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Start The Year Right By Evaluating Your Leadership Routines

Dr. Vince Molinaro, CEO of Leadership Contract Inc., is a NY Times best-selling author & adviser on building & scaling leader accountability

Whether you realize it, many leaders have routines they embrace as part of their roles. These leadership routines are regular practices leaders implement to get their jobs done. Some leaders I work with use daily team huddles to bring focus and commitment. Other leaders have regular one-on-one meetings with their team members to check in on how they are doing. Others implement weekly communications to create clarity with their teams. 

While all these routines are valuable, leaders must be deliberate and reassess them from time to time to ensure they are still creating value and achieving their desired outcomes. Now that a new year has started, it provides you with an excellent opportunity to take a few minutes to reassess your leadership routines and ensure they are still viable for 2022.

I believe this is even more critical because of all the dramatic changes that have taken place in the world of work over the past 18 months. Almost everything we did as leaders appeared to change overnight. We needed to contend with the new realities of remote work. And now, nearly two years in, it’s clear that the adjustments we made in response to hybrid work will be with us for some time. The changes we adopted will not be short-term ones, but rather ones that need to be part of how we lead moving forward.

Therefore, it is important for all of us to take some time now to pause and reflect on our leadership routines to ensure we are being as accountable and effective as we can as leaders.

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Here are some suggestions to get this done.

1. Understand your leadership context.

Start by asking yourself, what’s happening in your organization this year? Will things be the same as last year? Are there changes afoot that demand you change how you lead your team? What critical strategic priorities will you and your team need to deliver this year? By reflecting on these questions, you can now shift your focus to assessing your leadership routines.

2. Assess your leadership routines.

Spend some time thinking about the past leadership routines you should continue because they have served you well. For example, I know many leaders implemented routines to more frequently connect with their teams. Make sure you keep doing this, as it’s critical to fostering connection in a hybrid world. At the same time, begin to identify any new leadership routines you will need to put in place this year.

3. Solicit feedback.

Ensure to get feedback from your team on the leadership routines they find valuable. Your team will most certainly be able to tell you the ones that add value to them and the ones that are not. They also can help you think about new ones that will help you be more successful in leading in a hybrid world of work.

4. Commit to a new leadership routine and put it into practice.

Next, set up your new leadership routines. Here are some to consider.

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• Regularly communicate the strategy to your team members to create team clarity.

• Set up a consistent meeting structure to ensure you have productive team members.

• Ensure your team gets to know one another personally and finds ways to have some fun from time to time.

• Block off regular time in your calendar when your team knows you will be available for informal chats.

Furthermore, make sure you also identify leadership routines that go beyond your team. Here are some examples.

• Be more deliberate in reaching out regularly to colleagues in other departments to build crucial relationships.

• Make a point to improve the working relationship with a peer or another team.

• Commit to tackling performance issues more quickly, rather than putting them off, only to see problems get worse.

With time and dedicated attention to your critical leadership routines, you can improve not only your leadership and your team’s performance but also your company’s leadership culture. Good luck and have a great 2022.

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