Have You Conducted Your Leadership Spring Tune-Up?

pic for leadership tune-up

After the treacherous winter we have had in the Northeast part of the United States, spring cannot come soon enough. In less than a week, the calendar officially welcomes the vernal equinox with joy and possibility. It is a time of hope for warmer temperatures, longer daylight hours and blossoming of trees and flowers. It is when nature repositions herself for new growth and color. Bare-leaf branches begin to develop new baby green buds while lime colored mini-bristles sprout up from the lawns. Daffodils and crocuses begin to pop up and the sweet fragrances of spring fill the air. Oh how I love the spring because it reminds me of starting over fresh with a blank slate of newness.

Spring is also a perfect time for leaders to reawaken themselves after a long winter. It’s a great opportunity to decide what needs to remain dormant and what new seeds need to be planted.

Are you ready to conduct your leadership spring tune-up?

 REFLECT ON THE WINTER ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Whether you live in a climate of four distinct seasons or one with more subtle changes in nature, it is always healthy to take a hard look at what is going well and what needs to be tweaked or dumped. Honestly ask yourself:

  • What brought me the greatest professional or personal success this past winter?
  • What did the people on my team value the most about me?
  • How did I make a difference in someone else’s life?
  • What responsibilities in my job were the most challenging?
  • If I could change one thing about my leadership, what would that be?

 RESEARCH SOMETHING NEW TO GROW

It may not be realistic to make any changes about our careers or relationships without doing some reading or talking to someone with expertise in an area we need to develop. Some great places to begin this journey may be to attend a webinar on an interesting topic or pick up a book by an author you have been following or heard about. Is there a conference you really would love to sign-up for but never made the time? Spring into a curious mode.

 DECIDE ON THE NEXT DIRECTION

After your exploration, choose one or two areas to pursue. Create a “Leadership Growth Chart” and put down your goals and steps to achieve them. When we put the words down on paper and not allow them to just fill up our minds, we are more likely to tackle them. I know I am about to try some new endeavors and designing a visual is going to help guide me and keep me focused.

 BUILD-IN CHECKPOINTS TO KNOW YOU HAVE ARRIVED

To see forward movement and feel that we are reaching our milestones, it is helpful to commit to deadlines and actions.

  • List the steps you are going to take with dates and timeframes.
  • Write down any resources you may need and how you will go about obtaining them.
  • Set up meetings to interview people who can provide you with guidance and insights.
  • Be flexible if you need to re-evaluate. Sometimes our direction changes and that is part of the whole growth process.

How will you prepare for your leadership spring tune-up? What are some strategies that have worked for you?

11 thoughts on “Have You Conducted Your Leadership Spring Tune-Up?

  1. You know that I’m a big fan of designing visuals to keep one on track. May your visual be something that motivates you to keep moving forward. For some, that can be as simple as a check box. Breaking down a BHAG into small steps is a great practice. Enjoyed your post Terri!

  2. You are the “visual queen”, Joy! I agree that an image can help leaders draw a clearer vision of what they want to accomplish. I think that visuals can actually complement our words to make our ideas come to life.

    I use visuals all the time to motivate me and get me excited about what I want to achieve with workshops or presentations.

    Thank you Joy, for all your magnificent and inspirational images that get my innovative juices running!

  3. Planting is important for leaders to do in order to prepare for their next steps. Choosing the right bulbs and seeds can take research and connecting with others.

    Thanks Karin! Happy Spring!

  4. Leadership growth chart! What a fun, visual way to set goals and have reminders of where we want to go.

    We’re headed into winter here and it’s the heat of the summer that keeps me cooped up inside. Looking forward to breathing in some crisp air and a fresh start.

    Thanks, Terri!

  5. Wow! Spring cleaning always gets my attention and I love the way you wove that into leadership!

    Brilliant, Terri!

    My favorite was: research someting to grow! Once we stop looking for ways grow in where we’re headed in both life and business, we’re done! The stealth thing about this concept is that we rarely recognize that we’ve stopped looking for ways to grow!

    I love your attitude and approach to coaching…always looking for the best and keeping an upbeat attitude—wait, that’s mental toughness! And you have it in spades 🙂

  6. I’m jealous about your warm summer in Australia, yet I can imagine your need for some cooler air! Whether it is Spring or Summer or Fall, it’s essential for leaders to take a hard and honest look about about their leadership choices and trajectory. Keeping a leadership growth chart can demonstrate whether we need to stretch a bit or reach out to cultivate our networks. It’s a creative way to honor and evaluate the direction our leadership needs to take.

    Thanks Alli!

  7. You are too funny, LaRae about Spring cleaning! Sometimes just thinking about how to organize myself for that task can be daunting.

    I agree that we don’t always know when we have stopped growing until we become burned out. I see this often with seasoned leaders who are so stuck in doing what feels comfortable and comes easily to them. The red flag may be getting too “cushy” and when our activities are on automatic. When we see that happening, we need to stop ourselves and restart our engines to explore ways to add energy and excitement to our careers. And yes, that takes mental toughness!!

    As always I appreciate your additions, LaRae!

  8. Terri – Thinking of your long winter, and how much my loved ones crave sunny days after long winter months. And thinking of a picture someone from your part of the world posted while you were buried in snow. They painted tulips on the snow banks that lined their sidewalk leading up to their home.

    The funny thing is that even from my desert location I’ve got spring fever – flowers, cleanup, and goal-setting!

  9. I guess you make an important point, Chery, that we don’t need an actual climate change to perform a leadership tune-up!

    I encourage leaders to take a hard and honest look at themselves several times during the year to see if they are meeting their goals. Sometimes we need to reset goals due to a change in our company’s redirection or a repositioning of our professional needs. Making those changes is fine as long as we still keep with our vision and mission.

    Enjoy the warmth in your beautiful sandbox!

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