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Graci Leadership Solutions Blog

  • Writer's pictureGraci Leadership

Leaders, It Pays to Break Away From Being a Creature of Habit

When you brush your teeth, do you start in the same spot day after day? 

When you put your pants on, what pant leg do you start with? 

When you comb your hair, do you start in the same spot? 

When bathing, do you start in the same spot?

Do you put both socks on before both shoes? Tomorrow, try putting on one sock, then a shoe, then the other sock and shoe. Awkward, right?

Yes, we are all creatures of habit. Habits may make us feel comfortable, but they may not be the best when it comes to doing things differently—to change.

Leaders typically train people the way they feel comfortable being trained. Leaders, have you ever asked a team member how they learn best? 

Leaders typically deliver recognition the way they prefer to be recognized. Leaders, have you ever asked a team member how they prefer to be recognized?

Leaders typically think of motivation in terms of what motivates them. Leaders, have you ever asked a team member what motivates them? 

Leaders, how do you listen to your team members? Do you ask the team, "Does anybody have any ideas?" How long have you been doing this? Are you listening to everyone? Quite simply, you are listening to anyone willing to speak up and be criticized in front of the group. How long have you listened to people this way? Why are you continuing to listen to people this way? See, habits are hard to break! Are you aware there are listening techniques geared to listening to everybody on the team and not just anybody?

People often ask me what I do for a living during social gatherings. I respond, "I teach leaders to be nice to their people. I teach leaders to use their uncommon common sense." I get some rather odd looks from people. Too often, we lead based on what feels comfortable to us. A wise person once said, "If you want to be successful as a leader, you got to be weird." In other words, leaders have to put their old habits of working with people aside and apply the fundamentals of leadership.

Leaders often ask, "Why don't team members do what they are supposed to be doing?" One primary reason is that leaders continually take their leadership habits and impose them (unintentionally, I hope) on the people around them. Why? Because habits make us feel comfortable.

It's time to become weird and do what your most successful leaders are doing—habitually applying the fundamentals of leadership.

Leaders Are MADE, Not Born!

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