Recently one of my clients – an ambitious founder – asked me,
“Tracy, what are the top habits of an extraordinary founder?”
In my career, I’ve seen over and over that some of the most successful founders all share similar habits or mindset, so it wasn’t difficult for me to give an answer.
Today, I’m sharing the same answer with you, too.
📌 Here are the top 5 habits of every extraordinary founder:
1 – Being Intentional about how you are showing up
Intentionality is the heart of impactful results. In fact, the more you intentionally decide how you show up and what kind of action you take, the quicker you will be able to achieve the results you want.
Successful founders are very self-aware about who they are, their thoughts and actions. They consistently work on upgrading their identity, so that who they are and their mindset can support the type of business results they aspire to.
If you’re not sure on how to intentionally choose how to show up and consequently upgrade your identity, my tip is to think or write about the version of yourself who’s already achieved your goals; what are the main 3 qualities you will be displaying? Choose qualities that feel authentic and are new to you. Once you’ve identified them, make a conscious effort to embody them starting from today. It might feel slightly odd in the beginning, but in no time will you be able to show up as the leader you need to be to move quicker towards bigger results.
2 – Creating times of stillness
As leaders we’re constantly on the go, juggling many things and dealing with inputs from every side. That’s why it’s important to create time to regain our headspace.
Some of the top performers in the world speak about how great meditation or mindfulness can be for their results – and that’s because these activities can give a chance to quieten the mind, to refocus and prioritise.
Most importantly, they can be tools to sharpen the decision-making process and unlock more creativity when it comes to problem-solving. Plus, you can use meditation or mindfulness as a chance to reconnect to your vision and goals.
3 – Harnessing razor-sharp focus
How focused are you as a leader? Do you know what high-value areas you need to focus on to achieve your goals?
Extraordinary founders don’t waste time on low value tasks or activities that are distracting them from impactful results; they know how to delegate and prioritise, so they can be solely focused on those areas that are going to move the needle on their business.
A quick way to become more focused is to learn to be critical of your to-do list or any activities that make up your day. Take some time to look at everything you do, critically evaluate whether those activities need your sole attention and score the type of impact they have on your results. Once you’ve done this you will be able to decide what the highest value and most impactful areas are for you to focus on and then delegate the rest to your team. If you don’t have a team, do the high value tasks in the morning and then see if you can get some support, even on an hourly basis, to take off the parts that really drain you.
4 – Proactively leveraging Visualisation to achieve big results
Visualisation is another powerful tool that leaders, top athletes and high achievers leverage on the daily to to shape and create the results they want. It works because it helps your mind to be ready for what you want to achieve, and conditions it to see (and feel) the success of your future goals.
To proactively leverage visualisation, think of the result you are aiming for and create a scene in your mind that would imply you have already achieved it. What would you be seeing? What would you be saying? How would others be interacting with you? And very importantly, what would you feel? Play this often as a movie in your mind and feel it as real.
5 – Asking powerful questions
Last but not least – asking powerful questions to your team and yourself is one of the best habits you can have as a founder.
Questions can provoke insights that are game changing. They allow your team to become proactive and innovative, because you’re not spoon-feeding them with the answers.
Try for example to ask questions such as,
“What can be done to double our revenue? What changes do you think are needed to achieve our goals? How can we improve our customers’ retention?”
You will be surprised to see the world of possibilities that can open up when you genuinely engage in asking questions.
Of course, extraordinary founders are also good at asking themselves powerful questions, because they know these can trigger thinking and provoke meaningful reflections. Put some time aside and ask yourself,
“What’s going well? What do I need to improve? What impact am I having?”
Habits can take time to form and they require a big dose of discipline and willpower. But when you start to intentionally implement these 5 habits in your daily life as a founder, as a leader, you will start to see your results sky rocket.