It’s that classic time to take inventory, a leadership inventory.
1. What did you do really well this year?
Go for it, and don’t be modest! Brainstorm with yourself on:
• All that you accomplished
• Areas where you grew
• People that you helped
• Ideas that you had
• Risks that you took
• Decisions that you made
• Things that you didn’t do that would have wasted your time
2. How well have you taken care of yourself?
A high-functioning organization requires a leader who can manage him or her self first. This applies on all fronts: physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual.
• Did you make and go to necessary doctors appointments?
• Did you engage in some regular physical exercise?
• How was your eating?
• Did you commit to engaging in some spiritual disciplines and follow through?
• Did you engage and grow in your areas of expertise?
This is no joke. Poor self-care habits will undermine your leadership effectiveness…period.
3. Did you set and achieve your desired goals?
Goal orientation is a high-water-mark of high functioning leaders. I prefer realistic, well-thought-out goals with a challenging stretch. Be frank and be kind to yourself.
• Did you set goals for 2013?
• Did you write them down and refer back to them at all this year?
• Can you identify what behaviors favored goal achievement and which did not?
• Peter Drucker would ask, “What activities wasted time and are not necessary?”
4. What is the state of your team, if applicable?
• As Jim Collins asks, “do you have the right people on the bus?”
• Have you held them accountable for their actions and goals?
• How have you “shown up” this year to them?
• Have you been more automatically reactive or more deliberately proactive?
• How clear were your objectives for them and could they see the path?
• Did you give them the resources they needed?
• Did you communicate with them effectively?
• Did you inspire them to do their best work? If so, what did that look like?
Optimal leadership behaviors don’t just happen and this thought process alone can be a very powerful step toward greater intentionality in 2014!