Winter can be a long, trying season for many – but spring is just around the corner. For leaders, too, each “season of leadership” requires resilience, adaptability, and hope for the future. Advance your own leadership development by considering these eight leadership lessons:
1 Stretch Yourself.
If you tend to defer to others who are louder or more persistent than you, push yourself beyond your comfort level and practice advocating more for your position. The person who persists the longest often gets their idea adopted.
2 Follow Through.
Persisting at problem-solving through completion sends a strong leadership lesson that you want issues resolved quickly and effectively.
3 Share Power.
Resist taking responsibility for the decisions of your direct reports. In areas that are clearly their domain, lend your expertise, but stop short of making decisions for them. Coaching people to take responsibility builds their skills and independence.
4 Model Risk-taking.
When appropriate, talk through problems with your direct reports, and describe how you arrived at your decision. As a leadership lesson, discuss risks involved and issues you considered.
5 Trust, but Verify.
If you delegate an issue to someone else, be sure to follow up. Ask for updates and progress reports, being sure to let others know you are in close contact.
6 Just Say “No”.
When “no” is necessary, do not procrastinate or try to “soften the blow” by being tentative. When refusing a request is best for you, your team, or your organization, explain your rationale clearly and firmly.
7 Do Your Homework.
When facing a tough decision, such as trimming the budget or downsizing, carefully analyze various alternatives, get others’ input, and settle on the course of action. You will then have the necessary background and data to clearly communicate your decision.
8 Utilize Whole Messages.
When asserting your needs or position, deliver your points using “whole messages” that include clear statements about data, your thoughts and feelings, and a clear articulation of your goals. This will make your thinking more transparent to others, while being direct about your needs.