Everything in leadership tends to be big: the vision, the strategy, and all the responsibilities. It makes the idea of improving your leadership one step at a time seem daunting.
But progressive leaders are discovering the power of little things. Progressive leaders are finding that breaking up positive leadership actions into bite-sized daily activities can lead to better results and make all the difference.
That's what I learned from Adam Fridman, founder of ProHabits, who notes that big goals are best achieved with "micro-actions."
These brief micro-actions that usually take no more than two minutes help you make incremental steps towards personal growth. And they're quickly changing the game of leadership development.
According to Jenn Bleil, Vice President of Human Resources at MediRevv, "Frequent actions to connect, coach and lead on a daily or weekly basis build credibility and show that you genuinely care. This regular connection builds trust, strengthens your relationship and establishes behaviors that can be maintained more easily than large gestures that feel forced and ingenuine."
So, if you're a leader focused on growth, committing to daily micro-actions offers an actionable growth strategy for 2020. Here are 20 micro-actions for leaders focused on growth to practice in 2020.
1. Show, don't tell.
Instead of telling your team what the best practices are, lead by example and show your team how it's done.
2. Bring new people into the decision making process.
Ask new, or junior, team members for input on important decisions.
3. Take a small task off your team's plate.
Take on a small task from a team member to show your support.
4. Leverage the unique strengths of different team members.
Take time to find out more about the skills and talents of your team members and consider how they could be utilized.
5. Seek consensus.
Rather than commanding your team, bring an important decision to your team's attention to receive input and ideas before making the final call.
6. Make room for more people to speak.
At a team meeting, directly seek the input of someone who is often spoken over or otherwise not given the opportunity to speak.
7. Seek out feedback.
According to Jim Kouzes, coauthor of The Leadership Challenge, "You should be asking for feedback about how your actions are affecting the performance of others. Self-reflection, the willingness to seek feedback, and the ability to engage in new behaviors based on this information is predictive of future success in managerial jobs."
8. Show gratitude.
Write a thank-you note to someone on your team who's been a major source of support.
9. Reflect on past challenges to confront new ones.
To confront new challenges, it is best to first consider the lessons you've learned from your past leadership hurdles.
10. Take a mindful moment.
Before jumping into your daily workload, take a step back and spend two minutes with your eyes closed, focusing on your breathing.
11. Keep your eye on the why.
Take time before making a leadership decision to determine how planned direction aligns with your purpose as a leader.
12. Replace a bad habit.
Consciously avoid a bad habit by doing something positive instead.
13. Check your motivations for giving feedback.
Before offering feedback, take a moment to understand the reason for your feedback and the best way to deliver it.
14. Point out positive traits in your team members.
Giving praise doesn't cost you much. Find time to offer positive remarks to members of your team.
15. Reflect on the values you represent.
Take time to reflect on whether the values you act on align with the values you hold.
16. Discover your team members' ambitions.
Discover what your team members' goals are and find ways that you can help them achieve these goals.
17. Work the room.
Get up from your desk and take time to say hello to each of your immediate team members.
18. Celebrate small wins with your team.
Look for the small wins to congratulate your team for. Afterall, they're what build up to the big wins later on.
19. Appeal to shared goals.
Communicate the ways that team goals help individual team members achieve their own.
20. Make small progress towards a commitment.
Think of a commitment you've made to a team member, but haven't made good on yet. Make progress in honoring the commitment.