Learn a Leadership Habit

August 22, 2017

Lift Your Lead in 200 words*


How To Learn A Leadership Habit
Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.

There are three steps in learning a habit:


First, choose the habit you want to develop. The habit must be something you want in your personal and professional life. For example, the habit “listen responsively” will help you grow personally and professionally.


Second, select a simple behavior you can repeat. Habits are not good intentions but repeatable behaviors. For example, you listen responsively if you “repeat back what others say to you.”


Third, practice your new behavior several times each day for a month. Professional athletes practice 90% of the time and perform 10% of the time. Leaders preform 100% of the time with no practice. Practice before you perform your new habit at work.


I know a leader who wanted to develop the habit of responsive listening. He chose that habit because, as he said, “I knew I was already a good listener.”

After a few weeks, he reported, “I discovered that I wasn’t very good at listening. It took a long time to learn this habit. It doesn’t come naturally. But, it is something I need to do to be a better leader.”



Most people read about 200 words per minute; this article is 201 words.

About the Author:

Dr. Richard Leslie Parrott is a Professor of Education at Trevecca Nazarene University. He teaches classes at the Masters and Doctoral level in Leadership and Research. At Trevecca he is also the Director of C.L.E.A.R. – The Center of Leadership Effectiveness and Renewal.