The Making of a Habit

According to Merriam-Webster, a habit is defined as a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior; a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition.  It's safe to assume that one's habits determine their level of success.  Today's quote by Brian Tracy reiterates this point:

"Successful people are simply those with successful habits" - Brian Tracy

Inc Magazine published a blog by Gordon Tredgold yesterday entitled Want to Be A Better Leader? Then Adopt These 9 Habits!  I thought his ideas were quite insightful and very applicable, and they are:

1. Keep things simple: Keep your goals simple. Keep your approach simple. Keep your messages simple. The more complex the environment you work in, the simpler you have to keep things. Simplicity is crucial, without it, large teams struggle to function effectively and efficiently.

2. Be bold, but start small: Big bold goals can be an inspiration which engages your team, but you need to build in some small quick wins to create momentum and excitement.

3. Keep priorities to a minimum:  When everything is a priority nothing is a priority, so keep priorities to a minimum, ideally no more than three. Keeping goals to a minimum facilitates understanding and helps to get everyone pulling in the same direction.

4. Be accountable:  Building a culture of accountability is crucial for the success of any large teams. The more people you have who take ownership and meet their commitments and deadlines the more success you will have.  The best way to help drive accountability is to be accountable yourself. Take ownership, meet commitments, be true to your word and model the behavior you want to see. The more you are accountable, the more your teams will become accountable.

5. Be transparent:  Trust is a cornerstone of leadership. And nothing builds trust like transparency. Be open in your actions, don't operate with a hidden agenda, people see that, and it kills trust.

6. Communicate, communicate, communicate:  The best way to keep rumors under control is through clear, consistent communication. The more your teams understand and know what's going on, the easier they can kill incorrect rumors and speculation themselves.

7. Connect:  Connecting helped to drive engagement.  

8. Be consistent:  If you're inconsistent, it can cause doubt and hesitation in your teams. People become unsure of what it is you're looking for. They also worry that you might change your mind again so often they might wait and see if that happens before taking action which then builds in delays and impacts results.

9. Recognition drives performance:  What gets recognized gets repeated, so where ever you see good work being done be quick to praise it and praise it publicly. If you want to achieve greats things, then create a culture of recognition.  This can be as easy and as much as saying "thank you."  

Good leadership works everywhere. It's culture-neutral. It works for teams of any size, large or small, virtual or distributed. If you practice these nine habits, they will help improve your leadership, build better teams and achieve great results.