Seven leadership habits of highly successful people - Veterinary Practice
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InFocus

Seven leadership habits of highly successful people

Paul Green looks at what qualities set apart the best managers and leaders, and lists the seven powerful habits that the greatest leaders usually possess.

I’M GRATEFUL THAT THE
BREXIT MESS
in June went
completely above my five-year-old
daughter’s head, because I think it was
one of the most shocking examples
of lack of leadership I have ever
witnessed.

In just two weeks, we sent a
message to an entire generation that as a country we
readily accept
leaders who lie,
cheat, fail to
plan, and shirk
responsibility.

From a
campaign pledge
based around
£350 million a
week returning
to the UK that was retracted just a few
hours after victory… to key leaders
opting out of a difficult situation they
had created… to a leader who refused
to take action to change, despite his
entire support team resigning around
him.

Oh – and the complete lack of
planning from everyone as to what should happen if the UK voted for
Brexit.

My dad always says that anyone
who wants to be an MP should not be
allowed to become an MP! Maybe what
happened in June will trigger today’s
children to lead in a different way in
the future.

Because outside of politics, the
world is being revolutionised
– today – by
true, powerful
leaders.
People who
are pushing
us towards
much needed
change, and
are inspiring millions on the way.
From Bill Gates, who set out to put a computer on every desk, to Steve
Jobs, who changed the way we interact
with information. And Elon Musk, the
billionaire behind Tesla electric cars
and SpaceX, an attempt to dramatically
lower the costs of routinely going into
space.

In fact, as a planet we are facing
some stunning challenges right
now: clean energy, clean transport,
population control, resource
management, the rise of artificial
intelligence. These challenges are being
tackled by strong leaders who are not
the people running our governments.

Your practice needs a strong leader.
As the practice owner that’s you.
Leadership is not something you are
born with. It’s something you
develop over
time.

Leadership
is completely
different to
management.
Being a
manager is
about running
a business
efficiently and
profitably.
Leadership is about creating a vision
for the future. That vision might be as
simple and intangible as “being the ‘go
to’ vets in this town”.

But you make it seem so real
that you can lead your team there,
regardless of the difficulties on the
way. It comes down to the way you
think, which affects the actions you take,
which become habits, which ultimately
affect the results you get.

Habits lead to results, and great
leaders tend to share the same
powerful habits.

They don’t compare
themselves to their
competitors

Instead, they compare themselves to
the work they did yesterday, and the
day before, and the day before that.
And then they make a commitment to
do better today. That commitment is to
themselves as much as it is to anyone
else.

They show, rather than tell

Great leaders know that talk is cheap
and that anyone can say anything. So
they lead by example.

They encourage others. They
leave people better than they find them

We all need other people to help us
succeed in whatever it is we are trying
to achieve. People work best when they
are being supported and encouraged
by others. You read any biography of
leaders who have achieved amazing
change, and they have surrounded
themselves with the very best people… then have pushed them to new,
unthinkable heights.

They show up, even when it’s
easier not to

I’m currently reading a best-selling
biography of Elon Musk. He pushes
his teams to work 15-hour days every
day, to meet seemingly impossible
deadlines. One of the ways he does this
is to work longer than they do. He’s asking them
for a major
chunk of their
lives. And he’s willing to
demonstrate
to them that
he’ll give a
larger chunk
of his life for
them. If you
want your
team to fight
for you, you have to be prepared to fight harder for them. This is a commitment to being reliable.

They listen. And give you
their full attention

Often your people will look to you,
the leader, for the answers. Yet one
person rarely knows enough to be able K
to make all of the correct decisions, all of the time. Great leaders suck
in information and opinion. They
still make the decisions, but they are
informed.

They are keen to take
responsibility

I believe this to be a key attribute.
Great leaders take responsibility for
failures as much as successes. They
step up when others step back. This
sends a message to their team: “I’ve got
your back. Whatever happens here, I will find a way to get us to the destination
we all desire. I might have to change
the route repeatedly along the way.
But stick with me and we’ll get there
together. Then we will share the spoils
of victory together.”

They are focused on their
self-development

The best leaders are constant educated
consumers of high-quality information.
They understand the direct link
between the way they think, their
actions, their habits and their results.
So they make sure they think the right
way. They programme their brain – the
world’s most powerful computer – with
the right software, so it produces more
robust results.

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