I recently finished re-reading Jim Collins best seller From Good To Great. Collins and his team spent several years researching the difference between good companies that remain plateaued where they are and the ones that manage to go from good to great.
How about for you as a leader? Are you willing to take a serious look at your own career and ask yourself some hard questions? Where do you see yourself on the leadership scale, and are you willing to do what it takes to move yourself to the next level?
Are you willing to move from good to great in 2016? Here are some first steps to take to start you on that journey:
- Pause and reflect on the past year. To get to where you want to go, it is a good idea to understand where you have been. What were the high points and the low points if the past 12 months? What would you do differently for a better outcome? What successful patterns can you apply to your efforts in 2016;
- An honest evaluation of where you stand. Define the characteristics that are most important for you as a leader and give yourself on honest score on a 1-10 scale. This is the time to take a good look at how you performed in areas such as communication, trust, giving and receiving feedback, handling difficult situations and coaching and motivating your team. Consider your strengths and weaknesses and give yourself a fair, honest assessment;
- Getting to the next level. Considering your grade on each characteristic, ask yourself; how do I move my score up one or two points? For example, if you gave yourself a 5 on managing conflict, what would it take to move that score to a 7? Is some additional training or education necessary? Consider some specific techniques that you are willing to practice with your team; and
- Determine manageable next steps. Once you have determined some goals and specific strategies for “upping your game,” think about smaller, manageable next steps and commit to them in the next 90 days. In three months, review your performance and set goals for the next 90 days. Consider sharing this plan with a colleague and use that individual as a person who can hold you accountable for your progress.
It is tempting to allow your enthusiasm to cause to be overly ambitious in terms of what you can achieve. Be realistic about each step you determine. You will have some hits and misses along the way. It is okay to adjust your plan and redouble your efforts on a particular strategy as needed. If you are willing to make this a priority in 2016, you will be successful.