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The Most Successful Leaders Do 15 Things Automatically, Every Day - Forbes

Stashed in: Practice, Culture, Decisions, Intuition, Business Advice, Management, Awesome, Feedback, Self Improvement, Leadership, Rituals

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Glenn Llopis writes that leadership is learned behavior.

The essence of leadership is decision making:

Leadership is learned behavior that becomes unconscious and automatic over time.

For example, leaders can make several important decisions about an issue in the time it takes others to understand the question. Many people wonder how leaders know how to make the best decisions, often under immense pressure.

The process of making these decisions comes from an accumulation of experiences and encounters with a multitude of difference circumstances, personality types and unforeseen failures.

More so, the decision making process is an acute understanding of being familiar with the cause and effect of behavioral and circumstantial patterns; knowing the intelligence and interconnection points of the variables involved in these patterns allows a leader to confidently make decisions and project the probability of their desired outcomes.

The most successful leaders are instinctual decision makers. Having done it so many times throughout their careers, they become immune to the pressure associated with decision making and extremely intuitive about the process of making the most strategic and best decisions. This is why most senior executives will tell you they depend strongly upon their “gut-feel” when making difficult decisions at a moment’s notice.

Any decision is better than no decision.

But a great decision is of course better than just any decision.

Practice makes a person a better decider.

15 Things Leaders Do, tl;dr version:

1.  Make Others Feel Safe to Speak-Up

Many times leaders intimidate their colleagues with their title and power when they walk into a room.   Successful leaders deflect attention away from themselves and encourage others to voice their opinions.  They are experts at making others feel safe to speak-up and confidently share their perspectives and points of view.   They use theirexecutive presence to create an approachable environment.

2.  Make Decisions

Successful leaders are expert decision makers.    They either facilitate the dialogue to empower their colleagues to reach a strategic conclusion or they do it themselves.  They focus on “making things happen” at all times – decision making activities that sustain progress.   Successful leaders have mastered the art of politicking and thus don’t waste their time on issues that disrupt momentum.  They know how to make 30 decisions in 30 minutes.

3.  Communicate Expectations

4.  Challenge People to Think

5.  Be Accountable to Others

6.  Lead by Example

7.  Measure and Reward Performance

8.  Provide Continuous Feedback

Employees want their leaders to know that they are paying attention to them and they appreciate any insights along the way. Successful leaders always provide feedback and they welcome reciprocal feedback by creating trustworthy relationships with their colleagues. They understand the power of perspective and have learned the importance of feedback early on in their career as it has served them to enable workplace advancement.

9.  Properly Allocate and Deploy Talent

10.  Ask Questions, Seek Counsel

11.  Problem Solve; Avoid Procrastination

Successful leaders tackle issues head-on and know how to discover the heart of the matter at hand.    They don’t procrastinate and thus become incredibly proficient at problem solving; they learn from and don’t avoid uncomfortable circumstances (they welcome them).

Getting ahead in life is about doing the things that most people don’t like doing.

12.  Positive Energy & Attitude

Successful leaders create a positive and inspiring workplace culture.  They know how to set the tone and bring an attitude that motivates their colleagues to take action.   As such, they are likeable, respected and strong willed.  They don’t allow failures to disrupt momentum.

13.  Be a Great Teacher

Many employees in the workplace will tell you that their leaders have stopped being teachers.   Successful leaders never stop teaching because they are so self-motivated to learn themselves.  They use teaching to keep their colleagues well-informed and knowledgeable through statistics, trends, and other newsworthy items.

Successful leaders take the time to mentor their colleagues and make the investment to sponsor those who have proven they are able and eager to advance.

14.  Invest in Relationships

Successful leaders don’t focus on protecting their domain – instead they expand it by investing in mutually beneficial relationships. Successful leaders associate themselves with “lifters and other leaders” – the types of people that can broaden their sphere of influence.  Not only for their own advancement, but that of others.

Leaders share the harvest of their success to help build momentum for those around them.

15.  Genuinely Enjoy Responsibilities

Successful leaders love being leaders – not for the sake of power but for the meaningful and purposeful impact they can create.   When you have reached a senior level of leadership – it’s about your ability to serve others and this can’t be accomplished unless you genuinely enjoy what you do.

I could probably compress this tl;dr further if I wanted to spend more time on it.

Nonetheless, I think it's a thoughtful list I will come back to.

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