What’s Your Resolution?
The origin of making new plans for the coming New Year revolve around the human desire to make changes to their life and the lives of others. A key component of this is possessing the self-awareness trait that we have discussed here many times. At The Jersey, this seems like an opportunity to start the discussion about you and your team. Many leaders (including me) have used the occasion of the New Year to make decisions about taking their leadership in new directions. The most relevant time to make change is when you need to, which doesn’t always sync with the calendar, but the time of season just seems to naturally bring the idea forth of contemplating a new and improved reality.
For the purposes of what we are doing here at The Jersey, this makes me curious as to what each you is thinking about the future, and how you see yourself in it. We are well past 100 posts and coming up on the two year anniversary of this blog. Although many of you loyal readers have provided inspiration (knowingly and unknowingly) for past posts, online interaction has not been a particular element of our conversation.
So, for this post, I would like to reach out to each of you via a short survey and find out just what is on your mind in the way of change. I understand that not all of you may be interested in actually changing something, such as Blue to Red, or A to B. However, it could be that through your own leadership development process (of which this blog may be a part), you have identified areas you would like to do better. In your case, the change you wish is perhaps better outcomes, or a higher level of skill in a certain area. All relevant, and all good for the sake of this particular inquiry.
To narrow the field a bit, I have divided the nature of the intended change, or improvement, or outcome difference, into three areas. The first is personal, and relates to those specific types of human behaviors that we have spent a great deal of time talking about. This is the place where self-awareness is a key trait because you can’t fix what you don’t know needs fixing. As you think about different ways to approach the routine of your work, you may have noticed patterns of events or common themes in the world you inhabit. This type of observation is critical to understanding how “the way I have always done it” is working, or not working, and suggest areas to consider a new course. And do not overlook a fairly simple way to get ideas – ask your team. One of my standard conversations during performance review time is the three questions – “What am I doing that is working for you, what am I doing that isn’t working, and is there something I should start doing to help you do what you do”. Nothing about that line of questioning should be limited to the time period for a review. And, if you have been asking it all year, the aggregate answers may provide some direction about where you might want to take things next year.
The next level of change is desiring to make a change on the environment you inhabit. It may be that you want to change the office culture in a certain area. Getting better results, improving the environment, and implementing some new ideas are all examples of wanting to make an impact on your teams, and the space they inhabit. Making a global impact can sometimes be tied to making a personal change because it is the desired effect or outcome of why you might seek to do something better or perform at a higher level. However, for the purposes of distinguishing between the previous resolution and this one, let’s consider that you are happy with your skill set, and that you now want to see some results from all that hard work you put into developing yourself.
The last resolution for the New Year some of you may be thinking about, is how to apply your leadership skills in specific circumstances in a more effective manner. This most frequently takes the form of dealing with your peers or your team. You may have struggled this year with negative people, or doing performance management, or handling the dynamics of meetings. For the coming year, the type of change you are most looking for is to get a handle on successfully dealing with a few specific scenario’s that have been a thorn in your side. To use a sports analogy, you can run the bases, hit for power, and field your position. However, you may have had trouble this past season with dealing with breaking balls off the plate. You need to develop the patience to lay off when necessary, focus attention to the pitch count to anticipate what’s coming, and lastly, consider some adjustments to where you stand in the box and how you grip the bat in order to increase your odds of making contact. The outcome you are looking for is to master the situation rather than have the situation always master you.
So, that’s the up-front on this post. The survey is short, and asks you to pick one of these three types of changes as your most important goal for next year. Next, it asks you to narrow that answer a bit based on what you chose. Lastly, the survey asks you to describe your current position so we can get an idea as to what types of leadership development concerns vary by position, if at all. I appreciate your interest in the blog as we move close to our anniversary date, and I am grateful for the feedback I have received, and for your contributions to the survey.
SURVEY LINK: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/J5Z8HP7