8 Resolutions That Will Make You a Better Leader in 2016
It may be an arbitrary date in our calendar, but there’s something about the idea of starting fresh at the start of a new year that is really appealing. After the holiday period, we return to work with a newfound energy and enthusiasm, and it seems that anything is possible. So you want to be a better leader in 2016? Sometimes the greatest challenge is knowing what it’s going to take to make that desire a reality. Here are 8 ideas to get you started.
1. Understand accountability
Make 2016 the year of embracing accountability by giving your team the autonomy they need to take genuine ownership of their deliverables and challenges faced. Watch them transition into happily accepting accountability for their responsibilities, and leave the managerial pressure back in 2015. It’s not healthy for anyone.
2. Build trust
Start by analysing the work environment. Policies and procedures are just as much a part of the work environment as the walls and desks. What is this environment implicitly and explicitly saying about trust within your organisational culture? Identify architecture, actions, policies, and procedures that don’t connote trust, and consider whether they’re truly necessary.
3. Be a facilitator
The best leaders are facilitators. They don’t tell an employee what to do; they give employees the tools they need to do their absolute best work. Take a step back and think about situations where you might better serve your team by facilitating the work they’re already doing, and the efforts they’re already expending. They’ll thank you for it, you’ll eliminate a center for stress in your job, and your plate will be less full in the long run.
4. Be a better communicator
It’s crucial to understand that communication is not only bi-directional, but unlike trust you’ll be better served by understanding that it’s more like a one-lane road. Two trucks can’t cross paths in opposite directions on the same road, and two people can’t effectively express themselves and listen at the same time. So make it a point to pull over regularly, and give others a chance to pass before heading around the next bend.
5. Break down barriers
All kinds of barriers exist in the workplace. 2016 can be the year of the sledgehammer – breaking down barriers wherever they stand and becoming a better leader because of it. Think about the tools you and your colleagues use. Are they creating an unnecessary barrier to communication or collaboration? There are some great modern alternatives out there. Seek out silos and consider whether they’re truly necessary. Plan time to build community within your organisation – it’s a necessity.
6. Recognise all contributions, large and small
Frequent recognition is one of the most important steps to becoming a better leader. Your team needs to know that you value their contributions. Each contribution someone makes to the team is valuable, and taking time to express that value can have an amazing impact on engagement and retention. The trick is to make recognition easy. Avoid the head-on approach by using tools like peer recognition. Peer-to-peer recognition enables your team to recognise one another and be recognised for all the great work and contributions that happen day-to-day. The people employees work most closely with are more likely to see and feel the impact of those contributions.
7. Do one thing that scares you
2016 is the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. It can but doesn’t have to be work-related – the confidence you gain will translate either way.
8. Stay true
This is so important. Stay true to yourself, your colleagues and your organisation’s goals. When those things don’t align, it’s incredibly difficult for anyone to thrive. Be that strong foundation your team can build from and uphold a positive and unwavering standard that others can look to.
What do you think?
What resolutions might you make when it comes to your role as leader? How can you take your leadership to the next level in 2016? Comment your views below and join the conversation.
This article was written by Jelena Milutinovic on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: Bonusly and Wolf Leaders Academy