[April 12, 2016] Yes we do accumulate bad habits and it’s not unusual for senior leaders to be hindered seriously in their job performance directly for this very reason. I’ve seen it happen many times. Leaders are particularly susceptible to picking up bad habits because they’ve reached their position through successes that have given them a bit of overconfidence.
“It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.” – Benjamin Franklin
There are, of course, many reasons we accumulate habits (good and bad) but when leaders fail to take an unbiased look at themselves, they are most susceptible to accumulating bad habits. All good leaders have a sense of introspection; that ability to see themselves and how they affect others. “Why change it, if it works,” for example, is a common excuse for many leaders using what they think to be tried-and-true methods.
While it is a point of important to know why leaders accumulate bad habits, it is more useful to understand that leaders do accumulate them just like anybody else. Thus, leadership means being vigilant and to be on the lookout for habits that can interfere with job performance, quality of life, and a hindrance to their leadership style. Sadly, because so many leaders are busy people, they can easily overlook the damage accrued from adopting those same bad habits.
I’ve written many times here in theLeaderMaker.com about “good” habits and why we should adopt them. Once I wrote about the top bad habits of senior leaders (see link here) and that I knew several senior leaders who had their careers ended from them. Those bad habits are not only destructive to a leader’s ability to accomplish mission requirements, bad habits also set the leader’s organization on a path that will generate unnecessary conflict and serious inefficiencies.
Adopting good habits helps leaders interrupt the cycle of bad habits that can create a destructive pattern in the workplace. I’ve known too many good leaders who succumbed to it and teams and organizations that failed for it. This is why a confidential mentor can help good leaders “see” things they cannot always see in ourselves.
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