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10 Most Mesmerizing Leadership Moves To Make Before 2014

10 Most Mesmerizing Leadership Moves To Make Before 2014

It may be hard to believe, but that doesn’t make the fact that the year is coming to an end any less true. With the rush of the holiday season it’s easy to let active leadership go into hibernation. However, instead of starting off the New Year groggy, take these 10 most important steps toward mesmerizing leadership. With a fresh perspective and some active participation, you can close this year strong and blast off into 2014 with some glimmering insight.

1. Fulfill promises

As a leader you do your best to motivate your employees and push them toward success. Promises like title promotions, salary increases and the potential for bonuses can push employees to keep going and keep trying. However, if as the year is winding down, you realize those commitments were never made good, then it’s time to reassess your promise practice. Sure, some employees may have missed the mark, but what about those who actively tried?

Make sure you keep good on the promises you made earlier this year. More importantly, show your employees the figures and measurements that lead you to your decision to reward or not. By proving that you are on top of the commitments you made and haven’t forgotten about them, employees will still strive to improve and reach those set goals.

2. Deal with dead ends

No doubt this year in business has been a busy one. And while you may have let certain non-pressing issues slide by, it’s important to tend to them before the New Year’s ball drops. Your first step to dealing with dead ends is to understand why you avoided the issue(s) in the first place.

Perhaps you hate confrontation, perhaps you felt like you didn’t have the time to deal with X issue back then: whatever your reason just be honest with yourself and make an effort to catch your avoidance patterns. No one wants last year’s issues lingering onto a fresh calendar. So have that tough conversation with your lackluster employee, cut ties with the vendor that provides more headaches than headway, and start the New Year off right.

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3. Stay accountable

It’s likely that while this year was filled with successes, there were some bumps and missteps along the way. Strong leaders will take a moment to pause and reflect on the mistakes they made in 2013. Accountability is important, especially in a leadership position, and even if you didn’t deal with things correctly in real time, self-reflection can better prepare you for the inevitable issues of 2014.

Pro-actively plan how you’ll commit to staying accountable in the New Year. Be prepared to acknowledge your mistakes as they come, and more importantly, commit to moving forward in a way that puts lessons learned into action and a positive attitude on the horizon.

4. Be present

You may be slightly shocked that you’re reading a “before the year ends” post. In the blink of an eye it probably feels like this year has come and gone. Why? Because you’re so busy multitasking. Leaders often capitalize on their ability to juggle multiple projects, tasks and goals at once. But one thing you should stop juggling is people.

Make a commitment to better your behavior and be present before the year’s end. Stop texting, surfing and emailing when others are trying to interact with you. Whether they are partners, customers or employees, the people who depend on you as their leader are thirsty for your undivided attention.

Of course you’ve got to keep working and still have a lot on your plate, so set mental time limits on conversations and make a promise to follow up in a time-effective way (like emailing). But stay willing to pause in time and space. Not only will it help you focus, but it will make the people around you feel fulfilled because they will feel heard.

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5. Communicate with care

Leaders communicate with others so often that it’s easy to forget the potential power of a carefully crafted message. You can have a basic thought or idea that needs to be received, but how you choose to deliver that message will determine the level at which it is absorbed.

For example, a sluggish comment lacking eye contact, proper tone and slouched posture is not going to resonate when compared to an empowered delivery wrapped around a motivated message. Consider taking a few extra minutes to share a story or anecdote that will relay the powerful emotions and ideas behind your intended message. Take some time to put some care back into your communication so you and your team can embrace 2014 as active and engaged participants.

6. Practice what you preach

You can preach proper practice all day long, but the employees that you lead are going to follow your actions more than anything else. If you want proper behaviors and attitudes at the kick start of the New Year, then start practicing what your preach.

Whether it’s coming into work on time, maintaining health and safety codes in the break room, or standard operating procedures, no employee handbook is going to speak louder than your own actions. Become empowered by employees’ close watch and act in a way that you want emulated.

7. Actively seek out talent

With the daily demanding routines and procedures of your job, you probably only seek out talent when necessary. After all, accepting applications and interviewing others is time consuming and costly. However, what about the talent you’ve already captured…are you capitalizing on it?

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Take some time to reassess the current talents on your team. Make a commitment to pull out strengths and utilize each team member to their utmost ability. Before the year comes to an end, take some time to have a conversation with yourself, make a list or do some observing—anything you can do to open your eyes to the current strengths of your team. Do your best to recognize this talent, nurture it and put it to good use so that 2014 can start off with a talented bang!

8. Be fluid

With advancements in technology it’s now easier than ever to get work done in a variety of ways, at both different times and places. That being said, however you chose to work, assess before the year’s end whether your current method is both effective and efficient, and tweak as necessary.

In whatever changes you make to your working routine, see what work-life balance you can afford yourself. Maybe you can get home sooner by saving non-pressing emails for later that night. Maybe you’ll feel more healthy if you commit to stretching and lifting light dumbbells at the top of every hour. No need to wait for your New Year’s resolution to make these types of changes, commit to being more flexible and fluid now. That way when January is upon you, you’ll already be feeling more balanced and light.

9. Follow up

Remember those changes and tweaks you made at the start of this year? How are they doing? Before this year comes to a close, its important to follow up on any shifts or major moves you’ve made in the last 365 days.

A leader who follows up displays active participation pertaining to the effectiveness of the overall workplace. Employees appreciate someone who not only “makes moves,” but is determined to make sure that those changes are still working for the ever-evolving workplace.

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10. Reflect

In the blink of an eye 2014 will be upon us all. Don’t let the end of the year slip away before carving out some time to reflect. Reflect on the year past: what were the biggest accomplishments, pitfalls and moments of perseverance? What was the biggest lesson learned and what will continue to stay at the forefront of your focus in 2014?

More important, what goals do you have for the upcoming year? What changes are you committed to seeing take place? January 1st is the time to declare your resolutions, not to come up with them. Determine now how you plan to carry out your leadership skills in 2014 as effectively as possible, so that when a fresh calendar is upon us you dive into your active achievements on day one.

What leadership moves will you make before 2014? Let us know in the comments below.

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

Reference

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