6 Habits of High-Performance Leaders

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. – Jim Rohn

For many years, I have been a big advocate of focusing on your strengths as, when leaders excel at what they love, they get into a state called flow. When this happens, it often feels like time flies by and we get extraordinary amounts of work complete. Typically, we feel energized and alive because we are doing what we love.

However, I have recently changed my thoughts on this. Yes, focusing on your strengths is important and can help you attain high performance, but only when it is combined with healthy habits. We live in a VUCA where everything is moving at a rapid pace. Life and business are more complex than ever. Achieving success is not natural anymore. It is a complex process that can easily get derailed. This is why leaders need to develop great habits to keep them on track.

In his book High Performance Habits, author Brendon Burchard identifies six habits that, when applied consistently, lead to high performance. This data comes from research conducted with over 30,000 people from 195 countries and has been quantitatively proved to be valid and reliable.

The six habits fall into two categories – three personal habits and three social habits.

  1. Seek Clarity – Having clarity is vital if you want to achieve high performance. Clarity helps give you direction on where you are going and the steps required to achieve it. However, high performance leaders don’t just have clarity on what they are doing, they also have clarity on who they want to be and how they want to show up in relationships. They bring intentionality to everything they do and, in doing so, stop being reactive to the circumstances around them. Furthermore, you don’t just get clarity once. High-performance leaders continually check back in and make sure they have clarity every time they take on new projects or enter new social situations.
  2. Generate Energy – High-performance leaders recognize their role is to energise others, and they can only do this if they have high personal energy levels. For leaders to stay on their "A game," they need to be energized physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
  3. Raise The Necessity – Exceptional leaders know why they are doing what they are doing. They understand the consequences of not achieving their goals and the ripple impact effect this will have on others.
  4. Increase Productivity – High-performance leaders are experts in one specific area. They produce quality content on this subject matter and position themselves as the go-to person on that topic.  This means that they have to develop a habit of saying no to opportunities that are not aligned with their area of expertise. Minimising distractions is a great way to maintain this focus and productivity.
  5. Develop Influence – To be successful, we all need a team of supporters around us. High-performance leaders invest in developing relationships with people who can support their efforts and help galvanise them towards their dreams.
  6. Demonstrate Courage – High-performance leaders look fear in the face and take courageous action day in, day out. This means they take bold action and step out of their comfort zone even in the face of uncertainty, threat, or ridicule.

The interesting fact is that, when you apply just one of habits listed above, you experience an increase in performance across all areas, so just imagine the compound effect that occurs when you consistently apply all the habits. This is the formula for 10x performance.

So, what habits are you starting to apply today?

Remember, you need to be consistent, so I would recommend working on one habit at a time. Incorporate this new habit onto the back of something you already do in order to give yourself the best chance of success. Diarise it to ensure it gets done, or better still, incorporate it as part of your morning success routine.

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