The Future is always beginning now
– Mark Strand
A new year is here, filled with potential, possibilities—challenges and testing times too. As a leader, you need to show up well for yourself to lead others even better.
Learn to conduct yourself in a manner that sets you up for success right through the year.
Here are seven approaches that can help.
Reflection is an integral part of the self-leadership process. Use what you learned in the past year to create an actionable approach for increased confidence in the brand new year.
Leverage the power of hindsight to plan a path for the future. Where could you have demonstrated greater trust, what actions of yours might have reduced others’ trust? Identify times when you displayed humility, patience and resilience, understand the outcomes they lead to and resolve to practice them more often.
Reflect on how showed up, the things that went well, actions you are proud of, memories you cherish. An inventory taking exercise now will pay you rich dividends all through the year.
You can achieve your goals only when you can define them clearly. Think of what you want to accomplish in terms of leadership.
You may want to be more confident, better handle your emotions, or improve your communication skills. You may want to be more empathetic, listen better, whatever is your goal, first seek clarity and then work on it.
List your core values; these are things you consider important, let them guide your actions. Being clear about your values will also enhance your decision-making abilities.
Clarity has enormous power to cut through complexity, and carve a path for you, pursue it with all your passion and commitment.
There will always be more tasks than the time on hand to complete them. Deliberately go after the big ones, align your time and energy to what matters most, learn to let go of things that slow you down.
Adopt first things first approach, teach yourself to stay with the demanding tasks and see them through. Ask yourself “What task or project deserves my time the most” The more often you do this, the easier it gets.
4.Invest in Relevant Learning
Learning can be a superpower provided you ensure its relevant and directly linked to your goals. Increase your self-awareness, seek clarity, develop empathy, enhance skills.
Understand your behaviours, identify the ones that serve you and those that derail. Address your blind spots, widen your perspectives, learn to listen well. Work with a Coach, Mentor or Counsellor to bring out your best self.
5.Develop a Routine
Mastery has repetition at its core. A small step every day can do wonders over a year.
Set up structures that make it easy to practice empowering habits and make it hard to do things that don’t serve you.
Aim for consistent performance. Your choices build habits, and those habits determine how you use your time and energy. Choose well now, practice empowering habits and make this a transformational year.
You are as important as others if not more. Practice keeping your word to self, be accountable and take ownership for your well being.
Begin by creating sufficient time for exercise, meditation and sleep. Learn to practice kindness and compassion towards self and others. Let go of past baggage, free yourself from worries of the past and move ahead with optimism.
Knowing is not enough; you must act. Quick wins boost your motivation. Start small, keep at it, momentum has magic. Give yourself the permission to try and fail, its the best way to learn and a bonus here is that the more times you try, the bolder you get at it.
Avoid things that overwhelm you, work to simplify, ask what’s next and attend to it. Seek help where needed; two minds are better than one. Every little step matters, do something daily that takes you closer to your goals.
In closing, begin with self, nurture, nourish and attend to your needs, identify motivations, address roadblocks, build strengths, empower yourself, dial-up your energy and launch into the new year with gusto.
May this new year bring out the best in you!
Points to Ponder
- What has to happen to make this a fulfilling year?
- Where do you need to take greater ownership, responsibility?
- How do you wish to be perceived, and why?