The Leader Habit | Martin Lanik

Summary of: The Leader Habit: Master the Skills You Need to Lead–In Just Minutes a Day
By: Martin Lanik

Introduction

Embarking on the journey to becoming a strong, effective leader might seem complex, but ‘The Leader Habit’ by Martin Lanik offers an accessible and practical roadmap to mastering the necessary skills. By examining the foundation of leadership through the 22 core skills broken down into six essential groups, Lanik’s book paves the way for you to develop effective habits to reach your leadership goals. By providing you with simple five-minute exercises tailored to learning crucial leadership skills, this book summary will empower and transform your journey into a competent and confident leader.

Learning Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are essential regardless of the field you work in. Recent studies have shown that great leaders are made, not born. However, despite the abundance of leadership development literature, there hasn’t been a proportional increase in the number of gifted leaders. Instead of learning leadership as knowledge, think of it as a set of skills that can be learned through practice. The author proposes a Leader Habit Formula, where habits essential to leadership can be developed by five-minute training exercises. For instance, asking open-ended questions that hinge on “What” or “How” can improve relationships and build confidence. With the right skills, anyone can become a better leader, just like Laura, an emergency room nurse who transformed her behavior and secured a management position.

Developing Core Leadership Skills

Developing essential leadership skills involves acquiring microbehaviors that make up a complex skill. Martin Lanik’s Leader Habit Formula is based on over 800 global leaders, and is categories into skills for Getting Things Done, and Focusing on People. Each category encompasses three groups of skills, 22 core skills in total. For instance, the core skills of Planning and Execution entail Manage Priorities, Plan and Organize Work, Delegate Well and Create Urgency. The research team identified 79 microbehaviors out of the 22 core skills, which when acquired one after the other, form complex skills. For example, chaining, involving the automatic development of microbehaviors before practicing the next one, helps in prioritizing within personal life and managing teams.

The Leader Habit Formula

The Leader Habit Formula is a cycle of cues, behaviors, and rewards that can help you develop automatized patterns of behavior, making good habits easier to maintain. The formula involves cultivating microbehaviors by linking them to a cue, which is something that happens naturally in your environment. For example, if you hear someone complain, you could use this as a cue to practice influencing others by working out their unstated or implied questions. The formula also emphasizes focusing on microbehaviors that are intrinsically rewarding to you, based on your personality type. By using the Leader Habit Quiz, you can learn which skills you’ll find most easy to amplify. Ultimately, the Leader Habit Formula can help you develop sound habits with little effort and without relying on expensive rewards.

The Power of Keystone Habits

Habits are hard to learn, but Keystone Habits can make it easier. By focusing on improving one key habit, other habits can improve as well. This phenomenon can be observed not just with personal habits, but with leadership skills too. Keystone Habits can enhance your self-image and make it easier to develop other skills. John, for example, used a Keystone Habit to improve his leadership abilities and subsequently found himself better able to influence people, negotiate, and overcome resistance.

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