Oh, New Year’s, how I love thee. The smell of snow is in the air, children are home for the holidays, and people tend to be in a more festive mood. It’s a time of year when I look back and reflect on what happened these past 12 months.
It’s also a time to look forward and consider changes and adjustments to resolve pitfalls or challenges that have impacted me or my business.
And 2020 seems more perfect than any time to decide who we want to become in this new year AND new decade, considering 20-20 refers to “perfect vision”.
As you do your own reflection, questions worth pondering are: “what does it mean to be a good leader?” and “what type of leader do you WANT to become?”
Encouraging a space for PROductivity
If you’ve noticed, I like to highlight the ‘pro’ in productivity sometimes. It’s a good reminder that as businesspeople, we are professionals first and foremost.
We need to be aware of how we’re treating our team members that brings out the best in them. Sure, I could get some of my employees to work harder with a whip and cutting comments, but that does little to boost long-term productivity.
The New Year offers us an opportunity to reset, to start fresh, and go forth with an attitude of CARE for employees. I remember many years ago while working in HR, the New Year came and went. One thing I noticed was people quickly defaulted to their old habits, patterns and demeanor.
January set the stage for those regressions. Even though we were all coming off a nice vacation and had that familiar ‘high’ of resolutions swimming in our thoughts, life rapidly returns to ‘normal’ within a couple days.
However, it was those first days and weeks that were the biggest problems. Employees tend to move slower and get ‘back into the swing’ more reluctantly. It’s not deliberate; they sort of follow the flow.
Encouragement is one of the core leadership qualities of the CARE to Engage system. This approach will create the space for the kind of productivity you want to see achieved to start the year strong.
What can you do to encourage a space for PROductivity from day one of the new year?
Share your vision for the coming year
There’s little point in getting people excited about working with you if they don’t know what they’re working towards. Otherwise, you’ll soon see that burst of energy burn out fast.
Back in those HR days, I took the approach of attending to these team members right away. The first day back in the New Year, I sent out an email to everyone welcoming them back, offering platitudes about how we ‘hope they had a wonderful break’, and reminded them of pressing deadlines and goals.
It didn’t work. I honestly don’t even know if they read the email past the first line or two. Sharing our goals wasn’t the problem.
It was pushing them onto staff that was the real problem.
But here’s the thing: we don’t need to ‘push’.
We need to LEAD!
I began noticing a significant disconnect between the ‘leaders’ (or management) and regular staff that set itself in place during the first weeks of the year. Few meetings were called, many projects not finished in December rolled into the new year, and there was little in the way of urgency… for anything.
Instead, we needed to reconnect with staff and share our vision for what we wanted to achieve for the year so they were motivated and inspired to reach our goals as a team. Without addressing employee engagement first, the rest is a waste of time.
Which brings me to the next point…
People Are Inspired … They Don’t Develop It Naturally
President Kennedy inspired a nation when he laid out the plan for American astronauts to land on the moon by decade’s end. The entire space program was driven to beat the Soviets to this (once seemingly and impossible) lofty goal.
The nation was behind them, too. We celebrated the milestones, the test flights and launches, and millions of people of every age were waiting with bated breath each time we took one step closer.
- inspired your team yet?
- personally welcomed each member of your team back from their holiday vacation?
- sat down and detailed the plan for the first month? Two months? The year?
Sure, you may have done this in December, but this is a new year. How much are they thinking back to those short meetings or emails or memos?
Your team needs and deserves a solid, measurable goal to reach towards to help achieve the bigger vision. Maybe it’s a major client you want to land by summer. Perhaps it’s the successful launch of a new product before October. It might even be a marketing campaign you’re setting up now that will run during the warming spring months.
What are the goals and plans you want to achieve? Then, how are you inspiring your team to come along for the ride? The real key is to avoid misguided motivation by finding THEIR inner drive and what motivates THEM. This will be different for each individual.
This Is the Time to Blast Off!
We aren’t building rockets to the moon (well, probably not), but I remember as a young girl watching the Space Shuttle blasting off into the stars. I was in awe. It made me want to be one of those astronauts, if only for a little while.
The year is new. Your team is rested. They’re recharged. Ready to go.
But where are they going? Without direction, without clear communication, and without strong leaders setting the course, they could very well sit idle or meander.
If that happens right now, this month, the entire year could slip out of gear and you’ll miss a ton of opportunities. Remember, it’s easier to keep a massive train moving once it’s under power, but if it stops, the amount of energy required to get it back up to speed is tremendous.
How you lead in those moments matters.
Which leads us to the final point…
What does it mean to be a good leader?
This is where you need to determine: what does it mean to be a good leader in 2020 for YOU?
If you’re not clear on WHO you are as a leader or WHAT is holding you back from being able to start strong as a leader in 2020, then book a time to chat It’s not just knowing what it takes to become a good leader, but also an effective leader. And that starts with YOU.Set yourself up to finally become the type of leader you’ve long wanted to be as you step into this new year and new decade. Get a trusted partner in your corner for strong leadership in 2020.
Cynthia Corsetti is an Executive Coach and Speaker. If you’d like to learn more on how her C.A.R.E. to Engage system can help you create an engaged workforce in your organization, you can email her at: [email protected]