New Year’s Resolutions get a bad rap each year – there is always more hype on how we won’t keep our resolutions, rather than how we can. However, the biggest benefit I get out of pondering resolutions, is precisely that– it forces me to take the time out to reflect – and it’s always enlightening to see what rises to the top and what I commit to.
We can all get caught up in the day-to-day operations of our organizations and before we know it life tends to pass by year to year without us taking the time to reflect on what we may want our personal corporate legacy to be this year.
So what are those things that you would like to be doing differently at the end of 2015? Something that would make you a better leader, make you feel good about your organization, or make the company a better place to work?
Here are some possibilities to get you started:
Commit to Stay Connected:
As the company has grown do you feel distanced from the goings-on at your organization? Or maybe you feel connected to your management team, but haven’t really spent quality time talking to anyone below that level in ages? Have you noticed some changes in your organization, but have not fully explored what is really going on? One resolution might be to commit to connecting in a meaningful way, somehow or with someone, on a weekly basis. It doesn’t have to be planned or a formal activity, just a commitment to seek out ways to connect rather than running out of the conference room as soon as the meeting is over.
Commit to Communicate your Values:
Our values are unique to us. They result from who we are and our experiences in life and they guide our thinking and decisions every day. However, not everyone understands what our individual values are, and therefore can’t always relate to or follow the decisions and actions we take. As a leader in the organization your values greatly influence the values of the company – take time out with your leadership team to discuss and articulate your values and discuss how they influence the values of your business, and then communicate them. A company with shared values will always perform best.
Commit to Seek Out Information:
People love to share their opinions and expertise. Be curious. Think of something each month that you want to know more about in your organization and spend a month asking various people about that topic. It could be to ask for feedback on the companywide meeting, or what one thing would help them be more effective on their job or why do they like working here. The possibilities are endless, and the information priceless!
Commit to Be a Champion of Change:
If there is a change you want to see take the initiative to champion it by talking about it, explaining it, rewarding good examples, understanding why when it doesn’t, and making sure that your are the #1 role model. You’ll be amazed at how people will follow your lead!
Commit to Delegate More:
Delegation has been called one of the most difficult management skills to master. Why? Maybe because we feel no one can do it as well as we can … or if I give that responsibility up what will I do … or if I delegate how will I know what is going on? On the other hand, delegation is one of the most effective motivational tools because it allows others the opportunity to gain new skills.
If you want to delegate more, start by identifying things you wish you had time to do now; then think about the things you could take off your plate to free up that time to do so. Once you do that it will probably be easy to determine who is ready for more responsibility – just make sure you transition effectively so that you both feel comfortable taking on and letting go of the new roles.
Commit to Strengthen your Leadership Team
How is your Leadership Team working together? Are you all on the same page? Are there some simmering relationship issues that flare up occasionally? Are there behaviors that have become status quo?
Members of a successful leadership team trust and depend upon each other, constructively debate issues, back down when appropriate, speak up or hold accountable as necessary and are fully committed to the same organizational goals. Take the time to evaluate how your Leadership Team stands against those ideals.
Commit to Ask for Feedback:
When’s the last time you asked someone for feedback on you? Not everyone is going to volunteer it to you, and not many have a formal opportunity to give it, so why not ask? You could ask about something specific like “how could I improve ____?” or something more general such as “what advice do you have for me in 2015?” And whether you like the feedback or not, make sure to recognize it as the valuable insight it is, and be gracious and thank them for giving it, or they never will again!
Commit to Debrief 2014 Lessons Learned
The end of the year is always a great time to get a group together and reflect on where the organization started at the beginning of the year and where it is now. You’ll be surprised at all the successes and better informed on how to build on those successes going forward.
Commit to Set a Personal Development Goal
What’s something you want to do for you this year? It could be taking steps so you can take more time off, or joining a CEO Forum so you can bounce ideas off of colleagues. Whatever it is, make it something you want to do for you, and make it a reality!
I hope these suggestions have stimulated some ideas for setting your Leadership Resolutions! And remember, just the process of reflecting is always enlightening in itself!