Jan 31 2022| Leadership | leaders
New Year's resolutions: self-reflection
February Business Brief
by Phil Eyre Leaders' Founder
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of the word ‘resolve’ is to make a definite and serious decision to do something.
In Phil’s latest article for Business Brief, he discussed how, at the time of writing, social media feeds were packed full of people’s New Year’s resolutions. Excellent intentions, dominated by the typical New Year themes of a healthier lifestyle, a more rewarding career, exciting life experiences and spending quality time with family. Sadly, by the time you read this, most resolution setters will have abandoned their intentions; a quarter won’t even make it past week one. Yet self-reflection and action are essential if we are to lead ourselves and others successfully.
We don’t need to wait for the next round of New Year’s resolutions to improve our leadership. Whenever you’re reading this article, now is the perfect time to take a few moments to reflect on your impact, design actions and objectives and lead even more effectively than you already are.
Here follow some self-reflection prompts that I hope you find helpful.
- Be strengths-focused. We each bring unique strengths to any situation. Personal qualities, experiences, beliefs, practical skills. We are at our best when we’re building on these strengths, bringing these positives to bear fully without interference or dilution. For example, if you’re good at public speaking, you’ll only become great at it by doing more of it and making it a priority. Here are a few questions to consider: Is your work role centred around your strengths? During what proportion of a typical fortnight are you able to apply your strengths without constraint? In which scenarios do you feel that you are at your best? How can you create more of these scenarios in the months ahead?
- Be clear about what being a ‘good leader’ means to you. Anyone reading this article will want to be a good leader. But what constitutes ‘good’ is different for each of us. Spend some time clarifying in your own mind what ‘good’ means to you, and how you want to be recognised and remembered as a leader. For example, you can choose to focus on qualities like transparency, trustworthiness, honesty, fairness, wisdom, courage, ambition and empathy. Take a few more moments to design specific actions that build up and convey your desired qualities to others. After all, we’re judged not by our intentions, but by our actions.
- Seek perspectives from someone you trust, preferably someone in your team. We can become easily acclimatised to our own habits and blind to some of our traits, both the positive and the unhelpful. Ask them to highlight what they observe in you (what’s good? what’s detracting?) and what your impact on them is (how you make them feel), and to give you specific situations as examples. If you’re struggling to identify someone you trust enough for this conversation, building trust in your team could be your first area of focus for this coming year.
Whatever you choose to do, now is the time to make a serious and definite decision to lead well, and stick to it.