Would you like to be an outstanding leader? Outstanding leaders have outstanding habits. Use this checklist to guide your daily habit formation (and feel free to add more of your own).
For best results, focus on developing one habit at a time. Once that habit is ingrained, then start developing another one.
Your journey to great leadership has begun!
1) Get rest and make your bed
A great day starts the night before. Establish a nightly routine to sleep soundly and prepare you for the next day
Establish a morning routine that gets you nourished and ready for your day
2) Act according to your values
Clarify your values
Make decisions based on your values
3) Be creative
Write – daily journal or Morning Pages
Make something new
Be flexible – let go of expectations and keep an open mind
4) Practice mindfulness
Practice mindfulness meditation – focus on your breath
Make time for mindfulness activities, like nature walks or a hobby
Integrate mindfulness into your daily routines
5) Trust others
Empower your team
Give direction and positive feedback
6) Be authentic
Live according to your values
Practice compassion – for yourself and others
Communicate clearly: listen, pay attention to your body language, understand what you need to communicate
Mental health: do exercises that lift your mood
Physical health: do exercises that build your strength, fitness, and discipline
Developing habits is easy in theory but hard to practice. I’ve coached all of my clients at one point or another about adopting these habits and more. Those who take on these habits transform in their lives and businesses. Those who don’t, struggle.
If you’re serious about taking life and business to the ‘next level’, use the form at the right to book your FREE 30-minute coaching session.
Great leaders share many common traits exemplify certain skills.
By focusing on developing these same skills, you can take your leadership abilities to the next level.
Develop the important traits necessary to be a great leader:
1) Self-motivation. It’s important to motivate yourself to take action and move forward toward your goals – whether they’re personal or business goals. Leaders are driven to get things done and they lead their team to do the same. Self-motivation comes from knowing WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. To find your why, check out the book; Find Your Why, by David Mead and Peter Docker
3) Effective Communication. You might have a clear picture in your mind of what you’d like to see happen. Unfortunately, no one can read your mind. A leader is responsible for sharing his vision, providing feedback, helping others problem-solve and sharing with people about how their behavior effects results. Learn how to maximize your communication skills with; Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.), by Dr. Thomas Gordon
4) Developing others. Being a leader isn’t just about utilizing others to reach your goals. It’s about developing those around you. Great leaders integrate coaching into their leadership and the company grows as people grow. Learn how to coach your people with; Quiet Leadership, David Rock
5) You can’t expect greater commitment than your own. A leader sets the ceiling. Everyone else settles in somewhere below that point. Leaders are unreasonable…they don’t let excuses or reasons stop them or anyone on the team from pursuing the vision. Learn how to take your commitment to the next level with; The 3 Laws of Performance, by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan
6) Inspire others. A great leader has an inspiring vision that other’s want to contribute towards. And great leaders ask people how they want to contribute and discovers what they can bring to the table in the pursuit of the vision. Then the leader provides the resources each person needs to make their contribution. Develop your purpose and vision and help others do the same with; Find Your Why, by David Mead and Peter Docker
7) Having a clear focus. If you don’t know what you want, you won’t get it. Leaders are clear on their vision and readily share it with others. A clear vision inspires others and serves as a roadmap. Employees can easily ask themselves if their actions are contributing to the attainment of your vision. Know your focus and communicate it effectively. Develop your leadership platform with this FREE course; CLICK HERE
8) Being respectful. When the stress of life and business show up, we don’t always behave our best. The same can be said for your staff. Remember, few people show up to work intentionally wanting to sabotage the company or your efforts. If you’re not getting the results you want, don’t blame or criticize. Instead, be curious and look with your team for the breakdown and what’s missing that’s preventing the desired result. Learn how to be more respectful and understanding with; The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruez
9) It’s natural to be drawn to others with confidence. You are viewed as more capable and trustworthy when your confidence level is high. Define your vision and have a plan for executing. This is the source of confidence. Take your focus and confidence to the “next level” with; Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, by Verne Harnish
10) Leaders make the tough decisions and take responsibility for the outcome. It’s easier to make decisions when you’re clear on your values and those of the company. If you can’t make up your mind, your leadership skills will be called into question. Practice by making small decisions and following through on them. It gets easier with practice. Learn how to make difficult decisions, faster with; Making Difficult Decisions, by Peter Shaw.
