Ten leadership resolutions for the year ahead

Ten leadership resolutions for the year ahead

While many of us make resolutions in our personal lives to get fit, lose weight or to save more than we spend, the directors of Azure Consulting, Sue Alderson and Sharon Klein say we should make 2016 the year we make a resolution to become better leaders at work.

Here are ten suggestions for resolutions which really could make a positive difference to your leadership style

1.    Focus on strengths

No one is suggesting that you ignore mistakes, but focusing on strengths leads to improved performance among your team members and better results. By making sure you give credit where credit is due and play to each person’s skills and talents, you’ll ensure that your staff have greater levels of satisfaction, fulfilment and engagement.

2.    Make meetings matter

Many of us are probably guilty of scheduling a team meeting every Monday morning or at 11am on Wednesdays for example, but do you always set a goal for each one? Make sure you are focused on what the outcome should be along with what other attendees will be hoping to get from the meeting. To make sure you get the most from it, concentrate on how you want attendees to plan? What do they need to think about in advance? What do they need to bring?

3.    Be open

While good leadership is naturally about being confident in your own ideas and abilities, let everyone know that you are happy to be challenged. If your team don’t feel comfortable pitching in with alternative suggestions, you may miss out on some great ideas.

4.    Embrace difference

An effective leader is one who embraces differences and respects that no everyone will have the same skills and opinions. On the face of it, it may seem easier to work with people of similar styles, thinking and background, but diversity will bring richness and new ways of thinking to your team.

5.    Build relationships

The pace of working life can mean we become too focused on completing tasks rather than on the people who are working on them. It’s vital to invest some of your time and energy into building relationships. Only by finding out about each individual will you know what makes them tick and what would help with their professional development. If you’ve invested in relationships then your staff are more likely to respond to you proactively.

6.    Ask, don’t tell

Leadership isn’t all about a top-down approach. Create a regular diary slot for each member of your team. That way, you get into the habit not just of telling them what you need to happen, but of asking them about what is going well and any help they need to improve, embedding a coaching style into your leadership habits.

7.    Know yourself

As a leader, it’s vital that you concentrate not just on improving your team’s performance and morale, but on your own conduct at work. Seek regular feedback on your performance as a leader, asking about the good and the not-so-good, so you can become even more effective.

8.    Read about leadership

Keep your leadership “saw” sharpened by regularly reading about and researching latest thinking, whether you pick up the latest book from your leadership hero, you sign up to a leadership or coaching newsletter or you click through to a link you’ve spotted on one of your social media networks.

9.    Build trust

Only by being open and honest will you encourage the same from your employees. If you are prepared to admit when you’ve made a mistake and can outline the steps you took to rectify it, you can be sure your employees will not be afraid to come to you if they have a problem.

10.    Be mindful

In any business, it’s necessary to plan for the future, but make sure you aren’t always thinking about tomorrow. Take time to be totally in the moment and focus on what is happening right now, forgetting about going over what has happened or rehearsing what might happen in the future. Pay attention to where you are, what you’re doing or who you’re talking too. If you aren’t fully present during the here and now, you may miss the most valuable moments in your life, both professionally and personally.