It’s hard to believe that we are already at the midpoint of the calendar year! Now is a great time for some reflection and plans to close out 2019 with strength. In our work with senior leaders, we consistently find three core areas that may be inadvertently neglected, and can have an outsize influence on results. Here are three ways you can maximize impact in the second half of 2019:
Without feedback, humans simply do not have enough data on performance to function at their very best. How else can you precisely know what you should do more of, less of, or whether you need to operate in a different way? Go ahead – ask for and provide feedback on a more regular basis. Focus both on what is working well and what you may need to stop/start/or change. Don’t just ask anyone; pay attention to those that are particularly influential – key clients/customers, influential leaders, and critical team members, both peers and reports. Also, zero in on ‘loving critics’ – people that you have trusting relationships with that aren’t afraid to tell you what you need to hear. And make sure you aren’t just taking – you have to give feedback in the same clear and consistent manner that you would like to receive yourself!
Very senior leaders and members of the C-suite, take note: you may need to be even more insistent; given your seniority, there is a high likelihood that your team may not be giving you the feedback you need.
All too often we have clients who focus primarily on results and their external relationships, severely neglecting their internal reputation and connections. The truth is, no matter what your business is and what level you are, you have both external and internal clients/customers and you cannot afford to neglect the latter. Your internal reputation may ultimately have a far greater impact on your overall results than what you do externally. Just think about how valuable it is to be respected ‘on the inside’ – exclusive or early access to information and opportunities, a diverse pool of high performers who are motivated to work for you (and superior engagement and contributions from them), and more positive relationships with those around you.
Don’t make the mistake of dismissing or deprioritizing internal connections; your success depends greatly on your internal reputation!
We all gravitate towards our strengths naturally; they are often key to our success. However, don’t lose sight of the fact that our development areas are often strengths at some type of extreme: a highly diligent executive may err towards micromanaging in the same way that an emotionally intelligent leader may not provide difficult feedback or share bad news. Are you extremely careful and deliberate? You may frustrate others with your lack of innovation or the time it takes to reach a decision. Similarly, a highly influential leader may inadvertently stifle those around them. Now is the perfect time to consider the less appealing side of your high-volume strengths, and to consider the larger impact that they may have on your results and relationships.
Remember there is no better time than now to conduct a mid-year checkup. Set yourself up for success so you can make sure you finish the year strongly.