Understand the Power of Hidden Habits
Maximize Them for your Benefit
Leaders are made. Growing up you probably heard that there are natural born leaders, and you either fall into the follower or leader category. But that’s not entirely true. There are some who are born with the personality that will lend a hand as they progress in leadership, but most people will have to learn leadership traits in order to be successful leaders. Too often, however, we only see the outcome. We don’t see the habits that it took to get there.
These habits are hidden not just to the outside observer, but often to the individuals themselves! Discovering those habits, understanding them, and maximizing them is a powerful way to improve not just in leadership, but in everything you set out to do.
How We Reduce Our Success
We have been taught to be modest. That’s generally a good thing, except when people are looking up to us for growth potential. That modesty turns into what can end up being a dangerous reduction of success. How many times have you heard, or been involved in, conversations like this:
- You: Wow, you look great! What’s your secret?
- Them: Oh, nothing, just eat right and exercise!
- Reality: They hired a nutrition coach, and hit the gym 3 hours every day.
- You: I wish I had your financial know-how!
- Them: It’s not that hard, just cut back on spending!
- Reality: They have read over 50 financial books and taken 6 classes.
- You: You’re such a good cook!
- Them: I just know what I like to eat, and then throw it all together!
- Reality: They suffered through dozens of bland meals before understanding how to make them taste better.
The point is that when you see someone that is accomplished, no matter what area of life, they have worked hard to get there. But until you really dig in deep, they reduce the effort it took to succeed because they want to be modest! They want you to think that they aren’t really doing something all that impressive. The reality is that they have developed hidden habits that lead to their seemingly overnight success.
How We Can Discover Hidden Habits
We all have hidden habits. Think about what you’re good at. Are you a great basketball player? Did you have to work hard to get there? You may not be out there running drills every night in the driveway, but do you carry a ball around? Shoot “just for fun” for an hour a night? Watch technique videos because they’re “interesting”? Every one of these habits builds up to making you better than the average person.
The thing with habits is that we usually don’t even realize that we do them. Bad habits become a problem because we mindlessly do them. Habits that keep us working at peak performance happen mindlessly because we have done them so many times.
If you want to up your game, that is improve to the next level of performance, you have to discover what habits are helping, and which are hindering. Convert the hindering habits into helpful habits in order to progress.
This can apply to literally anything in life. But how about leadership?
Applying Hidden Habits to Leadership
Want to move from a good to a great leader? You probably can’t pinpoint an exact concept that made you a good leader. It seems to just come natural to you. But you listen to leadership podcasts on the way to work. You read more non-fiction than fiction. You watch Ted Talks because they’re “interesting”. You lead your children and observe their reactions and then you can apply those concepts later knowing what the reactions might be. These hidden habits all work together.
Discover the good habits. Make them great habits. Destroy the bad habits. Replace them with good habits. Repeat.