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4 Habits to Becoming an Exceptional Leader your Team Admires

Written by: Gabriella DeLorenze, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Before you can lead, your success is found in growing yourself, so when you step into leadership, you’ll find success in growing others. Being a great leader means you can see your team — the vision/goal at hand, and without bullying, timidness, or arrogance. You can delegate with compassion, offer solutions, and boost each individual's self-esteem in front of you.

Warren Bennis states that “the most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That's nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” Bennis teaches us that yes, in fact, becoming a leader requires self-work and self-inquiry and, most of all, practice. This fact may also offer hope for you during your quest for leadership. As your leadership skills evolve, it becomes more and more effortless and your ability to lead a diverse group will expand!

Becoming a leader isn’t rocket science. It just takes practice. The following 4 Habits to Step into Leadership aren’t going to be easy – that’s the best part about true leaders. They’re in it for the long run, for the nitty and gritty, and the group's betterment and themselves.

Tip: Only begin to implement these habits when you’re ready to change,

get uncomfortable and put in the work.

Before you begin, I invite you to write down your motivation for wanting to evolve in the first place. Write it on a sticky note and place it where it will act as a constant reminder. This will be your anchor in your leadership journey. Why do you want to step into leadership? How will leadership change you?

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

The 3rd law of physics, the law of attraction and karma, all these say the same thing, "You attract what you are. "

1. Implement Daily Check In’s

This should be done at a personal level and at a team level. Each morning before going to work, identify how you feel. Thinking about the day ahead, identify how you need to feel.

Example: You wake up tired/angry. On your schedule is a 9 am meeting with a new prospective client. You need to show up happy and excited about your offer.

Please note: I will NEVER tell you not to feel your emotions. Sometimes, especially with work, we need to spin them a little!

The next step is to try a tangible tool to help assist your energy shift. Remember, energy can never be created nor destroyed, but it can be altered. What makes you feel energized and excited? For me, it’s movement — dancing, yoga, weightlifting, a brisk walk, and the likes.

This sounds a lot like a morning ritual/routine, and it is exactly that! Carve out time, first thing to check in with yourself. Then, as you get to work and begin your day with your team, check in with them! Develop a relationship with your team deeper than “How are you today?” “Good, thanks, and you?” This will hold both you and your team accountable, boost team morale, and overall, enhance productivity!

Never in the history of people being told to relax has anyone actually relaxed. Asking someone if they’re stressed out does not cause them to release stress. Most likely, it just causes them to claim the stress you just placed on them!

2. Learn How to Ask the Right Questions

Remember a time when someone gave you unsolicited advice. You may have found yourself either upset, rolling your eyes, or moving into your sympathetic nervous system aka fight or flight, and noticing your patterns of protection showing up — defensive, critiquing, blaming, walking away, etc.

As a leader, it’s imperative to never assume anything. You’ve hired a group of talented, hardworking individuals. That’s, in fact, why you’re paying them! Allow them to shine in their areas of expertise. One of the simplest ways I know how to do this is to ask multiple, simple, open-ended questions vs. leading or assuming questions.

Put Into Action: Ask questions that start with why, how, what, when, or where, followed by another question. You’re never finishing anyone’s sentences nor making assumptions.

Example: “What’s the topic for our next speaking gig?”

Answer: “Why was that chosen?”

Answer: “How do you envision the presentation going?”

Example: You notice one of your teammates is stressed.

Simply ask, “How are you?” vs. “Are you stressed out?” The “are” assumes and also gifts them that emotion to embody. It’s much more empowering to feel your emotion and call it vs. disagree with someone, especially someone in a leadership position.

By phrasing your questions more simply, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of each person on your team as well as their intentions/visions. Then, you have the opportunity to do what you do best, LEAD! Not only can you now change, adapt and pivot anything you need, you have a much clearer understanding of your teammates and how they think and feel.

How can you ever know how to treat someone or offer constructive feedback if you don’t get to know them. Ask them what makes them tick and how they best receive praise?

3. Get to Know your Team

We were all raised differently and experienced a multitude of various triumphs, tribulations, and traumas. Therefore, we all receive praise, constructive criticism and feel love differently.

According to Gary Chapman, there are 5 love languages for romantic partners:

1. Physical Touch

2. Words of Affirmation

3. Gifts

4. Quality Time

5. Acts of Service

The same is true for business teams:

1. Enneagram

2. Human design

3. Astrology/Zodiac sign (Sun & Moon signs)

4. Love Language (How to Receive Praise)

5. Myers Briggs (Or another Personality Test)

Learn how you and each individual on your team is motivated, receives praise, constructive criticism (and yes, always constructive), encouragement, etc. Share this information and discuss with your team about each other, especially those who work closely together on projects. This will boost team morale and help each teammate feel aligned, heard, and seen each day. If we attract what we are, there is no way a company feels this good can fail.

We react from where we’ve been. We respond from where we want to go.

4. Learn How to Respond vs. React to Stressful Situations

Often, the way we react to both stressful and happy situations is simply because that’s how we’ve always reacted. It’s in your routine/repertoire. Also, the way you reacted to stressful situations as a 10, 18, 22-year-old definitely no longer serve you.

For me, my reaction was my defensiveness. I would instantly believe that someone was attacking me vs. simply sharing their experience. I would instantly react from a defensive place, stimulating my fight/flight response in my sympathetic nervous system and cause me to feel attacked. I will tell you; this reaction does not serve my highest self.

The work is to find the pause.

When you find yourself in stressful situations, notice how your physical body feels. What thoughts begin to play in your head? Does your jaw clench? Hands turn to fist as if you’re going to battle? Does your breath quicken? Or become shallow?

If you’re ever going to guide people to become a better version of themselves, you need to put in the work first as leaders do.

Notice and call out your patterns of reaction. Begin to practice finding a pause in the form of a breath, a spin of your body, a forward fold, etc. Then, formulate and, with intention, choose a response. If the initial reaction has already taken place, still find your pause, create the intentional awareness and choose your response. Play it fully out in your head. You’ll be ready next time!

Becoming a leader involves doing the hard work so you can learn to effortlessly lead people to show up and be the best version of themselves. No one said it would be easy, but I can promise you it will be worth it!

If you’re looking to dive deeper into the depths of your reactions, please reach out. I’d love to help safely guide you through your being to commence embodying your emotions and step into effortless leadership. If your team is ready for a shift into effortless communication, enhanced team dynamics, and a boost in productivity, please reach out! The Soul to Sole Team would love to help you out!


Gabriella DeLorenze, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Gabby is an intuitive embodiment coach for coaches. She is an athletic trainer with a MED in Biomechanics, a life coach, and an E-RYT/YACEP. Gabby has over a decade of experience healing 500+ souls and 1000’s of hours teaching the mind-body connection through coaching, anatomy, and movement/yoga rehabilitation. Through mindset coaching and facilitating healing your emotional and physical bodies, Gabby will teach you to melt your stress and anxieties so you can start living your healthiest and happiest life. Together, we will find tangible tools to heal old relationships, cultivate self-love and create the space for an abundant life.



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