8 Key Ingredients of Natural Leaders
By Sandy Schroeder
Most of us look for ways to sharpen our skills and extend our reach. Forbes responds to this quest with some daily habits drawn from their leadership coaches. Here's what they suggest.
Appreciate the value of happiness - Researchers say our brains are more creative and we make better decisions when we are happy. Figure out where you are and what makes you happy. Build on that awareness to shape what you do.
Do the homework to help your team - Reach out to other leaders. Read as much as you can to help your group grow. Bring everything that you learn back to your group and talk about it. You may be surprised about how much research they have done too.
Focus on good results - The best workers and leaders help others and work to improve the lives of those around them. As a team grows stronger, everything that they do usually becomes better. Look for ways to help them develop as individuals.
Make time to refuel - Take a little time in the morning and later in the day to step outside, do some deep breathing exercises or catch up on your favorite hobby. That time lets your brain regroup to be ready for the next challenge.
Be open to the unexpected - Be flexible enough to pursue new leads wherever they come from and whenever they show up. The strongest leaders that I have known read widely and reached out to all sorts of people. They often brought back new ideas from their travels that sparked new efforts at home.
Count your blessings every day - Most of us have a keen sense of what is valuable, but it never hurts to do a quick reminder session every morning to really appreciate the people around you who show up and make a difference every day.
Work on communication - Sometimes we assume too much. We assume everyone knows the basics, and understands what the group is doing, but it can be helpful to pause and review. Do weekly discussions or "bring your questions" meetings where everyone feels free to speak up. You may be surprised at the perceptions, gaps and misunderstandings that may be out there.
Avoid autopilot days - Review and reset your schedule every day to focus on what needs to be done. Then work on the major projects first. Leave the routine stuff for later. At the end of the day, check to see where you are.
Some of these traits may seem obvious, others may serve as reminders. Wherever you are, give yourself credit for caring, and just keep aiming higher.
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