As a leader of others, I have also made some resolutions having to do with that aspect of my calling and vocation - let's call these my New Year's Leadership Improvements:
- to listen more...more specifically to not begin answering a question (or respond to a comment) before the other person has finished talking and I am completely clear on what they are asking or saying.
- to ask more (and better) questions...as much as I want to tell my story and give my opinions, I know it is better for the other person to discover what is inside of them if I want them to reach their full potential. Asking better questions means that I will follow Peter Block's advice and ask questions that are 1) ambiguous; 2) personal; and 3) evoke some anxiety (see Peter Block's book Community: The Structure of Belonging).
- to achieve more goals...I like vision and strategy, but it is difficult for me to sometimes get things done. I will designate on my calendar specific "red" days (referring to the Birkman Assessment Colors) to get after tasks and accomplish that which is necessary to move the organization forward.
- to coach others...as my role expands, I need to delegate much of what I do to others in the organization, so I will spend more time with those individuals who have the responsibility to carry out some of those goals and activites, helping them grow as leaders and managers.
- to build a succession plan...I am a big beleiver that the work of the organization must continue when and if I (or others) move on. Planning for this includes selecting the right people, letting the organization know about that, then training them to take over. Not only does this help the organization, but it also builds leadership capacity in others.
- to serve the region...having recently been elected to the ECHO (Ending Community Homelessness) Board, I want to expand my capacity to serve that need, and see where else I may be able to lend some time and/or expertise to make this region a better place. I have been blessed by so many people in the greater Austin region who give tirelessly of their time to this place I now call home, so it is now time for me to give back also.
That's my New Year's leadership resolutions. What are yours? Have you written them down? Is the focus of them on yourself, on others, or on your organization Have you asked yourself why they might be important to you? What type of accountability do you have in place to accomplish them? Remember that you still have 348 days still left to make them happen. Enjoy the journey - and make a difference!