The date on the calendar changes, and everyone sets out to work on becoming a new version of themselves. This can be a powerful moment for defining your leadership style, but it can also be a waste of time and energy for others if the drive and motivation is focused in the wrong direction.
New Year’s resolutions based on trends, fads, or the next flashy quick fix to your leadership challenges can distract from the real growth needed to become a great leader. Goals and mindset shifts that foster real growth and help you create your own unique leadership style are instead based in three principles:
- Lead your people
- Listen to your people
- Love their people
I’ve developed these principles through my experience coaching leaders at various levels across industries since I started my business 20 years ago. They continue to uphold my mission to help leaders create more leaders because they are foundational to great leadership style. I have seen leaders raise themselves to the next level by using them in establishing their unique style of leadership. And I encourage you to do the same. ⠀
Whether you are getting your first taste of leadership, or have years of experience, these three principles can support you during each phase of your leadership journey and focus your leadership goals in the right direction beyond trendy New Year’s resolutions:
1.Lead Your People
Great leaders lead their people from the front. You must be the example that you want your team to follow, not only set expectations but live them as well.
Establish clear values and adhere to them. Set the standard of performance by communicating your values and demonstrating them daily.
Then, hold people accountable to those values because the best is your goal – not mediocre.
2.Listen to Your People
Allow your people to lead you by paying attention to them. Engage with them, ask for, and be open to, feedback. Listening involves verbal and nonverbal communication. Pay attention to what is and is not said. Ask questions, be curious.
Schedule and hold 15-minute every 2 weeks with each individual team member. Give them space to speak up, be heard and their thoughts incorporated into what makes the team successful.
Listening to your people is how you keep your finger on the pulse of your team’s culture and morale. Because your people will tell you what is working, what is not working, and give valuable ideas when you create the space for them to do so.
3.Love Your People
I’m not talking about roses and gifts kind of love. Loving your people is knowing when to be their biggest fan and their toughest critic.
Because there will be times to celebrate and recognize your people, and times to hold them accountable. Both are crucial as a leader provided you are coming from a place of contributing to their growth. Tough love for the sake of being tough is not what this is about, nor is glossing over poor behavior for fear of conflict.
Tell your people what value they bring to the team and explain why you need their top level contributions. Recognize those who are high performers and have difficult conversations with those who aren’t. Even in lean times, it’s important to recognize high performers. Hang onto your people that bring value to the team. And know when it is time to allow employees to go be successful somewhere else – either by their own choice or yours. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to move them on to the next place in their career.
When you’re reviewing your 2021 goals, I challenge you to go deeper than any superficial quick fix or fad for growth. Ground your goals in these three principles to create a leadership style that will last longer than any trendy NYE resolution.