Leaders are made, not born. Great leaders share common characteristics that you can develop in yourself. Even if you don’t feel you currently possess these qualities, use the resources listed in this article and you will grow into an effective and powerful leader!
Goal setting seems simple on the surface. You define what you’d like to accomplish and take the necessary steps to make those accomplishments a reality.
Setting and achieving a goal is more than simply deciding and wishing. Each year, millions of people set New Year’s resolutions. Few of those people are still on track after just 10 days.
If setting and achieving goals were easy, there would be more happy, successful people running around. How many people do you know who are happy and pleased with their lives? Not very many. If you’re looking to take your life and business to the “next level” you need to master setting and achieving goals.
Set goals and achieve them more reliably:
Set goals that are meaningful. Many people waste time with goals that don’t mean very much to them. Life is short, so create goals that fill you with excitement when you think about achieving them. Reaching any goal requires change, and humans are innately resistant to change. Big changes require a lot of motivation. Set goals that mean a lot to you.
Use small, incremental behavioral changes. Change can be done easily if the changes are small. This requires patience.
Imagine someone attempting to make an overnight change from a diet of fast food, soda, potato chips, and ice cream to one of beans, vegetables, and fruit. His mind and body would revolt. It’s far easier to make small changes each week until the transformation is complete.
Be accountable. Rewards are pleasant and effective if the reward continues. Behavioral changes tend to extinguish when rewards are no longer provided. It can be more effective to make yourself accountable for your poor behavior. For example, each time you skip going to the gym, you give $10 to a charity you don’t like or you wash a friend’s car.
Negative consequences are more motivating for many people. Use this fact to your advantage. How could you punish yourself for non-compliance? Make a list of at least 10 ways.
Keep goals believable. Is it possible to increase your earnings from $50k this year to $1 million? It’s possible, but it’s not likely. And if you believe it’s unlikely, you’re unlikely to even try. The perfect goal is challenging, but not so challenging that you feel overwhelmed.
Track your progress. Measuring your progress is extremely important. It provides information on how well you’re doing. You can’t know if you’re making progress toward your goal if you don’t measure it. You can shift your strategy if you realize that you’re not doing well.
It can also provide a boost of enthusiasm and positivity. When you’re making progress, you feel excited.
Be prepared for setbacks. Achieving any goal is rarely a smooth process. There will be bad days with poor results. Rather than reject your goal when the going gets tough, be prepared for failures.
Have a plan in place to deal with failure and frustration. You might call a friend or remind yourself of the purpose of achieving the goal. Reviewing your success so far can also help.
It also pays to take preventative action. For example, if you know you’re likely to cheat on your diet later in the evening, have some healthy snacks available that you enjoy. Or head to bed earlier and enjoy some extra free time in the morning.
Goals are necessary if you want to consciously change your life. Everything else is a matter of luck and circumstance. Most people struggle to set and achieve goals. I frequently help business owners set and take action on goals so they can move forward, faster!
If you’re struggling to set goals or to follow through with your goals, consider taking advantage of my FREE coaching session. I’d love to help you get yourself back on track!
Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc. Laura is currently nominated for the 2018 Woman of Inspiration Award and she was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching , and Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they can love their life and business! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.
Many of my clients talk to me about feeling tired and they share the toll it’s taking on their well-being. Mental fatigue and exhaustion is often a result of your work, family life, conflict, or lack of quality sleep.
Mental fatigue can be worse then physical fatigue because if affects your ability to think clearly and express yourself or problem-solve. It impedes your ability to make important decisions, it slows your productivity, it can lead to severe depression and it has been linked to disease, including cancer.
The impact of fatigue is serious and yet many tend to disregard it. Business owners and executives don’t get present to the fact that their lives and businesses are at stake! With so much at risk, I invite you to practice these simple, yet effective, strategies for managing your fatigue so you can stay sharp, productive and healthy.
