This new year should be a time for change and reflection. What could you have done differently last year to make yourself a better leader at work or at home? Whether it’s a book club or a thriving business, there are certain skills necessary to effectively lead those around you in a way that inspires them to follow. Consider these resolutions to improve your leadership skills.
Go back to school
Furthering your education is always a good thing. A masters degree can offer a multitude of opportunities like networking and staying abreast on industry related advancements. A second degree can even give you the option to explore a new career or expand your horizons which might lead you to find new passions. Beyond that, you can grow personally by facing new challenges and learning more about your field.
One way to find leadership opportunities is to look for them outside of your current job. Find a cause you care about, and make a commitment to volunteer on a regular basis. Try to engage your coworkers in a group project. Many organizations, like Habitat for Humanity, look for corporate groups to boost volunteer numbers and raise awareness. Besides the good karma, you’ll show your employers you can organize and direct a large group of people, skills that position you as an effective leader.
Keep up with technology
From social media to smartphone apps, businesses now rely on new media, and you’ll be expected to understand it. But don’t be overwhelmed: use social media to connect with customers or coworkers, or just to pick up tips from bloggers in your field. Browse for applications that are educational or that help you with productivity or time management. Small steps can help you stay ahead of the game and be the go-to person for new ideas.
Engage personally with those around you
The most important step you can take as a leader is to connect with your coworkers. You want to be educated and passionate, and you want to stay informed, but if you can’t connect with your coworkers you won’t be able to lead. Take time to have lunch with people who work closely with you. Collaborate on projects with people from other departments. Outside of the workplace, get to know your neighbors and the people you interact with on a daily basis, like the waiters and baristas at your regular place. You’ll be surprised at the difference a little time and effort can make.
When working on self-improvement this year, remember that small, specific goals are more easily reached than broad overarching concepts. Find a resolution that speaks to you personally and make a concerted effort to do something toward accomplishing that goal daily.