Leader may appear as superhumans, but they aren’t. They’re human just like everyone else and they have a lot on their plates. Here is a list of eight reminders to re-center and re-focus on the things that will keep your organization moving in the right direction.
1. Anticipate problems
When things seem to be going really well, it’s easy to overlook potential issues that may arise. As a leader you must constantly be considering potential outcomes and barriers to success. Be forward thinking enough to anticipate problems before they happen.
2. Make the most of opportunities
In the same token, if you’re overly focused on anticipating barriers to success, it can be easy to miss out on the opportunities that are right in front of you. Or maybe you see the opportunities, but you’re not maximizing their potential. It’s important to find a balanced approach to splitting your attention between these two important areas.
3. Evolve the organization
Be careful not to become complacent. Even in times of great success, it’s important not to become too comfortable. In order to remain relevant to your customer base, you must stay in touch with their ever-changing needs and desires. Keep in tune with your industry so that you can evolve your organization with it.
4. Lead change
Change doesn’t happen overnight. And it definitely doesn’t happen without the buy-in of your team members. Although you may know the changes that need to be made within your organization, it’s equally important to communicate the plan and the “why” to the people that will make it happen.
5. Groom a replacement
It may be difficult to wrap your head around the idea that someone will need to fill your shoes one day. But this is a critical part of your role as a leader to ensure that you have a ready candidate when the time comes. Even if it feels far away, the earlier you start, the better you will set your team up for success when you decide to transition on to your next season of life.
6. Create balance
As a leader, it is your job to be passionate about your organization – about your product or service or proposition. But when you neglect yourself, your family, your relationships – any of the other aspects of your life – you’re doing your team a disservice. The more balance you create in your own life, the better leader you will be. And you’ll be setting a great example for your employees who will be more productive as a result.
7. Listen to employees
Don’t forget that employees have great ideas and often have a fresh, different perspective to offer. Present your longstanding business problems to your team members. Ask them what they would do. Create an environment in which employees feel the security and confidence to come to leadership with ideas when they have them.
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to dream. It can feel risky and a bit scary at times, but your dreams will lead the organization to great places if you let them. Don’t let the daily fires and short-term problem solving distract you from the big picture.