There’s no one-size-fits-all definition of leadership, and leaders come from all backgrounds with many different personalities. The one common factor for developing as a great leader though is this: becoming a great leader takes time and experience.
Here are some of the most important habits to regularly practice establishing a foundation for strong leadership.
Even the best leaders are going to have challenges – in fact, that’s one of the things that most often creates the most successful leaders – so, it’s important to be prepared for whatever’s ahead. The best way to prepare for the unknown? Go with the flow as much as possible. Being patient with failures and setbacks and challenging clients and employees is one of the most important leadership characteristics for long term success.
Look to other leaders.
Who do you most admire? Do you have personal and professional heroes? Do you have a mentor? One of the best ways to grow as an effective leader is to regularly learn from the success of others. Attending conferences and seminars is one way to regularly connect with other industry leaders; reading biographies, memories, and even blog entries by peers or leaders you admire is another way to engage in learning from the experiences of others.
Speaking of reading – the best leaders will stay informed on every topic. They read more than business books or the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Reading is an important way to grow your knowledge, expand your boundaries, and nurture an innovative way of thinking. Even with a full schedule, it’s easy to read on the go, with e-readers for long train commutes or business trips.
Leadership is not for the lazy. It gets busy and finding time for everything will always be challenging. Prioritizing health – physical, emotional, and mental – makes it much easier to take on daily challenges and stay engaged and successful longer. Make a list of the health goals you want to accomplish every day – from eating well to exercise to sleeping enough and practicing medication – and consider each commitment an investment in your leadership success.
Growing as a leader requires a lot of deliberate work, effort, attention, and strategy. In addition to cultivating good habits that will serve you in your personal and professional life, the right leadership position can give you the support you need to excel as a leader. A good leadership role will also be the best space to showcase the leadership skills and talents you’ve invested in developing.
If you’re looking for your next leadership role, contact our leading executive recruiters today. Our experts can find the best match for the next step in your career.