What is one thing you can do to level up your leadership skills in 2022?
Well, there are many things you can do to level up your leadership right now and moving into 2022. Unfortunately none of them will be easy. The reason is because great leadership is not easy. In fact, great leadership is the opposite of easy. Great leadership is hard! So difficult in fact, that it is a hugely sought after commodity.
With that said, you can begin focusing on one thing that will get you started to leveling up your leadership in 2022. It is a concept painted with a broad stroke, but it will make all the difference in the culture you create as a leader. Focus on this thing as you move towards leadership excellence in 2022:
One Thing: Make it clear what is expected of everyone.
The broad nature of this concept is a good thing because it allows you to focus on the areas where you have not made it clear what you expect of everyone. And trust me, there are plenty of areas where you have not made your expectations clear.
For example, you might be saying to yourself, “Everyone who works for me has a job description, so they know what is expected of them.” This is a good start of course. But if you think about it, if you hire a salesperson, I’m pretty sure he or she is not thinking they are expected to help provide security to the office building as well.
No, they will be relatively sure their job is focused on selling your “widget”. You may have some requirements as it relates to the sales position that you are making clear like, “Salespeople are required to make 50 cold calls per day,” or “Salespeople are required to sell to 10 new clients per month,” or, of course the sales quota, “Salespeople are required to bring in $1 Million in revenue for the calendar year.”
Perhaps, though, you have not made those “widget” specific requirements clear. Perhaps you are just hoping or assuming your salespeople should know that they need to make at least 50 cold calls per day. Hope and assumption have no place in the leadership equation.
Other Types of Expectations
Your people will appreciate the clarity in expectations. They may not like it or agree with it, but they will be clear on what is expected of them every day. This puts you on the path to leveling up your leadership!
What of “non-widget” expectations? This is where it gets really hard. But these “non-widget” expectations may be more important than the “widget” specific expectations.
For example, perhaps your salesperson makes their 50 cold calls per day but constantly complains to everyone who will listen what a stupid and random requirement this is. They are doing their job as outlined, but is this creating a good environment? Just because someone makes their quota of calls, does this scenario make you a good leader?
No, it does not. The negative environment around constant complaining that goes unaddressed by the leader will eventually bring people to leave or worse, have them stay but adopt the negative behavior.
What if you the leader made it clear that you expect everyone to, “Address complaints in a professional and courteous manner that at least offers an attempt at a solution. We do not tolerate gossiping and bad mouthing.”?
This expectation of behavior is a little more difficult to communicate and enforce. But if everyone was aware of this expectation and people were held accountable to it by the leader, would it make for a better, more productive work environment? Of course it would!
Would you be viewed as a better leader by making this behavioral expectation clear? Of course you would! (Except by the gossips, of course!)
So, as you move into 2022, here is one thing you can do to level up your leadership: Identify a couple of things from a “widget” and behavioral standpoint that are not readily clear but you expect, or would like to expect, from your people…and make them clear!
An easy concept that will be difficult to execute…welcome to leadership!
Happy New Year!
Errol Doebler is the founder of Ice Cold Leader, a leadership consulting firm. After successful careers as a Navy SEAL Platoon Commander and FBI Special Agent, Errol founded Ice Cold Leader to realize his passion of empowering great leaders and better human beings. Errol provides executive coaching, keynote speaking, and corporate retreats to individuals and teams across the world.
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Errol is hosting a FREE Leadership Workshop on Thursday January 13th, 2022 at 3pm EST. The topic of the workshop is “How To Establish Your Culture and Improve Your Hiring Practices“. The workshop is designed for all levels of leader in every field of endeavor who want to level up and become the best version of themselves. Secure your spot here.