Executive Coach Executive CoachExecutive Coach
Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

Three Ways to Behave Yourself to Better Leadership

ARCHIVES
Image via Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock.com

The late Stephen Covey was fond of saying, “You can’t talk yourself out of a problem you behaved yourself into.” He definitely had a way with a phrase.

I’ve been thinking about Covey’s line lately because I’ve been teaching leadership coaching to students at Georgetownand to executives in a few different companies in the past month. One of the things we’ve been talking about is establishing behavioral practices that lead to more effective leadership.

A behavioral practice is something you commit to doing on a regular basis that, if adopted as a habit, would make you a better leader. A simple example would be recruiting colleagues to give you a signal when you’re interrupting people in conversation. If they play and you follow through by cutting down on interrupting when they give you the signal, you’ll become a better listener. That, in turn, will help you to be a more effective leader.

Want to give behavioral practices a try? Here are three ways to put them into practice and, in the process, behave your way to better leadership:

  1. Pick something that’s easy to do and likely to make a difference. Don’t overcomplicate things. Look for behaviors that are relatively easy to do and remember and likely to make a difference in how others experience you as a leader. For example, it could be start every meeting with a review of the objectives. Is that relatively easy to do and remember? Yes. Would it make a difference to personal and team effectiveness? Most definitely. What are the candidates on your list of easy to do and likely to make a difference?
  2. Get your colleagues involved. If you’re a leader, you’re working in a system full of other people. It doesn’t make much sense to work on behavioral practices in secret. After all, if others can’t see or don’t notice what you’re doing, what difference will it actually make? Get your colleagues involved by asking them to help you follow through and give you feedback on what you’re doing and the difference it’s making.
  3. Remember that less is more. When you start thinking through the opportunities, you might identify a whole list of behavioral practices you want to take on at once. Don’t go there. You’ll make a lot more progress by going deep on one or two new behaviors than by trying to spread your time and attention across five or six practices. If you want, keep a list of things to get to later, but sequence the work.

What’s worked or working for you when it comes to building habits to improve your leadership?

Image via Jenn Huls/Shutterstock.com

Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.