When you want to become a more successful network marketer and entrepreneur, it’s important to pay close attention to your leadership habits. After all, what separates you from the masses is doing what everyone else is NOT doing.
To stand out as a leader, you must manage your behavior, actions, mentality, and priorities. As pastor and leadership expert Craig Groeschel says, “Successful people do consistently what others do occasionally.” And, that brings me to habits.
Success leaves clues, and one of those clues is the habits of effective leaders. A habit is a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary. According to Brian Tracy, 95% of what you do or say is determined by your habits, whether good or bad.
So, let’s talk about what good habits successful leaders do so that you can start to incorporate some of them into your own daily routine and behavior.
By the way, habits are not skills! A skill is the capacity or expertise to do something well whereas a habit is an action you do on a regular basis. Great leadership skills are important too, but they are a different topic.
1) Set Goals Consistently
When you aim at nothing, you hit it.
To be more, do more, and have more, you’ve got to plan. Planning starts with setting goals. Once you set goals, you can identify the steps you need to take to achieve your dreams.
When you don’t identify what you want to accomplish, you’ll end up spinning your wheels and doing a lot of busywork that doesn’t support your business.
When you do identify goals, you increase productivity and performance. In turn, you set yourself up for success. As HabitStack points out, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals:
- Motivate you to do the work
- Channel your effort toward relevant tasks and actions
- Keep you from exerting effort on things that don’t matter
- Cue you to identify what’s needed to attain the goal
- Help you create strategies and plans for goal accomplishment
- Foster persistence to reduce your chances of giving up
Pretty amazing, right? Now it’s more obvious why goal setting is vital for success and one of the top leadership habits.
The good news is that you can start goal setting at any time and for anything. Goal setting isn’t for business only. To reach your potential, you can set goals for everything in your life, including your health, finances, and family.
Write 1-3 business goals and 1-3 personal goals per month to get into the habit of setting goals regularly. You’ll get better at it with practice!
Want more info? Check out my video for a few tips on goal setting from a billionaire, including how to set more achievable goals that keep you motivated.
2) Plan Your Day
After goal setting, time management becomes easier since you’ve defined your destination and can identify the steps to get there. To help accomplish those steps with greater ease, it’s good to plan your day in advance.
In other words, dedicate time in your schedule to set the next day’s priorities, focus, and tasks. Planning reduces friction. You avoid wondering what to do and get right to work, which increases productivity. If you plan your day the night before, you awaken the next morning with purpose, intent, and clear objectives.
Planning improves your effectiveness too. You’re less prone to busywork that distracts you from your goals. And, your brain has a head start to begin working on those tasks subconsciously.
In general, planning ahead will serve you well. So, if you’re not usually a person that plans, consider giving it a go. You change your future by changing your behavior!
Schedule your planning. Add time on your calendar for planning your days, weeks, and even months. Try to make planning ahead a part of your usual routine so that it becomes a habit.
3) Establish Routines
Since I just mentioned routine, let’s dig into that a little more since you may be wondering what the difference is between a routine and a habit.
A habit is a behavior that you do repeatedly without much thought, like covering your mouth when you sneeze. A routine is a regular or repeated way of doing things in a particular order and is often a set of habits.
For example, your morning routine may be that you wake up at 5 am, exercise for 30 minutes, then shower everyday. So, those are potentially three habits that created a routine.
Routines help you to get things done. Although following a predictable schedule may sound boring, it makes you more accountable and productive while reducing overwhelm and distractions.
Think of routines as frameworks for accomplishing your goals. For instance, let’s say you want to grow your network marketing team by 25 members in 30 days. If you know that a day of 10 reach-outs, 5 follow up emails, and 1 live video on social media can help you achieve that goal, then consider it a daily routine as well as part of your process of recruiting.
If you’re not used to a regular schedule, begin by incorporating a small routine into the morning or evening hours. For example, set your alarm clock to wake up at a specific time, read for 15 minutes, journal for 10 minutes, then begin your day.
4) Nurture a Positive Mindset
To be a successful leader, you not only need to act like one but also think like one. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
What makes you successful in network marketing—or any entrepreneurial endeavor—is your belief or attitude about the world and yourself. This belief is your “mindset,” and it greatly affects your actions and responses.
In fact, your mental disposition and how you feel determine whether you’re going to overcome obstacles or succumb to falling short of achieving your goals.
