Jun 14
2018
6 Steps to Establish High Impact Leadership Habits

6 Steps to Establish High Impact Leadership Habits

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We walk through life completing amazing feats almost aimlessly at times, we have programmed ourselves to function on auto-pilot which serves us well in many instances. Habit formation is the process by which these automatic behaviours are created.

These autopilot functions can take us to the peak of our potential as well as be a detriment to our professional and personal growth.

Exceptional Leadership habits for example include:

• Engaging for impact
• Deciding with speed and conviction
• Adapting proactively
• Seeking feedback often

Habits that will absolutely stunt your growth include:

• Over promotion of your value: claiming credit, judgment, destructive comments
• Allowing your emotional brain to make your decisions: anger, fear, etc.
• Self-focus: blame, lack of accountability
• Lack of vulnerability: keeping information, never acknowledging others, lack of gratitude etc.

Old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form. That’s because the behavioral patterns we repeat most often are literally etched into our neural pathways. The great news is that, through repetition, it’s possible to form and maintain new habits while ditching the old ones, however, it will take a shift in your thinking first to achieve this.

If you are interested in changing limiting behaviours, consider the following 6 Steps:

1. Seek feedback to gain an understanding of your unproductive behaviours
2. Assess the highest impact opportunities for change (aligned to your organizational and personal vision)
3. Connect to the impact of this change and the real ROI for you. Ask yourself if I improve in this area what will happen for the business, my team, me, my family. Also, ask – what is going to happen if I don’t shift my way of thinking and behaving?

NB: if you can’t connect emotionally to the outcome you’re not likely going to shift – why would you? If I know that shifting my perfectionist mindset will help me be a better less judging father and as a result my children won’t suffer the same battles I did as a result of this behaviour – I will be inspired to change due to the high stake outcome.

Take the time to select the high impact outcome and connect before anything else. If you need help with this reach out to a trusted confidante or coach.

4. Engage stakeholders – let people know what you’re working on and ask them for feedback:
o How did I do last month as it relates to you and I on “engaging proactively”
o Can you provide me with 2 or 3 suggestions as it relates to you and I as to what I could do next month to engage more proactively?

NB: No vulnerability = No growth

5. Implement a series of quick wins based on feedback – these successes (acknowledged by your stakeholders) will give you the motivation you need to engage the habit formation process.
6. Continue seeking feedback and implementation change until the new habit has formed and has become a “way of being” for you.

We all know change is tough and at the same time, we know it is necessary for growth. I have had the blessing of working with dozens of amazing leaders who were falling short due to unproductive habits. Those who take the time to truly connect with the “why” for change have transformed their careers, business and lives.

Here is a riddle (food for thought) for you – enjoy your transformation journey!

I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward, or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half of the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed-you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great men; and alas, of all failures, as well.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
Those who are great, I have made great.
I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine, plus the intelligence of a man.
You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin-it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
Who am I?

I am a habit.

– Anonymous –

PS: Please share if you feel this would bring value to someone you know.
Colin McAllister is an Executive Coach, Management Consultant with a focus on helping senior leaders achieve corporate, professional and personal transformation.

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