INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
As we embark on a new year, research from Gallup points to what employees need most from their leaders. By the way, the study is from 8 years ago, but its findings are eerily truer than ever. Given what we’ve been through the last several years, I can tell you with authority, what follows is what people need right now. Ask yourself if you’re doing all you can as a leader to provide it.
Here are the best ways to foster it: truly listen and act on what you hear, give credit/take blame, care about their career as much as they do, practice what you preach, be transparent – always, and model selfless behavior.
Empathy is the capacity to sense, feel, understand and relate to what others are feeling/thinking. It’s about making others feel seen and heard, like they’re not alone.
By this I mean provide clarity on expectations and consistency on strategy, goals, and priorities. We’ve reached our threshold on volatility over the last several years – it’s time to shore up a foundation of what people can count on.
Don’t provide hope – create it. Do so by not only role-modeling a belief that the future will be better, build it by sharing an inspiring vision, by linking your decisions to a brighter future, and by consistently expressing your belief that the team in place will get you all there.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake I’ve made)
Many people start the new year with the best of intentions to bring needed change to their life. But they fall into a trap in trying to realize change. They become paralyzed with uncertainty – they don’t have all the answers in front of them as to how that change will play out – and so they never really get going on their ambitions.
When you bring about change, understand that you’ll never know everything that lies ahead. If it helps, write down all the things you’re worried about associated with the change, then circle only those things you can control. Equally important – just get started on what you’re hoping to achieve. When you do, it clears the fog that obscures the view of what to do next. New paths reveal themselves – but you must be brave enough to just…get…started. Have faith in your ability to figure things out along the way.
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
Want to start off the new year by being more proactive (or encouraging more proactivity in others)? Remember the acronym EAGER:
Evolve your predictive ability. Learn to anticipate issues and events by identifying patterns and taking time to scenario plan.
Always add value. Make it a mantra. Revel in your resourcefulness in so doing. Taking this approach forces proactivity as passivity can’t deliver up to this standard.
Get off the sidelines and participate. Develop a discomfort with not being in the mix.
Establish a habit of over-communicating. You take more control by doing this and get more back as it encourages reciprocation.
Rustle the snakes out of the grass. Commit time to look for, spot, and fix problems before they bite you.