How To Break Bad Leadership Habits

Leaders need to learn new practices of management techniques to overcome the new obstacles. For this, leaders have to continue learning throughout their career.
Nearly 40 years back, Alvin Toffler said that tomorrow’s illiterate won’t be the one who can’t read or write but the one who has not learned how to learn. And not very surprisingly, this has become true. The uncertainty, ambiguity and complex environment have introduced new challenges that require unique ways to respond.
This means that it is absolutely necessary for leaders at every level to continuously develop their new capabilities and responses. Some of the ways to break the bad leadership habits are discussed here. Let’s have a look.
Master the cycle
Well, this is the most difficult thing to do. Despite having greater access to knowledge, executives need to look at their behavior in the workplace. The good news is it can be done in three steps. The major steps are:
Identifying Improvement Needs
Never feel satisfied with your performance in any particular area. Satisfaction means less devotion of energy and time to improve any area. This in a way means that you need to adopt the method of Unconscious competence to Conscious Incompetence. This part requires a tremendous amount of practice, attention, and persistence.
Before discussing the ways to overcome these habits, Let’s have a glimpse at four obstacles that needs to change right away.
1. The Knowing and Performing Gap
Undoubtedly, executives now read about leadership, read books and watch webcasts, but they are more informed rather than set to perform. Here’s a fact, knowing doesn’t necessarily mean that one can implement it too. At times, having an understanding of concepts can make you think that you are implementing it too. Analyzing the whole thing can make a great difference in knowing whether the box is ticked or not.
2. Inappropriate investment
At times senior executives skip the fact that too much of efforts are required to learn new knowledge in a certain way where it can be helpful. Due to this, they are satisfied easily with the vague understanding of certain concepts. Such conditions result in the creation of a complete understanding of certain concepts.
3. Stop insufficient Persistence
Indeed by now, you want to behave differently from habitual actions and consistently with new objectives. To implement the new objectives, you need to perform the following:

  • Intercept habitual response prior producing it
  • Search for a more appropriate response
  • Create more appropriate response- You should be able to perform it in real time and under performance pressure.

These steps need attention and significant time. And unfortunately, these are the major things that senior executives have in short supply. Due to this, executives end up reverting to the natural behavior. Everyone does not want to feel consciously incompetent. Hence they rationalize the fear of failure by moving back to the unconscious incompetence stage.
4. Inadequate Support from Surrounding
When executives somehow manage to get conscious of the shortcoming and insert their new behavior, they are usually tripped up by their surrounding.
The first disappointment comes when executives fail to get positive reinforcement of their efforts. This happens when people with whom they interact just fails to notice the efforts.
The second problem is when people around them are habitual with a certain way of interaction. For most of the people changing this equilibrium becomes problematic and they are unwilling to accept them in a new way.
Practices that one should follow to break these bad habits are:
1. Focused amount of efforts
Rather than spreading your energy and time across a few dimensions, just go with one skill. Make sure that the selected skill is of significant importance to you and can deliver the highest ROI.
2. Develop a Practice of Reflectiveness
You need to come up with a better response. One way to do this by preparing yourself in advance. Thinking ahead allow us to envisage several responses and scenarios. You can reflect on past situations to identify what you did, why you reacted in a certain way and what were the results.
3. Stay Persistent and Faithful
Remaining focused, implementing new knowledge and skill needs constant effort. At times, this process will become frustrating but this will eventually remove all the chances of future setbacks.