Training leaders to use new tools and create consistent habits doesn’t sound like it would be hard work. It actually is. What we’ve found is that some leaders get very comfortable being good. It’s moving them to great that slows them down a bit.
There are those people that seem to want a quick, easy, leadership pill that they can take for a day or two that will make them magically feel like they have improved as a leader. I wish that pill existed. I would take it myself and learn to manufacture it for my clients. No such pill exists. Trust me, I’ve searched for it in hundreds of books and articles, through classes I’ve taken and the more than a thousand coaching sessions our team has conducted with hundreds of leaders.
I haven’t found the magic pill for great leadership, however we have found a super simple tool that if used every single week can dramatically improve your habits and results over time. Ask yourself each week what you need to continue, start, and stop doing. That’s it. You don’t have to pick big stuff, just small things that make huge differences over time.
Here’s a list of behaviors we suggest to our leaders to stop and start doing:
Stop treating others the way you want to be treated. Start treating others the way THEY want to be treated. (Hint: The only way to do this properly is to ask them.)
Stop making so many assumptions. Start asking more questions.
Stop thinking that the best leaders have all the answers.
Start realizing that fantastic leaders ask really good questions at the right time, to the right people, about the most important aspects of the situation. Stop needing to be heard. Start making time to listen.
Stop spending 80 percent of your time on what is urgent and important. Start planning time for what is not urgent, but really important.
Stop seeing stress as a persecutor. Start managing it through exercise, eating properly, and rest.
Start asking people what they want. Stop thinking you know.