10 New Year’s Resolutions for Leaders

This post was first published 1/1/2013 on SmartBlog on Leadership:

trouble coming up with a good leadership New Year’s resolution? Here’s a list
of 10 to pick from. These are things that leaders know they “should” do but
often don’t. Don’t overdo it – just pick
and commit to it!

Feel free to
submit your own in the comments section – there’s nothing like a public
declaration to help hold yourself accountable.

For 2013,
I’m going to:

1. Develop a charter for my team or organization. The
charter will include our purpose (or mission), our vision, our values, long
term (2-3 years) goals, objectives, and action plans. I’ll involve my team and
other stakeholders in the development of the charter, make sure it’s
communicated clearly and consistently, and follow-up on a regular basis to
track progress, revise, and celebrate achievements.

2. Reach out to someone who helped me become the leader I am today. I’ll
write a letter, or maybe even pay a visit, and let them know specifically what
they did and why it was so important for me.

3. Schedule and hold regular
with each
of my team members. We’ll use that time to discuss concerns, opportunities,
progress on goals, development, celebrate achievements, or just touch base of
what’s going on in our busy lives. If I have a conflict, I won’t cancel the
meeting – instead, I’ll reschedule it.

4. Decide what’s important to me as a
– what I stand
for and why. I’ll share this with others, and consistently act in a way that
demonstrates these values and beliefs.

5. Be more accountable. I’ll admit my mistakes, fix them,
learn from them, and stop pointing fingers or placing blame.

6. Improve my presentation skills and the way I communicate. I’ll take
a course, join toastmasters, hire a coach, practice, and get feedback from

7. Listen more and better. I’m going to seek to understand the
other person’s point of view and emotions, and force myself not to evaluate,
judge, or offer my own point of view until I am sure I have understood theirs.

8. Get feedback on my leadership skills. I’ll take a
multi-rater assessment or figure out
some other ways to get an accurate assessment as to
how I am perceived by others.

9. Mentor someone. I’ll make myself available to help
someone else become even better than me. If not someone at work, I’ll volunteer
my time to an organization like
Big Brothers Big Sisters.

10. Be more innovative. I’m going to look for possibilities,
and ask “why not”, and “what if”. I’ll take a course and/or read
a book on what it takes to be an innovative
leader, and pick 2-3 things to implement and practice.