7 Tips for Effective Leadership

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Let the great adventure begin! We are one month into the new year. I am sure many leaders have lists of resolutions to achieve in 2019. I pretty much gave up making resolutions years ago. However, there are a few things I encourage leaders do at the beginning of a new year.

1. Refresh your Personal Mission Statement

Personal mission statements provide leaders with a constant reminder of who they are and what is important to them. As we grow in leadership our perspectives about leading change. Since many leaders use mission statements to ground them it is a good idea to review it at the beginning of a new year. Check in with yourself to ensure you lead with head, heart and spirit. Knowing yourself and consistent alignment with your values is the foundation for successful leadership.

2. Hit the Reset Button with Your Team

A high trust/high performing team is a leader’s most valuable asset. Given this, it is important to never take them for granted. Hosted a meeting review last year? Invite them to discuss successes, challenges and ideas for improving the team in the new year. Make specific plans for recognizing their hard work on a monthly basis. When asked, employees desire clear expectations, opportunities to provide feedback and to be thanked for all they do to help a company succeed.

3. Seek Feedback About Your Leadership

Feedback is the breakfast of champions for leaders. Ask trusted advisors and colleagues to share how they experience your leadership. Invite them to give specific feedback by responding to what they think you should start, stop and continue doing in the new year. Leaders who don’t seek feedback often live with a self-deluding illusion about who they are. This feedback provides an opportunity for self-correction and growth.

4. Develop a Professional Development Blueprint

Leaders who believe they are done changing…ARE DONE! Whether you are an emerging or an established leader there is always something new to learn. In fact, willingness to keep developing professionally is a behavior that inspires others to trust you. Review your position description and performance evaluations. What do these documents tell you about opportunities for growth and development? Is your work requiring you to develop new skills? If you answer yes to these questions, this is where to begin developing a blueprint for ongoing development as a leader.

5. Begin Legacy Building Now

Leaders have a responsibility to identify and develop new generations of leaders. Commit to mentor at least two high potential employees in your company. Be strategic in your selection of these individuals. Trend data indicates 85% of new entrants into the workforce will be millennial, female and minority. Consider mentoring someone who may not traditionally be seen as next in line to lead. There are many hidden treasures who go unnoticed because of rules related to who gets to lead in companies. Be a game changer! Build your legacy by developing emerging leaders who can grow into the new face of leadership.

6. Practice Work-Life Counterbalance

Leadership is exhausting! In order to remain effective, leaders must practice self-care. There is no such thing as work-life balance. However, it is possible and necessary to counterbalance the demands of leadership on work and home. You can’t be effective if you are a tired, stressed empty vessel. Build into your weekly schedule at least one hour per day to rest, reflect and rejuvenate.

7. Trust Yourself

It is no accident you’ve been chosen to lead. You are built for this assignment and are more than capable of achieving business outcomes. There will be times when you experience a crisis of confidence. It is part of leading and happens to every leader. When this happens remember who you are and why you chose to lead. Reflect on strategies used to overcome past challenges. Review your successes and…. Press on! You can do this. You have been doing it. This is your season to lead.

I hope these tips enable you to lead with confidence, competence, courage and calm in 2019. Make this year the very best it can be. Take a deep breath. Be proud of you. Let the great adventure of a new year begin.

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