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For many people, the New Year brings about an opportunity to re-evaluate our personal and professional goals.
As a leader, the need to constantly evolve and be a better version of yourself is critical, not only to your own success but also that of your team.
Here are five things to stay aware of as we hit the ground running this year.
1. Be honest and stay humble
The need for authentic leadership was a big talking point in 2013, and we expect that conversation to spill over into this year. Employees are even more conscious of their organisation’s leadership team and are increasingly not afraid of jumping ship if they lose faith in their leaders.
This year, it is important to be genuine in your leadership if you wish to retain and develop your best talent. Have more casual conversations with your team, take a sincere interest in their lives, give credit where it’s due, and don’t be afraid to apologise or admit to mistakes if you do mess up.
2. Take time out
No, we’re not asking you to take another vacation, but make sure you’re managing your time better this year for maximum work-life balance. It may be tempting to put in longer hours at the start of this month to make up for the holidays, but doing so may end up in burnout.
Plan your day out so that you’re setting achievable goals. Make sure you take a breather in between meetings – even if it’s for five minutes, and encourage your colleagues to do the same. Remember, a well-rested team is a more productive one.
3. Build your relationships
Networking remains one of the most powerful business tools, so spend 2014 building relationships – be it in the office or externally. Leverage on social media, networking events and even the office get-together. You never know who you’ll meet and what they may be able to offer you and your business.
4. Speak up
Technology and digital media have drastically changed the way we communicate, but nothing beats a face-to-face conversation.
In 2014, think about having that conversation over the phone rather than text, email or IM. This is even more critical when it comes to giving feedback, both negative and positive.
5. Stop micromanaging
Not only will this help you gain better work-life balance, it will also help you identify competency gaps within your team. If your employees are not able to function optimally without you hand-holding them, it may be a sign that your team’s leadership organisation needs a review.
Letting go and allowing employees to be more accountable for their own work will also push them to be better employees. This allows for talent and leadership development opportunities, and will be a great way to start building your talent pipeline this year.