5 Daily Habits of Good Leaders

Successful leaders model the habits they want to see reflected in their team members.
Effective leaders routinely demonstrate certain actions that inspire and motivate staff, promote greater organization, generate higher revenues, and spur growth. Their habits also contribute to ongoing personal and professional self-improvement. Less effective business leaders generate workplace atmospherics and business performance effects that often devastate their best efforts to lead and financially succeed over time.
So, what do these excellent leaders do in these functional areas of leadership that really makes so much difference in the performance of their businesses? Here are descriptions of five core leadership competencies that good leaders habituate.
1. Communicate Clearly and Thoroughly
Advice about the importance of good communications skills for leaders is nearly a cliché these days, after so many generations of business management instructors repeating the point. But, the reason clichés can be so effective in imbedding themselves in our memories is, of course, because their very simplicity makes them easy to communicate and remember.
For business managers aspiring to be good leaders, this simplicity principle is really enough to convey about what must be done to be an effective workplace communicator. In other words, a manager’s message always be in the simplest terms, as the simplest messages are typically the easiest to remember.
A good leader’s premier habit is communicating expectations, information, instructions, and feedback, clearly and thoroughly and in a positive, encouraging way. There’s really not much that possessing all other great leadership habits can do to keep a manager on track toward his or her business goals if communications are ineffective. So, if you’re only going to habituate one new top leadership behavior, let it be to communicate more simply, thoroughly, and helpfully.
Further, leadership communication at its best, inspires, and at its worst, deflates its listener/reader. Remember that two-way conversation is the gold-standard for workplace communications. So, more discussing and limited speech-making is usually advisable. Encourage questions, collaboration, feedback, any form of greater engagement.
2. Build and Maintain Relationships
People are naturally happier when they are confident that they have a positive relationship with their employer. They feel more secure in their employment. That’s a feeling with profound impact on the overall quality of one’s occupational life. Further, the differences in stress levels between feeling secure vs. insecure with one’s job can have deleterious effects on one’s sense of happiness and stability in one’s personal life as well.
Good leaders are well aware of the importance of developing a quality of working relationships that promotes reduced employee attrition. That caliber of relationship is necessarily one in which workers are helped to develop their skills and to be as fully engaged as possible with their work and with the business.
People need to feel acknowledged, recognized for accomplishments, and they want to feel a sense of being accepted by their work group. In other words, they need to have a sense of belonging to a team. Good managers are leaders are thoughtful in proactively ensuring that every member of the team knows that they are a valued person in the company.
It’s recommended that leaders call their team members together routinely, whether weekly or monthly, for at least 15 to 20 minutes, to touch base and nurture a sense of team membership. This practice is especially useful in team bonding for work forces in a portable restroom business, because many employees typically spend so much of their work time driving on their own, physically removed in a way that can promote a greater sense of disconnectedness from team membership.
The periodic meeting time can be used to share policy updates, service improvement ideas, collaborate on problem solving, congratulate people for successes, and restate the roadmap for pursuit of the strategic plan to achieve the team’s shared goals. Such group meetings are a highly efficient way to ensure that everyone receives the same information and training bits and consistently has opportunities to share their own ideas and suggestions with the team and leadership. (Save complaints for one-on-one sessions or other meetings.)
3. Build a Workplace Culture of Accountability
Embracing mutual-accountability with your team members is a core leadership principle. It’s the hallmark of integrity in leadership. The best managers foster mutually accountable between staff members and between management and staff. A culture of accountability allows managers to empower employees with the greatest amount of autonomy possible in planning and performing their work. The degree of autonomy is, of course, necessarily based on the nature of the work, and employees are given to understand that greater freedom means greater accountability.
Business managers with poor leadership habits may be more inclined to try to micro-manage or take on the persona of an enforcer with employees. Conversations may typically deteriorate into one-directional speeches, with the boss talking and everyone else nodding their heads in acquiescence. There might be no sense of accountability for unsound, untimely, or inconsistent decision-making.
