5 daily habits of business leaders on top of their game

business team talking
An important habit of a strong leader is to be present and transparent with their teams.

  • Sports entertainment firm founder Tanner Simkins says good leadership is key to running a business.
  • Not everyone can replicate leadership traits, but it’s easy to start implementing great leadership habits.
  • A great leader is proactive, communicative, and embraces the opportunity to learn to better themselves.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The best leaders get the most out of their teams, inspire their employees to constantly get better, and smoothly lead their businesses through difficult periods. The importance of good leadership, especially during periods of change or crisis, can’t be overestimated.

Employees who trust and respect their leader are much more likely to be committed, engaged, and happy in their jobs. Plus they’re more productive and less likely to leave.

The importance of being a great leader can be overwhelming for some in managerial and leadership roles. However, the good news is, as basketball coaching great Mike Krzyzewski says, “Leadership is an ever-evolving position.” Plus, while some leadership traits can be hard to replicate, leadership habits can be immediately implemented by anyone.

With that in mind, here are five habits of successful leaders to begin implementing today.

1. Focus on time management

Leaders have a long to-do list every day and it’s easy to get almost constantly diverted from the most important items on that list. Without good time management, leaders can find themselves constantly reacting to issues that arise and not spending enough time on the tasks that matter most.

To avoid this common problem, leaders need to be proactive about time management. Doing so will ensure that tasks don’t fall through the cracks, that you’re focused on the right priorities, that you’re modeling good habits, and that you’re meeting all commitments. While time management can be difficult, it is a habit that can be developed and internalized. Here are a few tips to help develop the habit of good time management.

  • Schedule your time the night before. Once the day starts, things can quickly get chaotic and it can be difficult to properly allocate time. Spend a few minutes every evening to prioritize and schedule the next day’s tasks.
  • Delegate whenever possible. Good time managers are able to determine which tasks require their attention and which tasks can be delegated. Delegation is essential for time management because it ensures that leaders are focused on the right tasks and strategically allocating their time.
  • Plan for focused periods of work time. Leaders are usually good multitaskers, as they’ve had to learn to juggle many different responsibilities. While multitasking is important, it’s not always a good thing. Difficult and demanding tasks require periods of focused concentration, so it’s important to schedule your time so that each task gets the focused attention it deserves.
  • Schedule the hardest tasks early in the day. It can be tempting to put off difficult projects as much as possible, but it’s best to schedule the most challenging things on your to-do list early in the day when you have the most energy and focus. Plus, getting these tasks done early ensures that they don’t serve as a distraction throughout the day.

2. Be present and transparent

One of the most important habits of strong leaders is being present, visible, and transparent with their teams. This often means simply walking around and checking in with employees. While it might seem like unproductive time, taking the time to be present with employees, in any way possible, is time well spent.

During these informal interactions, always be honest and as transparent as possible. This authenticity will build trust between you and your team. It also will lead to stronger relationships and healthy culture. Further, you’ll likely find that this time observing how your team and business runs will help you identify problems and opportunities.

3. Listen

Communication is regularly discussed when talking about great leaders. While communication is essential for great leadership, it’s particularly important that leaders are good listeners. The best leaders prioritize listening and ensure that they’re not just listening for content but also for context. Additionally, strong leaders listen without judgment and without trying to control the conversation.

Being a good, deep listener will not only build trust and respect but also ensures that you’re getting the information you need to make good decisions for your business.

4. Get to work early

One habit of great leaders that might seem insignificant is their commitment to getting to work early and being the first person (or one of the first people) in the office every day. Getting in early gives leaders time to organize their thoughts, handle a few mundane tasks, and respond to email before the busyness of the day begins. Additionally, it sets the tone for the team and lets them know that you’re present, committed, and working as hard as (or harder than) they are.

