What are the rules and habits real leaders don’t break?

Leadership is a challenging business, and it always will be. That’s probably why so many people search online for tips on how to be one, so I decided to craft my own approach. This is a list of rules that real leaders and managers won’t break, because it is not in his or her nature.

Keep in mind that no leader is actually perfect, and you don’t have to follow this list perfectly to be a real leader.

Truthfully, the purpose of this list is to help you develop a mentality of what you should be like, not what you actually need to do. Consider it a rubric for successful leadership as you analyze your own situation.

That said, here are some things that real leaders don’t do:

1. Assume

When a real leader is told something, they don’t take any of that information for granted. Instead, they ask questions to clarify what has been said to them. After that, they might just ask more questions. As a result, they know exactly who to approach when a problem arises.

2. Let Others Assume

It’s easy for us to believe that others will hear what we say, acknowledge it fully and carry it out. In reality, leaders are intimidating creatures, and a real leader knows how to discern when someone doesn’t fully grasp what’s been instructed to them. Such a manager will use questions and validation to ensure that they have communicated something effectively.

3. Cancel

This applies to all types of commitments that a leader makes. Habitually making empty promises is not how real leaders promote an image of consistency and, ultimately, respect. Instead, they follow-through on what they said they would do, even if it is inconvenient for them.

4. Let an Experience Go to Waste

Every experience is a learning experience for a true leader. Both mistakes and successes are analyzed and ruminated on thoroughly, in order to replicate (or avoid) them in the future. This is because real maangers don’t shrug off opportunities to better themselves, and experiences are the most direct route to doing so.

5. Lie

Deception and manipulation are great for short-term successes, but leaders that are successful in the long-term are not known for their meaningless words. A real leader doesn’t earn respect by having a fragmented integrity (which is more transparent to employees than one might think), and they certainly don’t need every moment to favor them.

6. Settle

Hunger and ambition tend to have a bad reputation in popular opinion, but few will contest that they are necessary in moderation. This is because complacency is the antidote to the disease of success, as it undermines the effort and work that precedes it. When a real leader makes goals, they look forward. They aim for new achievements, rather than settling for old ones.

7. Everything They Can Do

A true leader aims for quality over quantity. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that they’re obligated to accomplish everything they can accomplish, which results in a watered down performance. Real leaders understand that it is better to do some things better than everyone else than a lot of things just like everyone else.

 Recommended Reading: 3 Counseling Tips for Being a Good Leader.