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5 habits that make a great leader

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Whether it’s with sports, within your profession, inside your family, or even within living a healthy lifestyle—leadership is at the forefront of necessary traits needed to become successful. However, while leadership is a frequently thrown around topic, what is not frequently communicated is what effective leadership consists of.

As you look to improve your leadership capabilities, practice these five essential habits.

  1. Practice what you preach

Words may sound great, but true character is forged by the actions and decisions you undertake on a daily basis. When you have others looking up to you, respect is earned when they see you actually doing the work.

If you’re looking to improve your relationship, improve the health of a loved one, or improve the performance of your team members—talk less and demonstrate through your actions to motivate them.

  1. Listen before you speak

If you’re looking to get others to support, the most powerful action you can take is to listen. Truly making people feel like their voice and opinions matter creates more engagement and emotion into the situation.

When in a leadership position, ask many questions, then implement those suggestions, and prepare to experience deeper connections.

  1. Always be a student

Leaders are readers may be a cliché, but it’s a critical component to improving your leadership skills. The day you feel as if you know everything is the day that your growth stops and leadership abilities start to decline.

You are either growing or contracting, there is no middle ground. Continuing learning and adopting a student mentality is an easy way to ensure complacency and decline don’t happen. Set aside at least 30 minutes per day to read or listen to an audiobook.

  1. Seek out coaching

While being in a position of leadership often means you’re highly knowledgeable, it doesn’t mean you don’t have blind spots. Even superstars such as LeBron James and Serena Williams have coaching and expertise to help guide them.

Having a coach is a powerful way to expedite the process of becoming better in your particular area of focus.

  1. Prioritize your health

Great leaders prioritize their health and put their own oxygen masks on first before attempting to lead others. While some may think this is selfish, it’s imperative to remember that self-care is essential to showing up as your best self. When you show up as your best self and ensure that your bucket is full, you’re better equipped to make a bigger impact.

To prioritize your health, committing to simple acts such as adequate sleep, healthy eating, and frequent bodyweight workouts are more than enough to get the pendulum swinging in a positive direction.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all canvas for what leadership looks like. Your journey of leadership will be filled with unique experiences. But, at the core of becoming an effective leader revolves around the five basic behaviors mentioned above.