Summary of The Leader Habit

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  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • For Beginners


Leadership is a collection of habits. If you learn to develop the right ones, you can become a better leader. To that end, leadership development expert Martin Lanik details his “Leader Habit Formula,” which guides you in linking leadership actions to specific cues, or “microbehaviors,” until they become habitual. Lanik lists a long menu of cues and behaviors, so diligent and patient readers will gain the most from his method. He asserts that reading leadership books isn’t a productive way to learn to lead, but he sells himself – and the genre – short, as readers will discover to their pleasure.

About the Author

Martin Lanik is CEO of Pinsight, a consultancy that has worked on leadership development solutions with people in 30 countries. You can take Lanik’s free Leader Habit Quiz at



Make Leadership Skills Habitual

Leaders act and think a certain way. Others evaluate them as leaders based on their conduct and presentation. Effective leadership behaviors are specific, learned skills. Quality leaders are strong communicators, good planners, strategic thinkers and able delegators. Research indicates that 70% of leadership attributes are skills that people can develop, while 30% are innate.

For great leaders, even learned skills can become habits. You can turn to great leaders as models of behavior and develop the same habits by learning from them. The best way to become a leader is to make those habits instinctual; they should become spontaneous responses to standard cues.

You can cultivate your leadership instincts by engaging in simple, five-minute “leadership habit” exercises every day. Follow the “Leader Habit Formula”: Target a specific ability you want to develop – for example, “active listening,” in which you pay close and respectful attention to others – and then practice it, day after day. At the same time, link the skill with specific behavioral cues – and, possibly, rewards – until it becomes an “automatic behavior...

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    B. C. 1 year ago
    Effective further development of each habit through inclusion of micro behaviors that underlie each habit.