The good news is that the consistency leadership competency is a naturally occurring behavioral model for leaders in portable restroom businesses, due to the necessary autonomy that drivers already have. So, worker autonomy is baked into the operational model of the industry, making this habit of good leaders automatic for business owners.
The better news is that by choosing to become an entrepreneur in this particular industry, you are already demonstrating that you are the kind of employer who likely prefers arrangements that permit worker autonomy. So, congrats on your good habit.
Demonstrating to workers that you’re committed to holding up your end of a relationship of mutual accountability goes far to sustaining employee satisfaction. People naturally respect leaders who hold themselves accountable and do not dodge their own accountability. Employers who live an example of accepting personal accountability and dealing with mistakes in an open and kind manner inspire workers to emulate those attitudes. Workers feel free to try creative problem solving without risk of punishment for failures of trial efforts.
In work environments of mutual accountability, relationships of mutual trust are stronger between workers, and between workers and management. Employees are helped to feel encouraged to speak out when issues arise, and to be supportive of each other and management in collaborating on solutions.
4. Demonstrate Consistency
Good leaders understand the importance of building team members’ confidence in the stability of the company’s management, the reliability of directives, and the predictability of responses to performance levels and problems. They practice consistency in rewarding good performance, providing constructive feedback, collaborating with employees on problem solving, and in cultivating a positive atmosphere in the workplace. They behave in a professionally mature way that people can come to depend upon.
Inconsistency in a business manager’s behaviors or decision-making undermines the stability of the team. Fickle bosses who can’t make up their minds what they think, or like, or approve of, or disapprove stimulate a great sense of uncertainty and insecurity among staff members. They may shift goals in mid-period, causing employees to feel helpless to hit management’s moving targets and give up on trying to reach set milestones.
In more serious cases, people can become increasingly anxious and so preoccupied with attempting to anticipate the boss’s whims and accommodate them. Productivity suffers, and customer care quality commitment becomes second priority to the more immediate and pressing need every day to appease the unpredictable manager. Obsession with striving for perfection breeds fear of independent problem solving and low self-confidence on the job inhibits engagement.
Good leaders provide a stable workplace atmosphere that is conducive to employees success, strengthening their self-confidence in their abilities to succeed with the employer. They create a workplace environment that workers can trust from day to day, week to week, and year to year. They know that that’s the minimum that employees must be able to expect, in order to feel secure enough to think in terms of a long future with a company.
5. Continue Personal Development
The most effective leaders are life-long learners. They’re individuals who perpetually seek self-improvement activities. They read, attend seminars and workshops, perhaps take a course from time to time, travel, etc. They try new activities. They’re interested in people. They ask questions, and they actively listen to the answers. They want to learn from whomever is talking. They reach out for advice and teaching from others. Their curiosity extends beyond their field. They enjoy building a well-rounded life experience.
Poor leaders tend to be more limited in the dimensions of their interests. They’re more inclined to dismiss opportunities to acquire new knowledge. They’re more inclined to resist change and stick with familiar, comfortable methods.
Good leaders seek better approaches and look to improve administrative, production, service processes with updated tools. It’s no wonder that employee and customer satisfaction are likely to be greater where a good leader is seeking continual self-improvement.
At the End of the Day
Good daily habits demonstrated by company leaders typically sooner rather than later begin to reflect back in the behaviors of staff members. Attitudes become more positive overall. The most talented employees are found emulating leadership so well that they can take on some of the management role. Overall team performance improves.
Ultimately, under good leadership, an increasingly effective team mindset develops, which affects customer relationships, causing repeat sales and referral business to increase. The revenue base expands, and the business grows. In fact, it’s fair to say that few strategies or investments in a portable restroom business can match in value the simple strategic investment of a leader’s effort to cultivate good habits in the team, by modeling those habits in the workplace every day.

7 Habits for Leadership Success From Dr. Stephen Covey


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