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Everything related to your career is a process, and what you do now will have far-reaching effects on your future. That’s why being intentional about your daily work habits is essential, perhaps even more so for young would-be leaders just getting started. No matter what your job title is today, by focusing on the small things, you can hone your leadership skills and put your career on the right track.

Which work habits are most beneficial to cultivate? Below, 10 business and career coaches from Forbes Coaches Council share their recommendations — and a few words of advice too.

Clockwise from top left: Name, Tina, Name, Name..
Clockwise from top left: Wendi Weiner, Tina Dietz, Andy Drish, Bill Gardner, Carmen Bolanos, Rey Castellanos, Pat Rigsby, Dave Ursillo, Jen Kelchner and Cha Tekeli.

1. Develop a Definitive Career Plan

Young leaders should create a definitive path or plan that encompasses a timeline of goals in order to properly meet each goal. Young leaders should also identify their interests and best qualities to remain in tune with their skills. This can enable a young leader to recognize how to advance each particular skill and to ensure alignment of his/her career within the realm of his/her best assets. – Wendi Weiner, JD, NCRW, CPRW, CCM, The Writing Guru

2. Expand Your Circle of Influence

The people who currently surround you and influence you may not be the people who are best positioned to help you develop your leadership potential. Every day, reach beyond your current circle of influence to connect with leaders you admire. This can be through any medium — social media, books, networking events, workshops, mentoring and coaching. Elevate your network to elevate your performance. – Tina Dietz, StartSomething/Tina Dietz Business Development

3. Create Your “Top Three” Each Moring

The highest leverage activity any leader can do is know their priorities and stick to them. Each morning, figure out your “top three” goals for the day so you’re proactively moving toward them and not getting trapped in “reactive” activities. – Andy Drish, The Foundation

4. Reflect

Establish a habit of reflecting/thinking about what happened, what you did and what you learned as often as possible. No matter how great a leader you become, you will still be learning, and learning comes from reflection. In today’s busy work environment, you can get caught up in activity traps and not find time to stop and think. Make time! Write it down or not, but always reflect and learn. – Bill Gardner, Noetic Outcomes Consulting, LLC

5. Review and Plan

Take 10 minutes at the end of each day to review and write down the actions you accomplished and plan the actions for the next day. Those few minutes of reflection and planning will allow you to learn about yourself, as well as hit the ground running the following morning. The “mind dump” will also allow you to go home with a clear head and enjoy your free time. – Carmen Bolanos, Carmen Bolanos Coaching

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