Yesterday we learned that the age of austerity would now extend for a further five years in order to get the country’s finances back in order. So if the harsh reality is that taxes will still need to rise, benefits still need to be trimmed and the size of the public sector will continue to be cut, what challenges face our leaders going into 2013.
Many, at the end of an old year and start of a new one, consider how they need to change personally, quantify what challenges lie ahead and try to outline specifically what changes they may need to make in anticipation of the new calendar year. They make New Year Resolutions.
So, with only a little time until the start of 2013, in the business world, what sets the most successful managers apart from others? You might be a Chief Executive of a global entity; an owner of your own business or a head of a team tasked to do better, but that’s no guarantee of success. In the New Year you need to develop your range of skills that are better suited to times of continuous change and growing challenges.
Here are some from which you can pick and choose:
Encourage greater collaboration
Stay on the radar of people you do not see on a regular basis, but whose opinions and achievements you respect. Change assumptions about the importance/subservience of certain roles in your organisation or team. Educate yourself and your staff about the work of others. And, check your targets and systems to make certain they do not undercut more collaboration.
Be a role model for effective networking by showing the value of working for the greater good of the business and by questioning conventional wisdom. Be vigilant about identifying and challenging assumptions that underlie actions or inaction. Be wary of generalisations, inferences and unproven theories. Make “How do we know that?” one of your favourite questions.
Improve your Emotional Intelligence
Build your self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Recognise that as a leader, you are contagious. Be a source of energy, empathy and earned trust, proving optimism and realism can co-exist. Understand that resilience is vital to leadership, especially in stressful times.
Raise the level of Communication
So obvious and simple, yet it comes up continually as a major issue in organisations! Leaders who don’t communicate effectively get in the way of their team’s effectiveness. Make it your goal to master every form of interpersonal communication and make it powerful. Whether it is one-to-one meetings, small group forums, full team gatherings, daily e-mails, wider social media messages, or, of course, the all important listening, raise the bar.
Become an expert on framing, storytelling and finding the master narrative to better communicate important changes, individual and team achievements, as well as what you stand for.
Give greater Feedback
Commit to seeking an alternative perspective through which you look at your people and their work. Always be on the alert for opportunities to deliver specific, helpful information to your team about their performance and their value to the organisation. Upgrade the quality of all of your interactions by using them as opportunities for customised, effective feedback.
Providing better Coaching
Are you among the legions of managers who habitually fix the work of others? Are you the non-stop answer machine for people who are overly reliant on you for decisions? And at the end of the day, do you wonder why you’re frustrated and exhausted and your employees are not getting any better on your watch? You need to learn to coach their growth.
Coaching is an entirely different skill from fixing. It helps people learn to improve their work and for making their own decisions.
If you don’t inspire, who will?
Each of these is a skill you can learn. I know, because we can help your team! And there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing careers improve as people grow from being ordinary managers to being great bosses who understand the key skills of leadership.
What will be your business New Year Resolutions for 2013?
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