Short-term and long-term thinking. Strategy and execution. The big picture and small details. There are so many factors and priorities to be aware of as a leader that it’s easy to forget about your own personal development goals. But you must never lose sight of your own leadership goals – they are essential to both your and your team’s success.
“Leaders are often so entangled in the operations of their department or organization that they rarely make time for self-reflection and almost never design a plan that focuses on themselves,” according to Cheryl Procter-Rogers, executive coach and associate director for Ernst & Young’s Americas Coaching Practice. As she puts it, prioritizing your own goals is not selfish. It helps you model the behavior you want to see in your team and among your peers.
Besides, the more you grow, the more your team and organization grow. “Setting leadership goals is important because you need to continuously learn, develop yourself, and expand your horizons to lead a more productive, efficient, and motivated team,” adds Peter Hoopis, founder of Peter Hoopis Ventures, executive coach and author of “E-Cruiting: The Eight Essentials of Recruiting in the Post-Pandemic World.”
With this in mind, here are some impactful leadership goals you need to set for yourself in 2023 to become a better leader.
1. Know and live your values
Knowing and living your values is one of the most important goals you can set for yourself as a leader – it informs everything you do.“Your values guide how you communicate and make decisions,” says Procter-Rogers. “When you are living your values, you build trust, which is important for managing without authority, building high-performance teams, and becoming a trusted advisor to others,” adds Procter-Rogers.
If you don’t know what your core values are, set a goal to identify them. Then, aim to live according to them throughout the year. Don’t be afraid of asking for feedback in the process, adds Procter-Rogers – that’s how you’ll know whether you are doing a good job embodying your values.
2. Expand your network
Expanding your network is also a powerful leadership goal you can set for yourself. Your relationships are precious in this uncertain day and age. When you expand your network with intention, you expand your own resources and resilience.
Procter-Rogers recommends identifying key leaders within and outside your organization that can support your efforts to build your capabilities, design your career path, work towards professional goals, and enhance your executive presence: “This is equivalent to having your own personal board of directors. As you reach significant milestones or speed bumps, your network can ensure you are resilient and maximize any opportunities.”
A tool that can help expand your networking efforts is an electronic business card. These digital versions of a traditional business card can facilitate efficient sharing of contact information and streamline the process of connecting and staying in touch with new contacts.
3. Build and foster relationships in your team
The relationships you have with your reports matter too, so make it a point to build and foster them. “Know and understand each team member well. Spend time with each person, which can be done through regular one-on-one meetings, to learn their strengths, weaknesses, goals, and more,” suggests Hoopis. “When you foster relationships, your team members work better with each other as you guide and coach them to operate within their strengths and improve on their weaknesses.”
Not to mention the fact that by strengthening your teamwork skills, you’ll create a more inclusive, positive work environment by caring about the people you work with and knowing them well.
4. Run efficient, productive meetings
Here’s another goal that may be appreciated by your team: Running efficient, productive meetings. Zoom fatigue is still alive and well. “Running efficient meetings informs employees your meetings are valuable rather than a waste of time. Your meetings will be shorter, your team will get more done, and their morale and motivation will increase,” says Hoopis.
5. Improve your communication skills
If you want to become a better leader, strengthening your communication skills is a no-brainer. “Strong communication skills underpin effective leadership. When you are able to articulate your ideas and vision with enthusiasm quickly and with a compelling story, your words have greater impact,” says Procter-Rogers.
This year and every year, set a leadership goal around communication – you can always take your public speaking and collaboration skills to the next level.
6. Encourage creativity in the workplace
Creativity is increasingly becoming a crucial workplace skill. It’s not limited to creative fields either. As a leader, improving your ability to unleash your team’s creativity will yield powerful results. “When you encourage creativity and listen, your employees feel valued and are more motivated to work with you to arrive at solutions and achieve goals,” says Hoopis.
Wondering what exactly to work on to encourage creativity in the workplace? Active listening is key, and so are open-mindedness and curiosity. “Be open and actively listen to the input of all team members. Do not be quick to judge outrageous ideas. Instead, ask questions to delve deeper and make sense of it,” adds Hoopis. You’ll be amazed at the problem-solving that ensues.
