Here comes my favourite post of the year. And at the same time, the one I fear the most because I have to be vulnerable!

You can’t help others reflect and guide them towards growth if you can’t tap into your inner leader first. When you open up about your own story, you use your own lessons learned to work on inspiration for people around you.

Where to start? Tap into your inner leader with a year-end review.

Set one hour aside and replay the film of the year. Note down your “ah-ah “ moments, who you interacted with, the situations you’re proud of (or not)… And ask yourself: What did I learn? What shifted?

Then, pick up the 3 most powerful lessons and label them with: grow / learn / watch.

You should end up with 3 big pillars. Now, time to boost your leader resolutions!

Here’s my own result.

 

What did I do that most contributed to my successes?

 

GROW: equal importance to direction and destination (section header pic)

 

I have to admit that, for years, I operated in “reaching destination” mode. Set a big fat goal, outline a plan and get there as soon as you can!

That’s exactly how I intended to achieve my main goal for the year (create an exclusive coaching program). But mid-year through, my journey took a different turn. I had to revisit both goals and intention (for a delivery manager like me, this means big, big stress)

I made the brave decision to step in the unknown; loosen control, let things unfold and progress with agility. I walked with a compass, not a map.

Result? I stopped putting speed of execution above everything else. I put up the mirror and questioned my intentions. I had greater mind space to use feedback.

And came up with a far better idea than the one I drafted first.

You can’t lead without achieving your development goals. But if the end result is important, it’s no means to an end. So don’t obsess over it. Instead, tap into your inner leader and ask her: Are we doing the right thing? Are we creating value for others and ourselves? And see how your answers inform your progress.

 

My destination is no longer a place, but a new way of seeing - Marcel Proust (quote image)

 

Where did I not measure up to my potential?

 

LEARN: make communication meaningful (section header pic)

 

All leaders should work on communication, day in, day out.

It’s hard to be a good conversationalist, isn’t it? One that can, simultaneously, inform, ignite curiosity and show empathy? One who can tap into her inner leader to create a bond with the person she’s talking to?

Related: How To Expand Your Leadership Boundaries: Learn To Respond

If a good conversation wasn’t hard enough already, receiving honest feedback on the quality of your communication is always a challenge. And it’s even harder when most of our “conversations” happen via email.

Celeste Headlee, author of “We need to talk”, explains:

“email, as a medium for communication, is only 7 percent as effective as talking to someone in person or over the phone” 

So I would like to invite all of you to pay attention to your teammates, sponsors, mentors, bosses. Make a conscious effort to talk to them in person instead of starting another web chat.

Tap into your inner leader to connect in person. How can you make it more human? Not only will you get your message across more efficiently, but you’ll work on empathy and trust.

 


Ready to strengthen your inner game? Download my FREE e-book to discover 3 practical steps to communicate for impact and lead through trust.


What will I most fondly remember?

 

WATCH: pause, inquire and refocus (section header pic)

 

I said earlier that I had big fat goals for the year and… life happened.

I have not been in great shape health-wise. As a result, I had to adapt my work schedule to what I could realistically achieve (not the other way round, as I had always been doing).

This year, I had to tap into my inner leader to work on what matters. What was the bare minimum to get to “good”? How could I make impactful decisions?

I often had to pause and find the best way to do things, even if it meant letting go of the 10% of perfection. But working differently brought great clarity and made me realise there were too many distractions in my day-to-day.

Related: Structure the madness and focus better: how to declutter your mind

How often do you really look at your own performance? Are you really targeting the 20% tasks that bring 80% of results? When you’re executing, do you tap into your inner leader to give you full focus? Or do you go through the motions because, in a way, that sounds easy?

We tend to derive our value from the number of things we do. But the best results often come from a few specific things we do very well.

 

__________________

My final year-end review activity is to set a word to describe the year. For this year, I chose “powerful”.

Because I have been challenged, explored the benefits of curiosity and, in the end, I learned so much.

As I gave more time to my inner life, I spotted my own weak links, which means I know exactly what to target in my own personal development plan. And I leave 2018 with a clear intention, which makes my work even more meaningful!

All good stuff to tap into your inner leader and keep growing, right?

Before you go, leave your 2018 word below. I will see you in 2019 (and yes, the coaching program might finally show up, too!).


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