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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 July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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