5 Secret Habits That Will Make You a Great Leader

If you’re like most people, where you are now isn’t where you want to be forever. And in addition to that, I can almost guarantee that who you are now isn’t who you want to be for much longer. As humans, we were designed to grow. To live. To thrive. But, surviving is what most people settle with.

If you’re wanting to become a better person — someone with strong character and a solid reputation — it’s entirely possible. It’s simply the result of small, consistent action over an extended period of time. I’m nowhere close to where I want to be, but over the years I have spent time studying the secrets of mentors I highly respect. There’s certainly more, but today I want to share 5 secrets I’ve learned about becoming a better leader.

1. Practice Gratitude

One of the number one secrets to strong, sustainable character is the practice of gratitude. Gratitude is known as the gateway to joy, and for good reason. When you’re thankful for what you have you naturally have less time to be resentful and bitter about what you don’t. I’ve never met a grateful person I didn’t like. They exude joy, they improve the atmosphere wherever they go, and just being around them makes you appreciate life more. A lifestyle of appreciation means those around you will feel appreciated and adored, which is one of the building blocks of strong character.

2. Commit to Growing

I once heard someone say that if you’re not growing you’re dying. Whoever that person was, was right. Growing is essential to strong character, because the alternative is shriveling up in response to the stresses of life. If you want to become a dependable, confident person, start with finding an area of weakness and dedicate some time for improving it.

Struggling with your budget? Take some financial literacy classes. Not happy with your health? Start an exercise program and stick with it. Marriage falling apart? Sign up for relationship counseling. Growing people attract others who want to grow. Commit to growth today and you’ll never be sorry you did.

3. Refuse to Talk Negatively About Others

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” As a general rule, if you talk about people, make it positive. Otherwise, hold your tongue. This is a simple but vital building block of strong character. Besides, if you’ll encourage others when they need it, you’ll likely get encouragement when you need it.

4. Live Generously

Despite the scarcity mindset we often live with, we were designed to give. It’s one of the best ways for building strong character. Whether it’s your time, your money, or simply your encouragement, there’s someone out there who could use your help.

5. See Setbacks as Opportunities

Failure is inevitable. That’s why making the most of it is one of the biggest secrets to building strong character. I’ve seen this trait exhibited by every mentor I’ve ever had and cannot stress its importance enough. If you can learn to see setbacks as opportunities for growth you’ll always be growing.

There are no magic tricks for building strong character. It takes time, patience, and years of commitment. To become a better leader, you must approach things holistically. And if you’re not where you want to be, there’s no better time to make changes than now — your future self will be glad you did.