Every year I set up a plan to improve my leadership skills, because I believe that leadership is an ever-changing area of expertise. There are principles that will stay consistent but the leadership that worked in the 70s was different from the 90s and the 90s is different from today. The world is changing, and leaders need to be able to adapt to these changes to provide the most optimal leadership. The ExcEllEnt plan that I use on a yearly basis is easy to remember, and will significantly help you improve leadership skills when applied to your routine.
To start any plan, you must know where you stand first. What is my leadership style today? What are my strengths in leadership? What are my weaknesses? Being honest with yourself and assessing where you are is a great first step. The challenge is that we are not completely subjective or aware of how we show up for others. You have a real opportunity to reach out to those that you lead and ask them the same questions. It can sound like a scary idea at first, but you may be pleasantly surprised at how well you are doing in many areas and get clarity on your flat sides. This exercise will save you time and help in building your plan to improve leadership skills.
Establish and Execute
With the feedback that you received from your team and yourself, now it’s time to plan. How can I improve my weaknesses? Are there leadership courses that I will enroll in? Do I have a mentor or someone that I look up to as a leader that can guide me? And most importantly, what are my leadership goals? Benjamin Franklin famously said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. You don’t want to fail as a leader and your team deserves your very best, so make your leadership plan. The execution part is the easy part as you are a leader and willing to put in the work. Share your plan with your team to keep you accountable and help them build their own leadership plan for the year as well. This way, you can not only have a formidable plan in place, but be provided with other goals to improve leadership that you may not have thought of.
Be open to ideas and willing to change. As Dr. Steve Maraboli said, “Look around you. Everything changes. Everything on this earth is in a continuous state of evolving, refining, improving, adapting, enhancing, and changing. You were not put on this earth to remain stagnant”. Your leadership is the same in that it is not static. The way you led last year may or may not be the best way to lead this year. If you remain open to change, then your goals can continue to grow and get better. Remember, you are growing when you are uncomfortable.
Are you excited to work on your leadership plan? I hope so, because it’s one of the most rewarding things that I do for myself every year. “The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself. The more you learn, the more you’ll earn.” Warren Buffett, the most successful investor the world has ever seen, said that. He wasn’t talking about just monetary earnings, but wealth in all areas of life. Investing in your leadership will pay you back as a parent, spouse, business partner, and all the roles that we serve. Stay up-to-date with my latest discoveries through the Let’s Go Win podcast, and learn more about the power of positive growth.
JM Ryerson is a best-selling author and Performance and Mindset Coach. JM has a question for you. Are you living your best life, and do you feel fulfilled in your goals and achievements? While it’s tempting to say yes, really take a minute to consider what it means to be truly fulfilled. What does that look like to you? Does it match your current environment? As a professional leadership coach for entrepreneurs and executive teams, these are the questions that JM has spent years helping people of all backgrounds answer. His passion to help others succeed at work, at home, and in life is empowering the next generation of business leaders. If you’re interested in pursuing peak performance in both your life and at work, then make a change now. Stay up-to-date with JM’s latest discoveries through his podcast, Let’s Go Win, and learn more about the power of positive growth.