Top 2 new year’s resolutions for leaders

Reflecting back on 2012 and looking forward to 2013, what are the key resolutions you should be committing to? Here are my two suggestions – one for yourself and one for the team:

1 .Seek out regular feedback

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As leaders we are usually practised at giving feedback to others, but often not as comfortable seeking it out for ourselves. Sometimes we only get feedback at performance review time and when the organisation decides to run some form of leadership diagnostic. Although we profess that “feedback is a gift”, sometimes the thought of receiving it ourselves is not a comfortable one. Is this you? Becoming a great leader means leveraging your key strengths and dealing with your weaknesses, and the best way to find out what those are is by seeking out regular feedback. Set aside some diary time every month (or more regularly) to seek feedback. Ask your team, your clients, your manager. Make a list of questions that will draw out genuine and well thought out feedback. Learn to love receiving feedback and don’t forget to action what you learn! Learn to love receiving feedback.

2. Ensure clarity for the team

To function effectively teams need three key things:

  • Clear purpose – absolute clarity on the ultimate objective. I recently saw a documentary on the building of the Formula Rossa rollercoaster at Ferrari World. Every team member, from the project manager to the guy holding ropes was clear – “I am building the fastest roller coaster in the world”, not “I am just holding this guide rope”. Make sure the team really understands the purpose and objective of the business.
  • Clear goals – every team member should be clear on the goals of the team. Something I observe in organisations is that when you drill down to the layers in the business, people become less clear on which goals are the priorities. “We have 20 projects and they are all priority number 1 – we don’t have time to do them all”! This leads to confusion and people waiting for direction. Revisit team and individual goals. If there was only the time and resources to do 3 things, everyone should know what those 3 things are.
  • Clear roles – ensure every team member has a defined role and part to play. You would be surprised how often there is overlap between roles, miscommunication about who is doing what, and doubling up. One example I saw had 2 individuals and an external consultant all working separately, delivering a management framework for a business. The manager had forgotten that he had given the task to each party. Ensure that your team is clear on who does what.

Those are my top 2 suggestions – what leadership resolutions have you made?

Top image: credit

Rosalind Cardinal

Rosalind Cardinal is the Principal Consultant of Shaping Change, a Hobart based consultancy, specialising in improving business outcomes by developing individuals, teams and organisations.

Ros is a solutions and results oriented facilitator and coach, with a career in the Human Resources and Organisational Development field spanning more than 20 years. Ros brings an energetic and proactive approach combined with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Her expertise spans leadership development, organisational culture, team building, change and transition management, organisational behaviour, employee engagement and motivation, strategic direction and management.

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