I’m an avid reader and have consumed my fair share of leadership books. But even applying all the various techniques and tips described in each and every book won’t necessarily make me a great leader.
I’ve learned – and Harvard Business Review contributor Todd Warner has covered this subject – that to be a great leader I must know my organization, my staff, myself and the daily routines that help me succeed.
Warner offers some simple steps a leader can take to become a better leader. They include:
- Self-assess. “Where do you spend your time, what do you focus on? These habits define your effectiveness as a leader,” he writes. In honestly assessing your routines and habits, you are taking an important step toward improvement as a leader.
- Study high-performers. “Leadership is an applied craft,” Warner writes. He recommends not only studying high performers, but shadowing them as well and learning from their routines.
- Create a conversation about routines. He suggests talking with others about daily applications and ways to improve rather than scoring well on an assessment or once-a-year evaluation.
- Tolerate imperfection and get feedback, regularly. There is no one way to become a great leader. Warner suggests picking one or two effective routines that will make a difference in your work situation; focus on those, and seek feedback from others.
Focusing on effective routines that suit you and your workplace, Warner says, will do more for you as a leader than any list of leadership characteristics. In other words, find the routines that work for you, and you will truly grow your own performance.