How to Relax your Mind and Boost your Energy
Relaxation is absolutely necessary to relieve mental stress and rejuvenate your body and mind. You’re probably thinking, “how am I going to do that?” Surprisingly, mental health breaks can be incorporated into your day and life with ease. Here are some tips to help you reduce mental exhaustion and keep your mind sharp:
Take time out for yourself. Spend time in a quiet room where you can reflect and think. For many of us, time to think has become a luxury. Give yourself a few minutes to reflect and think, each day. You can meditate, write in a journal, do some planning or simply allow your thoughts to gently release into the stillness and quietness of the room.
Get plenty of sleep. Mental fatigue can exist no matter how much sleep you get, but sleep does help refresh your body and mind. Adequate sleep will eliminate a lot of your day-to-day stress. Your body will have a chance to repair itself and recharge and you’ll feel sharp in the morning.
Free your mind from the problems that swirl around you. Many problems or worries are about things we can’t control. Take your mind off the things that cause you stress by focusing on your task at hand or on the things you can control. Worry and frustration can also be caused by resisting “what is”. Try reconnecting to the issue or event that got you stressed. Look at it as data and remind yourself “it is what it is”. This puts you in a state of acceptance that allows you to take on the question, “what do I want to do about it?”. Once you have a plan and take action, you feel in control again and your stress eases.
Exercise regularly. Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, which make you feel happy. It’s like the body’s natural “high.” Even if all you can do is take a 15-minute walk, take it. That can be great alone time for you that will help you feel energized.
Try breathing exercises. When things get rough, take deep breaths in through your nose, hold it for 5 seconds, then release. This simple, do-anywhere practice helps you focus and relieves tension, immediately!
Take a day to do things by and for yourself. You’re always doing for others and every once in-awhile, you need to do something for yourself. Take yourself out to a movie, go to a museum or art gallery, or do something you’ve always wanted to do but never made time for. Enjoy the peace and quiet of being alone and the satisfaction of being selfish (your phone and email aren’t going anywhere).
Implement Your Own Strategies
These are just some of the strategies to combat mental fatigue. You may have some other methods that help you relax and find peace in your life. What you do is not important. Actually doing it is what’s important!
Don’t take mental health for granted. Mental fatigue has a way of sneaking up on you and, left for too long, can completely sabotage your life and business! Begin integrating these simple exercises into your day. You will feel the weight lifted off your shoulders, your productivity and focus will return and you’ll be a much more enjoyable person to be around!
If you’re tired of feeling tired, call Laura Watson at: 877-669-8684 for a free coaching consult. You can also email her: Laura@VentureCoaching.ca
Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching , and Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they create success without sacrifice! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.
We are all creatures of habits. Kyle Colley writes, “think for a moment of your daily routine. If you are like 98% of human beings, your morning habits remain relatively unchanged, without any true variations from year to year. The other 2% are the very forward-minded people who change their habits constantly to maximize their success in life.”
Colley explains, “there are many reasons why we stick to our bad habits for so long; comfort, fear of failure, and the strength of a habit over time. In fact, research shows that the longer the habit has been in effect, the harder it is to change.”
Many of my clients express frustration about not being able to change their “bad” habits. Taking mastery over your habits requires awareness of your thought patterns and active effort to change old thoughts for new ones. This is where coaching is so valuable! A coach uncovers the thought patterns you have become blind to. With blind-spots revealed, awareness develops and new, conscious thoughts and habits can be formed.
To better understand how your habits have formed and how to master changing them, Read more…
When my daughter was 3 years old, her personality and individuality really started to shine. This is a nice way of saying she didn’t always do what I wanted her to do and we were power struggling with each other. Said most accurately, however, I admit that I was one who was power struggling, she was just being 3 years old.
