5 Mental Habits of Successful Leaders

Most people recognise John P Kotter as the leading guru on change management.  His 8 stage process of how to ensure success in organisational change is both tried, tested and proven.  I also followed this in managing the global change programme for HR Services in Shell.  Employee satisfaction was higher after the “bad news” than before.  Both for those whose jobs were at risk and everyone else impacted by the proposed change.  What is not so well-known perhaps is Kotter’s views on leadership success and its link to what he calls the “Habits of the Lifelong Learner” (see Leading Change by John P. Kotter).  He points out the relationship between being a lifelong learner and leadership capacity.  The mental habits are:- 

  • Risk taking – willingness to push yourself out of your comfort zone
  • Humble self-reflection.  Honest assessment of success and failure
  • Solicitation of opinions. 
  • Careful listening.
  • Openness to new ideas. 

These habits, balanced with appropriate skills,, knowledge and drive are recognised in successful leaders and are the subject of John Kotter’s book “The New Rules: How to Succeed in Today’s Post-Corporate World”.  Take a look and ask yourself if the list above form part of your mental habits.  For more on change management, take a look at my website or call me. 

The Week:  On Monday I went to Chesham for a marketing event run by NABO entitled the 7 lost secrets of sa;es and marketing success.  NABO is run by Jonathan Jay, ably assisted by Paul Green.  The organisation provides a network, training and support for businesses to achieve growth and success.  I was impressed by the day and have now signed up for their 3 day boot camp in November.  Lots of valuable tips which made braving the M25 worthwhile.  www.nabo.biz   On Tuesday I went to Watford for a seminar on the Equality Act. This was excellent value  at £85 + VAT for the day.  There were only 8 people in the group, predominantly from the public sector.  Mui Li ran the course.  She is a partner of Muika Associates and has an extremely impressive background in this field.  We had an in-depth insight into the new Equality Act, what it means, what needs to be included in an Equality Policy and how to conduct an Equality Impact Assessment.  http://www.muika.associates.com   Thursday, I attended the Business Women’s Network launch in Suffolk.  This network is run by Mandie Hodge who lined up another interesting speaker, Gary Morgan, on the subject of “phone fear”.  There is no membership fee for the BWN, only an attendance charge of  £13.46. www.thebusinesswomensnetwork.co.uk   The rest of the time has been spent preparing for Monday – yes the launch of the Highflyingdivas Forum!  http://hfd.eventbrite.com 

Recommended Reading for the week.  Of course it has to be “Leading Change” by John P. Kotter given my comments at the start of the blog. 

Lighter Reflections.  managing changeI was musing over which of my reflections I was going to share, when the challenge was taken from me by Natalie, who specialises in complimentary therapies.  I had booked in for a relaxing Friday massage.  On arrival, Natalie told me “we’re not doing a massage, we’re doing Rossiter therapy”.  “OK” I thought, I’m open to anything new (having only written the mental habits part of my blog earlier in the day).  Natalie instructed me to lie on the floor, fully-clothed.  She then murmured “this will be intense”.  Now, alarm bells started ringing in my head.  “Intense” is very similar to the dentist or doctor telling you something is going to be “slightly uncomfortable” – aka – excruciatingly painful.  Natalie then puts one foot on my shoulder and asks me to let her know “when it becomes unbearable”.  Not, “uncomfortable” or “when it hurts” but “unbearable”.  So, I’m brave.  I’ve had a baby (28 hours followed by emergency Caesarian and a 9lbs 130z delivery).  I hang on and then, through gritted teeth, nod at her to stop exerting any more pressure.  Wrong.  What happened is that the “intensity” increased as I raised my arms when instructed.  I then had to stretch.  Of course by this time I was also holding my breath.  Natalie removed her foot and asked me how I felt.  Well, I have a theory.  If you are being tortured, of course you feel great when it stops.  She then proceeded to put her foot on my thigh.  She pressed and asked if “I could feel it”.  I nodded, she then moved her foot down and pressed again.  Again I nodded.  She asked “more or less intense than last time?”.  Now I know that everyone will lose all sympathy with me and are probably screaming in their heads “Lie you idiot, lie”.  No, naive little me gives the truth.  So, Natalie focuses on the most “intense” muscle.  When she has finished and I eventually stand, she beams at me and asks me what I thought of it.  Now, Natalie is a miniscule size 8 at most.  I imagine what it would have been like with a normal woman.  The truth is, it did feel great.  My arms now feel relaxed and loose.  My lower back pain has gone and I feel ready for an afternoon nap.  As with all treatments, you can vary the pressure according to your own masochistic tendencies. In 15 minutes I feel the same benefits as a 30 minute massage.  Yes I will go again and, if  you get the chance, try it out for yourself.  Natalie practices at Prested Hall in Kelvedon. http://preseted.co.uk 

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About RosemaryCC

Leadership Coach and Management Consultant helping you to clarify your goals and achieve success in your career or business. Also founder of Highflyingdivas and the Leadership Forum
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One Response to 5 Mental Habits of Successful Leaders

  1. Thank you very much for posting all of the good information! I am looking forward to checking out more posts.

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