12 Habits of Character and Leadership

by Blair Evan Ball on January 19, 2013

The most important goal that you accomplish in the course of your life is to become an excellent person, in every respect.

Your purpose should be to develop the kind of personality and character that earns you the respect, esteem and affection of the important people in your world.

Abraham Lincoln on Leadership

But what if you have reached adulthood without the virtues and qualities that you most admire and aspire to?

What can you do?

Well, fortunately all virtues and values are merely habits of thinking and acting. You can learn any habit that you consider to be either desirable or necessary. You can learn a virtue or value of character and leadership the same way you develop a physical skill or habit, by practice and repetition.

1. Desire To Leadership


It is not easy to rise to a position of leadership in any organization or in any society.

  • The competition for leadership is fierce.
  • Only the people who are the very best equipped to acquire leadership positions
  • Then to hold onto those positions against all others who desire them, rise to the top in any area.
  • Different areas of endeavor require different qualities of leadership to be successful.
  • The qualities of leadership necessary to direct an army at war are very different from the qualities of leadership that are necessary to direct a large university.
  • The qualities of leadership necessary to start and build a successful entrepreneurial business are very different from the leadership qualities necessary to run a large organization.

2. Visualize Your Ideal Self


The starting point of character development is for you to develop the habit of long term thinking in your work and in your personal life.

  • Acting As If You Were Already That Person

If you wish to develop the quality of patience, for example, practice being patient even when you feel pressured or in a hurry. If you wish to develop the quality of compassion, practice putting yourself in the situation of the other person and thinking,

3. Transform Your Destiny


To become a person of significant value and quality, you should develop the habit of reading about and studying about other men and women who have started with little or nothing and who have gone on to accomplish wonderful things with their lives.

It seems that many men and women who achieve greatness as adults spend many hours as children reading the biographies and autobiographies of successful people. Because young people are so susceptible to the suggestive influences of others, as they read, they began to envision and imagine themselves having the same qualities when they grew up as the people that they were reading about. And that is exactly what happened in many cases.

4. Advance Your Own Character


Simply practice the virtue in every situation where that virtue is required. In other words, if you wish to develop the quality of courage, act courageously even when you feel afraid.

  •  If you wish to develop the quality of generosity, be generous on every occasion.
  •  As you practice and repeat the virtue, it becomes more and more a part of your personality.
  • It soon becomes automatic and easy.
  • Eventually, you will reach the point where you cannot imagine acting in any other way.

Decide today to become a “do-it-to-yourself” project. Establish a series of goals and a work schedule for the development of your own character and personality.

5. Leadership is Situational


What is necessary for success in a leadership  position is determined by many factors, including the people to be led, the objectives to be accomplished by the organization, the competition for resources, the social, cultural, political and economic environment, and the situation that the leader finds himself in at the moment.

  • If you change any one of these factors, the qualities of leadership necessary for success will change as well.
  • There are more than 50 different qualities that leaders have or develop over time.

Of those qualities, there are a few that seem to be consistent in almost every case where a leader accomplishes great things and earns the undying respect, esteem and loyalty of other people, even long after he has passed from the scene.

The one quality that all these studies on leadership held in common was the quality of “vision.”

Leaders have vision; ordinary people do not

 6. Develop Your Vision


To become a person of character, and a leader in your own life and world, the first habit you must develop is the habit of vision. You must develop the habit of previsualization, projecting forward several years into your future. You must develop the habit of developing absolute clarity about what you want to accomplish in your life and your position, and what it will look like if you are successful.

7. Dare To Go Forward


A common habit of great men, women and leaders at every level, is the habit of courage.

  • Many people have exciting hopes, dreams and visions for the future.

But only a few people have the courage to take the risks necessary to turn those visions into realities.

The most important part of courage is the willingness to launch, to take action in the direction of your goals and dreams, with no guarantee of success.

8. The Secret to Your Success


Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM, was once asked by the young journalist Arthur Gordon, “Mr. Watson, how can I be more successful faster?”

Watson replied with these profound words, “If you want to succeed faster, you must double your rate of failure. Success lies on the far side of failure.”

I see people and business afraid to step out and fail with Social Media or anything in life that is new. Change is holding people back, and with the pace of change, failing further behind is not an option.

9. Overcoming Your Fears


Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that the most important lesson he learned as a young man was, “In every situation do the thing you fear.”

He concluded, “If you do the thing you fear, the death of fear is certain.”

10. You Are Responsible


Once you have developed a clear vision for your ideal future, and resolved to develop unshakable courage by doing the things you fear, you must develop the habit of accepting complete responsibility for yourself and for every aspect of your life.

  • Leaders accept responsibility.
  • Followers do not.
  • Leaders refuse to make excuses
  • While followers hide behind them.
  • Leaders see themselves as the primary creative forces in their own lives.
  • Followers see themselves as victims, and spend much of their energies rationalizing, justifying and explaining away their failure to make progress.

The acceptance of complete responsibility is as essential to leadership as is courage.

Napoleon Hill once wrote, “Within every difficulty or obstacle is contained the seed of an equal or greater benefit or advantage.”

11. Never Give Up


Another quality of character and leadership that seems to be indispensable for great success is the habit of persistence and determination.

Napoleon Hill wrote, “Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel.”

12. Be Thankful For Everything


My Challenge to You…

Explode out of the blocks in 2013, and make it the best year you’ve ever had. Develop Success Social Media Marketing Skills!

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