Seven Habits of Highly Effective Leaders

General Douglas MacArthur said, “Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind. It is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.

Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair, these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust.

Whether seventy or seventeen there is in every beings heart the love of wonder, the sweet amazement of the stars and the starlight things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events and the childlike appetite for what’s next, and the joy and the game of life.

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt, as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear. So long as your heart receives messages of beauty, cheer, courage, grandeur and power from the earth, from man, and from the infinite, so long you are young.

Leadership is a journey build on daily habits of the mind, words, and behaviors. 

Here are seven habits of highly effective leaders:
Habit #1: Passion
Passion is the fuel and energy towards greatness and influence. If you are new to leadership, make sure you don’t lose your passion. I’m from Seattle and a devoted Seahawks fan. I love our coach, Pete Carroll who is the oldest coach in the NFL. His state of mind is young and always passionate… age is only a number!

Habit #2: Personal Drive
I keep a card on my desk that reads, “I’m on a one day contract.” Each day must be met with hard work. My father was successful in running and operating a family restaurant. He modeled the habit of hard work by working six days a week (and resting one).

Habit #3: Anticipation
Think and plan ahead. Leaders begin with the end in mind and identify current priorities based on forecasting. Leaders make the time for thinking, vision, and dream time.

Habit #4: Excellence
Do you make your bed every morning? Do you keep your car clean? Is your house kept orderly? People and leaders of excellence practice all of these habits. Small details matter, in all areas of your life. Excellence breeds excellence. Who are you influencing?

Habit #5: Follow Through 
Don’t be a talker, be a doer. Follow through will distinguish you as a “top 10% leader.” If you don’t follow-through, it only reveals a lack of either character or weakness. Good leaders bring things to completion.

Habit #6: Extraordinary Care for Others
We live in the “selfie age” where it is all about ME. Extraordinary leaders establish the habit of “others first” and care for others.

Habit #7: Truth Telling
When there is iron clad consistency between your words and actions, others know the leader can be trusted. This includes your followers, clients, team members, family, and friends. Honesty breeds integrity and truth-telling adds to vision and credibility. People appreciate the truth even when it hurts.

Which of these seven habits can you act on today? Let’s all focus on being men and women of exceptional habits.

Here’s to building better leaders!
– Steve

As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.