Habits for success

Melissa Hart

When life comes at you 100 mph, it’s good to review the commonsense things that help along the way. I listen to various podcasts and it all depends on the mood I’m in at the time. Sometimes I listen to Trent Loos, other times I like to listen to Angus Underground. I’m a fan of Beyond the Ring and of course I’ve been listening to Focus on the Family since I started having children in 1991. I stumbled on-to Craig Groeschel one day as I was searching for a good leadership podcast. It was so good, I listened to it three times so I could soak up “The 8 Habits of Great Leaders.”The first one was the habit of no snooze. I don’t hit snooze, but I don’t pop up out of bed either. My husband brings me a cup of coffee and I ease into waking up. Groeschel advises to get up when the alarm goes off and be prepped to tackle the day.The habit of pre deciding is basically planning ahead. Lay your clothes out, decide what’s for dinner for the week, make a list, plan ahead for things that matter most and let real priorities dictate your schedule and choices. I need to work hard on this one. There are a lot of simple things that I could decide ahead of time that would take the guess work out of my day and allow room for developing ideas and planning for bigger projects.The habit of doing the hard right. Do you struggle with confrontation? Or telling someone the truth when you know it’s going to be hard to swallow? I would like to just let things go, unfortunately when we do that, we allow bad behavior to continue until it’s a huge issue. Solving problems the right way, even if it’s more difficult right now will create a stronger and better solution.The habit of you first leadership. Do you know how hard it is to start an email without using the word I? “I want you to know” or “I hope this finds you well,” or “I was wondering if you.” My job is highly dependent on email, so this was difficult for me at first. I really have to get creative when I start an email to focus on the other person without sounding flowery or fake but if we want to be an influential leader, I need to start every interaction with the other person in mind. This also means that we need to listen to other people without formulating a response as they are talking. How often do we miss their whole point because we are thinking about what we want to say next? Maybe we need to ask another question or maybe ask them for more detail. Focusing on the other person not only gives them a feeling of validation, but we might learn something along the way.Four more habits to come next week!Melissa is a farmwife, mom and freelance writer residing on a dairy farm in southern Michigan. She is available for speaking engagements by contacting her at Visit her blog at