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Non-negotiable Leadership Habits for Leaders Who Want to Stay Relevant

By Numly - Leadership Coaching Group
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It is easy to become a successful leader. It is hard to remain a successful one. 

While it takes a lot of hard work and resilience to become successful, leaders have to be on the path of continuous learning and evolution to build on their success and remain so.

Changes like customer needs, markets, economic conditions, technology evolutions, etc. have become constant sources of disruption. There is a new workforce demographic in the workplace, and trends like hybrid work are changing the world of work further. 

For organizations, this environment requires taking a view of the business while keeping all these evolving factors in mind. It needs them to move beyond what needs to be done today, to what must be done to ensure continuity.

Navigating organizational futures in these trying times requires robust leadership habits. The authoritative, command-and-control leadership styles that worked in the past are redundant in today’s workplace. With global teams, remote work, disparate teams, and global businesses, the rise of the hybrid workplace demands leaders to develop some non-negotiable leadership habits that build engagement and productivity and drive positive business outcomes. 

What are non-negotiable leadership habits?

While flexibility is the name of the game, today’s business environment demands leaders build a few habits that are critical for organizational success. These non-negotiable leadership habits are the set of behaviors that leaders must commit to if they wish to remain successful in today’s business environment. It is an all-in commitment that is not open to modification or interpretation. 

Some of the key habits for 2022 and beyond are:

Leading with empathy and understanding 

It is the people who make or break an organization in today’s world. As such, how leaders engage with employees becomes a key metric to evaluate when building leadership habits. Building key leadership habits such as empathy and understanding become essential for success in today’s business environment.

Leading with empathy and understanding allows leaders to 

  • Create a high-trust and equitable work environment
  • Understand what employees want and what they are not receiving to perform to their full potential 
  • Recognize barriers to individual success 
  • Get clarity on things that need to change for the better

Empathy and understanding are also crucial habits to further diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging within the organization. Greater engagement, higher commitments, lower attrition, and consequently better organizational outcomes are also by-products of these habits. 

Curiosity and openness

Leaders have to develop curiosity and become more open to learning new things. 

The willingness to learn and improve demands leaders to also build their curiosity. Organizations that have curious leaders end up being more adaptable and high performing. 

Curiosity builds adaptability and helps leaders adapt to uncertain market conditions and external pressure. It triggers deep and rational thinking and also promotes creative solutions. It also inspires employees to develop more trusting and collaborative relationships.

Curiosity and openness to learning have been inherent traits of successful innovators throughout history. Leaders who display an appreciation of diverse perspectives and a willingness to learn and try new things navigate daily challenges and discover novel solutions, faster.

Coaching leadership

Coaching leadership is a leadership style that identifies the strengths, weaknesses, and motivation of an individual to drive change and achieve success. 

The habits of deep listening and intuition are essential to developing this style of leading. 

These leaders guide employees through their goals and help them navigate their obstacles. The leader works more as a coach than an autocratic leader who demands their decisions to be followed.

The coaching habit allows leaders to listen with empathy, encourage creative problem-solving, and help employees come up with workable solutions to their challenges. This habit allows employees to become more solution-driven, independent, resourceful, and resilient. 

Elevated self-awareness 

In an age when software improves continuously, can leadership be any different? 

Continuous improvement is a critical leadership habit to develop to lead successful organizations today since change has become a constant. For this, however, leaders need to become highly self-aware. They also need to objectively assess their leadership skills to identify improvement areas. 

One way to develop self-awareness is to seek feedback from peers and colleagues. However, organizations need to help leaders identify their areas of improvement more objectively and impartially for defined leadership success. This can only happen by taking data-backed assessments such as behavioral analysis tests. 

Objectivity builds clarity and clarity then contributes to self-awareness. Taking a data-backed approach becomes crucial to develop self-awareness since it provides clear context and does not rely on ambiguous concepts like intuition and gut feeling. This is especially crucial as hybrid work becomes a norm and identifying limiting beliefs, unconscious biases, etc. becomes critical to forward employee-centric initiatives

Focusing on this habit allows leaders to lead by example and encourages employees to become more self-aware, identify improvement areas, and build a culture of continuous improvement across the organization. 

It also allows leaders to gain more respect, trust, and following and inspires employees. 

Agility and Resilience 

The effect of organizational shifts reflects on employees in the form of stress, burnout, and fatigue. Leaders must do whatever it takes to support their employees to help them adapt to new working models and styles.

Building leadership habits that contribute to agility and resilience are extremely important in the time ahead as disruption is a constant. The ability to fail and recover fast, the capacity to identify weaknesses and potential pitfalls, and developing intuition, critical thinking, and strategic thinking contribute to these capabilities. 

Change, no matter how small, is hard. No matter how good it is for us, it is difficult since humans, by default, are resistant to change. Behavioral change is even harder to execute as it needs constant reinforcement coupled with contextual, value-driven feedback. 

Coaching, as such, becomes an important tool for organizations to help their leaders build the right leadership habits. 

Coaching gives leaders a non-judgmental space to evaluate their weaknesses, and biases and allows them to explore their belief systems. It is a partnership, a co-creative relationship that is cemented in trust and forward movement. It allows leaders to develop their skill sets through non-judgmental feedback and constant reinforcement. 

Socrates said, “the secret to change is to focus all energies NOT on fighting the old but on building the new”. As the world of work changes leaders must develop new habits. This might need them to identify their barriers and limiting beliefs and resolutely work on developing the new habits. 

Coaching is the most viable solution to help leaders navigate the challenges presented in a world characterized by Volatility, Uncertainty, Chaos, and Ambiguity (VUCA) by building the right meta-mindsets. 

Numly™ allows forward-thinking organizations to ramp up their leadership capabilities. Connect with us to see how our AI-powered coaching platform is the perfect solution for building leadership habits.

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