Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones By James Clear

Atomic Habits are small habits that are essential to your overall improvement and that seem insignificant at first sight but that can create powerful outcomes if practiced regularly…

Atomic Habits help you grow in confidence, overcome setbacks and fulfill your potential.

Habits create freedom by removing the need to make decisions about simple tasks and by allowing your mind to focus on other challenges.

Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones By James Clear #habits #book #books #bookreviews #leadership #atomichabits @jamesclear journeytoleadershipblog.com

1. Improvements & Atomic Habits

There is tremendous value in improving incrementally thanks to the power of small habits.

Truthfully, incremental improvements are not noticeable right away but become meaningful and make a difference in the long run.

That’s because, small good habits compound themselves into big results and bad habits into toxic results. However, these habits will place you on the path to success.

The only thing, to see the results of your habits, to track your progress, you need to implement these habits long enough in order to cross what James Clear calls the Plateau of Latent Potential.

To get over the Plateau of Latent Potential, you need to avoid setting goals. Instead, you may have to set up a system to make actionable progress and to create better habits.

2. Building & Changing Habits

Changing habits is difficult because we try to change the wrong thing or we try to change the wrong way.

Furthermore, change is especially difficult when your identity is in direct conflict with the habit you want to develop, if you are too attached to your identity or believe that your identity is set in stone.

To change the right way, you need to make a shift in your identity, rework your system of belief and make this habit become an intrinsic part of your identity.

In turn, your identity will gradually be molded by your habits and the belief that you have the power to change whichever habit you want.

3. The Four Laws of Behavior Change

Before trying to change, we must be aware of the old habits that have held you back and have most likely become automatic and unconscious.

You can make a list of your habits and ask yourself objectively whether or not these habits help you become the person you want to be. You don’t need to evaluate, congratulate or criticize yourself while doing so. 

To create better habits, you can follow the Four Laws of Behavior Change:

  1. Make the habit obvious
  2. Make the habit attractive
  3. Make the habit easy
  4. Make the habit satisfying

1. Make the habit obvious

You can make it obvious by clarifying the habits you want to acquire.

You have to make it clear when, where and how you want this new habit to take place.

You can set your habits at a particular time and location, you can group them with other habits or you can set up your environment to stimulate the said habit and to encourage self-discipline

2. Make the habit attractive

Habits become more attractive if you can associate them with things you already enjoy, if you surround yourself with people who already have that attractive habit or if you shift your perspective and change the way you talk to yourself.

Making your habits attractive motivates you to act because you definitively expect a reward.

3. Make the habit easy

To build up a habit, it is important to practice. To make practicing effective, you must make it easy because it is human nature to preserve energy, reduce the amount of work and follow the Law of Least Effort.

Therefore, to make a habit easy, you canu must make it easy because it is human nature to preserve energy, reduce the amount of work and follow the Law of Least Effort.

Therefore, to make a habit easy, you can remove any element of friction associated with the habit, set up your environment to ease yourself into the habit or practice a small habit for at least 2 minutes that will progressively grow into the habit that you desire.

4. Make the habit satisfying

People are more likely to repeat a habit if the experience was satisfying.

However, people often look for immediate satisfaction even if most satisfactions in society are delayed and even if a fundamental truth for success states that delayed gratification leads to greater rewards.

So to build a successful habit, you need to ensure to receive immediate gratification once in a while.

Review

Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones, James Clear shares his traumatic story of how he recovered in his youth from an accident and how he realized, through this experience, that small good habits can help you overcome setbacks and fulfill your potential.

Moreover, it shows you that if the reason for building a habit is strong enough then you can bear anything to succeed.

Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones should be called “How to develop the best habits the best way possible”. Every single sentence made for a great quote.

This book has been eye opening in understanding my habits and their in the affirmation of my identity.

Very insightful, it makes you analyze your present, think about the meaning and the impact of your actions on your future life. To develop new habits is very much a self-awareness exercise.

In addition, James Clear provides fundamental principles that you can rely on. He teaches you how to provoke good habits and destroy bad ones, to shift your focus from your goals towards building a structure, system and habits to achieve said goals

I recommend it for anyone who is struggling to get it together and don’t know where to start. For anyone seeking to rework their habits, it is imperative to get an accountability partner, track your habits and measure your progress.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.

Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations.

Time magnifies the margin between success and failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it. Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy.

All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny
decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots
entrench themselves and branches grow.

A habit is a behavior that has been repeated enough times to become automatic.

