Take the Lead in 2021
We all know that 2020 has been a year that we will never forget. Looking to the future, you may be wondering what this next year will bring and how we will face the daily challenges the world throws our way.
As we move into the new year, forever changed but holding our heads high, we need to focus on leading ourselves and our institutions to better and brighter places, writes Marcel Schawntes for Inc..
Schwantes walks us through these steps as possible New Year's professional resolutions:
1. Prioritize what you and your employees need the most, and keep those priorities crystal clear.
According to Schwantes' research, "less than a quarter (23 percent) of employees reported feeling very well supported since the beginning of the outbreak. This is particularly true for managers, with less than one in five (19 percent) feeling very supported. " With the certainty that remote work will continue into the new year, we need to focus on supporting each other at all levels, explains Schwantes. Reach out to a co-worker who you think is doing a good job. Give your staff the recognition they deserve. It takes a team to create and foster a positive culture in the workplace.
2. Be ready and willing to adapt to changes, and reverse course if necessary. Planning ahead will only get you so far.
"Difficult decisions cannot be avoided during a crisis, but ensuring that employees understand how overarching company values have been incorporated during decision making, or acknowledging the lack of alignment and providing context as to why, serves to maintain employee engagement during challenging times," writes Schwantes. Be ready to adapt and change to any situation that comes your way, and remember there is no shame in saying, "this just isn't working" and changing course.
3. Listen to ideas that come from all levels of your organization. Good ideas don't always come from the executive suite.
Schwantes says, "Sentiment can change quickly, especially during a crisis, and without understanding where employees feel improvement is needed it's nearly impossible to create solutions that keep them feeling engaged and supported." Innovation is driven from good ideas, and good ideas can come from everywhere. Keep your eyes and ears open to any suggestions that come your way.
4. Exceed expectations. Always reach for the next goal line, and keep your eyes on the prize.
You will find that when you focus on what matters most, everything else will fall into place. Understand your priorities, and if they are unclear make sure to schedule some time with your boss to make sure that you are focusing 100 percent of your energy where it matters the most. Reevaluate your portfolio of projects if necessary and take on new challenges if you have the time and energy to do so.
Advancement professionals everywhere have been put through a lot this year. Take some time over the holidays to take a break, and as you move into the new year, don't forget to reflect on the lessons hard learned in 2020.