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Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

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leadership habits

5 Habits of High-Performance Leaders

Have you ever noticed how easily some people manage to succeed, while other equally smart, capable, and experienced people struggle?

It isn’t just that high-performers manage to launch their success more easily. It’s that once they attain a certain level of success, they build on it and maintain it. Why are some people such high performers when others are not? What is the difference?

When you break it down, there are certain habits that these highly successful people practice that propels them to success.

Here are 5 habits that help:

1. Seek clarity

A high performer doesn’t necessarily just gain clarity, they seek clarity, even when they news is not good. Especially when the news is not good. While the rest of the world waits for information to come to them, successful people actively pursue information that helps them make better decisions and become more valuable in their roles.

When you seek clarity consistently and constantly, you become better at disregarding distractions which means they are more natural at focusing and refocusing on the important things in life.

2. Set and achieve goals

Create resolutions and the action steps needed to achieve the goals. For example, each New Year, most people create resolutions. Successful people don’t wait for New Year’s Eve to evaluate themselves and where they are heading. That’s a process they do constantly, because the only way to grow and succeed is to know where you are now, where you’re heading, and what it takes to get there.

3. Generate energy and momentum

As the day progresses, it’s natural to lose energy. There’s always that slow feeling around 3 o’clock, where you suddenly feel desperate for a massive cup of coffee or a nap. By the end of the work day, you feel wiped out.

Do you know who isn’t wiped out? Highly successful people. They generate energy. They master the transition between meetings and tasks, and take short breaks to boost their energy levels. Being busy invigorates them, and it can invigorate you, too. They use the short time in between meetings or projects to feel a quick sense of satisfaction and they move on to the next thing. They decide to be enthused about their work. Rather than losing their energy, they generate more by being enthused about their work. 

4. Influence and inspire

Highly successful people empower others and help them grow, which is one of the key ways to develop influence and inspire others. They know how to relate to people in a way that makes others feel valued, respected, and appreciated.

Think about someone who inspired you. Maybe it was a teacher, or a coach, or a great boss. Now think about what they actually did that made them stand out for you. What did they say? What did they do? They encouraged you to be your best.

What are some ways you can help those around you become even better?

5. Embrace change

Highly successful people thrive during times of crisis, change, or challenge. They are courageous throughout the unknown. When faced with uncertainty, hardship, unfamiliar territory, judgment, or risk, they aren’t afraid to take action. They’re always ready for a challenge.

Here are four areas to consider altering when looking to adopt the right habits. When you ask these questions, it helps define and refine the habits you want moving forward.

  • Self – what do you want to improve about who you are and what you do?
  • Service – what legacy do you want to leave?
  • Skills – what would you like to develop?
  • Social – what do you want to contribute to your community?

Great leaders are always looking for ways to become a little better every day. Start today!


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