One day, during one of our power struggles, I had a moment I will never forget. I was trying to make my daughter do something (I can’t even remember what) and suddenly I heard my father’s tone and words coming out of my mouth. I stopped cold. What a flashback! I couldn’t believe what just happened. I knew I was not parenting effectively in this moment and I knew that over time, power struggling was not going to be a long-term, effective relationship strategy. I needed to do something different.
This “aha” moment was the catalyst that sent me on the hunt for new interpersonal skills. It helped me find the book that changed my life. While browsing the library shelves shortly after my epiphany, I stumbled across Parent Effectiveness Training, by Dr. Thomas Gordon. The title resonated with me because I knew I wanted to be a more effective parent. Little did I realize this book, combined with conscious, consistent application of its tools and skills would transform my parenting, my marriage, my coaching and the lives of my clients!
Leader Effectiveness Training Changed My Life!
Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) and its business counter-part Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.) discuss how many of us use power to get what we want in our family and work relationships. We use power because that’s what we learned at home, growing up (ever heard the expression “my way or the highway”?) These books show how using power is ineffective and how it damages our personal and professional relationships. And then the books teach us what to do differently. These books brilliantly coach the skills needed to create happy, healthy, effective relationships at home and at the office!
I liked P.E.T so much, that 1 week after reading it I enrolled in a certification program so I could teach it. Since then, I taught hundreds of parents, business owners and leaders how to use these essential relationship skills.
Repeatedly in my business coaching sessions, my clients share challenges they experience with business partners, team members, clients and family members. Everyone wants to improve their relationships they just don’t know how. I regularly advise my clients to read P.E.T or any one of the spin-off books; Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.), Sales Effectiveness Training (S.E.T.) or Be Your Best. The results are amazing! Their lives and businesses are more successful and satisfying when they learn and apply new relationship skills.
My daughter is now 21 years old. She has a playful personality and she is a strong, independent thinker. We respect each other, listen to each other and communicate openly. I feel blessed to have such a great relationship with my daughter and I’m thankful that I woke up and put the effort into learning and practicing how to be effective.
How could your life and business be different if you did the same?
Laura Watson is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching, Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they create success without sacrifice! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your personal and business growth.
Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, often spoke about how to achieve success. His books are a must read for any business owner or corporate leader! Don’t let the date of the material turn you off (it was originally written in 1937). The book was revised and updated many times because the message is still relevant.
The main message: “What we can conceive, we can achieve!”
This is a great video of Napoleon Hill talking about the success secrets he learned from Dale Carnegie.
Success is all based on what you think. Enjoy!
To learn more, call Laura Watson toll free at: 877-669-8684 or email her at: Laura@VentureCoaching.ca
Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides leadership and business coaching programs to entrepreneurs. Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support for new awareness, new choices and new results.
“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken”
My clients often ask me, “how do I change bad habits?”. I think they secretly wish I have a magic wand that will take the old habit away and instill a new one. Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic wand.
Instead of reciting some mysterious incantation, I start asking questions about their mindset and beliefs. At first my clients think the questions are irrelevant and sometimes I meet resistance to my questions. But the questions are key. They are key because the answers reveal their thinking habits.
“Anything you think over and over again becomes a habit”, says Kyle Colley and in order to form new habits, you MUST “take control of your mind”.
Humans are creatures of habit. Think of your daily routine. If you are like 98% of human beings, your morning habits remain relatively unchanged, without any true variations from year to year.
Habits can excel our performance and sabotage our success. If you have some “bad habits” you wish to change, click the link below to learn how.
I hope you gain some value from this article. I welcome your comments below.
If you enjoyed this post, sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here). You’ll get 12 Leadership Lessons (1 per week), guaranteed to take your life and leadership to the “next level”. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!
“Seek to understand before being understood”, Steven Covey
In a previous post called “You are sabotaging your communication“, we talked about what NOT to do with your communication. I find it useful to help my clients build some awareness regarding how they may be ineffectively communicating and negatively impacting their relationships, so they are inspired to learn some new skills. Today we’re talking about what to do to make your leadership communication more effective.
In an age of email and texting, listening skills have become a lost art. One of the best compliments I get from my clients is that I’m a great listener. I think it’s a powerful gift to really listen to someone and give them an experience of being heard. When people feel heard, they feel understood. When they feel understood, strong relationships are formed.
