Regular maintenance is vital to top performance. We maintain our vehicles, our homes and the machinery within our organization. The one area we tend to overlook is our own performance as managers. The New Year is a perfect time to perform management tune ups on yourself and improve the areas that need attention.
January is a fresh slate of sorts. Your desk calendar is still crisp new and relatively unblemished. It hasn’t suffered any coffee spills or markups yet. Now is an excellent time to tackle strategies that will make you a stronger leader.
First, think about how and where you spend your time. Before you were a manager, you would spend your day with your nose to the grindstone, deep in the weeds of doing the work. Now, however, much of your time should be focused on coaching, supporting and building your team. So you’ll need to prioritize how you spend your days. Use that fresh calendar to set realistic timelines, block out time to meet with individuals and delegate to give you the time to lead.
This is also a good time to assess your team and see where your strengths and weaknesses are. Are there employees who could use more attention and training? Does someone deserve recognition or promotion? Are there any conflicts, policies or other issues that need to be cleared up and resolved so they don’t drag on for another year? Now is the time to do it.
Now is also the time to hone your communications skills. Establish times for regular one on one meetings with your team, clients and your boss. Rather than waiting for issues to arise these regular meetings establish open lines of communication and regular feedback that allow you to grow and strengthen your team. Concerns can be addressed before they turn into issues through regular, dedicated communication.
Finally, shake things up. The best management tune ups are those that reignite your passion for your position and your projects. Take on a project that seems challenging. Hire someone that might outshine you one day and work on mentoring them. Find something that will keep you engaged and motivated as a manager rather than just going through the motions.