Navigating the New Year: I Don’t Need Another Thing To Do!

by | Jan 6, 2024

As the calendar flips to a new year, you have a unique opportunity to reflect, recalibrate, and set the tone for the months ahead. For you, this may mean managing your personal to-do lists and orchestrating the efforts of your team. You can feel like the circus performer who keeps all the plates spinning. Remember how you held your breath as the plate nearly fell moments before the plate spinner sets it spinning again? It’s not so different from balancing personal and team responsibilities.  With thoughtful strategies, you can manage the number of plates you spin and the artful way you spin them. In the process, you’ll pave the way for a year of productivity, growth, and team success. When you can’t do another thing, here are the top five things to keep at the top of the list.

1. Lead by Example:
Leadership is not just about delegating tasks; it’s about setting the standard. As you contemplate your own tasks, consider how your work habits and priorities influence your team. Yes, you should demonstrate a strong work ethic and a commitment to shared goals that inspires your team to do the same. You also should watch that you are saying “yes” to appropriate tasks and saying “no” to others. That, too, sets an example.

2. Establish Clear Communication Channels:
Under valuing the importance of effective communication is, hands down, the biggest challenge I see for leaders and organizations. And yet, effective communication is the bedrock of successful teamwork. A lot of skill goes into effectively communicating. Good interpersonal communication means knowing your personal communication style, reading the room, and shifting your approach to bring out the best in others. For me, listening and listening more is always worthy of attention. Communicating with staff requires you to clearly articulate expectations, provide regular updates, and create an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing progress and challenges. Remember, no news is NOT good news. No news is just no news.

3. Encourage Collaboration:
The power of a team lies in its ability to collaborate. Facilitate an environment where team members can pool their strengths and work together to tackle complex tasks. Foster a culture of inclusivity, where every team member feels valued and can contribute their unique skills to achieve shared goals. The best way to do this is to ensure that your team members have the training they need to be good communicators. Everything you need to know (above), they need, too. It’s the best investment you can make in team success in 2024.

4. Provide Resources and Support:
Ensure that your team has the resources they need to succeed. Whether it’s access to training, technology, or staff support, a well-supported team is more likely to meet their objectives. Be attuned to the needs of your team members and provide the necessary support to overcome obstacles. Kick off the new year by asking your team, “What do you need from me to be successful this year?” Then, practice your listening skills and deeply listen to their needs.

5. Celebrate Milestones:
Recognition is a powerful motivator. Celebrate both personal and team milestones, whether big or small. Acknowledging achievements boosts morale, reinforces a sense of accomplishment, and encourages team members to continue striving for excellence. This is the least expensive and most impactful way you can support your staff.  And don’t forget to say “thank you.”

No one needs another thing to do. That’s why it’s in your best interest to make the most of everything you do do. Be the leader you’d want to work for, demonstrate high-functioning communication skills, support your team, and invest in the training you need to bring your best self to work. Then, invest in the training your team needs to do the same.

It’s up to you to set the stage for a year of shared success. Here’s to a year of effective leadership, team collaboration, and meaningful accomplishments!


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Author Byline: Founder and CEO of Blue Fjord Leaders, Shelley Row P.E. CSP, was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 100 leadership speakers. Professional engineer and former senior executive, she was recognized as one of the best minds in advanced traffic management systems.

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