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New Year’s Resolutions Every Leader Should Consider

Posted by Louellen Essex on January 2, 2014 in Leadership

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to set new goals for yourself. Dedication to continual learning and improvement is the mark of a good leader who understands that remaining stagnant is not an option. Think about how best to maximize your strengths and overcome barriers to your effectiveness. Contemplate what your staff members and colleagues need that they may not be getting from you. Here are some resolutions you might consider in 2014.

Update your knowledge about leadership.
Perhaps some of your ways of thinking are outdated and could use a make over. Are you attempting to motivate staff in a one-dimensional way, rather than considering what each generation might need and want? Have you been sluggish to embrace new technologies to communicate, thereby frustrating those with whom you work? Are you clinging to face-to-face communication as your preferred mode of interaction when virtual options abound? Make a commitment to read leadership publications more frequently, searching for new ways of doing things. that can increase your leadership effectiveness. Target seminars, conferences, and webcasts that can make your leadership savvy a little stronger.

Frequently self-reflect.
Pause more often in 2014 to think about what you are doing. Ask what is working well. Mull over what is not particularly effective. Think about what you are doing that you really don’t need to do. Notice what’s not being said and hypothesize why. Set aside some time each day to mentally debrief, discovering what new awareness each day can bring.

Learn to be proficient at managing change.
There is no evidence that the rate of change will slow down. The need for change will most likely accelerate. Focus on how to lead change efforts more deliberately. Develop a process you can use and refine to achieve maximum efficiency. Make sure it engages your staff to be an active part of the change effort, remembering that people will embrace change more readily, and resist less, when it’s done with them, not to them.

Become more curious.
Curious leaders ask good questions. They are eager to learn about others’ opinions and ideas, even if they are not sure they agree. They are attentive and focused when listening to others, genuinely interested in a wide spectrum of ideas. They explore new points of view by probing deeply. Try talking a little less, while concentrating on what those around you are doing and saying.

Think more strategically.
Rather than going about your day with a familiar routine, think about why you are doing what you are doing. For example, there are many approaches to facilitating ongoing staff meetings. Would a different way create better results? A different way implies a different strategy. For each goal you want to attain, there are multiple paths to get there. Choose the strategies that are most aligned with your organization’s goals, your personal strengths, and the opportunities you might capture for changing-up your method.

Of course, most New Year’s resolutions are never realized. Increase your odds of success by choosing just one that you can truly make happen. Flag your calendar quarterly to remind yourself to review your progress. At the end of 2014, you might just find you are one of the few who succeeded in implementing your leadership resolution. Happy 2014!

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In these times of rapid change, leaders can never stop learning.”

Dr. Louellen Essex