Becoming a Transformational Leader

Consider this question:

Am I the type of leader that others are wiling to follow?


Here’s the great thing about that question:

  • We ALL know the type of person that we would want to be our boss or our coach. 


  • We ALL know the strength of character and integrity that we would like those people to have. 


  • We ALL know the type of person that we would willingly follow.


When something is not going well in our life, what is our initial instinct? Usually we look at the people around us to see who we can blame. We think about how our circumstances might be unfair or someone else might have it easier. 


But what would happen if we turned the magnifying glass on ourselves and asked ourselves a question like the one above. 



The Key to Transformational Leadership

This is the key to transformational leadership. A transformational leader stops assigning blame and starts accepting responsibility. 


And the single biggest way that you can accept responsibility for yourself, is to take ownerships of your ability to grow as a person, coach, athlete, and leader.


This concept is so intuitive and simple. But the process is difficult and hard.


I’m sure many of you have read Charles Duhigg’s book “The Power of Habit” (if you haven’t you should). He talks about habit on many different levels throughout the book, but from a macro level, there is no more important concept for leaders than identifying what he calls a “Keystone Habit”.



How Keystone Habits Change Your Life

A Keystone Habit is a single (or series) of habits that have the power to positively or negatively effect every single area of your life for good or worse. In the positive sense, a common Keystone Habit for many people is the habit of exercising. 


See, exercising is a keystone habit because it has positive implications on other areas of your life. For example, when you exercise regularly then your mood improves which allows you to have better relationships which ultimately makes you a happier person. 


Or, when you exercise you might feel less sluggish during the day which allows you to be more productive at work which lets you be more successful etc etc. 


The importance of understanding your Keystone Habits cannot be overstated. specific Keystone Habits can vary from person to person depending on their lifestyle, personality, and predispositions.


But I would argue that for Leaders there is a one Keystone Habit that stands above the rest. Regardless of your industry or occupation, there is a single Keystone Habit that is the holy grail for every leader in every walk of life.


There is no successful leader who ignores this habit. There has never been a great leader who has shortcut this process. 


As a leader, your effectiveness depends on it.


Every great leader practices the, 


The Habit of Continuous Growth.



Your Team’s Ceiling

That is what this next year will be about, sharing together in a process of continuous growth. Every organization, business, and basketball team has a ceiling that is directly related to the leader’s ability to grow. 


You’ve heard the saying that ‘a team is only as good as its weakest link’. I would disagree.

I think that a team is only as good as its best leader.


Everything rises and falls with leadership. The facets of leadership and personal development are infinite and the capacity for growth is endless.


This is what makes the fusion of basketball and leadership so exciting for me, and I hope for you as well.


As I continue to grow in my own knowledge and effectiveness as a leader, I want to invite you along for the ride. Let’s make 2016 the year where we embrace this keystone habit and see the results trickle down to our teams, families, and businesses.



Growth Exercise


Finding Your Keystone Habits

In order to be most effective as a leader, you need to discover your keystone habits. A lot of you might already know what these are and you just need to be more consistent in implementing them into your daily life.


But a lot of people haven’t taken the time to sit down and discover what these habits might be. Remember, you effectiveness as a leader is directly tied to your ability to grow and develop positive habits.


Keystone Habits influence every area of your life including your relationships, time, work habits, health, and a variety of other factors. 


For example, you might realize that when the relationship with your boss is going well, you come home happier. When you come home happier, your children and wife are more excited to see you. And when your children and wife are more excited to see you then you have a more fulfilling and happier evening which improves your sleep. With improved sleep you wake up in a better mood and have better relationships at work (including with your boss!).


See, the roots of our habits go a lot deeper than many of us realize. Until we sit down and think about how habits in one area of our life might affect the quality of other areas, we will fail to make progress as people and leaders.


Here are a few suggestions to help you discover what the keystone habits in your life might be:


Write it Down

  • Keep a notepad with you throughout the day and mark down the times when you feel happy and the times when you feel frustrated. After doing this for a few weeks, look back at your notes and try to find any patterns. 


  • Take notice of the who, what, where and whens that show up in your list. Were the happy times at a specific time the day? Or centered around a particular activity?


Use other People

  • Ask the people closest to you when they notice you are most like yourself. What are the things they see that put you in a good mood?


  • Take their suggestions and match it up with your list to see if there are any overlapping themes?


More from Arete Hoops

I am passionate about giving the world transformational leaders by inspiring and developing coaches, athletes, and influencers.

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