Welcoming in a new year brings out mixed feelings for many leaders. We say goodbye to the highs and lows of our previous year accomplishments and flops. We take stock in what we did well and where we may have faced challenges. This process of introspection needs to be conducted with honesty and openness or we will learn little. No need to beat ourselves up for missteps or missed cues but rather look at the lessons and insights to transport to the coming year. Every leader will most certainly have decisions they made that may have led to a failed project or initiative. I am in the process of reflecting on mine as the New Year approaches.Look at this past year's flops and opportunities to reposition your priorities for the New Year.While our salaries, promotions and revenue tell one side of our past year achievements, leaders must also consider how they grew and what they learned. Without considering both sides of the leadership coin we miss out on how to best direct our leap into the New Year.
Here are six leaps for leaders in the New Year:
1. Develop A Real Marketing/Branding Plan
An important part of a leader’s professional plan is devising a marketing strategy either for their business or for their leadership. For leaders to market themselves or their businesses it is essential to:
- Create a vision statement that demonstrates where you are headed. It should reflect your purpose or your “why” of leading. Remember a vision statement can evolve and doesn’t need to be the exact same as the previous year.
- Design goals that will enable you to accomplish your vision. Include timeframes and steps.
- Clarify who your customers are as well as their needs.
- Consider the world and workplace conditions surrounding you.
- Keep the plan visible to keep checking back to and revising if needed.
- The New Year is a natural time for leaders to develop a marketing plan that clearly points how they will leap forward.
2. Commit To Learning New Skills
A big and empowering leap for leaders in a New Year is to ask themselves what areas they want to explore to enhance their leadership. What would make your leadership strategy more complete to reach your goals? Maybe it is time to learn more about crafting impactful videos. Perhaps there is a soft skill that you never learned along the way but would make a huge difference in your career or business. Whatever it is research some ways to add that skill to your leadership toolbox.
3. Decide On A Strategy To Grow Your Network
This is one leap that I face each New Year as I always enjoy expanding my network of people. There are a bunch of ways to go about meeting up with new leaders. Some are more obvious while others are more creative. A few I can share are:
- Choose a conference that is fascinating for you to attend. The conference may be one in your field of work or an interest that you have wanted to pursue.
- Ask someone who you have met online to meet offline. Set up a zoom call and share your experiences.
- Participate in a TweetChat where leaders like you share their ideas and suggestions. Look up TweetChats that discuss interesting topics for you.
- Ask a colleague to make an introduction to someone who you have wanted to talk with about career choices.
4. Prepare How You Will Share Your Gifts
We all have our strengths and talents, yet some of us are more willing to share them than others. In this New Year offer to help someone grow in their position by mentoring them. Maybe present at a team meeting some new ways to approach old challenges. Others will be grateful for your sharing.
5. Join A New Group
Be a leader outside of your workplace in this coming year. Think about different groups you could join or volunteer. Volunteering cannot only be rewarding but also a great place to grow leadership skills. Some places to look for groups are:
- Local town committees.
- Non-profit organizations with missions that are meaningful to you.
- LinkedIn groups where like-minded leaders share comments.
- Religious institutions that could use your leadership skills.
6. Let Your Compassion Out
Finally to leap into the New Year leaders need to remind themselves of the importance of being compassionate towards others in their personal and professional lives. When we lead with compassion we bring out the humanity in both ourselves and in others. Lead with compassion in this New Year. What additional leadership leaps are you planning to take in the New Year? If you would like some guidance or more suggestions for leaping into 2020 please let me know.
Related: How Gratitude Impacts Organizations