As leaders, the new year is a perfect opportunity to reevaluate our practices, habits and progress. It gives us a chance to look back at the last year with fresh eyes and discover the changes we need to make and consider how we can make those changes a reality. The new year provides a fresh start by giving us time to step back and set new goals and aspirations for the coming year.
Developing new, healthy leadership practices is the key to starting your new year off right. Doing so will help to ensure that the goals you make as a leader are tangible, realistic, beneficial and sustainable. But what are the leadership practices that will help you in this process?
Here are five practices to help you start your new year in leadership off right.
1. Evaluate your progress.
Honestly examining your progress as a leader takes humility and courage because, while it can be a very rewarding experience, it can also be discouraging as you face criticism or look over past failures. However, assessing how far you have come in the last year both personally and professionally is an essential first step to making plans for the next year. By doing so, you’ll be able to see how you’ve succeeded and where you’ve failed, and learn how you can improve on those failures.
2. Consult your team.
Asking for feedback is always crucial in the workplace, especially when you are trying to learn from your mistakes. Your team can recognize ways that you can improve as a leader that you might not see yourself. Consider hosting a team meeting and opening up the conversation for them to share their perspective on the last year. Ask for feedback on your leadership and their assessment of your habits and character. Invite their input on your team’s progress and the organization’s processes as a whole so you can make changes going into the new year. Doing so will help you to come up with strategic plans and know you have your team’s support.
3. Set new goals.
Once you evaluate your context and consult your team about necessary organizational changes, you will be able to set new goals for the upcoming year. First, determine if your previous goals are still relevant to your organization, or if it would be more beneficial to begin working toward new goals to better fit your current context. In order to begin making new goals, examine your processes, reevaluate old goals, and look for ways to be innovative. Doing so will help you on your path to making new, achievable goals.
4. Constantly improve.
As a leader, it is essential that you continue your personal and organizational growth throughout the year. You can continue working on those blind spots your team brought up, adjusting your leadership style to fit your team’s needs, and implementing a strategy to prepare for next year’s goals. Consider consulting other leaders and continually evaluating your progress into the new year. Doing so will help you reach your goals and make your job in the new year easier.
5. Be more empathetic.
While making strategic plans is essential to a leader’s job, it is also important to not put too much pressure on yourself and your coworkers. You can be passionate and motivated about coming alongside your team and working on your new agenda, but keep in mind that there will still be mistakes along the way. Practice empathy by giving yourself and your team room to adjust to new demands. Doing so will help you keep your hopes at a reasonable standard and guarantee that your objectives for the new year are realistic and attainable.
Healthy leadership begins with healthy practices. Be determined to start fresh and don’t let your past shortcomings intimidate you. Instead, learn from your mistakes and build a firm foundation with your team based on what you learned. From there, you and your team will be able to go into the new year with a foundation built on mutual trust, honesty and respect.
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