Photo: Guido van Nispen via Flickr
Good managers should take the time to evaluate their own performance at the end of each workday. After all, there’s always room for improvement, and even leaders should never stop learning.
But you’re not always able to carve out the time, so when you find yourself living on autopilot again, take a hard look at how you’re doing in the grand scheme of things to stay on track.
Think about how much you listened to your direct reports today
So think about it: Would you want to work for someone who never took the time to meet with you, or never even gave your ideas the chance to get the green light?
If your answer is no, definitely evaluate how you’re doing in this leadership area and come up with a strategy to get better at listening actively.
Identify the big stuff on your plate for tomorrow
One of the featured questions is, “What are my three biggest rocks to complete tomorrow?”
“Without creating a plan of what to focus on for the next day, you run the risk of doing busy work instead of meaningful work. Identifying your three big rocks for the next day allows you to have direction, clarity, and diffuse any potential feelings of overwhelm. To identify your biggest rocks for tomorrow, ask yourself ‘If I don’t get anything else done tomorrow, what are three actions that could move me closer to my vision and goals?’” he writes.
Be brutally honest: How well do you manage conflict?
When you manage projects and people, expect to have to put out metaphorical fires from time to time.
Victor Lipman, author of The Type B Manager: Leading Successfully in a Type A World, writes in Forbes about questions managers should pose to themselves.
“Do I deal with difficult situations directly? Or do I have the — entirely human — tendency to duck the hard stuff and focus on projects that are less problematic… more enjoyable and less nettlesome to work on, but in the long run less important?” Lipman writes.
Figure out how you can mentor talent in the near future
Instead of hogging your insights, share the wealth by giving back.
Give your reports chances to learn from your industry knowledge by hosting one-on-one meetings and periodic workshops. Also think about the people that have helped you in your career, ask if there’s anyone in their circles who could benefit from what you know.