We all do it. A new year arrives and we have a list of goals we aspire to achieve. We often start out with the best of intentions but achieve only a few of our stated annual goals. Truth be told, it doesn’t have to be that way. In this post I’ll outline the my top 10 ideas to make you a better leader in 2016. Fact is, we can be better leaders by developing a practiced set of habits that will aid in our leadership success. Among those positive habits that can shape our success are our top 10 skills we think you should be focusing on in 2016.
Make a S.M.A.R.T. Plan
Our goals should always be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. In this way we can assure we take the planning, incremental steps and effort to attain them. We should make them known to your friends and family. This will give you positive motivation (and social encouragement) needed to achieve them.
Create & Practice Positive Habits
We are invested in habits (conscious or not) that drive our behavior. Shouldn’t it be that those habits are conscious decisions to bring about the positive outcomes we want in life rather than old tired habits we may embrace. In 2016, you should choose a few habits that will help build your leadership skills and move you toward your goals. Lose the rest, especially the negative ones.
Invest in Education
Education opens our lives to opportunities. Every time we take the time and effort to learn something new we see a positive return somewhere in our lives. As a leader, we should be reading, taking classes and acquiring new skills. When these skills help us solve a problem, forge a new business partnership or even close a sale – we see a definitive return from our investment.
We’ve written extensively about the value that comes from mastering public speaking. There isn’t a leadership role where you will be exempt from this potent activity. Having excellent public speaking and communication skills can propel you forward in any career path. With this in mind why not invest in developing the skill.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand our own emotions and those of others is use this information to drive our behavior. For a leader this is another pillar or critical skill. A true leader is able to use these skills to navigate the difficult decisions, relationship challenges and emotions any leader will inevitably encounter.
Undoubtedly you have had a “boss” or “leader” who had less than excellent listening skills. These individuals are most oft the first to speak at a meeting or even talk over others when they attempt to present their ideas. Truth is, listening is a powerful skill that give you an edge as a leader. It is a practice. Practice engaging in active listening and you’ll see the difference.
Find a Mentor
Mentors are key to our growth and development as leaders. A mentor can help direct our efforts and guide us away from the common pitfalls by their experience and insights. They are an invaluable source of learning and growth in leadership and elsewhere.
Overcome a Fear
Fears can either bind us or be the birth place of our liberation. We can challenge ourselves to overcome them and be their masters or cower incapacitated by their grip. Fact is, in challenging ourselves we grow. When we stand up to a fear – prosperity is an outcome.
Life is predicated upon our relationships. Much the same, in leadership our relationships are building blocks of our success. So often we forget that we should go about consciously fostering these positive relationships to build our leadership capacities. Our relationships with friends, family and coworkers are all of value. We should build upon these to see a return in our leadership skills in those arenas.
Over the last 20+ a mountain of scientific evidence has shown the link between the practice of gratitude and its relationship to happiness. The research has shown that the simple practice of expressions of gratitude can positively influence our own level of happiness and well-being. This positive outgrowth most certainly aides in your capacities as a leader in supernumerary ways. Speakers and leaders who practice gratitude see powerfully compelling outcomes.
I hope 2016 is your best year yet! What are your plans? What of these or any other steps will you take to be the best leader you can in 2016? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below or connect with us on social media to continue the conversation. Whatever your goals, we wish you unending success.