Better Leadership in 2017

I have been thinking about the year ahead and wanted to come up with simple, easy-to-remember guidelines for deepening my own leadership skills in 2017.

2015, for me, was all about BALANCE both personal and professional.  Balance turned out to be more of a challenge than I originally estimated and it spilled over into 2016 under a new banner of SIMPLIFY.  I continue practicing balance and simplification and know for me it is a life-long initiative.  I think the word PRACTICE is appropriate for these types of pursuits.

After overcomplicating the 2017 guidelines exercise, I came back to 4 basic verbs.  I chose verbs for the very fact that they are action-oriented.

  1. Listen
  2. Ask
  3. Act
  4. Know me

Getting to these four areas of focus started out pretty cloudy.  Still, I knew there was something important about all four skills.  Any one of these capabilities are great characteristics.  I will argue good leadership requires all four.  Take away any one and the problems start.screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-9-50-07-am  Not listening to other stakeholders, not asking the right questions, failing to act when required, and looking at the situation through my own narrow filters can put me at a significant disadvantage and result in poor leadership.

It seems obvious that I turn the clouds into firm skill sets represented by intersecting circles to try to visualize and explain what was happening in each of the overlapping areas.  screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-9-23-22-am

Great leadership requires a combination of listening, asking questions, acting and knowing my own stuff.screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-9-23-47-am

I thought about writing a paragraph on each overlapping section including what types of leadership behavior is exhibited when leaders don’t listen or are not self-aware of their own prejudices, preconceived ideas, and assumptions etc.  Instead I will simplify the post and leave that examination up to the reader.

With these simple guidelines in place, I look forward to the challenges that 2017 will bring.

Happy New Year!

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