Today we dispatched the most recent edition of our Leadership That Works Newsletter, a curated digest of the most intriguing leadership links to read right now, sent at the end of each month. In this month’s 7 inspiring leadership links for a happy new year: change is possible, reclaiming your time, presence is a present, and more. As always, we’re sharing the articles from our newsletter here in case you’re not subscribed to our mailing list. If you like what you see, you can sign up to receive our newsletter here.
Ever heard one of your skeptic pals or colleagues dismissively snort that, “people simply don’t change” in response to your new year’s resolutions? Well, now you’ve got science on your side. According to this post from HBS Working Knowledge, “social science research not only confirms change is possible, but outlines ways to make new behaviors stick.” To prove it, they’ve compiled the latest behavioral research from Harvard Business School to help you explore why people change, how you can get started on new habits, and what you can do to make improved behaviors last. Check it out here.
“Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. The same way that money multiplies through compound interest, the effects of your habits multiply as you repeat them,” writes author James Clear as quoted in this smart Farnam Street post. Small choices may seem inconsequential in the moment, but it is the cumulative effect of those seemingly miniscule moments that makes the difference. Just as small deposits into a bank account may seem imperceptible to the balance day-to-day but yield large rewards over time, tiny differences in our own behavior may, “seem to make little difference on any given day and yet the impact they deliver over the months and years can be enormous.” Learn more about how you can harness the power of habits in the full post here.
** For some additional habit inspiration, read about our 8 high-impact leadership habits anyone can master, or muster some motivation from our 32 quotes about the power of habits.
As a leader, are you being careful to honor people with your attention? Mary Jo Asmus writes in this thoughtful post, “Being present to others is a gift that costs nothing but your time and focus, and it’s a gift that will pay you back tenfold.” The alternative, if you become inattentive in a negligent way, is that people can feel rejected and like their efforts do not matter. So why not try just a little harder to be a bit more present every day; it costs very little and reaps immeasurable rewards. If you need more convincing, Asmus nicely summarizes some of the benefits here.
**For more on the gift of presence, explore our posts on how to influence people with honor, and 10 powerful ways to give thanks with your leadership.
Some leaders struggle to connect the value of reflection to their goals; they can view time spent looking inward as unproductive or self-indulgent. But that’s not the case. John C Maxwell, who does his own “year-end review” annually, writes in this motivating post, “The seven days I spend reviewing my year are the most productive days I’ll have in any 12 months. They help me focus on what I’ve accomplished and have yet to do. They help me identify habits or patterns that need attention. They help me refine my daily schedule so I can continue my journey of personal growth. Nothing else I do compares to the return on investment my year-end review brings me.” Does that sound good but 7 days seems like too much of an investment? No worries. Maxwell has prompts and suggestions to help you kickstart your own year-end review with a much smaller time commitment, about the length of one single morning. Explore his insights here and begin working towards your best year yet.
**Searching for more prompts for reflection and self-assessment tools? We’ve got you covered with our Leadership Character Checklist, our Leadership Competence Checklist, and our 5 Essential Leadership Questions.
Recent research reveals that leaders don’t actually spend their time doing the things they think are most important. How can leaders better understand where they’re using their energy and work to reinvest their time in the things that matter most? Lisa Bodell shares a helpful tool in this actionable Forbes article, that she calls the “Leadership Task Log.” When Bodell tested the log with leaders at Merck, they found that, “getting an accurate snapshot of how they spent their workdays enabled them to prioritize their goals and make new commitments.” To gain similar insight to propel you towards success in 2019, explore Bodell’s step-by-step instructions here.
**For more tips on using your time effectively, explore our time management strategies for executives.
65% of CEOs globally are worried about trust declining. Many leaders are aware of the importance of building trust but may not be charting a clear path towards cultivating it within their organization. This insightful Strategy+Business post focuses squarely on the importance of transparency to any trust-building effort. Transparency is just one piece of the puzzle but it is a very important component. Leaders can start to improve transparency by addressing four key questions outlined here.
Continuous improvement is at the heart of leadership that works and at the center of a fulfilling life. To help with the transition to a new year filled with fresh challenges and opportunities for growth, we’ve compiled our annual list of leadership resolutions. We hope these leadership resolutions for 2019 will empower you to lift your leadership to new heights and lead your most productive, meaningful, and fulfilling year yet. Each resolution links to an article or two we’ve posted in the past year that helps bring the lesson to life. Enjoy them here!
Ready to take your leadership to the next level in the new year? For an immersive and transformational leadership experience, apply to attend one of our upcoming leadership Boot Camps, taught personally by our Founder, Doug Conant, the only former Fortune 500 CEO who is a NYT bestselling author, a Top 50 Leadership Innovator, a Top 100 Leadership Speaker, and a Top 100 Most Influential Author in the World.