Our preference for instant gratification reveals an important truth about success:
because of how we are wired, most people will spend all day chasing quick hits of
satisfaction. The road less traveled is the road of delayed gratification. If you’re willing to wait for the rewards, you’ll face less competition and often get a bigger payoff. As the saying goes, the last mile is always the least crowded.

Ratings 4/5

About the author

James Clear

 

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The Importance of Accountability In Leadership

Right now, there is a serious need for accountable leaders in all aspects of the world and at all levels of life.

Accountable leaders are responsible for their team and organization.

In reality, accountability goes beyond responsibility.

Accountable leaders have a sense of ownership that has been developed for tasks, decisions and actions. It is intrinsic to each leader and is independent of the outcomes of said tasks, decisions and actions.

Wondering why accountability is so important and how leaders can develop a sense of accountability?

The Importance of Accountability In Leadership #selfdevelopment #characterdevelopment #accountability #leadership #journeytoleadership journeytoleadershipblog.com

Accountability is important, hard to define and even harder to implement.

1. Get To Know Yourself

I will never cease to repeat that to lead others, you must first lead yourself.

Before you become a leader or an accountable leader, it is also important to know your why.

2. Become Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

You are going to experience the unexpected, be constantly reviewed under a microscope and have to handle an extreme amount of pressure.

You have to develop enough resilience and determination to seek discomfort and be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

3. Acknowledge Failure

There is no room for victim mentality or the blame game.

Accountable leaders are not victims of their circumstances.

Accountable leaders are willing to acknowledge their past failures. They know when, how and why they failed in the past. Most importantly, they know how to repair their mistakes, forgive themselves and move forward.

4. Understand Your Impact

Accountable leaders know the influence they have on their team and in their organization.

That is why, most of the time, they will need to demonstrate strong leadership skills, a lot of professionalism, a high level of maturity and self-awareness.

5. Look Out For Temptations

There are so many temptations that come with the money and power of leadership.

Accountable leaders know their shortcomings. They are humble, ethical and disciplined enough to control themselves.

To avoid temptations, it can be helpful to have a strong support system and a healthy work-life balance.

6. Create A Culture Of Accountability

To create a culture of accountability, leaders need to:

  • Increase employee commitment and engagement.
  • Allow employees to make decisions for themselves.
  • Build long term trust.

Last Words Of Advice!

You have to be accountable to yourself first before demanding that others are.

Being a mediocre leader is no longer acceptable. You don’t have to stay in a bad situation under bad leadership.

 

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

 

 

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19 Signs You Are Doing A Great Job As A Leader

Being a leader is hard work.

Matter of fact, the demands of the job can take a toll on your leadership and on your self-perception.

There are plenty of weak leaders who give in to the pressures of the job and become horrible bosses.

If leadership was easy, everybody would aim for the job and everybody would do it.

Sometimes, it is good to remind yourself that you are a good leader.

Wondering what are the signs that you are doing a great job as a leader?

19 Signs You Are Doing A Great Job As A Leader

Sign #1. Leadership wasn’t your main goal

The truth is you didn’t want to be a leader in the first place.

You simply wanted to be competent, enjoy your job and you have always put your best foot forward.

You maintain your work ethic even though you have never aimed for a leadership position.

Sign #2. You don’t abuse your power

Great leaders don’t mistreat their employees because they understand that their business depends on them.

They treat people humanely, empower their employees and make sure to maintain a healthy workplace culture.

Sign #3. You don’t play mind games with your employees

You give your employees the respect they deserve by telling them the truth.

You don’t pit them against each other, gaslight them or scapegoat them.

You don’t play favorites.

You don’t force them to be something that they are not just to please you.

You don’t shift blame or prey on your employees insecurities.

You don’t spasmodically change the expectations, sabotage their efforts with irresponsible deadlines and over the top objectives.

Sign #4. You manage your own insecurities 

You don’t have imposter syndrome but you are secure with yourself.

Even if you may sometimes feel like a fraud, you don’t take out your insecurities on your team and you manage your insecurities in private.

You don’t put people down, ego or power trip in order to sit down your authority or feel better about yourself.

You treat everyone with fairness.

Sign #5. You are not self-centered

You are hyper-aware of your surroundings.

Everything you do is for others and to answer to a higher purpose.

You adopt a servant leadership style and lead with humility.

Often poor leadership is masked by those with the loudest voices and strongest opinions. - Nick Fewings Click To Tweet

Sign #6. You are not defined by your mistakes

You do not punish yourself for your mistakes.

