1 Key Trait All Great Leaders Share

Whether you’re an a solo business owner or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, leadership is something you can’t live without.

If you want to move your career or company forward, you have to know how to lead yourself and those around you.

I recently had the chance to sit down with Nigel Green, who has spent the past few decades studying (and implementing) the key principles of leadership.

(Related: Listen to the full interview with Nigel Green)

Green, a business growth advisor and consultant, is the former CEO of StoryBrand, where he helped clients like Pantene, Intel and Berkshire Hathaway clarify their marketing messages to improve customer engagement.

Prior to StoryBrand, Green also helped lead a healthcare sales company from $94 million to $350 million of revenue in just 36 months.

Leading The Way

We all want the “right stuff” to have the formula for business growth. But what defines a leader isn’t what you might assume.

“Leaders aren’t necessarily charismatic. They aren’t necessarily quiet,” Green told me. “There’s not a personality trait that will give you a better chance at leading.

“They’re not intuitively extroverted, they’re not intuitively introverted. On all of the types of characteristics and traits spectrums, there’s not one that sticks out.”

This is great news for all of us, because it means that leadership can be learned.

1 Key Trait All Great Leaders Share

Green suggests that there is however, one a clear distinction in all great leaders: their habits and routines.

“Every leader that you go to study could very quickly dissect and present to you in a very succinct way their rituals and their habits. They are creatures of predictability,” Green says. “One of my favorite all time influencers is Tony Robbins. He says, ‘You are what you consistently do.’ And I think that’s true. Leaders are consistent, they’re predictable.”

Your daily habits, routines, and schedules matter. Whether you are someone who gets up early or burns the midnight oil, your consistency matters – especially when it comes to making a habit of being proactive about your business.

(Related: How to grow your business using LinkedIn)

“Leaders put a priority on time outside of their business. They don’t just spend their entire day responding and reacting to the problems that are thrown at them,” Green says. “They are proactive. They sit down and think about, ‘How do I get better? How do I put myself out of business?'”

Success is a Habit

In his own life, Green has prioritized 5 keys areas: Faith, Family, Faculty, Fitness and Finances.

He makes it a habit to practice his growth in each of those areas daily, then ends the week by having a meeting with himself to review his progress.

“So on Friday I have a meeting with myself … my own personal review,” he says. “On Friday I tell my next week how much time I need to spend on each of those five F’s. I go in and schedule that next week out and I color code it on my calendar.

Then, when I sit down at that following Friday meeting with myself, I just look and I say, ‘Did I get it done? Did I spend enough time with my family? Did I exercise as many times as I said I was gonna exercise? Did I do my bible study? Did I go to church? Did I spend any time, you know, on the big projects at work?’ I do an assessment. That’s a habit for me that has served me really well.”

Love it or loathe it, Green is right – healthy habits and routines are the stuff of success both professionally and personally!