I hate New Year’s resolutions. We all know people who join a gym in January and stop in February. Everyone makes them and no one keeps them, yet every year the cycle continues. I realized this several years ago, and stopped making resolutions. Instead, I decided to choose one thing I could really accomplish in the new year that was important, and something I would stick with. As a leader, there is nothing more important than making sure you are performing at the top of your game. And no matter how good a leader you are, there is always room for improvement.
Here are 5 Skills you can harness to be more effective:
1. Turn Up Your EQ
Research has proven time and time again that emotional quotient (EQ), or emotional intelligence, is essential for effective leadership. Of course, you need to have a high IQ to be an effective leader. But without a strong EQ, a high IQ is necessary but not sufficient to be a great leader. EQ essentially defines how you engage and relate to everyone in your organization, and by extension with your customers, shareholders, supply chain partners and others. It allows all those constituencies to better understand what the goals are, the principles for how best to achieve them, and importantly, to define how everyone should work together and respect each other to achieve great results, for the company.
2. Set A Realistic Vision
Most employees in companies do their jobs in a mechanical way, but it’s not their fault. Too often leaders do not set a clear vision, and in other cases, they set visions that are too optimistic. You can work with your leadership team to frame out a realistic vision for your company, that challenges people, motivates them to innovate and encourages experimentation. Once everyone knows and understands the vision, you’ll have an army of people thinking about new and different ways of operating and some will surprise you with their creativity.
3. Amp Up Your Communications
Most leaders under-communicate, and assume everyone knows what is going on. That is a big mistake. As an advisor to CEOs, I frequently find that employees tell me they are in the dark and have no idea what the company is doing or where it is going. Be more “present” – get out of your office and talk to people. Ask questions, tell them what you are up to and engage them. Find out from them what concerns them, what they think needs to change and roll up your sleeves. Another way to amp up your communication is to be a “silo-buster.” Create more cross-functional teams that cut across organization structures to get your folks working on company level issues versus individual departmental / silo issues.
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