As we welcome the arrival of a New Year, many of us are naturally filled with hope and excitement about the possibilities and opportunities for growth, change and success over the upcoming 12 months.
The beginning of a new year is also an excellent opportunity for reflection; of contemplating where we’ve been and where we could be. From that perspective, I’d like to share with you some of the leadership insights I’ve written about over the past 52 weeks, not just as a reminder of the lessons that were shared, but also so we can contemplate how we might apply them going forward.
Instead of a list of articles, though, I’d like to share a quote from ten of the most shared and commented pieces I wrote for my blog this past year, along with a link back to that piece if you’d like to learn more about that topic.
In this way, I hope to inspire you to celebrate your accomplishments of the past year in leading your team and organization, as well as to encourage you to find opportunities to become the kind of leader your employees need you to be. The kind of leader who will not only help them to succeed and thrive, but one where you will also find a sense of purpose and fulfilment in what you do.
So here now are my quotes from the top 10 leadership pieces I wrote from 2013, as selected by you, the readers of my blog:
The key to building a thriving organization:
“In our pursuit to create meaning through our shared efforts, we need to ensure that we’re creating value not just for our customers or shareholders, but also for our employees, if not also for the community in which we operate … we have to make sure we’re creating and communicating a long-term objective that’s bigger than us; that your employees want to be a part of not only because they believe in our vision, but because it makes them feel special. That this is something that only we could do.” (Click here to read more – What Leaders Need To Do To Create A Thriving Organization)
The importance of defining our shared purpose:
“Our purpose tells us why what we do is so important that only we could do it, if not also why we have to do it. In the pursuit of profits and market share, it’s easy for an organization to lose that connection to why they started this journey in the first place and why others couldn’t address it as well as they could.
And this is what lies at the very heart of success and failure – how much we’ve reached or moved away from our shared purpose.” (Click here to read more – What Organizations Really Need To Succeed And Thrive)
Going beyond being smart to also being generous:
“Today’s successful leaders don’t simply rely on their own intelligence and perspective to guide their decisions. Rather, these leaders are also thoughtful of others, seeking and valuing the insights and perspectives of those under their care to help shape and inform their decisions.” (Click here to read more – How To Succeed At Leadership – Inspiration From An Unlikely Source)
The benefit of becoming a more social leader:
“By spending more time listening and reflecting on what their employees have to say – and making the necessary changes to reflect the on-the-ground realities their employees face – social leaders are not only providing the right conditions to help their organization to succeed and thrive in today’s challenging market, but they’re also enabling their employees to bring their discretionary effort to that shared purpose. (Click here to read more – The Benefits Of Being A Social Leader For Today’s Organizations)
Why leaders shouldn’t worry about being the smartest person in their organization:
“If you want your organization to benefit from the collective experiences and insights of your employees, you need to recognize that you don’t have all the answers and that in some cases, your employees are more knowledgeable than you are.
Admitting this doesn’t make you any less of a leader. On the contrary, it makes you a better one because it shows your focus is on those you lead and what you can do to help them succeed, as opposed to simply being focused on your own glory.” (Click here to read more – Lessons On Effective Leadership From A Nobel Laureate)
Recognizing the need to understand the true motivations of our employees:
“We need to make time to go beyond those brief encounters and facilitate one-on-one interactions with our employees to discover who they really are – of what matters to them and what would make them feel like they’re contributing meaningfully to our shared purpose, not to mention the commonalities that we share with them – so that we might be more successful in sustaining their interest and drive in following our lead.” (Click here to read more – Why Leaders Need To Move Beyond First Impressions)
A lesson in managing fear from courageous leaders:
“While there may be continued uncertainty in the global economy, the last thing your team or organization needs from you is bringing additional uncertainty into the mix because your focus is on what you can’t control, instead of on what aspects you do have some measure to address and consequently, where efforts can be made to keep things moving forward.” (Click here to read more – How Courageous Leaders Address Fear In The Workplace)
How leaders can resolve conflicts within their team:
“Use your leadership role to model for your employees how to attentively listen to others in order to clarify their understanding of the opposing viewpoints being shared by their team mates.
Such efforts will allow your employees to feel validated by one another as their focus won’t simply be on protecting their position, but on valuing and respecting those colleagues who might have a different perspective or understanding from theirs.” (Click here to read more – How Leaders Create The Right Environment To Resolve Team Conflicts)
Making learning a shared experience in your organization:
“Learning can’t exist within a vacuum or silo, but needs to be connected both to what you do and why you do it for it to have a long-lasting and meaningful impact on your organization’s performance and ability to adapt, grow, and thrive in the years ahead.” (Click here to read more – How To Embrace Change In Today’s Organizations)
Developing a new understanding of the importance of failure:
“Failure can provide us with some unique insights and understandings of what’s truly required from us to ultimately be successful in our efforts. They can shed light on certain assumptions we had going forward about what we’re trying to produce and perhaps even the supposed value of what we’re trying to create.
Our failures can also reveal misguiding thinking on our part of what it is we need to accomplish to achieve our goals or even what’s the best route to reach that target. Finally, these failures can reveal unexpected gaps in our competencies to reach our shared goals, competencies that we need to address if we are to succeed in our collective efforts.” (Click here to read more – How Can We Learn To Value Failure?)
Success is about bringing smiles onto the faces of people around you”
– Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus and co-founder, Infosys
It’s my hope that over the past 52 weeks through the various articles I’ve written here on my blog that I’ve not only helped you to improve your understanding of what it takes to be an effective leader in today’s work environment, but that you’ve also been encouraged to bring out the best in those around you, by helping them to succeed in achieving their full potential.
And with that, here’s looking ahead to 2014 and what lessons we’ll learn of how we can not just do better, but be a better leader to those under our care.