Ready to Transform Your Leadership Habits? Help Is Available!

Over the last several weeks, I have written extensively about leadership habits. This topic is very important to me. It should also be important to anyone who wants to truly become a grounded, effective leader.

To me, developing good habits is one of the keys to successful modern leadership. Good leadership habits allow leaders to inspire their people and drive engagement. Bad leadership habits drive good people away from organizations and kill profits. It’s as simple as that!

What is not so simple is engaging in the process of changing your habits. It may sound easy on paper, but in practice, altering one’s habits is extraordinarily difficult. Long-term behavior change is incredibly challenging for everyone; it just does not come easily to anybody. For busy leaders who strive to perform at a high level, habit change can seem challenging, if not impossible.

Why Is It So Hard to Change Habits?

Making short-term changes is relatively easy. If you’ve ever started a diet or exercise regimen, you probably know what I mean: The first few days are fueled by excitement and the buzz of knowing you’re doing something to better yourself. But then fatigue sets in. The results don’t appear right away, which can be frustrating. And then after several days, it becomes easier to go back to old habits and choices.

The real challenge when it comes to habit change is to make changes that last over the long haul. Yes, it is possible. But many people are just not ready to fight through the hardships that make change so difficult. The status quo becomes a soft place to land, so they return to their well-worn ways of doing things, perhaps promising themselves that they’ll try again someday.

As a leader, this is not good enough. You owe it to your organization, your people and yourself to be the best you can be. But if you are hopelessly stuck in habitual patterns that don’t serve your values, you will ultimately lose the ability to lead, or deliver mediocre results.

The good news? You can change and shift your habits. I, among many others, am living proof of this. Habit change can be difficult, so if you have been unsuccessful in your attempts to change your behaviors, keep your head up and know that it isn’t supposed to be easy. If it were easy, I certainly wouldn’t be spending so much time writing and talking about the subject!

Habit change is difficult largely because of the ways the human brain works. It really all comes down to psychology:

  • Negative emotions are more powerful and motivational than positive ones. When you attempt to change habits, it’s typical for negative emotions to rush to the surface of your consciousness. You feel like it’s impossible or that you simply are not capable. The trick is to notice these emotions and then set them aside, knowing that it’s just your brain trying to protect you from threats that might not even exist in reality. In these moments when negative emotions threaten to take over, it is possible to focus on positive aspects of your efforts instead. Your mind may conjure up negative emotions and thoughts, but you always get to choose how you move forward, regardless of your initial emotional reactions. Pushing through and focusing on the positive requires mindfulness and self-awareness, qualities that many leaders have not developed sufficiently.
  • Leaders want to do it all at once. This is a tendency I’ve noticed countless times among leaders. They are used to making big things happen, so they assume that they can change all their unhelpful habits at once. This almost always leads to failure. The fact is that habit change is most successful when it is approached in baby steps. Psychologically, it is too difficult for the mind to make large, sweeping changes in a brief amount of time. It is best to start small and break down the steps, so they are as manageable and achievable as possible.
  • “All-or-nothing” thinking gets in the way of changing leadership habits. Leaders see themselves as capable of doing it all. But habit change is all about making small, incremental changes on the way to larger transformations. Patience is incredibly important when it comes to changing your leadership habits.
  • Failure is discouraging, but it comes with the territory. No matter how hard you try to change a habit, you will probably “fail” several times before you finally succeed. And that is completely normal, so get comfortable with being uncomfortable if you truly want to experience growth. For many leaders, failing to change a habit quickly is enough to discourage them from continuing the work. But failure is necessary to the process. It helps leaders learn more about themselves, and it guides them to the areas where the most work needs to be done in order to change habits.

You Don’t Have to Do It Alone!

Have you tried unsuccessfully to transform your leadership habits and behaviors? Does it seem like change is just too difficult to manage? Are you afraid that you don’t have the time or energy to work on yourself and your habits as a leader?

I get it. I have seen leaders struggle with changing their leadership habits, and I have seen some of the most powerful leaders fail at transforming their tendencies. However, I have also seen amazing transformations from leaders who thought it would be impossible to alter their habits.

I also know from direct experience that habit change is hard for most people to overcome, but it is possible. If you have attempted to change your leadership habits but have been unable to transform in the way you would like, it’s important to know that it’s not your fault; there is nothing wrong with you. You just need to try a different approach, and you may benefit from a guiding hand through the process of habit change.

I have done the hard work of changing habits, and I know what it takes for leaders to transform their bad habits into positive ones. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of coaching to get over the hump. Other times it takes a bigger push. Regardless, no one should ever think that changing their habits is impossible. It is possible, and I can help you get there.

Are you interested in learning more about how you can transform your leadership habits and rise to a new level of leadership and performance? Are you curious about the techniques you can use to build your mindfulness muscles? Do you struggle with developing the type of self-awareness that can help you identify and alter your habitual patterns? If so, we should talk.

To find out more about how you can transform your leadership habits, I invite you to call me directly at 1.855.871.3374 or send me an email at joanne.trotta@leadersedgeinc.ca.

I’m looking forward to supporting you on the journey of transformation and growth.

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