With a new year comes the need for updates to your strategic plan. The business revisits its vision. New goals are set. Yet what about you? More specifically, what about your leadership? In the hustle of preparing the business for a new year, too many of us overlook how we'll lead others to accomplish new goals.
So, take a moment, grab a cup of coffee, and read through the items below. Your aim is to identify two to three that will help you and your team be successful in the new year. Choose the acts of greatness that best align with achieving the new goals you just set.
1. Give 'em a break. In other words, give your employees some space after work. Don't email them. Don't send them a Slack or text message. Let employees have a mental break from thinking about work. This way they'll come back recharged and ready to tackle their work.
2. Add white space to your calendar. It's not productive to avoid taking breaks while working. Physically block time on your calendar to go for a walk, or go to lunch with a new colleague. Protect that time like it's a meeting.
3. Network. Get out and meet new people in your company, in your industry. This will introduce new thinking and expand your understanding of the business. Both are invaluable to accomplishing great things.
4. Keep your one-on-ones. It's easy to cancel or reschedule one-on-ones. Unfortunately, it signals to the other person that they're not a priority. It's vital to connect regularly with employees and know what's going on in their world and with their work.
5. Bring people together. It's human nature to want to connect with others; when we do this, bonds are deepened. Teamwork is positively influenced. A sense of belonging to a team helps people do their best work.
6. Leverage your strengths. A strengths philosophy focuses on doing work that energizes you. When your talents, skills, and enthusiasm for a task come together, you'll experience greater fulfillment in and with your work.
7. Revisit your team's purpose. Have an intentional conversation about how your team's purpose aligns with the goals set by the company. You could even evaluate your team's purpose against the company values. Use something of significance to revisit why your team exists: it's not just to mark off items on a to-do list.
8. Identify and define your values. Doing meaningful work is best facilitated by knowing what you stand for. When you know your values, you can make clearer choices about what you want to do with your career. If one of your values is creativity, and your work lacks it,you won't find much meaning in your work. It's either time to be more creative in your current role or find a new one.
9. Create positive outcomes. For many people, work is a drag;it can be a soulless place where dreams die. Play an active part in employees' professional development. Help someone get on a high-visibility project. Connect two people who need to know one another because of shared interest. Be a do-gooder.
10. Be more flexible. Where people work matters less and less. Allow employees to work from home or a caf. Give employees greater flexibility in where and when they work.
11. Use the phone more often. Before you fire off an email to a team member or colleague, consider picking up the phone and calling them. It's a personal touch that can lead to higher quality interactions.
12. Give recognition. Employees leave companies because their managers don't recognize performance enough. This isn't in the form of some monetary compensation,it's more simple than that. It's letting an employee know you appreciate the extra time they put in on the project to meet a deadline. It's recognizing a team publicly for their quality work. Recognition is free. Use it more frequently.
13. Take 10 minutes. Peter Aceto, CEO of Tangerine Bank in Canada, takes the first 10 minutes of every meeting to connect with people before diving into the agenda. It helps deepens relationships and shows your humanity.
14. Make meetings 30-minutes long. Expect people to be on point in meetings and be prepared. These two expectations will help you shorten hour long meetings and make them more efficient, showing you respect everyone's time.
15. Set team goals. Move beyond individual goals and set team goals. Unify your team by holding them accountable for achieving team goals linked to important team initiatives. It's hard to celebrate success if success hasn't been defined.
Now that you've identified a few leadership acts of greatness, determine your next two immediate steps for each one. Think about who should be involved. Who needs to know about your choices? What resources will you need? When?
Stellar leaders rely on relationships to get things done. Make 2016 the year of relationships. Here's to getting great things done.