First and foremost - HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As you know at the start of every year, we all like to make resolutions. The exercise industry knows most people resolve to get healthy. This is why they run commercials throughout December, sponsor New Year’s Eve programs on TV and offer discounts to get people in their gyms. The sad reality is according to research from Strava, most people fail to keep their resolutions by January 12. What people find is getting fit is hard work and takes daily dedication. It doesn’t matter how much you know about exercise, diet or the gym if you’re not willing to get in there and do the work daily over the long term.
Exercise is a lot like leadership. You can’t develop it in a day. You’re going to have to work at it daily. It requires hard work and dedication to constantly improve over time.
Here are three simple things you can do to increase your leadership effectiveness in the coming new year:
1. Develop a process for learning - A friend recently asked me, “When do you have time to read?” My simple answer was, “I make time for it.” Reading does require time, but we make time for the things we value. I explained to him I don’t have time to spend hours a day reading, but I can fit in 30 minutes each morning. I also explained that throughout my day I look for blogs or other leadership articles that I can fit in when I have a few extra minutes. My process to fit in reading works for me. It may not work for you. In today’s world, you have knowledge readily available and easily accessible to you. How will you get it? Audio books? Blog posts? Podcasts? Find whatever way you can to increase your knowledge daily in your field of expertise, commit to it and block off time on your daily agenda to make it happen.
2. Find a mentor - A few years ago, I was in a meeting with an area president and she said something that stunned me. She said, “Everywhere I go, people always ask me to mentor them. I tell them all to email me with some dates to meet up so they can get on my calendar. No one ever does.” We all need mentors, but we’re afraid someone ahead of us won’t have time so we don’t ask. True leaders are driven by helping and developing others. They want to help you succeed- so get on their calendar. Show up ready with some questions they can help you with. Take notes on what they tell you, then work out how you can apply the things they’re doing. Mentors can be the single greatest catalyst for your growth, but you have to initiate the relationship.
3. Be generous - So many of us think that we’ll be generous when we have more. The truth is that right now you have more than many others. The Law of Good Returns says- "when you do good for others, good will return to you". When we help others get what they want, we end up getting what we want. Begin helping others close knowledge gaps freely. Give to those who have no ability to give back. Add value to everyone you come across. Start small, right where you are with what you already have. Leaders don’t wait for some day to begin. They share what they have with people around them. When you begin doing this you will find that the more you give, what you have to give increases. When we’re generous with our knowledge, our finances and our appreciation, people will want to be around you and will follow your lead.
What will your first step be in this new year of opportunity?