Habits of Exceptional People


CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal)  What makes exceptional parents and leaders so successful?  Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio, Author, Family Therapist, Health and Wellness Executive shared tips with us.

Habits of exceptional leaders, in and beyond the workplace
The best leaders demonstrate that leadership is all about we not me. They:

  • See power as power with, the responsibility to bring about shared success, instead of power over, the right to dominate and control other people.
  • Believe in the competence of others and treat others with kindness.
  • Give credit where it is due. They regularly let their own supervisor know about the good work contributed by others on their team.
  • Make a point of “catching” others doing good work and praising them for it on the spot.
  • Say please and thank you.
  • Invite others to contribute to decision-making whenever possible.
  • Show genuine human caring for their team members and get to know something about their lives and interests.
  • Encourage and help others learn, grow, and advance.
  • Ensure that everyone in the group feels welcomed, respected, valued, and consistently treated civilly by others.
  • Regularly communicate the organization’s mission and describe how their group’s work and the work of each of its members contribute.
  • Provide constructive feedback and receive it graciously as well.
  • Take responsibility for their mistakes, apologize to others whenever it makes sense to do so, and then follow through on their promises to change.

A key element of leadership is recognizing that you are always a role model:

  • What you do is more important than what you say.
  • Your behavior sets the culture for your group.

One of the most challenging aspects of leadership can be holding others accountable to their commitments. Leaders need to:

  • Communicate what they expect clearly and make every effort to ensure the expectations are understood.
  • Provide constructive feedback and guidance when needed, including referrals to sources of assistance.
  • Identify and then follow through on consequences for continued poor performance.
  • Many leaders were promoted into their roles because they are highly skilled technicians. (They may or may not have wanted to lead people, but this was the next available promotion.) If this applies to you, please note that leadership skills can be learned. You owe it to yourself and your team members to attend training, read on the subject, and connect with mentors.
    Many of the points above apply to parenting as well. Being a parent, after all, is one of the most important leadership roles!
  • Finally, keep in mind that every one of us, whether we have a formal leadership role or not, is a role model and, therefore, a leader in the eyes of those who love and respect us.

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