5 Habits of Great Leaders5 Habits of Great Leaders

It’s a New Year. Time for new beginnings, new relationships and forming new habits for success. If you’re a leader in your organization, your community, on your team, which habits of great leaders will you commit to developing in the next few months?

The success of a great leader  isn’t dependent upon his or her individual performance but rather; on the collective performance of those they lead.

This is a difficult lesson for newly promoted leaders or supervisors who often default to doing the work they are experts in performing themselves. To get the most out of their team members great leaders practice several habits every day-in fact every chance they get.

1. Great leaders learn and continue to reinforce their personal work style strengths while minimizing those undeniable blind spots. Self-awareness is the foundation needed to develop effective working relationships with others and to plan personal and professional development. Great leaders surround themselves with colleagues and direct reports that possess strengths, values and skills they are lacking themselves. They know the benefit of collaborating with different perspectives.

Immediate practical application: Dedicate time and resources to complete and discuss the Everything DiSC Work of Leaders profile with a trained interpreter. She’ll affirm your three greatest leadership strengths and help you to develop an action plan to address your three greatest leadership challenges.

2. Great leaders learn about and provide opportunities for each team member to use their unique style strengths and potential blind spots to the best of their ability. Continually meeting with and asking each person, “how can I support you to do your best work on this team?” is critical to maximum performance and job satisfaction. Great leaders know the strengths and gaps of their team members.

Immediate practical application: Commit the time and resources to allow each individual on your team to experience the Everything DiSC Workplace profile with a trained facilitator. Using individual and group reports, each team member will understand their own working style strengths as well as those of their colleagues AND the group’s culture.

3. Great leaders model vulnerability based trust among team members by listening, modeling, empathizing and admitting mistakes themselves. Great leaders guide colleagues through many types of team challenges while encouraging celebrations of team successes along the way.

Immediate practical application: Initiate opportunities for team members to see and hear you model behaviors requiring your vulnerability with them. Share your skill and knowledge gaps and your mistakes while encouraging others that this is a team norm in a a safe, risk free environment.

4. Great leaders facilitate opportunities for individuals to challenge one another respectfully ensuring commitment to common goals. Great leaders model problem solving techniques, encourage healthy, unfiltered conflict ensuring all team members feel heard and appreciated for their contributions.

Immediate practical application: Learn and practice facilitation techniques including creative problem solving and group dynamic discussions, ending with specific calls to action. Demonstrate and gain feedback on your approach and what you might do differently with colleagues or managers with  diverse working styles.

5. Great leaders recognize and reward team members based on the values of each individual NOT what they believe is important themselves. Public accolades during a team meeting or in a company newsletter may be important to one team member while incredibly embarrassing to another. Great leaders know what will inspire each of their team members and act