In this video you will learn 3 types of listening skills and you will learn how to create clarity in your communication. We’ll also discuss some problem-solving skills so you can start to facilitate and coach your staff rather then being a constant problem-solver for them. Enjoy!
“Leadership exists in conversation, make yours powerful!” Laura Watson
You are in an ideal position to be in a supportive, helping relationship with your staff and partners. But this relationship is not given, it is earned. In order for you to have this helping relationship, you must learn the difference between the “language of unacceptance” and the “language of acceptance”. I guarantee that sometimes you are inadvertently using the language of unacceptance, which is undermining your leadership.
Language that communicates unacceptance “roadblocks” communication. It subtly communicates to the listener that “I’m right” and “you’re wrong”. Over time, your listeners (staff, colleagues, spouse, children) will resist or shut down from communicating with you because they don’t want to keep feeling criticized.
I’m sure it’s not your intention to give those around you the experience of being wrong or criticized. These roadblocks represent blind spots that sabotage your communication. When I make my clients aware of these blind spots, they change their communication style and their relationships immediately improve. Today I want to help you discover your blind spots so you can improve your communication and your leadership. Enjoy!
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions”, Ken Blanchard
Feedback helps people learn the impact of their behavior. Feedback is shared in order to reinforce so-called “right” behaviors and to let people know what behaviors are ineffective and need changing.
Feedback is an important skill for you to master. Given effectively, your personal and business relationships will thrive. Given poorly or not at all and you’ll likely end up frustrated with unhappy staff and high turn-over rates.
Here are some interesting stats about feedback:
Managers who received feedback on their strengths showed 8.9% greater profitability
69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized
92% of respondents agreed with the assertion, “Negative (redirecting) feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.”
80% of Gen Y said they prefer on-the-spot recognition over formal reviews
77% of HR execs believe performance reviews aren’t an accurate representation of employee performance
Feedback is a powerful performance-improvement mechanism. But it needs to be delivered in a manner that does not evoke defensiveness and (ideally) motivates people to change their behavior.
As a trained communication expert, I often coach my clients on how to give effective feedback. In today’s video I share some strategies for taking your feedback skills to the “next level”. Enjoy!
Will you control your thoughts or will your thoughts control you?
Today we’re here to develop emotional mastery for business owners. In 13 yrs of running my own businesses and coaching other business leaders, I find that emotional mastery is one of the key elements defining success. Leaders who develop mastery over their thoughts and emotions grow and thrive. Those who don’t keep themselves stuck in a constant state of survival-mode; they are stressed, they experience conflict in their relationships and they often get sick.
We need to develop emotional mastery because life is miserable without it! Without personal mastery, we react impulsively to situations and people, we procrastinate and get distracted. I’ve seen business owners derail their projects, lose staff and customers and even lose their entire business because they could not manage their emotions and reactive behavior.
When we learn to master ourselves, we have focus and our performance improves. We respond thoughtfully to situations, customers and business partners. Our effectiveness improves and we become more efficient allowing us to get more done in less time. And when we practice mental and emotional mastery consistently, all areas of our life improve, we feel happier and optimistic.
Many of my coaching sessions focus on helping my clients develop emotional mastery. Today I’m sharing the tool that has made the biggest difference in my life and my client’s businesses. I hope it makes a difference for you. Enjoy!
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important”, Steven Covey
Today’s leadership lesson is not your typical “time management” conversation.
When I first start working with my clients they are often feeling overwhelmed with their schedule. They feel like a million small urgencies are flying at them all at once and they often complain that they never have time to address important, non-urgent matters in their life and business (ie. planning, exercise, family, even sleep).
If you’re feeling similar to my clients, today I want to help you change that. I’m going to give you an easy and very useful tool for helping you think about and schedule yourself based on your priorities. This tool has a made a world of difference for me and my clients so I’m confident it will make a difference for you too, if you apply it. I call the idea, “blocking your rocks”