The truth is, you can’t always choose what you show up to, but you can always choose how you show up.
A Powerful Exercise to Set Yourself Up for a Successful 2019
One of the very best ways to set yourself up for a successful 2019 is to take a minute. Stop and really think about what your team needs from you at a deeper level. Of course, if you haven’t done so in a while, ask. A Do It Yourself 360 is always a powerful choice.
You can also try this.
Close your eyes.
Take a minute to imagine each member of your team, one at a time. If they were totally honest with you, what would they say they need?
I did this exercise back in 2012 when I was still in my executive role at Verizon (and during the first year of my blog). Here’s what I said in that letter to myself*.
Here are the things we need most from you as a leader.
- Establish a trusted place at the table–the more credibility you have at the senior levels, the more you can advocate for what we need to accomplish.
- Say the tough things that need to be said. Nudge us to do that too.
- Be transparent about what is going on. Trust us with the real story.
- Help us understand how you think and process. Let us in your head.
- Build a strong and diverse team. Let us hash out our differences without getting involved.
- Care deeply about our careers and help us to grow. Continue to support us after you have moved to the next role.
- Encourage us to take risks. Be gentle when we fail.
- Tell us when you screw up. Maybe we can avoid the same landmines.
- Give us direct and candid feedback—but sugarcoat it a bit more than you sometimes do).
- Come to the field with us, roll up your sleeves and get involved. That’s how you will learn.
- But, don’t get too involved. We’ve got this.
- Let us use your energy strategically, in recognition and in large events.
- Role model work-life balance. Be interested in, and support us in our outside lives
*excerpt from my 2012 post: I’m going to sit right down and write myself a letter.
As you set yourself up for a successful 2019, I encourage you to sit right down and write yourself a letter too.