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6 Things Highly Effective Leaders Do Differently

6 Things Highly Effective Leaders Do Differently

Becoming an effective leader is a character trait that many people strive for. An effective leader helps their organization become more successful because of their effective leadership skills. Take a look at some of the most successful organizations you can think of. What do you notice about the particular qualities of their leaders?

Read the following tips below to learn the six things that highly effective leaders do differently and understand how you can incorporate them into your professional career.

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1. They are great role models.

An effective leader who is a great role model will have a good following. Their followers and those who report to them aspire to have similar leadership skills and look up to their leader. Those around the leader listen to them because they believe in what they have to say and enjoy their effective leadership skills. Being a great role model means that you take actionable steps to improve the organization and help those around you.

2. Effective leaders provide support to others.

Effective leaders do not turn people away. A great leader provides support to those around them by providing their time, teaching others, listening to what others have to say and motivating others to be the best that they can be. They look to fix problems and help others who may be having issues as well. They are usually not self-centered and try to increase the productivity of the whole organization, not just what they have direct control over. They want everyone to succeed, not just themselves.

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3. They are passionate about their position and their organization.

Being passionate about your organization and what you do will make a leader more effective. If you really care about what you are achieving, as well as everyone else at your organization, then you will probably be trying harder to help the organization reach its goals. Also, when others at your organization see and notice that you care about what you do, it will most likely lead to more people respecting you and your decisions because they know that each decision you make is something that you have thought long and hard about. Passionate people make the day fly by at work and it shows.

4. An effective leader listens to others.

A leader who is effective listens to what others have to say and does not put down those around them. The leader may not always be correct and knows they need to listen to other opinions to see what all possible options are. An effective leader allows others to contribute for the well-being of the organization. New contributions can be very helpful to an organization. An outside view can change everything because you are allowing more minds to take part in decisions. You never know if that new idea can completely change an organization for the better.

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5. An effective leader allows for creativity.

Those who report to you should be allowed to act creatively to a certain extent (while still behaving professionally, of course). If no one is thinking outside of the box, then that is not a good situation for an organization: you want your followers to be challenged and to come up with novel solutions. If your followers and those who report to you are not thinking creatively, then you may be stuck making the same mistakes and not growing.

6. They learn from their mistakes.

An effective leader does not continue to make the same mistakes if there is no progress being made. They realize when something is not working and know not to continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. They then learn from their errors and make changes so that they can be productive and successful.

What effective leadership traits have you seen? Have you had success emulating them? Let us know in the comments.

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Michelle Schroeder

Michelle is a personal finance expert. She earns $1 million per year while sailing.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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