The 19th Century Philosopher and psychologist William James once said, “All of life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.” The same could be said about leadership. Leadership is the sum or mass of a leader’s habits.
Any leader who wants to grow as a leader must develop habits that will produce an effective leader. Leadership is not easy. The habits of a leader will further them or sabotage them. Leaders, must then, develop practices that not just inform who their leaders, but transform their character.
Here are 6 Steps for developing powerful leadership habits.
|H||HEALTH: Develop healthy leadership habits across all areas of life
(Spiritual, Physical, Mental, Emotional, Relational, Financial, and Vocational) A leader is more than just the work of leadership. A leader must develop healthy habits across all spheres of their life because their leadership is influenced by all spheres of their life.
Leadership habits should help the leader become more knowledgeable. Leaders are learners and so must develop habits that support acquiring new knowledge. But the most important thing a leader must continue to acquire is knowledge of God’s Word. (ex. “What does the Bible say about this?”)
Leadership habits should help build and increase leadership perspective. What do the best people in leadership or in my field have to say about this? But the most essential leadership habits are those that help a leader see and understand things from God’s perspective.
A leader must ultimately come to believe, to hold a conviction about what is true and what must be done. Leaders should pursue habits that instill conviction and belief. Leaders must be convicted about what they must do and why they must do it. Nothing great can be accomplished by a leader who does not believe in their mission and vision.
|T||TOOLS-TASKS-TAKEAWAYS TO DEVLOP AND PRACTICE SKILLS
Conviction and belief mean very little if those convictions and beliefs are not put into action. Leaders should find Tools: resources to support skills
Tasks: action steps, projects, ideas and suggestions to do and practice skills
Takeaways: key ideas and plans for skill development. This is where our leadership knowledge, perspective, and beliefs become action.
|S||SHAPE CHRIST-LIKE CHARACTER
Ultimately, our leadership habits must grow us to be more like Jesus, who is the ultimate example of leadership. All of what we do should lead us to become more like Jesus. Habits form us...for good or for bad...into the leader we are. Be intentional about pursuing habits that will ultimately shape your leadership in Christ-like ways and the same for your character.
As was famously said by Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” That is certainly true about what we do and who we are as leaders.
Leadership is about forming and shaping the hearts and imaginations of those a leader leads. Therefore leadership should be “formational.” Leadership shapes and creates particular kinds of people, a people who love certain things and imagine certain things. And this shaping is accomplished through habits, practices, routines, rituals—in other words through liturgies. In other words, our habits shape our leadership because they shape us.
Leadership uninformed by the Bible and a leader who is not shaped by Christ is a leader that is unrooted, unguided, and lacking real power. We must as leaders be vigilant to form habits that form us to be like Christ.
As Eugene Peterson reminds us, “Take an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.” Ephesians 4:22-24 (Message)
Leadership is a shaping work. Leadership can form, mold, and shape followers. Leadership can shape habits and desires, and these ultimately develop the heart and the imagination. But first, a leader must form their habits, habits that will eventually shape them into who Christ desires them to be.
Leadership is not just information. Leadership is formation. Let us endeavor not only to know, or see, or believe, but do..so that we become.