We are what we repeatedly do. With my colleagues at the Forbes Coaches Council we focused this month on what are the best habits and practices for leaders.

We came up with 29 habits and practices captured in two articles. I wanted to share with you my top 5:

1. Look After Yourself
Great managers look after themselves. The more you take care of yourself, the better you will be as a manager. When you feel overwhelmed, it is more likely that you will put unnecessary pressure on your team, have a shorter fuse and show less patience. By resting and recharging, you will be able to think more strategically, listen more actively, be more empathetic and, ultimately, unleash your people’s best potential.

2. Have A Half-Hour Gap Between Meetings

Studies have shown that it takes our brains more than 20 minutes to shift our attention from one task to another. Back-to-back meetings force us to do something impossible: change context immediately. As a result, we have worse meetings, we struggle to be present (as we still have our attention on the previous meeting), and we get exhausted. If you cannot have half-hour, even a 10-minutes gap can be transformational.

3. Set Aside ‘Executive Think Time’

Every leader should set aside “executive think time” to contemplate creative solutions for pressing and anticipated future business challenges. When leaders make a commitment to invest the time to consider a clearly defined question (or to be clear about the “quest” they are on), they begin to identify solutions that will achieve results, are more productive and experience less stress. -Gwendolyn Miller-Jones, Synergy Unlimited LLC

4. Understand The Value Of Owning The ‘Why’

Great managers understand the value of having people buy into or own the “why” behind what they are asked to achieve. It is one thing to explain what needs to be done and when, and it’s quite another thing to present the context or factual circumstances to show why it is essential. This understanding improves their performance and increases their involvement in achieving the results, which builds confidence and encouragement. – Rick Itzkowich, Vistage Worldwide, Inc.

5. Make A ‘To-Be’ List
As you begin each day, look at everything on your calendar and be incredibly intentional about not just what you want to convey, but also how you want to convey it, as well as how you want people to feel at the end of each meeting or conversation. Focusing less on the “doing” and more on the “being” will strengthen your relationships and leadership, which will help you gain success. – Joanne Heyman, Heyman Partners

You probably have heard most of those habits before. The challenge is to do them consistently.

You can read the two lists of habits in these two articles on Forbes.
15 Practices Good Managers Can Adopt To Become Great Managers
14 Daily Habits That Every Business Leader Should Adopt

Which one is your favourite?

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