Perhaps one of the best parts of being an effective leader is knowing that the work you choose to do each day is in alignment with your personal goals and convictions and values.

Such internal synergy can create a sense of great calm—what I like to refer to as the ability to sleep well at night, knowing that everything is as it should be.

Great leaders possess specific mindsets that allow them to rest with ease

Winning Attitudes of Great Leaders

Refuse to Live a Divided Life

Inspiring leaders practice what they preach and follow a holistic approach, taking into account what their organization stands for and what they think is the right thing to do. Many reactive people cannot believe that such an agreement is possible, so they spend their days wrestling with demands that go against their own personal standards.

Examples include being asked to produce inaccurate reports or knowing about the unethical behavior of other managers and doing nothing about it.

Reactive people will feel powerless to do anything about unethical practices. Such inner struggles lead to sleepless nights, and this is why effective leaders refuse to get caught up in such a frustrating environment by:

  • making a difference in the areas they can control; and
  • speaking up about unethical performance

Choose to Do the Right Thing

Effective leaders live their own personal missions, and so when confronted with pressures to make choices that they do not fully stand behind, they do not give in.

Leaders are not afraid to stand up for what they believe is right, and have the courage to act on their convictions.

What I have found is when people act upon their convictions, the results are phenomenal. People have dynamic dialogues, differences of opinion are communicated, and people come to productive conclusions.

People who do not speak up and communicate their convictions cause additional strife and the situation grows into a destructive cycle, one that is disruptive and difficult to get out of.

Practice Ethical Behavior at all Times

Even when no one is looking, ethical leaders are doing the right things. Unconcerned with what others think of their choices, they opt for the high road, rather than the path of least resistance. It’s a part of who they are.

Examples of such ethical leaders and companies exist throughout history, but one that immediately comes to mind is one of my customers that recently made the right call even when it cost them embarrassment and money.

When the company’s product had to be recalled, the leaders made the tough but right decision to be honest with their customers about what they were doing and why, rather than trying to cover it up.

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Though they could have taken steps to protect their brand at all costs, they chose instead to put public safety first. And as a reward for their honesty, their brand has since become even more trusted by consumers.

While doing the right thing might be difficult and expensive in the beginning, in the long run, the paybacks can be significant.

Rewards for Standing Up

Ethical leaders gain their own individual “paybacks” for their integrity and for their principled choices. Not the least of these is the absence of negativity, or those who would conspire to work against the leader and make the culture of the workplace hostile and uninviting.

On the contrary, because team members know that “this leader” has tenacity and will make the choices that are right for all of them, they offer their full backing, support, and good-will.

Leaders know how invaluable help from others can be, particularly when making tough decisions. In fact, it is just another part of the mindset that helps them rest easy at night because they know that whatever will arise tomorrow, they will be able to face it head on and solve it in the quickest and most beneficial way possible.

Restful Takeaways

Great leaders bring a sense of ease and fun to even the most difficult situations by keeping their calm, remaining optimistic, and feeling confident in their actions.

Such an atmosphere keeps the “people problems” at bay and allows for freed-up time that leaders can use to pursue their passion.

Great leaders attract success and earn every penny they make. But despite their achievements, they tend to focus more on the needs and wants of others than on themselves.

Great leaders sleep soundly at night because of their ability to live a well-rounded, ethical lifestyle. They are not plagued by worries or doubts.

By making the right choices every day, they create a mindset of confidence and optimism for themselves, and awake each day knowing that things will happen for the best.

How Can Great Leaders Get a Good Night’s Sleep?

  • What have done to ensure you are sleeping well at night?
  • What situations have you had where you had to make tough choices?

Let us know so we can learn from you. Thanks!

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Dr. Mary Kay
Dr. Mary Kay is a business leadership strategist, executive coach, trainer, author, and founder of the About Leaders community and drMaryKay.com. She’s consulted with hundreds of companies and trained thousands of leaders. Her Ultimate Leader Online course helps managers become more confident, decisive leaders. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
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