A new year is a time when we assess where we have been and look to what the future will bring. We think about past performances and how we can do things better.
Don’t Let Employees Off the Hook
It is your job as a leader to apply pressure responsibly. If an employee comes to you with a list of reasons of why they couldn’t get a task done, it’s easy to let them off the hook. However if you do this, people will take advantage of your leniency. Instead, set clear expectations of what employees need to get done, and hold them accountable if they fail to complete a task.
Refocus the Spotlight
Leaders are excellent observers, but it is hard to observe if you’re in the spotlight. Start to hold regular one-on-ones with your team. Use the time to discuss concerns, opportunities, progress on goals and development, and also celebrate their achievements. One-to-ones can be weekly or even monthly. As long you carve out time to put the focus back on your team.
Get to the Heart of the Matter
Don’t ask questions that just skim the surface of an issue. Ask the tough questions that allow you to face reality, test your assumptions, identify weaknesses, and improve actions. Organizations comfortable with confrontation and challenges perform better than those who avoid the difficult questions.
Simply Say “Well Done”
Evje says these two words carry positive influence when offered genuinely and on time. We all like to be acknowledged and are encouraged by the recognition. It costs nothing and makes a world of difference.
Embrace Uncertainty and Fear
When uncomfortable conversations or decisions come up, it’s easy to shy away. Yet it’s the sensations of discomfort that signal a need for preparation, Evje says. Uncertainty can help generate the energy required for action. Leaders need to accept uncertainty, embrace change, stay on course, and move forward to achieve their organization’s purpose.
Decide What to Do and What to Let Go
What to do and what to let go are of equal importance when leaders make decisions. “Making the time to decide what is better left unaddressed will maintain your focus on the wider view and more important tasks,” says Evje.
Give Yourself a Break
If you don’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of your team? Leaders need time for themselves to unlock their own potential and use that self-knowledge to surround themselves with the right people. It takes a bit of courage to do things your own way and retain a bit of personality.
A new year is the perfect opportunity to evaluate our leadership skills and think of how we can be more effective. It brings great opportunities for new goals, commitments, and plans.
What other skills will you work towards in the New Year?