Top Leadership Resolutions for 2011

With the New Year upon us, it is time to look back and see what went well in 2010 and make it better. It is also time to look and see what did not work so well and change it. You as a leader, have both an awesome responsibility, but also a terrific opportunity, to lead your team to excellence in 2011.

1) Do a Leadership Audit. Ask your employees and colleagues and even competitors: What makes a great leader? Look at top-performing companies. Why is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Time Magazine Person of the Year? Why is Facebook worth more than most other US companies? Now look at yourself. What things can you change to make yourself a stronger leader?

2) Read something. Get out of your own safety zone and read something that will challenge your thinking. Great leaders are always seeking out new ideas. Try (former Indianapolis Colts Coach) Tony Dungy’s The Mentor Leader, where he details his seven-step plan to help his players be better. Or you might consider Stephen Denning’s The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century. Denning principles simultaneously inspire high productivity, continuous innovation, deep job satisfaction and client delight. Denning puts forward a fundamentally different approach to management, with seven interlocking principles of continuous innovation: focusing the entire organization on delighting clients; working in self-organizing teams; operating in client-driven iterations; delivering value to clients with each iteration; fostering radical transparency; nurturing continuous self-improvement and communicating interactively.

3) Challenge Your Team. Offer — and pay for — a class on leadership for all of your managers, or even all of your employees. Too often, we choose the best do-er to become our next manager. But management and leadership are vastly different skills from those of a salesperson or a technical staff member. Sometimes we do a good job of preparing our managers and staff to be leaders, but most times we don’t. Take the initiative this year to give your employees the tools to be successful too. Click on Workshops (above menu) for more ideas on classes offered locally).

Stay tuned for more resolutions next week!

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