Being early to work is just one way that you can set the tone for your team and help build a healthy and productive culture. It’s worth noting that with so many teams working remotely now, this habit might not seem particularly important. However, even when working remotely, “getting to work early” will help to focus your day, ensure that you’re addressing any last minute changes to the day, and modeling good habits, no matter what the working situation.

5. Look for learning opportunities

The best leaders approach every day looking for something new to learn. They make learning a habit and always look for ways to gather new knowledge, information, and skills.

Learning can be formal, like participating in professional development or working with a mentor. However, it can also be informal. This includes talking to team members, asking probing questions, listening, taking notes, and observing. Throughout the course of each day, there are ample opportunities to learn. The best leaders seek out these opportunities and ensure that they’re always learning.

Great leaders get the most out of their teams and ensure that their businesses continue to grow and develop no matter what challenges they face. While being a strong leader is not easy, the good news is that there are some habits that anyone can adopt to be a better leader. Start with these five habits to become a better leader now.

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A psychotherapist says there are 3 common reasons so many people’s New Year’s resolutions end in failure

woman writing
Struggling to keep your New Year’s resolution might mean you’re not setting the right kind of goal.

  • Many people make New Year’s resolutions, but few people actually see them through.
  • Psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert told Business Insider three of the biggest reasons why our New Year’s resolutions fail.
  • People often don’t make their resolutions specific enough, they’re worded too negatively, and they’re not relevant to the individual, he said. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Millions of people in the US make New Year’s resolutions each year, but only a small fraction of them manage to keep them.

If you struggle to keep your New Year’s resolution, one expert says you might not be setting the right kind of goal.

Business Insider spoke with psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert, author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” who broke down three of the biggest reasons people fail to complete their resolutions each year.

Here’s what he said:

Your resolution isn’t specific enough

One of the biggest reasons people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions is because they’re not specific enough, Alpert told Business Insider.

For example, resolving to “exercise more” or “lose weight” are easy ways to set yourself up for failure, as they lack ways to mark progress and are unlikely to keep you motivated throughout the year.

Instead, try making your goal specific, like running a particular 5K you have circled on the calendar or losing 10 pounds by a certain date.

FILE PHOTO: Runners race during the 2018 New York City Marathon in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 4, 2018. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/File Photo
Running a 5k is fun and definitely doable.

“It’s easier to drop out or walk away when you set goals or resolutions that are vague,” Alpert told Business Insider. “When it’s really detailed and specific, it’s harder to walk away from it.”

Having a timeline on your resolution is helpful, he said, so think of short-term, medium-term, and long-term benchmarks that will let you know you’re on track to achieving your goal.

“What do I need to do this week, what do I need to do over the next month or so, and what do I hope to accomplish over the next several months?” Alpert said.

You aren’t framing them positively

Another problem people face when making resolutions is framing them with negative language.

When people resolve to stop wasting money or stop eating junk food, for example, it often backfires because it makes them think about the very thing they’re trying to avoid.

“It’s almost like I say to you, ‘I don’t want you to think about what a zebra with pink and blue stripes looks like,” Alpert told Business Insider. “You kind of have to think about what that would look like not to think about it, right?”

Try framing your goal in positive language instead.

“So much of how we talk to ourselves impacts our actions and our behavior,” Alpert said.

“We need to feed ourselves positive self-talk. Instead of telling ourselves ‘Don’t eat junk food,’ we should be telling us the behavior we desire, like ‘Eat carrots and peanut butter as a healthy snack.'”

Your resolution isn’t about you

Another major obstacle people face is the tendency to make New Year’s resolutions that don’t reflect what they actually want.

The biggest culprits are dieting and exercise trends, Alpert said. But it can apply to any number of goals, like a career-related goal inspired by what you think other people expect of you.

“Goals need to be made for the individual,” Alpert said. “So often, people seem to be influenced by their friends, their family, what they see in society.”

“I think it’s important for people to set goals that are for themselves and unique to themselves.”

Read the original article on Business Insider