Leadership for Life – Eight New Year’s Resolutions

By on January 1, 2015
Eight New Year’s Resolutions

Our Leadership experts will be sharing tips and insights for everyone, at any station in life, at both home and work. Leadership for Life – the skills you embrace represent who you really are at all times.

Well, it’s that time of year again, when we look back on what we did or didn’t accomplish, and make resolutions on how to improve in the future. If you’re like me, you’ve given up on things like, “Lose weight and get more exercise.” Why not resolve to do some things that might actually come about? Here are my suggestions for 2015:

  1. Recognize and reward achievement. It’s the most effective way to build loyalty and a cadre of energetic followers.
  2. Oil the joints. Every organization has friction between the elements of its structure. Great leaders will identify those points of friction early and work toward smoothing them. One of the best ways of doing that is to reduce or eliminate information silos in the organization.
  3. Be the best role model you can be. If you want your followers to do the right thing, show them through your own behavior how to act. You have to walk the talk. When you make decisions, be sure that they are consistent with your personal values and the values of the organization.
  4. Avoid being a hypocrite. Hypocrisy is the quickest way to destroy trust among subordinates.
  5. Whenever possible seek consensus. People who are actively involved in making decisions are most likely to be committed to those decisions, even when they don’t get what they want. When making tough decisions, be open about your rationale, and avoid at all costs saying, “Because I’m the Boss, that’s why!”
  6. Figure out how to reward risk takers, even when they fail. If you make it a habit to punish failure, no one will want to think outside the box, and you’ll get a stagnant organization. If an initiative fails, don’t look for someone to blame – look for a solution to the problem.
  7. Take care of yourself. Stress is a killer. Find ways to get some down time and relax. For some, that means hitting the gym, for others it might mean kicking back with a couple of cold ones. Either way, you have to find ways that reduce your stress level and prevent burn-out.
  8. Be a better communicator. Conflict is often a result of poor communication. Learn to share appropriately your thoughts, feelings and rationale. Ask for help and encourage involvement. Learn to listen and to be empathic. Ask questions instead of giving orders.

Surely one or more of these can prove doable for you in 2015 (Don’t call me Surely). Got any others? It’s not too late to post them. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

About Barry Schapiro

Barry is the Workforce Solutions Group Practice Leader for Leadership and Professional Development. His experience includes delivery and management of business training in a variety of industries, with specialties in leadership, team development, generational diversity, and customer service. Twitter

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