Small Habits For Better Leadership

Courtesy of Joelk75/Creative Commons License

When it comes to everyday chores around the house, nothing drives me more crazy than an unmade bed.  This is an amusing emotion I have considering all the way up through college I could care less about how my bed looked.  Now, I need hospital corners and nicely fluffed pillows on my bed to start my day.  If I am about to go to bed and for some reason the bed hasn’t been made, I have to make it.  To me a made bed is the key to a great night’s rest.
I’m sure some of you are thinking that I’m a little neurotic; however, I’m sure there is at least one thing you need done in order to have a successful day.  Maybe it’s working out, eating a well balanced breakfast or making sure your nose hair is just groomed right.  The habits that you have will control the path of your day.  You need to know which ones are setting you up for success and which ones are letting you fall behind.  There are some habits that seem so insignificant that we overlook them; however, over time if not addressed they can lead to disaster.  For example:

  • Cleanliness – It’s a value we all understand; however, it’s not always the case for our offices and youth rooms.  A dirty office is a sign of disorganization which can reflect your leadership.  At the end of each day make sure to do a little cleaning so that you can start off the next day on the right foot.
  • Being On Time – Life happens, which can cause us to be late to appointments and meetings; however, it can also be a sign of disrespect.  We all know how important time is; therefore, if we aren’t valuing it, we aren’t valuing the people we serve.  Build in margin, if a meeting is at 10:30am, show up at 10:15am.  Give yourself margin for error.
  • Expressed Gratitude – Our pastor says, “In-expressed gratitude is a lack of gratitude.” Meaning, if you aren’t willing to show it to others are you really thankful?  When you thank someone you show them that you appreciate the sacrifice that they made for you.  It not only shows them value but love as well.
  • Owning Mistakes – There is a natural tendency to pass the blame on to someone or something else, even when we mess up.  No one wants to look bad in front of another person; however, there are going to be times when you just can’t hide it.  Owning up to your mistakes means that you are being authentic and transparent.  Saying, “I’m sorry.” means that you care about the consequences to your actions.  When people see your sincerity it starts to build the trust that was lost because of the mistake.

There are many little habits that we overlook from day to day.  If we mess up once or twice they might not seem like a big deal; however, over time they can really create a problem. By seeking accountability and taking the time to reflect on your day you begin to build better habits that lead to better leadership.

What other habits are essential to better leadership?