As I like to say, the millionaire attitude comes before the money, not the other way around.
Great leaders have a positive mindset. They are optimistic and focus on winning. They view every challenge as an opportunity for growth and improvement, not a reason to quit.
Your mindset is a massive factor in your success! Create a leadership habit of nurturing your mindset daily to support you in staying positive, motivated, focused, and confident. Over time, this will help you develop a strong leadership mindset too.
To help you develop a positive mindset, start by listening to or reading daily positive affirmations. Find an affirmations podcast or a book that you can spend 5-10 minutes on each day. These positive thoughts will keep negativity away and inspire a more optimistic, determined outlook.
5) Read More
Not all avid readers are successful leaders. But, many successful leaders are avid readers.
Regular reading is a habit of some of the most prosperous, influential entrepreneurs, including Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, Tony Robbins, and Bill Gates. In fact, Gates reads 50 books a year!
A regular reading habit offers significant benefits, such as:
- Increased memory and focus
- Better communication skills
- Improved intelligence, empathy, and mental health
- Reduced stress
- Expanded knowledge
The key is to choose your books carefully. Although reading for entertainment also offers benefits, this habit is more about learning through others and investing time in your personal and professional development.
Select books by people who you respect, admire, aspire to be like—or even those with whom you disagree so that you gain a different perspective. You can discover a lot about business and leadership from those who have already walked the path.
And, don’t forget that books are available as audio files, so you can enjoy them on the go. “Being busy” isn’t an excuse not to read!
Set aside an allotted amount of time for reading at a specific time each day. For example, 20 minutes at 9 pm each evening. Make it the same time each day to create a reading habit.
6) Prioritize Exercise and Rest
When you are overtired, unwell, or disinterested, it’s tough to be an effective leader. Renew, recharge, and reset yourself by developing the leadership habits of regular exercise and rest.
The body needs to move, and exercise leads to better health and higher productivity. This is why so many leaders have an exercise habit, including me. Well-known CEO Richard Branson’s workout routine added four more hours of productive time to each day. It’s no wonder he advised author Tim Ferriss to work out more to be more productive!
Rest offers similar benefits. According to Psychology Today, giving a break to the “thinking part” of your brain (aka the prefrontal cortex) helps:
- prevent decision fatigue
- restore motivation, and
- increase productivity and focus.
So, maintain a good balance of activity and rest to improve your performance and quality of life. In the process, you’ll get accustomed to exercising and resting regularly so that both become a more natural part of your behavior rather than feeling imposed or obligatory.
Incorporate small ways to make your days more active. Go for a brief walk during lunch, invest in a standing desk, or stretch for five minutes after completing a task. If you need to rest more, start a reading or meditation habit. Schedule 15-30 minutes a day in a quiet location to read or meditate uninterrupted.
7) Walk the Talk
As a leader, you determine the standards for your team. Your behavior sets an example that others will follow and echo. Therefore, establish a habit of practicing what you preach or “walking the talk.” Act in a manner that aligns with what you say.
Sometimes this is easier said than done, and no one is perfect. Even so, strive to make your actions consistently support your values and the messages you convey to team members.
One way to accomplish this is through accountability.
You may think you know best, but wise business owners and even executives know that having an accountability partner who provides regular feedback is essential to better leadership.
This person is typically a coach or mentor who guides network marketing leaders like you to grow through self improvement, training, and relationship building. And, that’s important since, fundamentally, successful network marketing is about relationship building.
Also, having someone with whom to practice your interpersonal communication will boost your confidence and make you more skilled at leading others. If you’re going to lead by example, you need to be accountable and having a coach will keep you on track and true to your word.
To align your words and actions, you first need to solidify your messaging and beliefs to stay consistent and be more accountable. Spend about 30 minutes writing your own mission statement and a series of “I believe” statements.
For more information, check out my video on being coachable and trainable from my leadership podcast.
Which One of These Leadership Habits Is the Most Important?
If I had to boil it down to one habit to rule them all, it’s nurturing a positive mindset. Your success relies heavily upon what you think and believe.
Sometimes mindset isn’t enough, though. So, don’t underestimate the value of having an accountability partner who can support you in developing all of these leadership habits.
Successful network marketing leaders and entrepreneurs are not born. It takes commitment to professional development to become an effective leader, which is why an experienced coach can make a big difference in sharpening your skills and helping you to reach your goals.