New Year’s Leadership Development Goals 2017 Edition

The beginning
of a new year. A fresh start! OK, so we’re one month into the year by the time
I got around to posting this.

For many
leaders, it’s a time to reflect on accomplishments for the past year and
establish goals for the upcoming New Year. 

It’s also a
good time to set leadership development goals, either as part of a formal
development planning process, or just because it’s a proven way to continuously
improve as a leader.

leadership development goals should always be specific and relevant to the
individual leader and linked to the organizational context, there are a few
common ones that most any leader could benefit from.

Here’s a list
to choose from:

Become more self-aware

(and aware of others). I’ll learn more about my strengths and weaknesses. More
about my own emotions and how to control them, about other’s emotions and how I
am coming across to others, and how to harness this awareness of self and
others to be a better leader.
take a multi-rater assessment or figure out some other way to get an accurate
assessment as to how I am perceived by others. I’ll
read Daniel Goleman HRB article “
Makes a Leader

2. Delegate more. My unwillingness
or inability to let go is causing me to work long hours, preventing me from
having the time to be more strategic, and is retarding the development of my
team. I’ll do some serious self-reflection, or work with a coach or mentor, to
figure out what’s causing me not to delegate. Is it my own ego? Is it
a lack of confidence in my team? Once I get to the root cause, I will create a
list of everything I do and make hard decisions on what to delegate, who to
delegate to, how to do it, and by when.

3. Be more strategic. I’ll improve my
ability to see the big picture and take a longer range, broader business
perspective. I’ll learn to step back from the day-to-day tactical details of my
business and focus on the “why”, not just the “what” and “how.” I’ll learn to
speak the “language” of strategy and apply these concepts to leading my

4. Be a better listener. I need to
earn to pay attention and demonstrate to others that that I
value what they have to say. I’ll use active listening, open-ended questions,
body language, and eliminate distractions that get in the way of my ability to

5. Become
a better negotiator.
 I’ll learn the “art and science” of negotiation, and
use proven negotiation techniques to collaborate and reach win-win outcomes
with my manager, direct reports, peers, suppliers and customers.

Learn to
resolve conflict.
I need to stop avoiding conflict – and start dealing
with conflicts head on in a more constructive way. I’ll learn different
approaches to dealing with conflict – my preferred approach – and how and when
to use more effective approaches. I’ll then apply what I’ve learned and tackle
a lingering conflict that needs to be resolved.

7. Be
a better coach.
 I need to spend more time coaching and developing my team. I’ll shift my leadership
style away from always directing and telling and learn to guide and develop my
direct reports. I’ll learn and practice the “G.R.O.W.” coaching model with each
of my direct reports until it becomes natural and a part of my leadership style.

8. Develop my
 I’ll learn more about what it really means and
takes to become a high performing “team”. I’ll do a formal team assessment to
learn about our strengths and weaknesses, then work with my team to establish
an action plan to improve. Possible improvement areas: building trust, establishing
structure and processes that encourage and enable teamwork, and practice
“shared leadership”.

9. Lead Change. I’ll learn from the
: John Kotter, William Bridges, Peter Senge and others and apply
these proven models and techniques to a significant change that I need to drive
this year.

10. Stretch myself with a “strategic
challenge” project.
with my manager to come up with a developmental “learn by doing project”.
Something above and beyond my regular duties that gives me an opportunity to learn
and apply new leadership skills. I’ll apply many of the skills I’ve been
working on under “live fire”, where the risks and rewards are high.

Do any of these leadership development goals sound like they benefit you? If
so, does it look overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. Our new 6-day
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