Can you guess the habits of leaders who are called great versus those who are just okay, or worse?

Great leadership is necessary to create a world-changing vision and to inspire others to make that vision a reality. It only makes sense that the top companies in the world are led by the greatest leaders. Think Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Arianna Huffington.

In other words, a business is only as good as the people working within it.

The success of any workforce is heavily dependent on the strength of its leadership. And leaders set the tone of the organization’s culture. This ultimately impacts employee engagement AND the company’s bottom line.

By the way, we talk more about your bottom line and what HR has to do with it here.

But how to move from being a simple manager to an inspirational leader? It could come down to changing the habits of a leader.

Such a transformation may seem a daunting task. After all, many leaders seem to have an enviable, innate ability to inspire peak performance from others. But this isn’t always the case.

5 Surprising Habits of Leaders

Many remarkable leaders have come by their greatness by adopting a few surprising, yet key habits to transform from a manager to a leader.

So, what are the habits of leaders that help them stand out as the best of the best?

They Point Out Mistakes

Good leaders don’t make excuses when something goes wrong. Shifting blame is diversionary and erodes the effectiveness and efficiency of a team.

Instead, they point out their mistakes, own them, find the lesson within the experience, and focus on finding a solution to the problem.

After resolving the issue, good leaders hold themselves accountable for completing a root-cause analysis to mitigate future missteps and for communicating and leading any necessary follow up actions.

They Don’t Blindly Trust Your Executive

Leading organizations empower their employees and reward them for shedding light on potential opportunities and challenges to the company’s competitive advantage.

Strong leaders welcome feedback knowing extra input can translate into improvement. In fact, one of the most impressive and beneficial habits of leaders is welcoming feedback from employees.

Front line employees are often the most informed audience. Listening to them, providing a forum to share their ideas, and offering them the means to put ideas into action not only improves the company’s performance but also employee engagement. Engaged employees are more productive, which translates into further profits.

Leaders Know Who is the Smartest In The Room

Great leaders know that leadership is not about being the best on the team. Rather, it is all about assembling a team of the best people for the job who will deliver results.

Good leaders don’t need to be the most knowledgeable or skilled. They surround themselves with an elite team of talent and leverage the knowledge among them.

A Leader Isn’t Afraid to Get in the Weeds

It isn’t enough to simply explain the plan to employees.

Good leaders don’t just see the big picture. They jump down in the weeds and delve into the details required for project success alongside their team.

Good leaders stay focused on the goal but remain flexible in how it is achieved. But getting in the weeds does not mean micromanaging. Giving direction and setting expectations is necessary. So is giving employees room to be successful at their tasks.

Want to find out if you’re a trusted leader or a tyrant leader? Click here.

They Act Confident

Great leaders are confident in their abilities to deliver results. They will walk right to the edge of their comfort zone.

Confident leaders share credit with others, knowing they can deliver and that such success gets support from a team of people. This creates trust within the workforce, strengthening the very foundation of the organization.

But be mindful to not confuse confidence with arrogance. Arrogance destroys trust by ignoring the contribution of others.

Remember, not all remarkable leaders were born with the innate abilities to inspire others. Many of the habits of leaders are learned and adopted.

Focus on these five habits of leaders and transform yourself from a manager to a leader today.

For more on the habits of leaders and other leadership topics

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This article was originally published in 2019, but has been updated in 2020 just for you!