Truth with Optimism

Successful leadership necessitates both optimism and realism. Collins (2009) stated that an effective business leader must be able to accept harsh realities while also “never losing faith” when faced with organizational challenges. Furthermore, the author emphasized that financially successful companies have leaders who do not sugar-coat problems when communicating with employees. They strike a balance between speaking harsh reality and inspiring perseverance within the organization.

Effective leaders do not avoid hard truths; instead, they accept responsibility for their actions, maintain optimism, and focus on charting a new course of action.

Enduring setbacks while maintaining the ability to show others the way forward is an actual test of leadership, according to Harvard Business School Dean Nitir Nohria.

Here are five strategies for balancing Hard Facts and Optimism:

  • Practice Mindfulness
  • Observe and adjust your patterns of thinking
  • Look forward to the future but be realistic; things may
    not quickly change
  • Believe in yourself, but do not underestimate
    challenges.
  • Keep yourself informed, but limit media intake

Written by:

Shallon Mphasane

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