Habits…the very word seems to bring up images of bad things, bad habits. Things people are addicted to. Unhealthy choices. Yet every successful leader knows the value of good habits and takes time to learn them.
Take the habit of reading while waiting for an appointment. One of my favorite bosses in corporate always had the latest book on his desk and carried it around with him all the time. At first I thought it was a prop – you know – kind of an announcement to the rest of us that he was a reader. Then as I went to meeting with him I saw him pick that book up and actually read it. He had the habit of reading just a few pages every chance he got. He thought it sharpened his mind for the next event scheduled. Just a few pages while waiting for the next appointment. Just a few pages while waiting for a meeting to start. Now he was a social person, but he developed the habit of reading…just a few pages every chance he got. He always had something interesting to talk about and always was up to date on the newest ideas in his area of business. Just a few pages.
Well, I never developed that good habit, but I did see how it benefited him and modified it to fit me. I develop the habit of reading leadership material. I keep books and magazines on leadership around me every place I might settle for a few seconds. No longer did I have to have long periods of time set aside to read, I had the habit of reading just a few pages. I didn’t carry a book around with me or take it to meetings but I arranged my living space to surround me with reading material. I buy books that educate me in areas I have an interest in and areas I need additional help and education. Not every habit fits every person, and that is the beauty of habits. You get to select the ones you want to form and how you want to form them.
Now with the internet you can get all types of great articles and learn the latest tips on selling, managing, communicating and leading. All it takes is a habit. We have all the time there is in every day…so pick an area of life and learn a new habit. One that helps you achieve your life goals.
Leaders know you can only change your life when you change something you do everyday. So pick your area, pick your habit to start and change your destiny. It’s as easy as that … make it a habit. It’s a great life, live it with joy!