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Great Leaders are Dedicated to “Practices of Greatness”
January 11, 2017

Great leaders differentiate themselves through disciplined practices. They are committed to living, breathing and acting out their practices of greatness, on a regular (daily or weekly) basis to support their performance and achieve extraordinary results.

6 Key Practices of Greatness”

  1. Meditation/Deep Breathing

Great leaders understand the importance of having quality mental-focus time everyday. Handling complexity, ambiguity and constant change requires a clear mind to make decisions. Great leaders see and experience the value of 10 to 30 minutes of daily meditation. The act of meditation supports creating mental clarity!

Check out this 5 minute YouTube video on Deep Breathing

  1. Pause

Great leaders are aware of their emotional triggers. To avoid being controlled by their triggers they develop mental practices to manage those temporary moments of weakness. The Power of a Pause is simple, when you get emotionally triggered by someone, ask yourself this question, “Is this a Threat or Opportunity?”

When you pause for that moment and breathe you will be able to see the experience you are in is an opportunity to:

  • Listen
  • Ask questions
  • Ask for support 
  1. Learning

Great leaders believe in constant learning so they build the capacity (space) directly into their daily and weekly calendars. They schedule time for learning.

Question: “What are you committed to learning over the next 30 days to make yourself a better leader to those you support?” 

  1. Deep Listening

Great leaders are masters of deep listening. One of the practices that deep listeners are committed to is preparing themselves for every conversation by asking this question:

“What is my intention in this conversation?”

  • I will connect with the other person(s) and listen for what the other person(s) cares about
  • I will let go of listening to protect my position of authority
  • I will fix the situation!

Here is a great article to support your learning in becoming a Deep Listener.

  1. Action

Great leaders are excellent at coordinating action, through others by making clear requests to others.

A clear request has 4 components:

  • A clear communicator
  • A committed listener
  • A defined timeline or deadline
  • A clear set of conditions for satisfaction

Want to create BIG action with yourself and others? Practice making unreasonable requests (requests that are above current expectations).

  1. Being Curious

Great leaders are excellent possibility thinkers. Being curious will support your ability to be an excellent possibility thinker because, you will naturally ask yourself and others disruptive questions.

A great example is when you are frustrated with your team’s performance and instead of asking, “Why happened, what went wrong, and who is accountable for the mistake?” ask, “What is missing? What is the gap to be filled, for the performance to be successful?  

Remember there is something missing when a performance doesn’t match the results you were expecting. 

The 4 components that could be missing are:

  • Courageous Conversation (with myself or with others)
  • Skill (ability)
  • Commitment (dedication)
  • Support Structure (people, processes/systems, practices, tools)


Learning Challenge:

Pick one Practice of Greatness and implement it this week and send me your insights from living the practice after 2 weeks.

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