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The 15 Things Successful Leaders Do Automatically Every Day

The 15 Things Successful Leaders Do Automatically Every Day

The 15 Things Successful Leaders Do Automatically Every Day

Leaders are not born; they are made.

And while some people seem to be natural-born leaders, the good news is that leadership is a skill that almost anyone willing to put in the work can learn.

One of the most important things that successful leaders automatically do is make better decisions.

But did you ever feel like some leaders have all the answers? Like they never doubt themselves or make mistakes?

I will let you in on a little secret. Psst.

Those leaders didn’t just get lucky – they’ve developed habits that have made them successful. And the good news is, you can too!

To be a leader people want to follow, you must develop and adopt these things into your daily routine without thinking about them.

15 Habits of Successful Leaders You Need To Emulate

Here are the 15 habits that successful leaders automatically do every day:

1.  Develop A Clear Vision

When you have a clear vision for your team or organisation, it’s much easier to make decisions that align with that vision. And when you can communicate your vision to others in a way that inspires them, you’ll be able to rally them behind your cause.

To develop a clear vision, ask yourself what you want to achieve. What are your long-term goals? What impact do you want to make? Once you understand your goals well, start thinking about how you can best achieve them. What steps do you need to take? Who needs to be involved? 

The late Steve Jobs was known for his ability to articulate a clear and compelling vision for Apple. He famously said, “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” This quote sums up his philosophy on leadership and vision perfectly.

Jobs didn’t just wait for people to tell him what they wanted; he showed them what was possible and inspired them to achieve it.

2. Make better decisions

Successful leaders can make better decisions because they have developed the ability to think critically and analytically and to weigh different options before making a decision. It isn’t something that you achieve overnight.

Instead, it is something that you need to practice. You’ll undoubtedly make mistakes along the way, but the important thing is what you learn from them.

For example, when faced with the decision to either lay off a significant number of employees or make major cuts to benefits and salaries, many leaders would choose the former option.

However, successful leaders know that this isn’t always the best decision. Therefore, they consider each option’s potential risks and rewards before deciding. In this case, the risks of laying off employees (such as decreased morale and productivity) may outweigh the rewards (such as short-term cost savings).

3. Ask For Advice From Colleagues

Successful leaders know they don’t have to make all the decisions themselves. As a result, they are willing to delegate authority and responsibility to others and trust their team members to make decisions that align with the organisation’s vision and values. 

Perhaps you’re a leader in a small organisation and may not have the expertise to make all the decisions yourself. In this case, it’s essential to ask for advice from colleagues who are experts in their respective fields. It will help you to make better decisions and avoid making mistakes. 

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Tony Robbins

4. Communicate Expectations Clearly

Great communication and successful leadership go hand in hand. One of the most important things a leader can do is clearly communicate their expectations. This includes setting deadlines, assigning tasks, and giving feedback.

When leaders don’t communicate clearly, it can cause confusion and frustration among team members. As a result, it can lead to poor performance and decreased morale. According to a Workforce Institute study, 24% of employees quit because they don’t feel trusted.

An excellent way to communicate your expectations is to create a project plan that outlines the steps required to complete the project successfully. It will ensure that everyone on the team is on the same page and knows what they need to do.

Another way is to have regular check-ins with your team members, where you can provide feedback and answer any questions they may have.

According to Haiilo, 3 of 4 employees believe that effective communication is the number one leadership attribute. However, less than 1 in 3 believe that their organisation’s leaders communicate effectively.

5. Lead by Example

You know what they say; you need to be able to walk the walk and talk the talk. That couldn’t be more true regarding being a successful leader.

Too often, employees feel like there is a ‘do what I say, not what I do’ culture in their workplace. Big mistake!

Instead, successful leaders know they must lead by example and walk the talk if they want their team members to respect and follow them.

This includes always working hard to improve themselves and their skills.

