10 Leadership Resolutions for a Successful New Year

10 Leadership Resolutions for a Successful New Year

Make These Leadership Resolutions for a Brighter New Year

If the past 2 years have shown us anything, it’s that we can’t predict what’s on the horizon. But as we begin the new year, it’s a safe bet that change and uncertainty will continue to be major themes — along with the growing challenges of the hybrid workforce and the ongoing need for equitable, diverse, and inclusive organizations. It’s also safe to assume that leadership will be critical for success. With that in mind, here are 10 leadership resolutions we recommend for the coming year.

Leadership Resolutions for Leading Yourself

1. Lead with your whole self.

Achieving balance doesn’t mean devoting equal attention to all parts of your life at all times. Rather, it’s about understanding the importance of each facet and being intentional about how you prioritize your time and energy. 

You can be a more effective leader by understanding how 4 elements of your life — self, family, career, and community — influence and work with each other. When you bring your whole self to your role, you can more easily integrate your values into your everyday actions — and help your team do the same. 

For more, read How to Practice Holistic Leadership, Even During Uncertain Times.

2. Don’t shy away from talking about difficult topics.

Talking about difficult topics, including conversations about race, can make us feel vulnerable, nervous, or even fearful about having these important discussions. But having them is essential for creating a truly inclusive work culture. 

Start by understanding the concepts of trust, identity, and power to lay the groundwork for any conversation about race, both in the workplace and beyond.

For more, watch our webinar How to Have Conversations About Race: 3 Critical First Steps.

3. Hone your virtual persona.

Most work-from-home employees can identify with the popular term “Zoom fatigue.” Even after months of virtual communications, it can still feel uncomfortable or tiring to communicate only through screens. We muddle our way through bad Internet connections and try our best to make eye contact, all while hoping our words and body language communicate our enthusiasm and engagement.

By carefully crafting your virtual persona, you can strengthen the quality of your virtual communications. Focus on 3 key areas: immediacy, receptivity, and composure. The result is an increased feeling of connectedness between you and your audience.

For more, read How to Craft Your Persona for Effective Virtual Communications.

Leadership Resolutions if You’re Leading Others

4. Learn what it takes to lead virtually.

For a virtual workforce to succeed, we have to not only change where we work, but how we lead as well. Effective virtual leadership requires us to reexamine our skillsets and mindsets — all while continuing to solve complex business challenges. 

You can adapt to leading in the new virtual landscape by learning how to:

  • Shift your mindset.
  • Identify personal growth challenges and opportunities across leader levels.
  • Show up as your best self to more effectively lead your teams and the organization.
  • Foster teamwork and collaboration virtually.

For more, watch our webinar Virtual Leadership: Skillsets and Mindsets for the Future of Work.

5. Support your employees in their development efforts.

Professional development is important for everyone on your team. Our research has found that the primary predictor of the success of leadership development programs is the degree to which participants’ bosses support them. So, how can you support your people?

  • Set the stage for an effective program by discussing with your direct reports their goals — areas they should focus on and how they can get the most out of each opportunity.
  • Give them permission to focus their attention on the training by allowing them to fully disengage from normal responsibilities.
  • Find out what support they’ll need when their program is done.
  • Follow up after the training by meeting with your team members to discuss what they learned, how they’ll apply it, and what you can do to continue supporting them.

For more, read How Bosses Can Support Their Employees’ Development.

6. Lead your team through change.

Change is the one thing we can be certain of. Not only do leaders have to navigate change for themselves, but they also have to lead their teams through change.

Even when leaders and organizations know what the change is, they may still hesitate, fail to act, or act slowly. Here’s how to overcome the inertia:

  • Know what you want to achieve.
  • Observe the current state of your team or organization.
  • Accept that this is where things are and that change won’t happen unless you take action.
  • Communicate your intent and why — again, again, and again.
  • Demonstrate your personal commitment to the change.
  • Offer a better vision based upon your intent.
  • Reward those who move forward.

For more, read How to Be a Successful Change Leader.

Leadership Resolutions if You’re Leading an Organization

7. Adapt your leadership style for the hybrid workforce.

Leading a hybrid team requires adaptability to change and an openness to experimentation. We’ve identified 5 steps to help you succeed in this new and changing environment:

  • Acknowledge what’s new and different about the hybrid workforce.
  • Foster empathy, equity, and inclusion in your hybrid workforce.
  • Cultivate the mindsets of learning agility and resilience.
  • Pay close attention to direction, alignment, and commitment (DAC).
  • Focus on boundary spanning — within your hybrid team and across the organization.

When members of your hybrid workforce see leaders recalibrate, adapt, and embrace the future with an agile and collaborative mindset, they’ll likely do the same.

For more, read How Leaders Should Approach Today’s New Hybrid Workforce.

8. Create a psychologically safe workplace.

How do you foster trust, creativity, collaboration, and innovation in an organization and get people to leverage their full potential? By creating safe spaces to take risks at work— the foundation of psychological safety. 

You can empower your people to challenge the status quo by using 3 leadership strategies:

  • Clarifying boundaries.
  • Establishing trust.
  • Fostering interpersonal risk-taking. 

For more, watch our webinar How Leaders & Leadership Collectives Can Increase Psychological Safety at Work.

9. Build a more resilient organization.

When organizations are resilient, their people are mindfully aware of the environment, able to respond productively in the face of disruption, and willing to learn from experience.

While organizational resilience is built over time, some of the best development occurs during adversity and unplanned change. As a leader, you can help your organization to become more resilient by embedding these 3 steps in daily work life:

  • Anticipate what’s happening in the environment.
  • Empower your people to collaborate in new ways.
  • Assess your progress so that you can continuously build capability and capacity.

For more, read Steps You Can Take to Build a Resilient Organization.

10. Invest in equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) is imperative for building thriving organizations and attracting and retaining talent for the opportunities of the future.

Your people need new ways to think about and talk about diversity. Your leaders need new skills to enable equity and inclusion in the workplace. And your organization needs scalable ways to ensure that your EDI initiatives avoid common mistakes and are both solid and sustainable.

Use our REAL™ framework to help your people understand the dynamics of EDI within your particular organization — and identify specific actions they can take to drive progress.

  • Reveal relevant opportunities. Using a curious and open mindset, start investigating the context in which EDI plays out for individuals, teams, and your entire organization.
  • Elevate equity. Make it a priority for every individual and group to have access to the resources and opportunities they require to reach their full potential.
  • Activate diversity. Acknowledge and celebrate differences within your organization.
  • Lead inclusively. Envision and enact new ways of leading that allow everyone in your organization to participate authentically.

For more, read Create REAL Workplace Culture Change With a Systemic Approach to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Make sure you and your organization are positioned to achieve your leadership resolutions and goals for the year. Whether you’re looking for leadership development programs for leaders at every level, or leadership training to help your organization navigate today’s new hybrid workplace or focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), we can partner with your organization to craft a leadership solution that works.

December 17, 2021
Leading Effectively Staff
About the Author(s)
Leading Effectively Staff
This article was written by our Leading Effectively staff, who analyze our decades of pioneering, expert research and experiences in the field to share content that will help leaders at every level. Subscribe to our emails to get the latest research-based leadership articles and insights sent straight to your inbox.

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