In addition, you do not punish others for their mistakes. Instead, you give them the opportunity to correct their mistakes and to learn from them.

Sign #7. You take care of your employees well being

You make sure that your employees goals align with yours.

You take care of their well being first because you link productivity to your team’s mental health.

If they are sick, you invite them to take days off.

If they are bored, you give them challenges to fulfill them.

If they are under performing, you place them in their areas of strength.

Sign #8. You maintain your calm under pressure

You don’t lash out on your employees when you are under pressure.

Instead, you stay transparent, explain the reason for the bad situation, come up with an appropriate situation and make the hard decisions.

Sign #9. You don’t participate in office politics

It is quite easy to get caught up in office politics.

The best strategy is to stay clear from all drama.

You don’t talk about your employees to your employees.

Sign #10. You don’t drag out conflicts

You believe in forgiveness so conflicts can quickly be resolved.

You want to maintain a healthy workplace where employees are not bullied, are unafraid to express divergent opinions.

Sign #11. You get down in the trenches

You don’t let your employees do the dirty work.

Your employees will trust and respect someone who is competent, who can do what they do without complaining. They will know that your directions are sound.

Sign #12. You keep people accountable

You don’t let bad behavior or poor performance slide.

There are ways to let people know that they are going down the wrong path. You know how to give and receive feedback even if it hurts.

Keeping people accountable will allow more employees to ask questions, to take risks, to make mistakes, to admit to their own mistakes and to tell you when you are making some.

Sign #13. You communicate clearly

Every single one of your objectives is communicated and justified.

Your team can clearly follow your train of thought and can understand what you want.

Sign #14. You adopt a democratic leadership style

You do your research and request your employees opinion before making a tough decision.

You make the ultimate decisions but you believe that it is always good to have a sounding board.

Sign #15. You understand the importance of recognition

You don’t hug the spotlight. Instead, you give credit when credit is due.

You recognize when an employee over-performed or nearly burnt out on a project.

Sign #16. You help those who need it

In the workplace, people don’t forget easily (unfortunately).

They don’t forget who helped them in time of need and wont hesitate to reciprocate afterwards.

Sign #17. You love to try new things

You are open to change.

Besides, you are not complacent with your position or with your knowledge.

You are always open to learn new things, to change, to take risks, to question yourself.

Sign #18. You don’t take yourself too seriously

You have serious objectives and a lot of responsibility.

Leadership is hard enough to not have some fun once in a while.

Sign #19. You care way too much

You want the best from and for your team. You care because:

  • You really want them to succeed.
  • You are invested in their well being.
  • You have an open door policy.
  • You listen to their dreams and aspirations, to what they have to say without judgement.

Last Words Of Advice!

If you answer to these signs, then you are definitely doing a great job as a leader.

Otherwise, be kind to yourself and begin working on these signs.

It’s all about finding the right balance for yourself and for your team.

Keep the respect to get alignment, be likable to create influence, be approachable at the same time.

Keep the respect to get alignment, be likable to create influence, be approachable at the same time. - Vanessa Sylvester Click To Tweet

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

 

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14 Traits Of Highly Successful Leaders

You do not have to be famous, be a millionaire or own a company in the Fortune 500 to be a successful leader.

A successful leader runs a successful business with a healthy return on investment with the help of a successful team.

A successful leader is able to mentally, emotionally, physically and financially provide for his or her team.
Wondering what are the main traits a successful leader?

14 Traits Of Highly Successful Leaders

To become a successful leader, there are a few traits that you need to develop.

The traits of successful leaders can be acquired anytime in life.

However, it is up to you to maintain them. It will also require a lot of self-discipline, self-motivation and self-awareness.

Trait #1. Successful leaders lead a healthy lifestyle

First and foremost, successful leaders are morning people.

They get a good night sleep.

They wake up early in the morning.

They choose to rise with the sun because it gives them time to think, to meditate, to plan their day.

Furthermore, they eat well and on time.

They exercise early in the morning to maintain their physical health, and to get rid of lingering negativity.

Trait #2. Successful leaders have strong conviction

They have the conviction that they are successful and that they will succeed no matter what.

Their conviction comes from their self-awareness, drive, purpose and their strong core values.

They have integrity and hold on to their principles.

They know that they can accomplish anything that they set their mind to.

They rely on their intuition, make their own opinion and don’t follow anyone.