7. Increase your emotional intelligence
Now more than ever, leaders need to be emotionally intelligent. Increasing your emotional intelligence is a smart leadership goal to set for yourself since effective leaders must be “change agents, work successfully with intergenerational teams, and have a global mindset,” says Procter-Rogers. When you are able to understand emotions and use this understanding to connect and empathize with others, a whole new world of relating opens up (and so do business doors).
8. Stay on top of the latest industry trends
From reading books, attending conferences or subscribing to an industry-expert newsletter, staying up-to-date with the latest developments in your field can help you prepare for future shifts in your industry. By keeping your learning gears turning, you can bring fresh ideas and innovative solutions to your team, which can lead to increased productivity, efficiency, and morale. Building the habit of continuous learning can also inspire your team to invest in their own self-improvement. Looking for somewhere to begin? Check out our round up of the top free and paid online project management courses.
9. Cultivate diversity and inclusion
Promoting diversity and inclusion as a leader is essential for creating an environment where everyone feels valued and included. It involves providing equal opportunities, embracing diverse perspectives, addressing discrimination, and collaborating with employee resource groups. By actively supporting diversity and inclusion, you can build a culture where everyone feels respected and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and talents. This not only enhances employee satisfaction and engagement but also leads to better business outcomes and innovation. Are you looking to embrace the power of diversity and inclusion to create a stronger and more inclusive organization, but working hybrid makes this challenging? Check out our article “How To Create An Inclusive Workplace With a Hybrid Work Model” for some great tips.
10. Learn to Delegate Effectively
Effective delegation helps you to free up your time to focus on strategic planning, decision-making, and other leadership tasks that require your attention. It can also empower your team members, giving them opportunities to develop new skills and build confidence. This can increase team productivity as well as encourage a sense of achievement and motivation among your team, giving way to a healthier and fulfilling work environment.
To delegate effectively, you need clearly defined tasks, deadlines, and expected results. Pick who you consider the right person for the job, based on their skills, interests, and workload. Always communicate openly and be sure to provide all necessary resources for the task. It’s also very important to trust your team and avoid micromanaging. You can achieve this by maintaining open lines of communication and providing support and guidance when needed. And remember to appreciate and recognize their efforts, which in turn will motivate them and reinforce positive behavior.
11. Seek feedback on your leadership
A good manager offers feedback to their team as a way to encourage success and improve performance. An effective leader seeks feedback — from senior professionals and from their subordinates. But before anything, is essential that as a leader you build a safe and trusting space to offer and receive constructive feedback. A 2013 research conducted by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman with over 50,000 executives revealed that “leaders who ranked at the top 10% in asking for feedback were rated, on average, at the 86th percentile in overall leadership effectiveness.” Active listening skills, being humble and open to your teammates’ reviews are some of the interpersonal skills that can assist you in becoming a better leader.
12. Handle conflict effectively
Most often than not, managers will have to jump in to resolve conflicts and mitigate roadblocks their teammates might be facing. It’s important to be calm (meditation is great productivity tool for it) and to consider if the topic is being brought up at the right time and place. Consider having a conversation with the individuals involved in the issue, remember to focus on the solution and not the individuals. Be respectful and willing to compromise and apologize if necessary. Most importantly, if the conflict cannot be resolved by you: be humble and ask for help. There might be other managers and people in leadership roles able to support you in assisting your team to get a conflict resolved. During this process, hopefully you will also be leading by example and demonstrating to your team the importance of improving communication, especially when in a remote workspace.
Use Hive to reach your leadership goals
Are you ready to start setting some leadership goals for yourself or your organization? You’re in luck — Hive’s newest (and most exciting) feature is Goals. Everyone wants to know how they’re moving their organization forward, and your contributions are more than just tasks and projects. With Goals, you can set various goals, visualize progress, and keep everyone aligned in one centralized dashboard. You can also:
- Create one, ten, twenty, or more goals for your team, so everyone understands what they’re contributing to.
- Centralize and automate your goal tracking and reporting.
- Pull data from other systems into Hive to streamline operations and reporting.
- Share your goal or goals, assign the goal to relevant teammates, track activity, and give yourselves a deadline.
- Understand how your team and organization are pacing towards an individual goal or a set of goals.
- Color-coded designations allow an easy understanding of “on-track” items.
- When it’s time to review progress, accomplishments, and achievements, easily export all relevant information.
Want to get started? Start your free trial of Hive Goals today!