# 1 – “Servant Leadership” Is Redundant – All great leaders serve. They are humble and demonstrate empathy but are not soft and pushovers.
# 2 – What’s Unique About a Servant Leader? – Servant leaders authentically believe others are more important.
# 3 – How to Improve as a Servant Leader – Seek feedback, pick one thing to work on, create a plan, work the plan, and assess your progress and learning.
Point # 1 – Assess What You Learned This Year
One way to create more value from your year-end analysis is to reflect on something more personal – what did I learn this year? Reflect on three things: what were your biggest successes, what are your biggest challenges going into the new year, and what have you learned from your experience this year?
When reflecting on your most significant successes, think deeply about what you did to lead your team successfully – what worked? Look for insights that show your leadership impact. How did you inspire & motivate and drive results to the next level?
Think about your challenges, but, more importantly, what could you do that you haven’t tried yet? Use your journal to think about what you have not done to solve the thorny problems and manage the most difficult polarities.
The most important question is: what did I learn? Look for the great things and the not-so-great things that happened. Learning is often hidden inside failure – look into each of the failures you experienced. What can you learn about yourself?
Ask Yourself: How can I reflect on what I have learned this year?
Point # 2 – Accelerate Your Growth Next Year
Armed with your insights from your reflection about what you learned in ’23, you should think about your role as a leader. How can I become more effective and use my emerging strengths more effectively?
Not sure what your emerging strengths are? Use a 360-degree assessment. If that seems daunting, I encourage you to use the 8-minute strengths assessment in the last section of the newsletter. Doing a leadership assessment annually makes good sense if you are focused on being a great leader.
Don’t ignore your fatal flaws (about 20% of leaders have one). Zenger Folkman has researched “fatal flaws” from 87,000 global leaders to determine the “six fatal flaws that kill a leader’s effectiveness”:
- Not inspiring and motivating others
- Not practicing self-development
- Not collaborating and being a team member
- Not developing others
- Not communicating powerfully and prolifically
- Not building relationships
Ask Yourself: What leadership competencies should I develop next year?
Point # 3 – Practice More In ‘24
Some leaders have dramatically improved their leadership effectiveness in a 12-to-18-month period – some increased their strengths tenfold. It’s possible to improve a lot in a short period.
The keys to rapid leadership development are 1) a pre & post-leadership assessment, 2) a practice plan for a leadership competency that has leverage, 3) a coach and/or an accountability partner, and 4) a reflection & journaling process to document key learnings.
Every week, determine where (which meetings), when, and what you will practice. Being intentional about when you are going to practice makes a huge difference.
At the end of the week, use a reflection process to enable you to notice what you learned from your practice. Sit with a cup of coffee and notice what worked and what didn’t. See yourself in action and review your ‘game film.’
Hire a coach to maximize your learning. Often, a coach will help you see something you didn’t see. A coach can be a game-changer and will help you grow as quickly as you can. And it’s a lot of fun sharing your journey with a leadership expert.
If you want to learn how to create a plan, read about it in my book BEST BOSS EVER! – the five steps to developing yourself into the leader everyone wants to follow. The process works, and the book is an easy read (65 pages). Need a copy? If we have not met, contact me (513-260-7637) and give me your contact info.
Want to Go Deeper?
- Zenger Folkman 8-minute Strengths Assessment
- PEAK – Secrets from The New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool
- This Coach Improved Every Tiny Thing by 1 Percent, and Here’s What Happened by James Clear
Happy Holidays! Please forward this newsletter to a friend or colleague. Thank you!