The holidays will soon be over, the days will start getting longer, and most of us will be asking how we can improve ourselves in 2023. You could focus on your physical fitness. Maybe you’ll resolve to reach out to friends and loved ones with whom you struggle to keep in touch. Or maybe you’ll decide to read more. These are all great ways to focus on self-improvement.
I’d like to offer you a way to focus on developing as a leader for your team, your business, your customers and yourself.
This is a process I use in my coaching practice called “one-a-day.”
Here’s are some suggestions to help you follow through on a 2023 resolution to be a more effective leader:
- Do one of the actions below every day.
- Make copies of this page or write them down in your own task organizer.
- Keep the list of actions nearby and visible so you can be reminded of them.
- Reward yourself after each time you’ve cycled through all six actions.
ACTION 1: Take the time to explain the “why.”
When you explain the reasoning behind strategies, decisions, and directions, especially when you focus on explaining the impact of them, you instill greater motivation for follow through and commitment from your people.
ACTION 2: End your day by planning the first hour of your next day.
This is one of the most potent ways to increase your productivity. Feeling accomplishment in that first hour can motivate you to continue being productive the rest of the day. It becomes easier to tackle those things you know you need to do, but don’t want to do.
ACTION 3: Make a promise or keep a promise.
When you make and keep a promise, it builds trusts … fast. It gives people confidence in you, and they often want to return the favor by being dependable for you. The good news is that these don’t need to be big, challenging promises. You just need to say that you’ll do something, then do it. You don’t necessarily need to say, “I promise,” but you do need to give someone the chance to expect something from you. It’s the fact that you have followed through on a stated promise that earns the trust.
ACTION 4: Ask for feedback.
There are two great things about asking for feedback. First, and more obviously, understanding how others perceive you and your performance is an opportunity to get better. Second, and less obviously, when you ask someone for their feedback, you are showing them respect. When you act on that feedback, you show them that you value them. This is cogent relationship building.
ACTION 5: Train someone or provide them with a tool to make their jobs easier or better.
This one might seem like two separate actions, but both are ways to enable your people for greater success. Each time you do that, not only do they become more productive, they also grow a greater affinity for you as their leader. People appreciate those who take care of them.
ACTION 6: Catch someone doing good work.
This is not about saying “good job.” This is about explaining how something someone did has made an important difference. When others understand the impact they make, intrinsic motivation to continue to perform grows.
I don’t recommend trying to do every one of these things every opportunity you get. That’s a strategy for failure. Just do one a day. Most of these take a couple of minutes or less. That’s achievable. One a day may not seem like much through that lens, but it’s the cumulative effect it will have that matters.
Take a moment and imagine what it could do for your team, your business, your customers and yourself, if you were disciplined and did this. Image what the outcomes could be with just one a day.
Just one a day.
Derek Pangelinan owns Derek Rey Consulting LLC. He is a management/leadership coach for small and medium business owners all across Oregon and Southwest Washington. He runs a variety of workshops to help them build their teams and improve communication and commitment in the workplace.