[January 5, 2017] Yes! It’s that time of year again to make resolutions for the New Year.
“New Year’s resolutions are for children, peacocks, and dishonest politicians.” – my Grandmother (as we called her, Bigmama)
Resolutions are, of course, a tradition where we acknowledge we can do better, put them on a short list, and post it perhaps on the refrigerator. Notwithstanding my grandmother’s thoughts on resolutions, most of us do make such lists. Most of us grandkids knew when Bigmama said “peacocks” that she was referring to those who fancy themselves as uncommonly handsome or beautiful. “Dishonest politician” was meant to reinforce her steadfast view of elected officials.
Each of the following senior leader resolutions target a common weakness found in senior leaders. For example, senior leaders are prone to stop mentoring others because they have very good people who can do it (that work for them) and besides, “it’s their turn to do more.” When senior leaders stop mentoring, however, people begin to stray from those core values that make everyone strong and resilient.
Here are ten Senior Leader Resolutions for 2017 that I think necessary for any leader to begin an improvement plan for themselves:
- Mentor others: Special attention should be paid to those who show potential to be great leaders. We should also encourage others to mentor and never ourselves give up the honorable task of mentorship.
- Be a better role model: People learn by seeing leaders in action so senior leaders should do things with greater care to be a better person.
- Make decisions only when necessary: Too many times leaders make easy decisions that should be left to others more junior to them. Only by making decisions that are at our level and when necessary ensures growth in junior leaders.
- Provide clarity and simpler guidance: Leaders can always improve their communication skills; clarity and simplicity are the best ways to start.
- Let others make mistakes: This is how leaders learn in such a complex environment. Let it happen under controls you establish.
- Care more about people: There is a direct link between leaders caring and better performing workers so it is necessary to both care more and show that one cares.
- Be a better listener: Commit to a greater amount of time to listen and the skills to understand. Show others that you can implement after listening.
- Keep an Open Door Policy: Welcome more people into your office/home and over great time periods to encourage others to share information and concerns with you.
- Don’t let fear defeat us: “Buck-up” and push fear away. The biggest failure of any leader is loss of moral courage but it is what we need most.
- Smile: Yes, simply smile more because it tells others that you are friendly and trustworthy.
When I re-read last year’s resolutions, there were several that I could have included here but decided to leave them alone. You can access them from these links: 2014, 2015, and 2016. Number 5 has been on my list every year and is the hardest for me to follow.
Have a great leader year in 2017.
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