Leadership Resolutions for 2021

Leadership Resolutions for 2021

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we as leaders can’t control everything, and just when we have a plan, external factors can disrupt that plan entirely in a matter of seconds.  It’s a safe bet that more change and uncertainty will continue in 2021. In addition, it’s a safe bet that focusing on and inspiring our people will be the only constant thing in our span of control as leaders of our people, who are looking to us to be their “North Star” in the eye of the storm.

Here are some leadership resolutions as we head into a new year.

  1. Know thyself
    • As a leader, one of the most important competency for you to master is self-awareness.  Understand your natural leadership tendencies, when those work for you, and when they don’t.  Be aware of the impact of your communication and leadership styles, and be adaptable in your approach to maximize effectiveness. 

    • I teach leaders influence and situational leadership, and it is a skill often ignored in the leadership development playbooks.  In my opinion, it is the foundation. 

  2. Read the room
    • Leaders who can read the situation and the people involved are more influential and effective.  As a leader, you are judged by your impact, not your intentions.  Impact starts with your ability to read the room. 

  3. Navigate change
    • Navigating change requires you to pause, read the field ahead, seek perspective of others, make decisions, then explain why to your employees frequently. 

  4. Foster a culture of innovation
    • Innovation comes from a culture of psychological safety, where employees feel comfortable questioning decisions, even yours, and holding each other accountable. 

  5. Delegate and empower others
    • Make sure you are delegating with intention, assigning tasks to the people who are aligned to provide the most value to the team and the task at hand.  When you delegate to the capable, empowerment becomes easier.

  6. Develop employees
    • Empowering employees sounds nice…It only works when employees feel confident in their skills and are equipped to perform.  You must develop employees, so they can rise to the occasion. 

  7. Build resilience
    • Build personal resilience.  Build team resilience.  Build organizational resilience.

    • Building resilience requires action verbs, not adjectives.

      • Anticipate.
      • Lead.
      • Empower.
      • Assess.
      • Pivot.

2020 demanded new skills and for leaders to step up their leadership game, and I am so happy to see so many leaders embrace the challenge!  We spent much of 2020 helping our clients hone their leadership skills, while evaluating our own selves.

We spent a lot of time listening and helping our clients face the uncertainty in their businesses, while facing uncertainty in our own business.   We pivoted our entire learning environment quickly to a virtual world of connection.  It was a year of learning all around, and I am proud of the collaborative efforts of my team and our clients, and I look forward to more work in 2021.  Remember, leadership is a journey, not a destination, so don’t be too hard on yourself when you have moments where you slip up on resolutions.  It happens.  Be gracious with yourself and others, but keep doing the hard work!

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