Trait #3. Successful leaders manage their time effectively

They know how to manage their time and prioritize their tasks.

They are willing to handle the most difficult, most important and the most urgent first.

They say no to things that don’t matter to them or to things that don’t fit into the bigger picture.

Trait #4. Successful leaders value solitude

They regularly spend time alone to reflect and to get work done.

Trait #5. Successful leaders own up to their mistake

Indeed, they make mistakes.

They can admit when they have done wrong and can apologize for it.

They reward themselves for their successes and above all learn from their failures.

Trait #6. Successful leaders take calculated risks

They take risks, get out of their comfort zones, recognize what works and what doesn’t.

Trait #7. Successful leaders ask for feedback

They ask for feedback, actively listen to it, and if the feedback is sound, seek to apply it.

Trait #8. Successful leaders set boundaries

They have set clear boundaries in their mind early on.

They know what they need, want, wish for.

They also know what they will not allow or stand for.

They know how to say no and stand their ground.

Trait #9. Successful leaders obsess positively

Leaders spend their time obsessing positively.

By “obsessing positively”, I mean they are passionate and they can focus their attention on their goals for a prolonged amount of time.

Basically, they eat, drink, sleep, think their goals.

Trait #10. Successful leaders have a healthy work life balance

Even though they can obsess over their professional goals, they make time for a personal life.

They make sure to maintain a healthy work life balance.

Trait #11. Successful leaders are optimistic

They are grateful for what they have but are not complacent.

They do not dwell on negativity and CHOOSE to focus on positivity.

They don’t overthink or overanalyze everything.

They don’t play the victim and take responsibility for their actions.

They handle change, failures and pressure gracefully.

They see challenges as an opportunity to learn and they maintain a positive attitude in adversity.

Trait #12. Successful leaders are whole

Their self-esteem does not depend on what others think of them.

They don’t compare their lives with the ones of other people.

They don’t judge but empathize with other people.

They don’t insult but compliment people.

They don’t abuse their authority or power.

They don’t hug the spotlight but give credit when credit is due.

They do not need to harm someone else to feel superior or to feel whole.

They know who, how and when to forgive.

Moreover, they want to see others succeed. They encourage others to grow, to succeed and reach their full potential.

Trait #13. Successful leaders are wise beyond their years

They have a deep understanding of life and of themselves.

They can assess a situation and its outcome before engaging in it.

They have identified their purpose early in life and every decision that they make can be justified.

Trait #14. Successful leaders are learning machines

They are open-minded.

They are always learning, always evolving and always growing.

They understand that learning is a never-ending process, no matter their age or status.

On the flip side, they constantly want to share their knowledge with the world.

Last Words Of Advice!

Successful people inspire and act as role models for others and for their own organization.

Therefore, be mindful of your actions and of your words.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni defines the five dysfunctions of a team to avoid in order to be successful. He teaches us how to build a team as a leader and how to effectively be part of one.

What is a team?

For Lencioni, a team is a “relatively small number of people (anywhere from three to twelve) that shares common goals as well as the rewards and responsibilities for achieving them. Team members readily set aside their individual or personal needs for the greater good of the group.”

Why build a team?

Patrick Lencioni believes in team work and that it is the ultimate competitive advantage in a company. Effective team work being easy to attain but hard to measure, he judges effective team work by measuring its performance, its results, by its capacity to overcome obstacles and the five dysfunctions model (seen below).

Five dysfunctions of a team Patrick Lencioni.

Overcoming Dysfunction #1

Trust is an uncommon trait in life, is the most important factor in team survivals, is rare and is generally hard to instill. Being a trustful and trustworthy designates a person unafraid to be open, candid, transparent, willing to expose their weaknesses, and admit their failures.

Because of human preservation instincts, because people wear masks to protect themselves and their true feelings, being vulnerable is uncommon and unnatural. People don’t find rewarding to take such risks, to put themselves in harm’s way for other people, for an organization.

Furthermore, lack of trust is a destroyer of team work, multiplies hypocrisy, causes the team to watch their every move, monitor their every word. To overcome this dysfunction, Lencioni suggests that:

  • Building trust takes time but is not impossible.
  • Team members take various personality assessment tests, like the Myers Briggs test, before sharing their story.
  • Team members open up so that everyone can judge them fairer, understand the person that they are today, not expecting that they reveal their darkest secrets or that they get emotional.
  • Leaders create a safe space for their team to speak. Team members generally look to their leaders to show them how to build trust. Leaders have to first put themselves out there without knowing that their behavior will be reciprocated, respected or rewarded.
  • Maintain the bounding experience and pursue the relationships built.

