As we finish out the last weeks of 2018, many of us are looking forward to strengthening our skills into the New Year. A few of my favorite tips for boosting leadership skills for long-term success.
1. Give room to fail. Support your team as a whole, and as individuals. Set a foundation of psychological safety so they know they can try something new and take risks without fear or repercussions.
2. Give and receive feedback. The best way to encourage others, build loyalty and engagement, is to give feedback. Find opportunities to not only give constructive criticism, but also positive feedback to encourage continuation of effective behaviors and actions.
3. Admit your mistakes. Take ownership and responsibility of where you went wrong. The sooner you do, the quicker you and others can move past the mistake and onto a new path. Focus on what you will do differently next time and share as needed.
4. Sponsor. Advocate and speak on other’s behalf. You will excel as a leader when your team excels. Regularly be on the lookout for opportunities to showcase someone else’s work.
5. Be available. Continue building psychological safety by being available to your team. Interruptions can be difficult. Set up regular ‘office hours’ so your team knows when you are expecting to see them.
6. Let go of ego. The most impactful leaders are those who consider the thoughts and actions of others. Check your ego and determine if it is driving your actions.
7. Surround yourself with people smarter than you. Don’t feel you need to have all the answers. Build your team with those who think differently than you, and will add to your brilliance, strengths, and skills. Create teams with diverse thinking.
8. Give genuine compliments. Don’t praise for mediocracy, or serve compliment sandwiches (compliment, criticism, a compliment). Seek opportunities to praise where someone took a risk, offered a unique piece of knowledge, or had a difficult conversation.
9. Articulate a clear vision. A team that is heading in the same direction will be more productive and effective. Regularly detail your short and long-term vision. Ensure everyone knows his role in the vision.
10. Be strategically authentic. Be real, be yourself, and be professional. Align who you are with what you want.
Pick 2-3 skills you want to focus on for the next three months. Once you have honed those, choose additional skills to add to your repertoire. Chances are you will feel more durable and energized in your career, long after the resolutions.