Connecting & Reflecting – Keys to Leadership Success

Certain times of the year are naturally good times to do specific things. Now is one of those times.

The ending of a calendar year, and on this occasion the start of a new decade, warrants specific action for leaders in two key areas: connection and reflection.

Leaders serve their stakeholders each year and it is paramount that strong connections are made with each stakeholder group.  At year end specifically, it is important to make that last connection of the year memorable.  Although relevance will differ between leaders, the following includes some common ways to make these touch points more meaningful.

  1. Make it personal – reach out in person or via phone to have a conversation
  2. Thank your stakeholders for their ongoing support
  3. Recognize them in some way
  4. Ask for feedback
  5. Discuss strategy and new developments for the upcoming year and how you might serve
  6. For your employee stakeholder group, consider having a stay conversation with all top talent. We have all heard of exit interviews. This works in reverse. Chat with your employees about why they stay with you and the organization, and what you can do to better support them in the New Year. Reaffirm their commitment to your common purpose.

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The other important task for leaders at this time of year is to stop and reflect. It’s best to do this at the very end of the year or when you have space to do so. Reflection is one of the most critical self development tools we have. It is easy to do and can be done anywhere. Book time for yourself to reflect and do it in private.  You can take a walk somewhere, or go somewhere that inspires you, or just sit in silence with a pen and paper. Always have a pen and paper to take notes when the need arises. First, take a moment to become silent and then ask yourself some questions.

  1. Reflect on your achievements, your team’s greatest moments, personal milestones, relationships that deepened and areas of self development. Acknowledge your good work and thank yourself.
  2. Move on to even deeper reflection. Consider opportunities that were missed, things that didn’t work well, relationships that need work and any gaps that need to be identified.
  3. The final reflection involves bringing these two pieces together, by focusing on what you want to continue doing, what you want to change, where you want to give more attention, which relationships need to be prioritized and what new things you want to try.

Don’t feel pressure to write a plan of action at this point. Just use this time to reflect and see the beginnings of a plan evolve. You can move into planning and action at a later point.

Enjoy this time of connection and reflection. Used wisely this time is a gift that will set you up for greater success in the coming year.

Reach out to me if this is an area you’d like to explore further or click here for more of my thoughts on leadership.

LEAD WELL!

Sandra Hokansson

Sandra Hokansson
Sandi Hokansson is a certified executive-level coach and principal of SoundLeadership. Reach her at sandi (at) soundleadership (dot) ca. Take the 5 minute Leadership Quiz!

Sandra Hokansson

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