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Blog > The Top 11 Habits of Successful Leaders

The Top 11 Habits of Successful Leaders

Specific habits like goal setting, self-care, mindfulness, continuous learning, and gratitude drive performance and guide you toward achieving your ambitions.
A person standing over two arrows that say “habits” and “changes”

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Excellence doesn’t happen by accident. Neither does it require you to change your existing behaviors radically. What is the secret sauce of top-performing CEOs, athletes, and portfolio managers use for success? A finely tuned set of habits.

Have you ever wondered why you might be scrolling on your phone for hours after work while others are strategizing their next business move, learning a new skill, or enriching their personal growth?

It’s all about habits

Successful individuals don’t merely cultivate habits by accident; they deliberately build them into their daily lives to extract maximum value from their time and abilities.

The highly successful share many of the same habits. These habits aren’t just rituals but a foundation for success, bolstering leaders and high achievers to reach their goals, maintain focus, and conquer challenges.

If you‘re looking to join the ranks of peak performers, it’s time for a closer examination of your own routines. Here, we present 11 transformative habits you can use to reshape your path to success. Ready to reinvent your tomorrow? Let’s dive in.

Habit #1: Set Goals

Many top-tier leaders have a reputation for audacious goal-setting habits. Setting ambitious, yet achievable goals provides you focus, motivation, and a clear path towards your desired outcomes.

If your sails currently have no wind behind them, carve out some time to strategize your next SMART goal or consider enlisting the help of a professional coach.

Habit #2: Prioritize Self-Care

Optimal health isn’t just beneficial, it’s instrumental in helping you avoid pitfalls on your journey to success. When your health thrives, you operate with heightened energy, time, and focus.

Successful individuals maintain a spectrum of healthy habits, from regular exercise and balanced nutrition to adequate sleep and relaxation.

Embracing self-care as a daily habit safeguards your physical and mental well-being — an invaluable asset in your pursuit of success.

Habit #3: Practice Mindfulness

Embedded in the routines of successful people are habits that enable them to cultivate mindfulness. Successful leaders often employ meditation, deep breathing, or other mindfulness techniques to manage their stress, sharpen their focus, and improve their overall well-being.A mindful approach can also elevate your skills as a manager. It can help you remain composed under pressure, benefiting not only you but also the team under your guidance. Incorporating mindfulness into your workday routine can augment your performance and help you create a more balanced life.

Habit #4: Seek Continuous Learning

Successful individuals are perpetual learners. They’re committed to seeking knowledge and skills, attending conferences, reading prolifically, and/or engaging in courses. Establishing lifelong learning as a routine allows you to keep ahead of others in your industry and fuels personal and professional growth. While attending a conference might not always be feasible, diving into a good book is. Did you know that the average CEO reads a book a week?

Focus on both personal and professional development to elevate your skillset and commit to this practice of continuous learning. Making these slight adjustments can have a major impact on how you connect with others in your field.

Habit #5: Embrace Failure

Successful individuals cultivate the habit of viewing failure not as a roadblock but as a learning opportunity. This mindset shift can significantly enhance your decision-making and problem-solving skills. Developing the habit of learning from missteps and leveraging them as opportunities for growth can propel you toward success.

Even in crises, there’s potential for extraordinary resourcefulness and innovation. At Arootah, we like to call this resilience Crisitunity. Aim to make this mindset a vital part of your leadership style.

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Habit #6: Build Strong Relationships

While many high achievers value independence, the wisdom of collective insight can’t be overstated. Developing habits that help you build and maintain strong relationships provides a valuable resource you can use to learn from your mistakes and stay motivated.

This principle applies equally to personal and professional relationships. Prioritize time to nurture these connections; your future self will thank you.

Habit #7: Hold Yourself Accountable

Effective leaders understand the importance of accountability. They take responsibility for their actions and decisions, using them to improve their performance. Adopting this habit will inspire your team to do the same. When leaders take ownership of their mistakes, they cultivate a supportive environment where everyone feels secure admitting and learning from their own mistakes.

Habit #8: Manage Time Effectively

Did you know that 82% of people don’t have a time management system? By developing effective time management habits, you position yourself ahead of those who leave their time management to chance. Successful individuals prioritize tasks, delegate when necessary, set deadlines, and maintain productivity. Over time, these habits become second nature, leading them to increased success.

Effective time management doesn’t just happen. Investing in time management resources can be a game-changer.

Habit #9: Focus on Solutions

Consistently reframing challenges to focus on solutions rather than problems is a habit that sets high achievers apart. Solution-oriented individuals remain productive even in the face of obstacles, always striving to find creative solutions to problems. (Remember habit #5, Crisitunity?)

By nurturing this habit, you can foster a positive outlook on overcoming challenges, transforming every problem into an opportunity.

Habit #10: Give Back

High achievers are acutely aware of the advantages they’ve earned or have been given. They amplify their impact by giving back to their communities and society. Giving back also has health benefits. One study found that older people who volunteered regularly were 44% less likely to die over a five-year period.

By actively seeking opportunities to help others and contribute to society, you can cultivate a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment, leading to greater overall success and satisfaction.

Habit #11: Practice Gratitude

Top performers, including Oprah Winfrey, have long endorsed the transformative power of gratitude. If you’re seeking an effective method to maintain a positive outlook, reduce stress, and improve relationships, it’s time to adopt the habit of practicing gratitude.

Even simple acts, such as dedicating five minutes daily to journal about what you’re grateful for, can dramatically shift your perspective. Studies show such practices can increase happiness by at least 10%.

Successful people understand that they have much to be grateful for. Regardless of the ambitious goals you’re striving towards, developing the habit of expressing gratitude can powerfully shift your mindset towards success. Let’s start recognizing and appreciating the abundance that already surrounds us.

The Bottom Line

Successful leaders don’t leave their habits to chance. Each habit they deliberately cultivate helps them build a lifestyle of success and career fulfillment.

Yet, building new habits is no easy task. If you’ve ever tried to eradicate a bad habit or build a new healthy one, you know it requires consistent effort and perseverance. The encouraging news is that we can always modify and improve our habits — and it’s never too late to start.

If you want to cultivate habits to take your leadership skills to the next level, try the Arootah Habit tracker app. This tool can help you gain a clearer view of your current habits and help you focus on developing the habits that will most significantly improve your effectiveness as a leader. Also, sign up for the Weekly Returns newsletter for more insight, updates, and upcoming events.

Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as professional medical, psychological, legal, investment, financial, accounting, or tax advice. Arootah does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability of its content for a particular purpose. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read in our newsletter, blog or anywhere else on our website.

Tags:  Discipline | Focus
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Sam
Sam
3 months ago

Having a solutions mindset is a game changer. Pretty sure that why people want to work with me.