Leadership resolutions for a successful 2019

You can’t predict everything that will happen in 2019, but it’s a safe bet that change and uncertainty will continue to be major themes. It’s also safe to assume that your leadership will be critical for success. With that in mind, here are some leadership resolutions for the coming year.

CREDIT: an edited version first seen on the Center for Creative Leadership website

Stay healthy
Your personal performance – and, therefore, your effectiveness as a leader – is heavily influenced by your health. Healthier people have more energy, can think more clearly, focus for longer periods and are less likely to get sick.

There are 4 key practices:
• Eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet.
• Get adequate, high-quality sleep.
• Engage in physical activity regularly.
• Manage pressure so it doesn’t turn into negative stress.

Succeed at digital learning
Being a leader doesn’t mean you have all the answers but leaders must continue to acquire new skills, new areas of knowledge and new leadership tools. With limited time and resources, some of that learning will take place via digital learning. So how can you make the most of your time?

First, make sure you commit. Set real deadlines and block out time on your calendar.

Second, practice the new skill or find a way to apply your new knowledge. Real learning doesn’t happen until you actually use it.

And third, celebrate your success. This reinforces the value of ongoing learning.

Stop wasting time in meetings
How can you make sure that the meetings you set are productive?
1. Only hold a meeting if it’s necessary. Ask, ‘Can this be handled via email?’
2. Make sure all attendees are really present. Invite only those required and enforce behaviour standards to keep everyone engaged.
3. Decide in advance what the purpose of the meeting will be and how you’ll achieve its goals.

Make better group decisions
We’ve all heard that several minds are better than one, but making good decisions as a group is challenging. Here’s how groups can make better decisions about things such as work processes:
1. Define the task.
2. Choose the best-fit for decision-making.
3. Set decision-making criteria.
4. Brainstorm at least three options.
5. Select the best alternative using the agreed-upon method.
6. Develop action plans.
7. Take action.
8. Evaluate decision effectiveness.
9. Repeat until complete.

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Support your colleagues in their development efforts
Professional development is important for everyone. Research has found that the primary predictor of the success of leadership development programmes is the degree to which participants’ leaders support them.
So how can you support your people?
• Set the stage for an effective programme by discussing with your direct reports their goals — areas they should focus on and how they can get the most out of each opportunity.
• Give them permission to focus fully on the training by allowing them to fully disengage from normal responsibilities.
• Find out what support they’ll need when they return.
• Follow-up after the training by meeting with your team members to discuss what they learned, how they’ll apply it and what you can do to continue supporting them.

Lead your team through change
Change is the one thing we can be certain of. For leaders, it’s also a virtual certainty you’ll need to lead your team through change. Even when leaders and organisations know what the change is, they may still hesitate, fail to act, or act slowly. Here’s how to overcome the inertia:
• Know what you want to achieve.
• Observe the current state of your team or organisation.
• Accept that this is where things are and that change won’t happen unless you take action.
• Communicate your intent and why — again, again and again.
• Demonstrate your personal commitment to the change.
• Offer a better vision based upon your intent.
• Reward those who move forward.

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