Being an effective leader isn’t necessarily an innate trait that you either possess or you don’t – it’s a skill that can be built like any other. Whether you’re a beginner looking to establish a strong foundation or an experienced manager wanting to grow, there are best practices you can intentionally focus on developing. Finish off the final quarter of the year strong – fall into these good leadership habits:


  • Plan Priorities with Intention

As a leader, your day can get away from you, with seemingly urgent tasks popping up, “quick meetings” that run over, etc. That’s why it is a leadership essential to plan your priorities with intention. Set your To-Do list ahead of time, such as by ending each workday with a plan for tomorrow. Decide what key tasks are “must-do’s” for gaining progress toward crucial short and long term goals, so you don’t get distracted by items that can be scheduled for another time.


  • Set Balanced Goals

The potential downfall of being in a leadership position is getting bogged down too heavily in short-term projects or tasks and not devoting time to bigger picture goals. Set your goals so you have a balance between urgent, time-sensitive tasks, along with working toward longer term ones that have the most impact toward organizational success in the big picture.


  • Practice Self-Care and Work-Life Balance

No matter how driven you are to work hard and succeed, you are still a human being with limited mental and physical energy. If you try to push through, it will backfire and cause you to make more mistakes, be less creative, or worst of all, have health problems. Just like you schedule any other important appointment, include self-care and work-life balance into your calendar. Go to bed at a reasonable time, take a break to eat a nutritious lunch, make time for social activities or hobbies that you enjoy, and actually use your vacation time to recharge.


  • Trust and Delegate

Perhaps the worst leadership habit you can have is micromanaging. Not only does it waste your own time, it is demoralizing for your employees. Instead, focus on learning how to trust your team – communicate your expected standards and then give them room to produce results. Also, look at your current tasks and see if there is anything you don’t absolutely need to do yourself, which you could delegate to someone else.

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