"Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day." -~Jim Rohn
"Successful people make the right decisions early and manage those decisions daily." ~John Maxwell
One of the overlooked foundations of greatness is consistency. The very best people at a given task do things right every single day. This makes every day build like compound interest until they become overwhelmingly great at their chosen field.
Leaders who choose to be great don’t just show up in a crisis, they don’t just empower their team when they feel like it, and they don’t create a cohesive team only on Wednesdays. They do certain things every day that lead them inevitably to greatness.
Below is a list of the top 10 things that amazing leaders who earn respect and become great do every single day they are at work:
Develop People – Leadership is as much about creating more leaders as it is about driving performance. Respected leaders constantly empower their team to learn and develop new skills through delegation and training. They actively expose them to other leaders in the organization. And they work closely with each employee on their career goals and help chart the course to get there.
Set Priorities – Ever had several projects all due the same day or week? It is common for everyone to be pulled in multiple directions at any given time. Great leaders set the vision, direction and goals of the organization. They ensure those are all met by aligning the resources of the team through clearly laid out priorities. When employees have conflicts in priorities, the leaders steps in and changes due dates or shifts projects to other workers.
Communicate continuously – How amazing leaders accomplish many of the items on this list is through effective and constant communication with their team. They share insight, they listen to ideas, they can be relied upon to be honest and transparent in even the most difficult things. John C. Maxwell says that, “Everything rises and falls on leadership”, and to that I add that, “Leadership rises and falls on communication.” Amazing leaders know this and follow through on it.
Set a high bar for excellence – Some of the best leaders you will come across in your career will know what your best effort looks like, and will not allow you to settle for giving anything less. What is more, they build trust amongst the team by expecting the same of your co-workers. In an environment where everyone is held to the same standard of excellence, productivity thrives.
Respect time – Time is something everyone is increasingly in short supply of these days. True leaders respect the time of their people both inside and outside of work. They will extend the courtesy of asking if the present moment is a good time to talk which reinforces a sense of ownership and responsibility in the employee as it relates to their work. They make adjustments so that the employee can make appointments or take some time off. And in all of this, they ensure that the work gets done either by the team member or a back-up.
Have fun – Andrew Carnegie famously said that, "There is little success where there is little laughter." Too much of our time is spent working for it to be a bummer. Leaders set the right tone for the good of everyone. They laugh, they hold social events, and they don’t take themselves too seriously. A fun environment is a key to bringing out the absolute best in the team.
Recognize great work – Ever done something great and nobody noticed? Sure you have the sense of a job well done, but if that is the norm in your office there’s a problem. Letting a team member know that they created great work is a simple and polite way of reinforcing more of it.
Make decisions – Nothing will cause a team to lose respect for a leader quicker than coming to them for help in a decision and not getting it. Some may consider this a basic function of leadership, but many people have run across bosses who are too busy to listen, always in meetings, or apt to shift the decision making back on you. Decisions are when the team needs the leader most, and amazing leaders step up to the plate.
Foster teamwork – Whether it is assigning teams to projects that could be done individually, assigning back-ups for all duties, or focusing more on team accomplishments than individual accomplishments (or likely discussing how the individual accomplishments relate to the team goals), great leaders weave these into the daily life in the organization. The reason is simple; they understand that when teamwork is done right it makes 1+1=3.
Celebrate success – Tom Peters says to, “Celebrate what you want to see more of.” Respected leaders not only celebrate success, they notice success in every nook and cranny of the operation. It can be reaching goals, learning something new, or expanding responsibilities. Everyone loves success and amazing leaders use that to shape a culture of winning and keep a positive “can do” spirit.
Doing these things is what makes a good leader. Doing these things every day makes you an amazing leader. And it isn’t just the impact on the team where the amazing leader reaps the benefits of their effort, it shows in the organization’s overall results as well.