In his NY Times bestseller book, Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink talks about how he leads by example in his role as a Navy SEAL. He says, “The leader must explain not just what to do, but why. It is the responsibility of the subordinate leader to reach out and ask if they do not understand.”

6. Take Action And Avoid Procrastination

Successful leaders don’t sit around waiting for things to happen – they take action. They know the only way to achieve their goals is to work hard and get started. And they don’t let fear or uncertainty stop them from moving forward.

To be a successful leader, you must take action and start. Don’t let fear or uncertainty stop you from moving forward. Instead, you must be willing to put in the hard work and take risks.

“Dreams don’t work unless you take action. The surest way to make your dreams come true is to live them.” ― Roy T. Bennett.

Remember, successful leaders are not afraid to fail – they know failure is a part of the journey to success. So, don’t be scared to take action. When you make mistakes, learn from them. Only then will you avoid procrastination.

7. Focus On Their Strengths

Everyone has weaknesses, myself included.

But, it’s important to play to your strengths and work hard to improve those skills rather than trying to fix your weaknesses.

Focus on what you do well and work hard to improve those skills. It will keep you motivated and productive rather than overwhelmed by shortcomings.

In his book, The Power of Positive Thinking, Dr Norman Vincent Peale discusses the importance of focusing on your strengths. He says that when you focus on your weaknesses, you become discouraged. But when you focus on your strengths, you become hopeful and confident. I agree with this 100%.

8. Prioritise Self Care

To be our best as leaders, we need to take care of ourselves both mentally and physically. It sounds simple, but it is easier said than done – especially when you are busy and stressed.

Self-care is now more critical than ever, especially for business leaders. But, unfortunately, with the current state of the world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and burnt out.

If you want to be successful and stay focused and motivated, you need to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself both mentally and physically. That means getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. It also means taking time for themselves to relax and de-stress.

“You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” – Eleanor Brownn.

9. Stay Positive

Successful leaders remain positive and inspire others, no matter what life throws them. They know that attitude is everything and that staying positive will help them overcome any obstacle in their path.

It can be easy to get bogged down in the negative, but successful leaders know that they need to stay positive no matter what. They have an attitude of gratitude and always look for the silver lining. It also helps to keep motivated and focused on goals.

An example is having a difficult conversation with an employee. Instead of getting angry or defensive, try to stay calm and constructive. It will help you resolve the issue and maintain a good relationship with your team members.

“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” – Winston Churchill.

10. Invest In Leadership Development

Investing in your own leadership development is one of the most important things you can do. There are many ways to develop your skills, such as attending leader development workshops, reading books, or taking courses. By continuously learning and growing, you’ll be able to serve those who follow you better. 

In my book, Leadership Attitude, I talk about what I would tell my younger leadership self.

It is something I think about every single day. But, perhaps the most important thing is:

Never stop learning. Invest in yourself. Only you matter.

11. Provide Feedback – Both Positive And Negative

It’s important to give feedback – both positive and negative. Criticism is necessary for growth, and by providing honest feedback, you’ll be able to help your team members improve.

78% of business leaders actively and regularly focus on engaging with their employees, according to Zippia. Yet, only 33% of employees feel engaged. Therefore, leaders must provide specific, objective, and actionable feedback.

For example, “I noticed that you didn’t meet your sales goals this month. I’d like to see you take more initiative in your sales calls.” This type of feedback will help the person understand what they need to improve without being negative.

As a successful leader, you could also show empathy and ask the employee if anything is wrong or if there is a reason why they didn’t achieve the goal. You can then help them find a solution to put them in the best position to be successful.

12. Cultivate A Sense Of Belonging

People want to feel like they belong. It is hardwired into our DNA. As a successful leader, it means creating a sense of community within your team and ensuring that everyone feels like they’re a valuable part of the group.

It isn’t just good for happiness and morale. Harvard Business Review found that if workers feel like they belong, it can lead to a 56% increase in job performance, reduce turnover risk by 50%, and a 75% reduction in sick days.

