Management should be a constant journey of improvement, and the New Year is a great time to revitalize your ongoing effort to be a better manager.
With that being easier said than done, we’ve put together a handy guide that can hopefully set you on the right path.
Define Your Problems
Trying to achieve vague, general goals is never a good idea. When you don’t properly define a problem, you run the risks of lost focus and mission creep.
Therefore, begin your improvement efforts by clearly defining your biggest leadership problems. Is turnover too high? Is productivity too low?
Once you’ve figured out your biggest pain points, you can go about addressing them.
Ask Others for Input
A strong leader takes the time to ask others for feedback, truly pay attention to the feedback they get, and drill down on problem areas as appropriate. Asking for input and acting on it provides you with additional tools for when it comes time to make decisions.
Asking for feedback from others also has the added bonus of forging stronger personal bonds with others. Those around you will be more willing to talk freely and let you know when issues arise. This can lead to more problems being resolved before they get out of control, as opposed to always putting out fires and scrambling at the last minute.
Study Model Leaders
Leadership is like most things in that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Countless successful leaders have come before you, and you probably know a few good leaders yourself. The key is to learn from these men and women, possibly stealing one or two of their keys to success.
Identify successful leaders and find out as much as you can their leadership story: the challenges that they dealt with, their successes, their failures, the lessons learned and any words of wisdom. When looking at model leaders, identify attributes that most resonate with you. A model leader can inspire you to be a better listener, more trusting of others, more courageous, more caring more open-minded and more determined.
Find a Mentor
A strong mentor can allow you to become a better leader at a faster pace than you would on your own. A strong mentor ought to be available, friendly, happy to, prepared to share their wisdom, and honest in their feedback.
When you have identified an appropriate mentor, ask them if they are willing to mentor you formally. If they accept, you can start your relationship by agreeing on mentoring goals and timelines for you to meet those goals.
Enroll in Formal Education
It’s one of the most obvious steps you can take, but it often gets overlooked: enrolling in formal leadership training. You may be discouraged by the money, time, and effort that formal training requires, but investing in leadership education will benefit you in many ways all throughout your career.
We Can Make You a Better Manager
At ZDA, we make the company manager better by connecting them with custom talent solutions and support services. Please contact us today to find out how we can make you a better leader.