5 Habits of High Performing Leaders

Clarity, productivity and courage are key ingredients to a high performing leader.

We work with many executives as business leadership coaches and in today’s post, we share 5 of the best practices we’ve from noticed from high performing leaders.

1. Create a clear plan

High performing leaders don’t always have enough information to have clarity, which means they need to create clarity through a plan. Most successful people don’t wait until New Year’s to perform a self-evaluation and decide what changes they want to make. They work on themselves every week and pivot to an ever-changing world.

The only constant in our modern world is change and the leaders who are able to create clarity from chaos, will have the competitive edge. A simple approach to seeking clarity is to focus on four things: self, skills, social, and service. How do you want to describe your ideal self in these areas?

2. Tap into positive energy

Research shows that by lunchtime most people start feeling wiped out from the day. By 3pm, most people are unable to be productive and tend to blanky stare at their computer screens until 5pm. High performance leaders are able to tap into another gear around 3pm, kicking them into hyper productivity instead of mediocrity.

Most people bleed out energy in the transitions between tasks and meetings. High performance leaders have mastered the transition. Instead of running from one task to the next, they are likely to take a quick break, to close their eyes and centre their emotions. This simple short psychological break releases tension and creates energy for the next activity

3. Find the passion and necessity

High performers raise the psychological necessity regarding why it is important for them to perform well. Research clearly shows that those who are more passionate are able to outperform those who aren’t. If you can make your next task of high priority and necessity, you are likely to be more passionate and hardworking.

You need to know why it’s important for you to succeed at whatever you are doing that day. Working for a paycheck is not very motivating and won’t give you the edge to compete. Learn to associate a deep sense of identity with performing with excellence.

4. Do more and less

High performers increase the outputs that matter and focus on activities of high importance and relevance. High performers do more important work and less time-wasting and irrelevant tasks. As the saying goes, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

You need to ensure you always have a clear plan and list of prioritised tasks. Whenever someone comes to you with an urgent request, you can compare that task with your current list and make an informed decision as to where your time and energy goes. You only have 24 hours in a day, make sure it’s being spent on the task that will most drive your results.

5. Become an influencer

High performers develop influence by teaching people how to think and challenging them to grow. High performers say things like, “Think of it this way” or “What if we approached it this way?” or “What do you think about this?”

You are not only a leader, but a teacher and confidant. People need to feel connected to you and at your level. Nothing screams influence like empathy. The best way to improve your influence is to learn from those who are influential. Think of a person in your life that is very influential. Ask yourself, why are the influential? How do they speak? What do they say? What makes them so magnetic? And then model their behaviour until people start to follow you.

This is not an easy journey… but it’s one worth taking. Through our coaching experience, we’ve seen that many people complain about the struggle, but high performers don’t. They’re fine being in the weeds, getting muddy. They know that showing up, even when they’re tired, will help make them the best.

Knowing that the process will be hard – not just accepting that it will be hard but appreciating that working through the tough times is necessary for success. Don’t be afraid of change, embrace it.

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