Any of us can unintentionally pick up bad habits; habits that can hinder our ability to lead well. Like termites in the foundation they can start to eat away at our leadership until eventually we fall through the floor both relationally and professionally.

Today I want to talk to you about 3 Bad habits every leader needs to break and avoid.

 # 1 – Break the Bad Habit of Walking Too Fast.

On more than one occasion while walking with my wife I’ve heard a voice behind me say “Hey – did you forget about me?” I had unintentionally picked up my pace leaving her behind. I had forgotten why we went on a walk in the first place.

Leaders by definition should be leading people towards something, but often times we don’t realize that we’ve left those that we’re supposed to be leading in the dust. We can become so driven towards our goals that we forget why we’re pursuing those goals in the first place.

During the civil war Abraham Lincoln used to do something that he called “Walking slowly through the crowd.” He would walk through the army camp at night talking with and listening to his men who had been entrenched in battle. He knew that victory in any battle required a genuine connection with those on the front lines.

[shareable] ‘Leadership is the only race where you lose if you finish alone.'[/shareable]

#2 – Break the Bad Habit of Talking Too Much.

Nothing says “I care” like taking time to listen to those that you’re leading.  John Maxwell says, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Great leaders need to be intentional about listening to those they lead. Ask meaningful questions about their personal life, not just work life. And while you’re listening, don’t spend all your time trying to figure out your response. Focus on what they’re saying and learn what really matters to them. There’s a time to offer advice and direction and there’s a time to simply listen. Nothing says “I Don’t Care” like talking all the time and never listening to what someone else has to say. Proverbs 18:2 says, “Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.”

#3 – Break the Bad Habit of Picking Up A Negative Attitude.

As the leader you set the tone for those that you’re leading. Whether it’s your team, family, or ministry if you’re always negative and indifferent than don’t be surprised when those around you start start to become negative also. Leader, you set the example:

“…Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

If all you do is chronically repeat negative circumstances than it’s only a matter of time before those that follow you lose the courage to keep moving forward because you’ve emptied their courage tank with all of your negative remarks. Strive to become an encouraging, inspiring, visionary leader who believes that through Christ, ALL THINGS are possible.

Breaking these 3 bad habits will take your life and leadership to a whole new level.

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