Best Practices

10 Motivational Habits Every Leader Should Adopt



Leadership ability… Either you have it or you don’t, right?

Although some may think that leadership is a talent some people are born with, the reality is that successful leaders learn it the hard way: by being fired from their first jobs like Oprah Winfrey, or even by failing at their first company, just like Henry Ford did.

Because of (or, thanks to?) their professional “failures”, these hardworking individuals developed leadership skills that keep inspiring the aspiring leaders of today.

When analyzing the personal stories of great leaders, one realizes that leadership is more than just talent and personality. Great leaders are not simply “bosses” but great listeners, enablers, and motivational speakers. Successful leaders intrinsically understand how they need to engage with their teams to extract the best out of them.

Here are 10 motivational habits every leader should adopt


It sounds obvious, but it truly isn’t for many people. Listening to others, including your employees, is not only essential to get people’s respect, but it’s also paramount to becoming a better individual in general. REAL listening means taking things you’re being told into consideration, otherwise you’re only being polite.


Trust is at the very core of any relationship, whether professional or personal. Great leaders are listened to and admired primarily because they’ve proven worthy of that trust by acting fairly and with respect. Conversely, successful leaders learn to put their trust in others, which is the only way they can truly demonstrate team spirit.


Great leaders are, if anything else, great learners. They observe, analyze and learn constantly, not only from their mistakes but from others. In a company, leaders and managers who are open to learning contribute to a positive work environment and are therefore more likely to drive employee engagement in the long run.


This habit helps motivate team members and make them feel valued. Usually, successful leaders are also surrounded by talented individuals who support their efforts to bring the best out of every opportunity. Learning how to delegate is an essential attribute of good leadership. It shows you trust your team members enough to let them manage important projects, which motivates employees to work harder.

Related: This Gallup Study Is a Must-Read for Managers and Leaders

5-Ask for feedback

One of the best ways to know if you’re appreciated and respected as a leader is to ask for your employees’ feedback. If you’ve proven to be a good leader, they’ll feel open to telling you what they’d like to change and will remain grateful that you asked, provided that you don’t sit there doing anything, instead of trying to improve whatever needs to be.

6-Acknowledge contributions

Acknowledging employees’ good work should be on every leader’s daily priority list. Employees who positively contribute to the success of your business should be rewarded with a “thank you” or “great work!” at the very least. It serves to enhance manager/employee engagement, positive employee sentiment and also helps to increase trust and respect amongst your workforce. Plus, it shows you’re fair play, and that’s very important if you want the people who work for you to trust your judgment as their leader.


Saying thank you is the very basic recognition you can give to someone. It seems quite trivial, yet it’s absolutely fundamental. The fact that your employees already are financially compensated is not a reason to take their contribution for granted. Whenever an employee completes a significant task, renders a service, or goes above and beyond their mandate, the minimum a good leader can do is recognize them.

Related: Giving Employee Appreciation Does Wonders for Productivity


Good leaders inspire others because they set examples to follow. Their impeccable behaviour and guidance motivate people around them to work as hard as they do, which drives great productivity and loyalty while also supporting company culture.


Forget about ”divide and conquer”, it’s time we all embrace the idea that ”unity is strength”. Meaningfully include your employees in common projects and encourage them to take part in the decision-making process. This will make your team feel like a team.


The word itself says it all: LEAD, don’t rule. Be a guide, a mentor, a teacher, not a commander. Walk in front of your team members, not over them.

The Takeaway

Leadership is not set in stone, it’s a work in progress. That’s precisely why it’s essential for leaders not to rest on their laurels. As a famous salesman and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, once said: ”motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily”. The same goes for leadership.