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?