Overcoming Dysfunction #2

In addition to overcoming trust issues, teams must learn to handle conflicts. Conflicts don’t necessarily have to be feuds, quarrels or arguments. Conflicts can also be healthy debates that lead the team to a solution, discussions where people are listening and seriously considering other people points of view. Needless to say, without trust, the debate will easily become a contest.

Conflict is inevitable but must not be avoided. It is either constructive or destructive, and anywhere along that spectrum. It has the benefit to push people out of their emotional comfort zone.

To overcome dysfunction #2, Lencioni proposes to:

  • Assess each and everyone conflict profile before hand. Indeed, everybody handles conflict differently. Therefore, it is essential that everybody knows the way they react and interact during conflict, in order to adjust their behavior in the future.
  • Establish a conflict norm for the team. Conflict norming requires laying down rules of engagement, depicting how to team members should engage with one another, and which behaviors are acceptable.
  • The leader that sets the tone by applying the rules, adapting them to the team members and holding them accountable to the rules.
  • The leader has to moderate conflict, especially in meetings, push the quiet ones out of their comfort zone and temper the aggressive ones. Lack of conflict leads to boring meetings, bad decisions, lack of clarity.

Overcoming Dysfunction #3

A lack of commitment is the third dysfunction to be overcome by teams. Commitment lies in fact that the team buys in a decision whether or not they agree with it. To create clarity and alignment, to avoid assumptions:

  • Leaders must extract every unapologetic ideas from their team. Knowing that all aspects of a situation have been studied, that all opinions have been expressed and considered, team members are more likely to commit to the leader’s decision.
  • Leaders must share their principles, missions, values, goals, purpose and their behavioral expectations, generate consistent business policies.

Overcoming Dysfunction #4

All members of the team, including the team leader, must remain accountable for their actions. They must remind each other of their respectful responsibility, of their behaviors, standards, results and performance. Otherwise, they gradually lose respect for each other, lose morale.

Leaders have to be able to receive critical feedback around their behavior and performance in order to give feedback. To encourage a culture of peer-to-peer accountability, Lencioni suggests that teams must openly:

  • identify the most important behavioral characteristics that contributes to the strength of the team and the ones that weakens it of everyone.
  • know everyone’s area of expertise.
  • in meetings, everyone should verbalize their list of priorities and measure their progress.

Overcoming Dysfunction #5

Self-orientated distractions, individualization are also destroyers of teams. To address this last dysfunction, there is no need to have completely overcome the four previous dysfunctions.

Focusing on collective results implies that team members are not self-interested and not only looking out for number one.

Results are what measure team success and keeps people focused on the priorities. Teams must commit early and openly to their expected results, keep a scoreboard and measure the progress at all times.

Reviews

In Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni shows leaders how to build and optimize their team through practical examples, gradual exercises and valid  assessments such as the Myers Briggs assessment tests.

Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is very insightful and dedicated to toxic environments, to self-disciplined, thoughtful leaders. In order for them to be successful, Lencioni recommends that team members become:

  • More vulnerable with each other, without being touchy-feely or emotional, in order to be successful and to understand each other. It is always difficult to share information about yourself in the workplace because there is always room for manipulation and personal attacks. However, if the exercise succeeds the team is fit to understand the decisions made and actions taken.
  • Masterful at conflicts. This requires that team members assess their strengths and weaknesses, be disciplined enough to control their emotions, be active listeners and seek understanding of others.
  • Committed to the task and to the organization. Creating employee alignment and engagement depends on the leader’s vision and mission statement.
  • Accountable for their actions and behaviors.
  • Focused on results.

Each characteristic can be worked on simultaneously. Of course, the leader has to be the facilitator as well and all expected behaviors have to be modeled on the leader.

After analyzing the 5 different dysfunctions that destroys teams, Lencioni answers additional questions that he received from clients, consultants and executives, replies to the objections of some participants, demonstrates the obstacles to avoid, the ways to convince skeptical leaders, engage uncomfortable people.

At last, Lencioni provides us with tools, questionnaires, team building exercises, road maps, steps to take in order to start and maintain the team building process.

Ratings 4/5

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Patrick Lencioni

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Patrick Lencioni

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Patrick Lencioni is a speaker, consultant, founder and president of The Table Group. Patrick Lencioni is also the author of Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.