One way to cultivate a sense of belonging is to create opportunities for team members to interact with each other on a personal level. It could be something as simple as having regular team lunches or after-work drinks. Or, you could organise fun company-wide events, such as an annual holiday party or summer picnic.

13. Encourage Honest Feedback

Encouraging feedback is another habit of successful leaders. They understand that it’s important to get honest input from their team members (even if it isn’t good).So they create an environment where everyone feels comfortable approaching them with ideas or concerns.

According to Gallup, managers showed 8.9% increased profitability when receiving feedback on their strengths.

Great ways to encourage feedback are by keeping an open-door policy and simply being approachable and friendly.

Another way to encourage feedback is to hold regular team meetings. During these meetings, you can solicit employees’ input on various topics, such as new product ideas, process improvements, or company goals.

Perhaps the best way to encourage feedback is to create an anonymous suggestion box. It allows employees to share their ideas without feeling like they’re being judged and empowers people too shy to speak in front of the entire team in meetings.

14. Inspiring And Motivating Their Team Members

What do Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr. have in common? They were all successful leaders who knew how to inspire and motivate people!

They understood that people need to feel like they’re doing something meaningful and that by providing inspiration, they could help them to achieve great things.

There are several ways to inspire and motivate your team members. One way is to share your personal story and how you’ve overcome adversity to succeed. It will help people understand that anything is possible if they set their minds to it.

It 100% has to be authentic, though, or it will have the opposite effect.

Another way to inspire and motivate people is to provide opportunities for growth and development, such as by offering training and development programs or providing opportunities to take on new responsibilities and reach their full potential.

15. Be Accountable

Lastly, to be a successful leader, you must be accountable to others and take responsibility for your actions. Ensure that your team members do the same, and you’ll be on your way to success. After all, accountability is key.

By being accountable to others, you’ll not only earn their respect, but you’ll also set an example for them to follow. And when your team members are accountable to you, they’ll be more likely to achieve their goals.

Final Thoughts

Successful leaders are those who possess a specific set of skills and habits. As a result, they can inspire, motivate, and guide their team members to success.

To be a successful leader, cultivate these 15 habits and practice them daily. Then, with hard work and dedication, you’ll be on your way to becoming a leader people want to follow.

Are you committed to becoming a successful leader? Check out our leadership coaching program to uncover hidden strengths and limiting beliefs, improve communication, and take your leadership performance from good to great.

Book a free discovery session today.

Check out our LeadershipHQ’s bespoke and Award Winning development programs, one-on-one group coaching, and targeted workshops to take your leaders to the next level.

By Sonia McDonald – CEO Of LeadershipHQ And McDonald Inc. Leadership Coach, Global Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur, CEO And Award Winning Author.

When Sonia speaks, everyone in the room feels like she is having a conversation with them as her audience will feel as if they are the only one in the room. She speaks from the heart. She is brave. She wants everyone to be brave. She is an impactful and motivational leadership expert and speaker that creates a life-changing experience. People call Sonia sassy, inspirational, real and a speaker who leaves a lasting impression. Her high-energy, authenticity and humour combined with actionable and practical advice, empowers her audience and provides them with great drive and confidence to take courageous action sand inspire great leadership in all aspects of their lives.

She is also a renowned and award-winning author, having written several of her own books, Leadership Attitude, Just Rock It! and First Comes Courage as well as being a regular contributor in The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. She was named as one of the Top 250 Influential Women in the world as well as Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs by Richtopia.

Through her leadership advisory and coaching work at LeadershipHQ, and founding the Outstanding Leadership Awards, Sonia is internationally recognised as an expert in leadership and culture, organisational development, neuroscience, kindness, and courage.

She is also a full-time single parent and has a passion for women in business and teenage mental health. Sonia travels and speaks across Australia and Globe, and she is on a mission to building a world of great leaders and leadership.