become a better leader over Christmas!
Are you knackered? Just hanging on in there until you can leave it all behind for the Christmas break? Christmas is the one time in the year when almost everyone stops business, or at least slows down significantly.
Even if you are “working through”, for many people it’s likely to be short days in a deserted office, or working on your laptop at home.
Yet the first working day of January can come round all too quickly and it doesn’t take long for work to ramp up again. If you’ve been busy doing the rounds with family and friends, not to mention all that preparation, eating, drinking and merriment, then you may not actually feel that refreshed when you return to your desk!
So where does “becoming a better leader” come into all this?
You know all too well that it’s your job to hold the big picture, to keep your eye on the prize as you guide your team forward through the trials and tribulations of driving results. Yet the pressures of business can involve you being as mired in busyness as the rest of your team.
How often do you take quiet time to reflect on how things are going, what you’ve learned, where you need to focus to keep yourself and your team on track, what you need to let go of?
By its nature, Christmas provides the opportunity to pause and reflect. My invitation to you is to be intentional about setting aside time to pause and reflect. Create half an hour or so over the festive season to sit quietly with a notebook and pen and ponder the following questions :
- How do you feel about the past year? Proud, relieved, frustrated? Why?
- What are you pleased with in terms of what you’ve achieved this year?
- Where would you like to have achieved more?
- What have you personally done well? What feedback have you received?
- What have you learned about yourself and your leadership over the past year?
- What is getting in the way of you being at your best?
- Where would you benefit from taking a different approach?
- What are your key objectives for the next 12 months? What would success be and how will you know when you’ve got there?
- What are the 3 or 4 most challenging areas of your role in achieving these objectives?
- Which of your strengths will most help you overcome these challenges and drive success?
- What would it be most important for you to get better at as a leader to significantly improve your performance in these areas?
- What do you and your team need to stop doing to ensure you deliver on your top priorities?
Commit and act
- What have you learned from pondering these questions?
- What commitments do you want to make?
- What actions are you going to take? What and when exactly?
If you’ve got this far, well done. Time to top up your glass of wine! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a happy, successful and fulfilling 2016.
Alison Reid helps new Directors focus on what matters, communicate with impact and stay calm and effective under pressure so they can lead themselves and others to great results. She's the author of Unleash Your Leadership : How to Worry Less and Achieve More. Download an extract or buy the book.