20 small, healthy habits to be a better leader
Being a leader requires an ongoing transformation of ability – professional capability, decision-making and social skills. These are all essential characteristics, which however, require an even greater potential: self-improvement. A leader has the power to change the world around them, but to do so, they need to train themselves and nurture a number of good habits.
Brad Lomenick identifies three approaches as fundamental to this process of change – the ability to be humble, ambition, and hustle, or perseverance. “Be humble, stay hungry, always hustle” is his mantra, encapsulating the habits to be formed with these three words.
Lomenick also identifies 20 habits which, if applied properly, can shape and strengthen a better-informed leader. During the course of their lives, human beings find themselves facing three key questions: who am I? Where am I going? How am I going to get there? According to Lomenick, the good habits that one should develop can be found in the answers to these questions. Everything that falls outside of these three areas is irrelevant, when it comes to the leadership process.
The first question concerns who you are and is summed up in the invitation to be humble. Humility opens you up to self-awareness. Also included in this category are openness to others, which is your ability to express yourself in a sincere way, through the opposite traits of meekness and resoluteness - to truly be able to listen to others’ reasoning - albeit with sufficient tenacity to stick to your own convictions. Faith and the desire to carry out a personal mission also fall into this area.
While the invitation to be humble is aimed at a more individual and intimate level, the second category, which responds to the question, “Where are you going?”, is aimed at encouraging personal ambition: ‘stay hungry’. The second category of habits to form includes curiosity, ambition, passion, innovation, inspiration, and courage.
Finally, the focus of the third category, ‘always hustle’, is perseverance, namely your ability to achieve your objectives. It is a more socially orientated behaviour, as it also involves other people. Amongst the habits in this third category are the desire to excel (to always achieve more, rather than settling for less, and setting increasingly ambitious goals), your ability to execute and see things through, as well as the capacity for teamwork and the formation of alliances, team building skills, and the creation of partnerships. As a matter of fact, the best results are always achieved thanks to discussion and collaboration. In this category we also find the capacity for creating and leaving space for other things, such as family or creative relaxation, as well as generosity, which is a natural inclination.
The key concept for Brad Lomenick is that being a leader does not depend on the number of followers that someone manages to accumulate, but rather their ability to improve the lives of the people they meet. Being a good leader becomes a fully-fledged moral mission as a result of the epic changes that they can implement. Leaders have the power to influence the course of events, change organisations, structures, and entire processes, and therefore they really can create a better world.