The things we do most often send a powerful message about what matters to us.  “Now what?” leadership moments provide an opportunity to pause and examine the routines we follow and reconsider / redesign them. Leadership Habits Habits are routines – actions we take at a certain time or in response to certain conditions.  Generally, there is a reward – we feel better – as the result of the action. Here are ten habits leaders can use to engage and influence their teams.
  • Greet people by name (especially receptionists, security guards, cleaning staff, catering personnel, etc.).  Ask about family / interests away from work.
  • Acknowledge each person you pass in the hall or on the site
  • Meet someone new each day
  • Praise or recognize someone every day
  • Shake hands with each of your direct reports every day
  • “Check-in” with your boss / client / key supplier every week. Ask, “How’s it going? What’s on your mind? How can I help?”
  • Prepare a different question every day or week, and ask it during lulls in conversation or as an icebreaker at meetings.
  • Pick up trash; clean common areas; keep your own work area well-organized
  • Show up during an off-shift at least once each week.
  • Make unannounced calls or visits to the work areas to speak to individuals (on their birth day, on their service anniversary, after a promotion)
  • Carry extra glasses, gloves, earplugs, etc. with you to make it easier to have constructive conversations with folks who are not wearing the right equipment
Organizational Rituals Rituals are group activities that happen regularly, usually in a formal or proscribed manner.  Because we do these things so often, they are often dull and perfunctory. How can you use these activities to encourage the mindset, relationships and behaviors you want to see?
  • Start / end of shift team meetings
  • Safety meetings
  • Foremen meetings
  • Leadership team meetings
  • New employee orientation
  • Post-incident / accident investigation and communication
  • Recognition Process / Events
  • Project Kickoffs
  • Manager site / factory walks
  • All Hands / Town Hall meetings
Interested in learning more?  Ready to make your routines matter?  We’re ready to help.   About the author: Andy Erickson is a founder and principal consultant at Humanus Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in people-centric leadership. He can be reached at